June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.799.1 - 15.799.17
Introducing Dataflow Programming in a Freshman Engineering Course with Applications in Sustainability Education
This paper discusses the gradual integration of LabVIEW, a dataflow programming language, into a freshman engineering course, data acquisition activities designed to utilize LabVIEW programming and the status of development of a LabVIEW Enabled Watershed Assessment System (LEWAS). This system is capable of monitoring water data in a real-time from an impaired stream that flows through the campus of Virginia Tech. These data have potential to develop classroom exercises targeted at promoting awareness of environmental sustainability among engineering freshmen.
LEWAS has been successfully expanded from the desktop version and is programmed to enable real-time monitoring using an embedded computer that is field deployable with less power consumption and more reliability compared to the desktop version. Student attitudinal responses on using LabVIEW to teach programming constructs and collect environmental data are analyzed and discussed.
In 2004, a group of engineering and education faculty at Virginia Tech received a major curriculum reform and engineering education research grant under the department-level reform (DLR) program of the NSF1. A number of hands-on activities were developed and implemented in the freshman engineering program as a result of the DLR project2,3, 4. Engineering Exploration (EngE1024), a freshman engineering course required of all engineering undergraduates, is the most affected course by the DLR project in the general engineering (also called freshman engineering) program. This course primarily focuses on hands-on design, problem solving, professional ethics and skills, and critical thinking skills5. This course is taken by approximately 1700 freshmen every year. It is comprised of lecture and workshop sessions. One of the learning objectives of this course is that after successful completion the students should be able to develop and implement algorithms and demonstrate understanding of basic programming concepts. The instructors used FORTRAN in late 90s which was replaced byMATLAB in the beginning of this decade. Beginning in Fall ’04, MATLAB was replaced by Alice programming language. The authors have discussed their programming experiences with Alice in6. In Spring ’07, Alice was replaced by LabVIEW programming. The dataflow programming paradigm supported by LabVIEW is suitable for many engineering applications and can be extended for collection, processing and communication of environmental data which in turn can be used to
Delgoshaei, P., & Lohani, V., & Green, C. (2010, June), Introducing Dataflow Programming In A Freshman Engineering Course With Applications In Sustainability Education Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16929
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