Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.975.1 - 6.975.8
Template Based Programming in Chemical Engineering Courses
David L. Silverstein University of Kentucky
Chemical engineers today are called upon to do more with computers than their predecessors even a few years ago. Not only do they have to do more with new (and unfamiliar) technologies, they are also called upon to work with old (and unfamiliar) software that dates back 20 years or more. The limited space available in the curriculum for computer training must be utilized to provide as broad a base as possible to enable graduates to adapt to the specific computing-related requirements of their employer as rapidly as possible. When combined with a large projected shortfall in qualified personnel to fill computer related jobs over the next ten years, chemical engineers may find themselves required to fulfill some computer based duties previously delegated to MIS and other support personnel.
One approach to preparing students for the wide variety of computer related issues that may arise in their engineering duties is to take a template-based approach to developing engineering software. This method provides students with a software infrastructure, or template, that handles basic tasks, such as input and output, and requires them to utilize the basic programming skills learned in an introduction to programming course to develop the code to implement engineering designs and calculations. By using this method, the student does not have to learn, for example, how to incorporate dialog boxes in a GUI application, but focuses on the engineering aspects of the program.
Students will broaden their understanding of the software they use, as they are given the opportunity to examine code in the context of a program they understand better than an abstract calculational tool such as a spreadsheet or CAS. They will have written the "guts": only the "shell" is provided. Motivated students will work with the "shell" and deepen their understanding of broader programming concepts. The use of this approach in an undergraduate course in process modeling is examined. Some aspects of a proposed elective based upon this principle to broaden student exposure to other programming techniques (event driven, real time, etc. as opposed to procedural), languages (Java, C/C++, Visual Basic...), environments (Windows, UNIX, CE), object linking (custom ChemCAD modules, MS Office integration, DLLs), and interfaces (GUI, console, web) are presented.
Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education
Silverstein, D. (2001, June), Template Based Programming In Chemical Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/9897
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