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  June 1998    

UNU conducts software training course in Pyongyang
The UNU's International Institute for Software Technology (UNU/IIST) held a computer software training course from 20 to 30 April in Pyongyang, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The course was organized jointly by the UNU/IIST and the State Commission for Science and Technology. It focused on Rigorous Approaches to Industrial Software Development (RAISE), as well as on writing formal software.

"We believe that involving software professionals from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in UNU/IIST training courses can help them feel that they are members of the international computer science community, where they can learn, cooperate, and contribute to the work being done in the rest of the world," said Tomasz Janowski, the UNU/IIST Research Fellow who taught the course.

The 10-day course was attended by 25 computer software specialists and five project guides. It was divided into presentations on four main topics: an introduction to formal methods, the RAISE Specification Language, RAISE tools, and the RAISE method. An equal amount of time was given to lectures and exercises, where the students were shown how to apply RAISE to their own areas of concern.

According to Dr. Janowski, the UNU/IIST's aim is to promote software development as a true engineering discipline, beyond the level of writing programme codes. "The course advances development techniques which are slowly but increasingly being adopted in practice," he said.

"We believe that education at this level in software engineering will give developing countries a distinct advantage in producing or even exporting their own software products," Dr. Janowski said. "At least developing countries will be able to write software for their own infrastructure, which tends to be complex, and too specific and expensive to be purchased off the shelf."

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