paper instructions

  1. What you need to do

We suggest you undertake the tasks below carefully in the order specified. It is likely that your understanding of the scenario will develop while following the steps in this order

 Task 1 (weight: 60%) This task is designed to assess your understanding of a program written in the FP style. It requires you to demonstrate your understanding by explaining in detail a variety of coding constructs in the context of a specific example. We offer a choice of methods so that you can select the one you feel would enable you to express your understanding the best.

Experiment with the code and try the examples. Then read the implementation of class Section. It contains a number of methods, some of which are listed in the table below:

Method (Choose ONE of these)

toString

performSectionNumbering

insertSubsection

deleteSubsection

getSubsection

Your first task is to choose ONE of these methods and explain it in detail. You should use diagrams to illustrate your answer. We want to see that you understand every piece of the code in your chosen method and that you can explain what its purpose is. For example, if there is an if then we want to know that you understand not only what the if condition says but also that you know why that condition is important with the particular values it has. To do this task well requires that you develop a good knowledge of the data structure. This is not something you can do superficially. You may need to research the syntax as well as the methods/operators/higher order functions used. Feel free to comment upon how you might improve the method or simply how you would have reformatted/restructured it if you feel this is a relevant point. We want you to demonstrate that you understand the code you are explaining in detail, and in the context of the example. Please avoid generic “text book” answers such as “a map function applies a function to each element of a list”. Such a statement, unqualified, will not be worth very much. The main purpose of asking you to explain the methods within the context of the example is so that you can demonstrate an understanding of why they are appropriate in this context as well as what operation they perform. We are looking for the depth of insight and understanding revealed by your answer. You will need to present your work carefully in order to convey the depth of understanding and insight that you have. We cannot assume this depth of knowledge – we need to see evidence of it clearly shown in your answer.

Task 2 (weight: 40%)

This task is designed to assess your ability to write a method in context using the FP style. It is not sufficient just to write the method – we want you to provide evidence of the method working (show us some of your test data and output) and to discuss your solution – to defend it. Implement the following methods within the Book class:

Method :

insertAtZero

Demonstrate, analyse, and critically review. The assessment is not just about writing the code. We want to you to explain the thought process behind your solution. We want you to explain to us why you solved the problem in the way that you did. In particular, you should indicate how the intermediate stages of your solution work to transform the data structure towards the result – use of diagrams here would be especially helpful. In short, a piece of undocumented code with no explanation will not score very well at all. At this level we are looking for your analysis and understanding over and above just writing the code itself. Present it well. We neither want nor require you to attach lots of separate files of output data. You should choose some example runs that show it working properly and include these within your report. To help you to demonstrate your work most effectively you should pay particular attention to the way in which the sample runs are presented on the page. The assessment requires you to draw our attention to the main features of your solution clearly and concisely. We will not search through lists of undocumented output trying to discover how your code is working. In what follows the presentation skill includes the appropriateness and depth of the description as well as its physical layout and display. Furthermore, solutions that are not FP (i.e. they use traditional/OO techniques including mutable state etc.) would represent an insufficient response to the problem.

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