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Communications of the ACM

Computer education in a graduate school of management

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Several years of experience have led to the belief that the creative design and evaluation of management information systems requires a thorough understanding of the related computer technology. Concepts such as paging and priority interrupt systems can best be explained at the machine language level. Any machine used for exposition should fulfill several criteria. It should: (1) raise as few spurious issues as possible; (2) allow, without undue effort, the solution of interesting problems; (3) be capable of exposing all outstanding issues of significance, within the chosen machine; (4) be useful for pursuing issues in great depth when appropriate; (5) not be committed to the equipment provided by any manufacturer; (6) be able to provide the student with diagnostic aids to a great depth; (7) allow the student ready access to the machine; (8) be capable of extension to expose new issues as they come along. We have constructed a simulated machine and its associated software which meets these criteria. This system, called the PRISM system, is documented by a primer and a reference manual.

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