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Enhancing Computer Based Problem Solving Skills By A Combination Of Software Packages

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Issues in Computer Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.563.1 - 9.563.13



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Paper Authors

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Mordechai Shacham

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Michael Cutlip

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


Enhancing Computer-Based Problem Solving Skills with a Combination of Software Packages

Mordechai Shacham Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Ben Gurion University of the Negev Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel e-mail:

Michael B. Cutlip Dept. of Chemical Engineering, University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 06269, USA e-mail:


It is generally recognized that computer-based (or computer-enhanced) problem solving (CBPS) can be a very important or possibly the most important application of the computer in engineering education and practice. However, the penetration of CBPS in the various engineering disciplines has been disappointingly slow and of limited extent. (Kantor and Edgar2, Jones3) The mistaken premise that one software package is appropriate for all problem solving is possibly one of the major impediments to CBPS. There are selected engineering courses where the computer is used as a sophisticated calculator that can solve differential and implicit algebraic equations and also perform regressions on experimental data. In other cases, the graphical and the database management capabilities of the software are important. Still other courses require considerable programming abilities.

We have long advocated that the most educational benefit can be gained by the integration of several software packages throughout the curriculum (Shacham and Cutlip4). There is a need for a numerical problem solver that accepts the model equations close to their mathematical forms and provides their numerical solution with very minimal user intervention. Spreadsheets are used widely for organization and presentation of information in tabular and graphical forms and for database management with related operations. Software packages that support programming (such as MATLAB, for example) are needed to implement algorithms are required in advanced programming and numerical analysis courses.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference &Exposition Copyright ©2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Shacham, M., & Cutlip, M. (2004, June), Enhancing Computer Based Problem Solving Skills By A Combination Of Software Packages Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13886

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