271942 Improvements in Computer Methods Courses in Chemical Engineering

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Victoria Goodrich, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, Joshua A. Enszer, Chemical, Biochemical, & Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD and Rachel B. Getman, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Clemson University

As more core courses in the undergraduate curriculum require significant ability using computer skills, we see a need for improved methods of instruction in computer methods courses required in the chemical engineering curriculum. It is important to provide students with a series of approaches and activities that ensure (1) that students are applying algorithmic thinking and not just learning how to operate in a single computing environment, (2) that students are able to develop their abilities to formulate problems in a computational context, and (3) that students are applying numerical algorithms in meaningful ways and not just following a template. To that end, we discuss here overviews of our computational methods courses and implementation that encourages behavior independent of choice of computer software.

We also share here evaluation of student abilities and perceived importance of computer methods in their future careers to assess the effectiveness of the courses. We share results of a self-assessment survey administered at both the start and end of the Spring 2012 semester.

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