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An International Study Of Robotics Courses In The Computer Science/Engineering Curriculum

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

International Engineering Education II

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.203.1 - 11.203.12



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Paper Authors


Afsaneh Minaie Utah Valley State College

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AFSANEH MINAIE is an associate professor in the Computing and Networking Sciences Department at Utah Valley State College. She received a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. all in Electrical Engineering from University of Oklahoma in 1981, 1984 and 1989 respectively. Her current interests are in Computer Architecture, Embedded Systems, Digital Signal Processing, Digital Design, and Computer Interfacing.

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Reza Sanati-Mehrizy

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REZA SANATI MEHRIZY is an associate professor of the Computing and Networking Sciences Dept. at Utah Valley State College, Orem, Utah. He received his MS and PhD in Computer Science from University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. His research focuses on diverse areas such as: Database Design, Data Structures, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Computer Integrated Manufacturing.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An International Study of Robotics Courses in the Computer Science/Engineering Curriculum


Robots are great motivation tools for teaching different concepts in engineering as well as computer science. Many courses involve simple robot construction and its programming. Theses robots usually contain a microcontroller, a few sensors, motors, and a body. These courses are excellent vehicles for teaching engineering concepts and they tend to be dominated by hardware concepts. This paper will discuss whether such a course is adequate for computer engineering area of specialization in a computer science department.

In our computer science department, there are four areas of specialization. These four areas of specializations are computer science, software engineering, networking, and computer engineering. In this curriculum, the students matriculate into the CNS department after successfully completing the requirements of 30 hours of core courses common to all computer science students. The students continue taking core courses until the first semester of their junior year, when they begin choosing their electives from different specialization areas.

This paper will address the question of what type of robotics course is adequate for computer engineering area of specialization in a computer science department by doing a national and an international survey of computer science and computer engineering curriculums. The intention is to see if robotics courses are offered and what the contents of those courses are. Also see if there are differences in the course content of a computer science robotics course versus a computer engineering robotics course.


Robotics is a well-recognized motivational tool for engineering as well as computer science education. It is an enjoyable topic for many students. Typically, the study of robotics has been limited to graduate level courses at big universities. In the last few years, the advent of smaller, less expensive robots has made it possible for smaller institutions to afford integrating robotics in their undergraduate computer science and engineering curriculum.

Over the years, robots have been used to teach computer science and engineering. Computer science and engineering departments use robots in various ways:

• Using robots in Introductory computer science education • An Introduction to Robotic Course • Using Robotics in Artificial Intelligence Course • Senior Capstone Design Project Course

Minaie, A., & Sanati-Mehrizy, R. (2006, June), An International Study Of Robotics Courses In The Computer Science/Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--942

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