ALGAE allows the instructor to take typical Java code from a course's textbook or lecture notes and, with relatively little effort, produce an "animated" version of that code. These animations will show the data as it is being manipulated by the code. A listing of the algorithm source code is synchronized with the animation. Because these animations are "live", students can interact with the algorithm, supplying their own input data values and watching the resulting calculation.
Animations can run continuously or can pause at instructor-selected breakpoints. At each breakpoint, the instructor decides what variables should be drawn, what text to display in the status line, and if desired, how to use color and other cues to highlight the more instructive portions of the data. Although ALGAE can only animate Java code, the instructor can manipulate the synchronized listing to "fake" the animation of equivalent code in any language such as C++ or even pseudo-code.
The picture on the right shows a typical animation in progress.
ALGAE 's goal is to let an instructor quickly animate code obtained from the course's textbook, and to display these animations in a classroom setting (relatively few objects on the screen, but drawn large enough to be visible in a large classroom) or embed them into a web page.
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