T. Naps. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications25 (5):
Algorithm visualization (AV) uses computer graphics to depict an algorithm's actions. For computer science students, AV holds the promise of helping them understand algorithms more easily and in greater depth. However, after 15 years of intensive research in this area, that promise remains largely unfulfilled. This article argues that we now have a better understanding of what must be done to turn AV from being merely impressive graphics into an effective pedagogical tool for computer science educators. The article provides an overview of what has been learned from past effectiveness studies. This knowledge is then related to an engagement taxonomy defined in a recent working group report on AV effectiveness. The article then describes the JHAVÉ system, which fosters this type of active engagement by providing a set of standard support tools for certain types of AV systems.