THE USE OF PASCAL AS TEACHING TOOL FOR PROTEIN ENGINEERING
University of Granada (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Pascal is a command-based computer programming language that was originally designed by Niklaus Wirth in the 70s with the intention of creating a teaching tool for programmers. Pascal is particularly suitable language intended to encourage good programming practices using structured programming and data structuring. Although it is not frequently used for teaching purposes in the field of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, here we report our experience regarding the use of Pascal as a tool for teaching key protein engineering concepts. The use of Pascal has provided the students not only the necessary knowledge and skills in the discipline of protein engineering, but also the ability to develop their own programs for the analysis of protein structures, which undoubtedly have helped them to improve their logical thinking, creativity, analytical skills and problem-solving abilities.
After careful revision of several programming languages, we chose Pascal as it is a freely and publicly available language that is focused on the analysis of programming concepts rather than programming language components. In addition, according to students’ point of view, Pascal is a simple and easy-going programming language that helped them to approach other broadly-used programming languages, such as C, C++ or Linux. According to our experience, the use of Pascal as a teaching tool has a tremendous potential, as it forced students to think about how to structure their own data and it allowed them to acquire solid notions in protein engineering and bioinformatics.
Keywords: Pascal, Programming language, Protein engineering.