Adventures in Science: Arduino Control Flow

We examine the computer science concept of how a single-threaded, sequential program flows in Arduino.

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This week, we examine a slightly different type of science: computer science! We will cover concepts like what a compiler does (in a broad scope), what is meant by sequential programming, and how to use a flow chart to diagram a program.

I found it difficult to discuss many of these concepts without showing examples, which meant picking a programming language. Given the popularity of Arduino with beginners and our audience (especially as an introduction to embedded systems), the Arduino language (OK, it's really C and C++ inside a framework) seemed like a good fit.

In the video, I go over how an Arduino program executes sequentially and how it can be visualized in flowchart form. My hope is that these programming videos can be used as supplemental material in a student's computer science class or by people learning on their own.

If you would like to follow along, here is an in-depth guide on installing the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE):

Installing Arduino IDE

March 26, 2013

A step-by-step guide to installing and testing the Arduino software on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

I know that many of you are likely well-versed in programming, so the video will be a rehashing of the absolute basics. Do you have any suggestions for teaching computer science concepts to beginners? Which terms are important to be defined, and what analogies would you use?


Comments 3 comments

  • Sembazuru / about 5 years ago / 1

    Nice video. I'm going to see if we can use it with any classes for our maker group. Flow charts like this make more sense to me for simple, single threaded platforms than state machine diagrams.

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