Teaching the introductory computer-programming course for engineers using Matlab and some exposure to C

Asad Azemi, Laura Pauley

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The introductory computer programming course for engineers is usually taught using the C++ programming language. This work describes our current effort, as a pilot project, which can be used in an evaluation process by those departments that would like to substitute Matlab for C++. Those who would like to continue the current practice, but are looking for more challenging problems or projects involving Matlab can also use the project outcome. The main reason behind switching to Matlab from C++ is the fact that many engineering faculty at Penn State, in various departments, have recognized that the current courses teaching programming skills using C++ are not fully utilized in later required courses in the curriculum. Increasingly in undergraduate courses in various engineering disciplines, Matlab is being used for problem solving. Robotics projects, which include using Handy Board and Interactive C programming, were added to illustrate an application of programming which students can relate to and enjoy, as well as helping them to improve their software and algorithm design skills for real-time applications. A discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of conducting a computer programming course in this format, including three different course formats that we have used are included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2006
Event113th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, 2006 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jun 18 2006Jun 21 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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