Date of Graduation
The purpose of this study was to determine if spatial intelligence contributes to a student's success in a computer science major or if mathematical-logical intelligence is sufficient data on which to base a prediction of success. The study was performed at a small university. The sample consisted of 15 computer science (CS) majors, enrolled in a computer science class, and 15 non-CS-majors, enrolled in a statistics class. Seven of the CS-majors were considered advanced and seven were considered less advanced. The independent measures were: the mathematics and the English scores from the ACT/SAT (CS-majors); a questionnaire to obtain personal information; the major area of study which compared CS-majors to all other majors; and the number of completed computer science classes (CS-majors) to determine advanced and less advanced CS-majors. The dependent measures were: a multiple intelligence inventory for adults to determine perception of intelligences; the GEFT to determine field independence independence; the Card Rotations Test to determine spatial orientation ability; the Maze Tracing Speed Test to determine spatial scanning ability; and the Surface Development test to determine visualization ability. The visualization measure correlated positively and significantly with the GEFT. The year in college correlated positively and significantly with the GEFT and visualization measure for CS-majors and correlated negatively for non-CS-majors. Although non-CS-majors scored higher on the spatial orientation measure, CS-majors scored significantly higher on the spatial scanning measure. The year in college correlated negatively with many of the measures and perceptions of intelligences among both groups; however, there were more significant negative correlations among non-CS-majors. Results indicated that experience in computer programming may increase field independence, visualization ability, and spatial scanning ability while decreasing spatial orientation ability. The year in college had a positive correlation with only the perception of linguistic intelligence among all groups; it had a negative correlation with all other perceptions of intelligences and measures in at least one of the groups. Although significant differences existed between non-CS-majors and CS-majors, and between advanced and less advanced CS-majors, whether computer programming is a science, an art, or both was not conclusively determined by this study.
Gum, Sandra Trent, "Computer programming: Science, art, or both?" (1997). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8966.