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A New Approach to Teaching Programming at Freshman Level in Mechanical Engineering

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Computation Related

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Pavan Karra Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Pavan Karra is Assistant Professor at Minnesota State University where he teaches in the field of Dynamics and Controls. He can be reached at

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Introduction to programming (MATLAB) course at XXX University has traditionally been a difficult class with high DFW rates. Traditional textbooks on MATLAB for engineers have examples which deal with problems the students are yet to encounter. Programming is a create/design level activity on Bloom's taxonomy. Students’ perception of the course being difficult stems from having to achieve the create level, while missing all prior levels on the example problem. This paper assumes that one of the underlying causes for this is that students are introduced to new mathematics and/or physics in examples, which makes it hard for students to focus on the programming aspect. New course material has been prepared which includes mathematical concepts from elementary/middle school to address the issue. Additional examples also deal with problems where students know the mathematics/physics of the problem until the analyze level of Blooms taxonomy. The effect of such material on students learning will be addressed in this paper. Comparison will be made on student success with the new material vs the historic student performance.

Karra, P. (2021, July), A New Approach to Teaching Programming at Freshman Level in Mechanical Engineering Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36598

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