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Digital skills


JFLAP stands for Java Formal Language and Automata Package. It is a package of graphical tools which we will use to aid in learning the basic concepts of Formal Languages and Automata Theory.


When I first started teaching automata theory in 1989, I taught it the traditional way as it had been taught to me. Students β€œprogrammed” finite automata, pushdown automata, and Turing machines by writing them down using pencil and paper, either in formal notation or as a transition diagram. Their answers were almost always wrong, since it was too tedious for them to check. I wanted students to be able to check their answers and interact with these automata. I wanted them to be able to design their own additional problems and be able to receive feedback on them. I began designing a tool for experimenting with pushdown automata, and over the years, with the help of many undergraduate and graduate students, FLAP was created and eventually evolved into JFLAP.

Susan Rodger

You will not be assessed on JFLAP, but it will make it much easier for you design and test your work.

Getting started with JFLAP

Download JFLAP7.1.jar from

Download JFLAP

Please note that you need to have the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed to run this application.

Optionally, you may want to check some chapters from the β€œJFLAP Book” available as PDF from

Download β€œJFLAP Book”

JFLAP video tutorials

If you prefer videos then have a look at this playlist by Prof. Jennifer Kay (Rowan University). You only need videos 1--8 for now.

Coventry Student Digital Kitbag


Digital skills are essential to work and everyday life more than ever. According to a report commissioned by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in 2019:

  • Digital skills are near-universal requirements
  • Digital skills carry a wage differential
  • Digital skills are in demand everywhere
  • Specific digital skills may help workers avoid the risk of automation
  • Specific digital skills promote career progression
  • No Longer Optional: Employer Demand for Digital Skills (PDF file)

The Digital Student Kitbag contains everything you need to know from day one, as well as additional tips and resources to take you well beyond the basics. It includes useful information about tools and resources, along with learning activities (i.e. tasks) to help you develop key skills and the right mindset to make the most of your studies.

You can work through it at your own pace, building up & expanding your skills.