Introduction to Engineering Programming: Solving Problems with Algorithms
April 2003, ©2004
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- Functions and procedures -are introduced very early. Students often tend to avoid using functions and procedures when creating code. By introducing functions very early students are encouraged to decompose their code into functions and procedures from the beginning. This benefits both students and instructors because the students can create better designed and easier to understand code that is much easier to grade. Because the students have this key organizational tool in hand early they can create and implement more complex algorithms.
- Iteration is introduced before selection. The author introduces this concept and its expression in C++ relatively early, so that students can start creating and implementing non-trivial algorithms as soon as possible. In addition, common patterns of iteration are presented and different criteria for terminating iterations are described. Students are able to complete interesting work early and thus better motivated.
- Integrates calculus, physics and introductory programming. Students taking their first year programming class are also generally taking calculus and physics. The text makes direct connections to those other classes, so that students can see their first year curriculum not as several separate courses, but an interlinked whole. This physics and mathematical material is designed so that a student with a basic knowledge of physics and calculus, or simultaneously enrolled in those courses, will be able to follow the text. Students benefit because this text reinforces their other classes and because their programming text and class is reinforced by their calculus and physics.
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