Authors: Ayman Qahmash, Mike Joy and Adam Boddison
Abstract: Generally, mathematical abilities have a certain degree of importance in computer science education and a correlation between mathematics and programming, derived from small samples, had been suggested. However, our study investigates whether the correlation is statistically significant or not by analysing a large data set spanning nineteen years for two programming modules and two mathematics modules with syllabi which had undergone minimal changes. In this paper, a statistical analysis based on students’ performance has been used to determine the relationship between mathematics and programming in general and between two specific mathematics modules and two programming modules. Compared with small sample analyses derived from previous research, the large sample of 2,161 students’ grades in the present study indicates a positive moderate correlation that is statistically significant. The results also suggest that discrete mathematics correlates with introductory programming more than calculus whereas data structures could relate positively to student performance in calculus more than discrete mathematics.
Keywords: component; Programming; Mathematics; Statistics