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Transforming the Instruction of Introductory Computing to Engineering Students
Proceedings of Transforming Engineering Education: Creating Interdisciplinary Skills for Complex Global Environments (2010, Dublin, Ireland)
  • A. R. Hurson, Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Sahra Sedigh, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Abstract

Computer science as a discipline encompasses the study and creation of computational techniques for problem-solving. Unfortunately, much of the benefit of these techniques to engineering students is lost in translation, in part due to the disconnect between introductory computing courses and the disciplinary courses that introduce problems that could benefit from computational techniques. A considerable body of literature has documented the ineffectiveness of traditional programming courses in transferring usable knowledge to students, specifically where problem-solving skills and computational thinking are concerned. This paper describes a transformative change to the instruction of introductory computing to engineering students, in the context of a single non-major course. In the proposed architecture, a core "lecture" is supplemented with plug-in domain-specific modules and problems that are presented in domain-specific recitation/laboratory sections. The focus of the lecture component of the course is to introduce the core concepts and skills required for computational thinking, including algorithms and software engineering techniques. The recitation/laboratory component encourages and guides the application of these skills to introductory problems in engineering. The objective is to shift the emphasis from the minutia of the syntax of textual programming languages to computational thinking.

Meeting Name
Transforming Engineering Education: Creating Interdisciplinary Skills for Complex Global Environments (2010: Apr. 6-9, Dublin, Ireland)
Department(s)
Computer Science
Second Department
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
  • Computational Technique,
  • Computational Thinkings,
  • Domain Specific,
  • Engineering Techniques,
  • Introductory Computing Course,
  • Minutia,
  • Plug-Ins,
  • Problem Solving Skills,
  • Programming Course,
  • Programming Language,
  • Proposed Architectures,
  • Engineering,
  • Problem Oriented Languages,
  • Problem Solving,
  • Software Engineering,
  • Students,
  • Teaching,
  • Engineering Education
International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
9781424460427; 9781424460403
Document Type
Article - Conference proceedings
Document Version
Citation
File Type
text
Language(s)
English
Rights
© 2010 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.
Publication Date
4-1-2010
Citation Information
A. R. Hurson and Sahra Sedigh. "Transforming the Instruction of Introductory Computing to Engineering Students" Proceedings of Transforming Engineering Education: Creating Interdisciplinary Skills for Complex Global Environments (2010, Dublin, Ireland) (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/a-hurson/2/