June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.644.1 - 10.644.5
Freshman Engineering & Computer Science Program At Wright State University
Blair A. Rowley and Tom L. Bazzoli College of Engineering & Computer Science Wright State University Dayton, OH 45435
Abstract The freshman program is designed to introduce engineering principles through hands-on experience, establish a sense of community, develop an understanding of how to be successful in studying engineering, and to foster collaboration among students through cooperative teaming. This paper presents an overview of the program that has evolved over the past six years.
Introduction Six years ago the college committed to developing a freshman experience which would help in recruitment and retention. Initially it was designed on Drexel University’s freshman program 1. During the first two years enrollment was limited to approximately 60 students who exhibited high achievement in GPA and test scores. This was a three-quarter course taught by a number of professors from various college departments. Using this experience as a base, a full time director was appointed and the program was expanded the third year to include all entering freshmen except for those in the Biomedical Engineering Premedical Program. They were exempt as the freshman program could not be worked into their crowded curriculum.
For the next two years the program was a three hour per quarter, two quarter course. It had a fall- winter, winter-spring structure. Each first quarter had one 2-hour lecture and two, 1-hour laboratories per week. The curriculum the first quarter had two teaming events, basics of engineering drawing, an introduction to instrumentation, resistive circuits involving Ohms and Kirchoff’s laws, and integrated circuits used for timers, flip-flops, counters, and an introduction to two of the college programs. In addition the students learned to use HTML to design their own web sites and MatLab and Excel to solve statistical problems involving normal distributions. The second quarter had one, 2-hour lecture and one, 1-hour laboratory, and one teaming event. The students were introduced to ethics and five more college programs with the labs designed and taught by the departments. The teaming event involved the construction and flying of a radio controlled, electrically powered, slow flying airplane. In addition they were introduced to the engineering use of mathematics involving algebra, calculus, and differential equations.
The biggest surprise came from the engineering mathematics effort the second quarter. Our college mathematics committee had postulated that the students were capable of handling higher mathematics earlier than programmed using the normal sequence taught by the mathematics department. They encouraged the freshman program to introduce over a four week period enough mathematics to enable the students to work an oscillatory motion problem using differential equations. This was accomplished starting with static pressure and beam problems, then projectile motion and finally mass on a spring motion. The outcome was so positive that the
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Educational Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Bazzoli, T., & Rowley, B. (2005, June), Freshman Engineering & Computer Science Program At Wright State University Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/14217
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