John A Hawley III, Ph.D.
Directed Student Presentations and Achievements
Michigan Academy: A Teaching/Learning Tool for Visualizing Memory Use Caused by Java Program Execution.
Brad J. Hovinga (student), Alma College, 614 W. Superior, Alma, MI 48801, firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: The storage of data and its movement between the different computer memories is a basic that must be understood by programmers and computer scientists. A student is well on her/his way to mastering programming and the science of computing when s/he learns to visualize memory, its contents and the movement of data as programs execute. This paper presents a teaching/learning tool (now in development) that will provide a graphic visualization of memory as Java program instructions are executed. When completed it will accept as input an executable Java program and output graphic snapshot views of memory at chosen times of program execution (after every Java statement if desired). These snapshots will show the memory stack consisting of frames for each programâs methods in order of invocation. The contents of the variables, including references to instantiated objects, local to each method will be displayed in its respective frame. The paper first explains the portion of the tool that is working today; that is, the part that gathers the needed information for the memory displays. It then explains the programming in progress that will result in the graphic displays and the userâs ability to manipulate them.