ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Work is underway in the Mechanical Engineering Department at San Jose State University to transition the first course in computer programming (ME 30 Computer Applications) and a follow-on course, ME 106 Fundamentals of Mechatronics, from C to Python. Both courses make extensive use of a microcontroller to teach the fundamentals in both subjects, and heretofore have used the C language and the Arduino platform, but now both courses have moved to Python and to the Adafruit Feather M4 Express board, which can run Python natively on its associated microcontroller. Prior to the transition to Python, ME 30 had a relatively high failure rate between about 10 - 35%. Since transitioning to Python, the failure rate dropped dramatically to about 3% in the fall of 2019. The paper will outline the previous structure of the courses, explain the motivation for transitioning from C to Python, and discuss the pros and cons of the transition observed to date.
Burford J. Furman, Salman Ahsan, and Eric Wertz. "Making the move from C to Python with mechanical engineering students" ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings (2020). https://doi.org/10.18260/1-2--34946