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Aligning Computing Education with engineering workforce computational needs: New curricular directions to improve computational thinking in engineering graduates

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13 Author(s)

In this global economy, the preparation of a globally competitive U.S. workforce with knowledge and understanding of critical computing concepts is essential. Our CPACE (Collaborative Process to Align Computing Education with Engineering Workforce Needs) vision is to revitalize undergraduate computing education within the engineering and technology fields. Our objective is to design and implement a process to engage stakeholders from multiple sectors and identify the computational tools and problem-solving skills and define how these skills-directly informed by industry needs-can be integrated across disciplinary curricula. By explicitly integrating computing concepts and disciplinary problem solving, engineering graduates will enter the workforce with improved and practice-ready computational thinking that will enhance their problem-solving and design skills. We present the analysis of the computational skills and the strategies that we are using to map the workforce problem-solving requirements onto the foundational computer science principles. We outline the framework that we are using to identify opportunities for curricular integration between computer science concepts and the disciplinary engineering curricula. By documenting, evaluating, and making the process explicit, this process can serve as a model for national efforts to strengthen undergraduate computing education in engineering.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 2009. FIE '09. 39th IEEE

Date of Conference:

18-21 Oct. 2009