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Encouraging Student Innovation in a Freshman-Level Computer Science Course

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


Cynthia C. Fry Baylor University

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Cynthia C. Fry is a Senior Lecturer of Computer Science and the Director of the Computer Science Fellows program at Baylor University. She teaches a wide variety of engineering and computer science courses, deploys a series of faculty development seminars focused on Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value, and works collaboratively and remotely with a series of colleagues on the development of EML-based courses. She is a KEEN Fellow.

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Kenneth W. Van Treuren Baylor University

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Ken Van Treuren is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering at Baylor University. He received his B. S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado and his M. S. in Engineering from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. After serving as USAF pilot in KC-135 and KC-10 aircraft, he completed his DPhil in Engineering Sciences at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom and returned to the USAF Academy to teach heat transfer and propulsion systems. At Baylor University, he teaches courses in laboratory techniques, fluid mechanics, energy systems, and propulsion systems, as well as freshman engineering. Research interests include renewable energy to include small wind turbine aerodynamics, UAS propeller design and experimental convective heat transfer as applied to HVAC and gas turbine systems.

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In a world where the demand is high for employees who can think creatively and apply entrepreneurial behaviors and thought processes to their work, it is critically important for engineering and computer science programs to provide more educational opportunities that take the essential basics of the disciplines and add to that content the experiences that will also encourage the development of entrepreneurial behaviors in students' development of solutions to the challenges they face. In a second-semester project-based learning course in computer science at ___ University, the students were introduced to an idea-generation technique called Painstorming chosen to encourage opportunity recognition, and asked to develop their own idea for a semester project. This paper will cover the success of project-based learning in engineering and computer science courses, show a method of idea generation called Painstorming, the application of Painstorming to software applications as a means to generate group project ideas, the adjustments necessary for the successful implementation of this approach in an already busy course, and the preliminary results of the experiment.

Fry, C. C., & Van Treuren, K. W. (2016, June), Encouraging Student Innovation in a Freshman-Level Computer Science Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26954

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