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Chao Wang will speak about how to equip engineering students with programming skills that are becoming relevant to all engineering disciplines in this IEEE Education Society Seminar.

IEEE Education Society Seminar: A Brief Introduction of Python to Freshman Engineering Students Using Multimedia Applications
Presented by Chao Wang

Friday, November 20, 2020
Attend on Zoom


With the rise of automation and artificial intelligence (AI), acquiring basic programming skills is becoming more and more relevant to all engineering students regardless of majors. Yet, programming courses are not always required in engineering disciplines other than electrical and computer engineering. To equip engineering students with this important skill, a four-lecture Python module was developed to teach students programming basics in a freshman Introduction to Engineering course, which is required by all engineering majors. Learning programming basics early in the curriculum is useful for engineering students, who can then apply it to their course projects, student club activities, competitions and senior capstone design projects.

This talk will present the four-lecture Python lesson plan. Also in the talk, a survey instrument from Self-determination theory to measure student motivations, called Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS) survey, will be introduced. Student responses to the survey will be presented to show the effectiveness of the Python module. The four-lecture Python module designed for the Introduction to Engineering course can be used as a standalone module in any course that needs a brief introduction to Python. The SIMS survey can also be used in any course as an effective tool to help identify areas for curriculum improvement.

This work is funded in part by the 2019 Teaching Excellence and Student Success Grant from ASU Provost Office.

About the speaker

Chao Wang is a senior lecturer within the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University with a focus on teaching freshman introduction to engineering and electrical engineering courses in the areas of signal processing and systems. She is passionate about bringing real-world examples, and latest technological advances into classroom to equip students with skills they find useful for their future career. She is currently the Chair of the IEEE Education Society Phoenix Chapter.

Wang is the recipient of the 1st Place Award for Best Paper in the First-Year Programs Division, Best Professional Interest Council (PIC) III Paper and Best Overall PIC Paper from American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) 2020 Annual Conference, the 2nd Place Award from 2020 ASEE Best Card Competition. She is named an Engineering Unleashed Fellow for 2020. She earned her doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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