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Data and processes in computing

Introduction

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This unit provides an introduction to data and processes in software, and provides a basis that enables these fundamental ideas to be developed in a clear and precise way. It has two main aims. The first is to illustrate how we can describe ways in which data may be structured and processed. The second is to introduce you to some vocabulary and concepts that help us to do this. The material is accessible to anyone with a little experience of the use of symbols in presenting ideas.

Section 1 provides a brief introduction to the unit. It contains some new language that will be explained more fully in later sections. Read this section without spending too much time on it. The most important material in this unit is that in Sections 2 and 4. Section 3 includes some ideas that are relatively difficult. You should read this section, but do not spend a great deal of time on it. Section 5 is of a similar length to Sections 2 and 4.

Overall, do not allow yourself to spend too long on any section while you are studying this unit. You can always come back and reread material here if you find later that you need a more thorough understanding of some point.

This study unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course M263 Building blocks of software, which is no longer taught by the University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this subject area [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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