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The Impact of Reducing Numerical Methods and Programming Courses on Undergraduate Performance

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

General Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1223.1 - 24.1223.10



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Paper Authors

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Stephen Michael Morse Texas Tech University Orcid 16x16


Audra N. Morse Texas Tech University

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Dr. Audra Morse, P.E., is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the Whitacre College of Engineering and a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas Tech University. She leads the Engineering Opportunities Center which provides retention, placement and academic support services to WCOE students.

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Venkatesh Uddameri

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Elma Annette Hernandez Texas Tech University


David L. Ernst Texas Tech University - Construction Engineering

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BS - Mechanical Engineering - Cornell University - 1973
ME - Nuclear Engineering - Cornell University - 1974
US Air Force - 8 years
Texas Instruments - 1.5 years
Texas Tech University - 30 years

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Theoretical understanding versus sensitivity analysis and uncertainty propagation techniquesDue to pressure from many state legislatures reducing credit hour limits with a set of mandatory corecourses, science and engineering discipline curricula have optimized and downsized the topics coveredin degree programs. Many secondary skills such as computer programming, numerical methods, finiteelements, and stochastic analysis have been dropped completely from the curricula or minimallycovered through the inclusion of commercial software packages. While these skills are not specific to aparticular discipline the authors opine they constitute fundamental knowledge, similar to calculus, inwhich all engineers should have competence. This paper presents the advantages and disadvantages ofreplacing the theoretical competence of these secondary skills with high level commercial software bothfrom instructional and programmatic viewpoints. The paper will explore several scenarios that mayoccur as the engineering profession moves into the future evermore dependent on software to performengineering calculations and in some cases replace engineering judgment.

Morse, S. M., & Morse, A. N., & Uddameri, V., & Hernandez, E. A., & Ernst, D. L. (2014, June), The Impact of Reducing Numerical Methods and Programming Courses on Undergraduate Performance Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23156

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