Infusing Computing Identity into Introductory Engineering Instruction

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Computer Science; Department of Engineering Fundamentals; Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


In this work in progress/innovative practice paper, we describe our efforts to integrate introductory computer science pedagogical methods into an engineering fundamentals context. Our multidisciplinary team is addressing the problem of perceived value and applicability of programming for first-year engineering students. These students tend to be unaware of the importance of programming skills for practicing engineers within industry, and consequently display low interest in programming. We are working to address this perception problem through interventions in the engineering fundamentals classroom.Our interventions have three objectives: establish awareness of how programming skills can be generalized beyond the introductory classroom, incorporate targeted activities for algorithmic thinking, and demonstrate the practical applications of programming skills. Similar interventions are part of the introductory experience for our computer science students; our goal here is to tailor the interventions to an introductory engineering context. Our goal is for students to recognize computing as part of the career and identity of an engineer.

Publication Title

2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)