About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 6667 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0521

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

INTRODUCING CODING USING THE PYTHON PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE

R. Workman, W. Yu

Southern Connecticut State University (UNITED STATES)
Computer related technology is widely recognized as a vital component of any science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related innovation and is critical to national and global growth and economy. One problem facing education in the United States is, despite this huge demand, the enrollment and graduation trend in STEM, and particularly in computer science, has not been keeping pace. Statistics tell us that 71% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing, but only 8% of STEM graduates are major in computer science (code.org, 2016). Given the small percentage of students entering college majoring in computer science, recruitment and retention of computer science majors is of great importance.

The purpose of our project is to introduce computer programming as part of the liberal education requirement suitable for pre-major students. We are teaching programming concepts and skills through applications that are relevant to student’s encounters and experience in common practices and internet usage. We are using Python, a modern, popular and open-source programming language recommended for its relative clarity and ease of use. It is widely regarded as an appropriate introductory language as well as for use in large projects in data analytics and bioinformatics due to its extensive libraries.

Our lessons introduce programming topics such as input and output control, conditional and loop statements, lists and functions. After a short lecture on each topic, students are given practice exercises followed by more involved and challenging assignments requiring them to apply their knowledge on the topic. The lessons focus on the theme of password analyses. Through day to day internet usage, students are familiar with use of passwords and requirements such as length, use of special characters, and avoidance of common passwords. Vetting passwords requires the use of fundamental programming techniques covered in our lessons. For example, a simple password requirement is that the password be at least a specified length. The code that tests for the length requirement requires input, output, and conditional statements, and the use of the length function. A slightly more complex password requirement is that the password be of a certain range in length and include or exclude certain special characters. For example, the password rule might be a sequence of characters between 8 and 35 characters long, contain numbers, cannot be the same as the username, and exclude certain special characters. Our presentation will discuss student responses to our lessons, instructor’s feedback, and plans for future modifications.
keywords: programming, python.
@InProceedings{WORKMAN2016INT,
author = {Workman, R. and Yu, W.},
title = {INTRODUCING CODING USING THE PYTHON PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0521},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0521},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {6667}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Workman AU - W. Yu
TI - INTRODUCING CODING USING THE PYTHON PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0521
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 6667
EP - 6667
ER -
R. Workman, W. Yu (2016) INTRODUCING CODING USING THE PYTHON PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE, ICERI2016 Proceedings, p. 6667.
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