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ToonTalk - Turning Concurrent Programming into Child's Play

Ken Kahn*

University of London

We have constructed a general-purpose concurrent programming system, ToonTalk, in which the source code is animated and the programming environment is a video game. Every abstract computational aspect is mapped into a concrete metaphor. For example, a computation is a city, a concurrent object is a house, birds carry messages between houses, a method or clause is a robot trained by the user. The computational model underlying ToonTalk is based upon concurrent constraint programming. The programmer controls a "programmer persona" in this animated world to construct, run, debug and modify programs. We believe that ToonTalk is especially well suited for giving children the opportunity to build real programs in a manner that is easy to learn and fun to do. See for more information.

Children's uses of ToonTalk to build games, scientific simulations, and to explore mathematics will be discussed as well. A live demo of ToonTalk will be given.


Wednesday Seminars

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