A prototype MATLAB code critiquer

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Computer Science


This poster presents MATLAB Critiquer, a system that examines code submissions and provides feedback to first year engineering students who are learning to program in MATLAB. Code Critiquers act as substitute mentors, when instructors are not available, and give students experience with interactive, test-driven development. Students using our critiquer are engaged in communication by proxy with the instructor. This communication does not replace instructor feedback; rather, it codifies common feedback scenarios to assist the instructor in reaching students just when the student is engaged in problem solving and learning. Our critiquer uses the MATLAB Java API; connecting to the MATLAB Engine that parses and executes student code submissions. We process error messages that are returned using regular expressions, then use these results to craft feedback for the students. Static code analysis is used to provide feedback on style. The critique covers code structure, shakedown test results, and programming style in a manner appropriate for novice coders.

Publisher's Statement

© 2019 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1145/3304221.3325591

Publication Title

ITiCSE '19 Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education