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Computer Based Skills In An Met Curriculum

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in Mechanical ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.331.1 - 10.331.10



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Paper Authors

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Joseph Musto

author page

William Howard

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

Session 1348

Computer-Based Skills in an MET Curriculum William E. Howard and Joseph C. Musto Milwaukee School of Engineering


The TC2K criteria of ABET accreditation for engineering technology programs has allowed for greater flexibility in many areas of curriculum content. Previous requirements included the stipulation that at least one computer language be taught in a BS program, followed by experience using programming skills in technical courses. In the TC2K requirements, a program outcome specifies that students must have “mastery…of the modern tools of their disciplines.”

There are a number of ways to meet the TC2K requirement. Software instruction can use high- level programming languages, such as C++ or FORTRAN, spreadsheets, or mathematical computational tools such as MATLAB, Mathematica, MATHCAD, or Maple. In recent years, the distinction between programming language and computational tool has become less clear, as several of the mathematical computational programs also contain powerful programming features.

In this paper, the authors present an overview of computer usage in mechanical engineering technology (MET) programs. The authors also identify several computer-based skills that we think are appropriate for engineering technology graduates, and describe the approach adopted at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), which includes:

• A balance of MATLAB programming and spreadsheet usage. • An emphasis on selecting the appropriate tool for a specific task. • Instruction in the presentation of problem statements and results. • A focus on applications.


Computer programming has been a required skill in most engineering and engineering technology programs for several decades. From the 1960’s through the 1980’s, some knowledge of programming was necessary or at least preferred in order to perform computing tasks on mainframe computers. Until very recently, ABET requirements for engineering technology mandated the instruction of at least one computer language. Criterion I.C.6 of the 2003-2004 conventional criteria reads:

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Musto, J., & Howard, W. (2005, June), Computer Based Skills In An Met Curriculum Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14196

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