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Work In Progress: Adoption Of Ccs0 Computational Methods And Circuit Analysis Techniques Into An Introductory Programming Course For Electrical Engineers

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Introducing Programming in the First Year

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1382.1 - 15.1382.9



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Paper Authors

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Virgilio Gonzalez University of Texas, El Paso Orcid 16x16

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Eric Freudenthal University of Texas, El Paso

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

Work in progress: Adoption of CCS0 Computational Methods and Circuit Analysis Techniques into an Introductory Programming Course for Electrical Engineers Abstract

We report on the content and early evaluation of a pilot for a revised introductory programming . .) SDIm incorporates pedagogical components from a course developed by our computer science department (CCS0) combined with an introduction to electric circuits and other ECE topics. SDIm is being developed in response to observations from several ECE faculty that many students, who attended the previously-offered courses in introductory C-programming and in computer organization, had struggled with minor programming assignments throughout the ECE curriculum. They also reported that fewer than 20% of students demonstrated mastery of programming in later senior courses.

The CCS0 course employs a simple interpreted programmin It uses simple small programs associated with mathematical and physical applications in order to illustrate the concepts of programming techniques. This intervention is based on the hypothesis

pedagogical model and programming environment than with a conventional course in C, and that they will effectively transfer these understandings to the study of C during the second half of the he dynamic behavior of simple RLC circuits will reinforce key concepts taught in foundational ECE courses.

Introduction and motivation

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) offers bachelor programs in several engineering disciplines and in Computer Science. One problem reported by many faculty members is the limited programming skills that the students acquire through the degree plans. This is more crucial to the Electrical Engineering area where we proposed this intervention. There are several factors that negatively affect our students, including the methodologies used to teach computer languages. The Computer Science department developed an introductory course in programming - (CCS0) ICS5 used in the entering program4 that has shown its effectiveness in the past8, 9, 10 . Therefore, we proposed the modification of our engineering course incorporating some modules from CCS0 and adding more relevance by applying the assignments to the simulation of electric circuits or other physical systems.

Our school is considered a Minority Serving Institution. One characteristic of the entering students is that the majority have not been exposed to any programming skill before attending college. The problem is compounded by the limited number of credits the student must take on the subject. The State Legislature has imposed a limit on the number of credits for an undergraduate program. Consequently, the EE degree plan can only afford to include one mandatory software course. Students that select the Computer Engineering concentration take

Gonzalez, V., & Freudenthal, E. (2010, June), Work In Progress: Adoption Of Ccs0 Computational Methods And Circuit Analysis Techniques Into An Introductory Programming Course For Electrical Engineers Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16753

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