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Teaching Formal Methods to Future Engineers

Abstract : Formal methods provide systematic and rigorous techniques for software development. We are convinced that they must be taught in Software Engineering curricula. In this paper, we present a set of formal methods courses included in a Software Engineering & Security track of ENSIIE, École Nationale Supérieure d'Informatique pour l'Industrie et l'Entreprise, a French engineering school delivering the « Ingénieur de l'ENSIIE » degree (master level). These techniques have been taught over the last fifteen years in our education programs in different formats. One of the difficulty we encounter is that students consider these kinds of techniques difficult and requiring much work and thus are inclined to choose other courses when they can. Furthermore, students are strongly focused on the direct applicability of the knowledge they are taught, and they are not all going to pursue a professional career in the development of critical systems. Our experience shows that students can gain confidence in formal methods when they understand that, through a rigorous mathematical approach to system specification, they acquire knowledge, skills and abilities that will be useful in their professional future as Computer Scientists/Engineers.
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Catherine Dubois, Virgile Prévosto, Guillaume Burel. Teaching Formal Methods to Future Engineers. Third International Workshop and Tutorial, FMTea, Sep 2019, Porto, Portugal. pp.69-80, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-32441-4_5⟩. ⟨cea-02874103⟩

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