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Should freshman engineering students be taught a programming language?

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2 Author(s)
Bjedov, G. ; Dept. of Freshman Eng., Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, USA ; Andersen, P.K.

Many first-year engineering curricula include a course in programming in a high-level language (such as FORTRAN, Pascal, C, or even C++). Such courses have traditionally been justified as teaching logical thinking and problem solving, while providing the students with tools that they will use as practicing engineers. However, these goals can be achieved more readily today through the use of modern mathematical software tools such as MATLAB. Such tools are more powerful and easier to master than a traditional programming language, allowing the students to solve interesting and challenging problems earlier in the course. Consequently, there is little reason to teach traditional programming languages to freshman, and many reasons not to

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1996. FIE '96. 26th Annual Conference., Proceedings of  (Volume:1 )

Date of Conference:

6-9 Nov 1996