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The Role of Formal Methods in Software Engineering Education and Industry

C. J. Burgess, The Role of Formal Methods in Software Engineering Education and Industry . Proceedings of the 4th Software Quality Conference. ISBN 1-899796-00-2, pp. 98–105. July 1995. PDF, 77 Kbytes.

Abstract

Today, nearly every Software Engineering or Computer Science Degree Course given in either a British University, or in any University around the world, includes the teaching of Formal Methods. In contrast, there are comparatively few industrial or commercial projects in which Formal Methods are used. This paper outlines some of the benefits of including formal methods as part of the degree curriculum, even if they are not used in subsequent careers. It then describes some of the ways in which more formal ideas of software development can be introduced early on in a degree course, and then built on in the subsequent years. Finally, it speculates on how the situation in industry may change in the years to come, and how formal methods themselves may need to evolve before there is more widespread acceptance of them as a viable development technique, both from the point of view of software quality and also the financial implications.

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