A Learner-Centered Approach to Teaching Computational Modeling, Data Analysis, and Programming
One of the core missions of Michigan State University’s new Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering is to provide education in computational modeling and data science to MSU’s undergraduate and graduate students. In this paper, we describe our creation of CMSE 201, “Introduction to Computational Modeling and Data Analysis,” which is intended to be a standalone course teaching students core concepts in data analysis, data visualization, and computational modeling. More broadly, we discuss the education-research-based rationale behind the “flipped classroom” instructional model that we have chosen to use in CMSE 201, which has also informed the design of other courses taught in the department. We also explain the course’s design principles and implementation.
KeywordsComputational science education Data analysis Modeling
The authors thank Nathan Brugnone, Danny Caballero, Andrew Christlieb, Dirk Colbry, Sarah Gady, Nat Hawkins, Morten Hjorth-Jensen, and Luke Stanek for useful discussion and constructive criticism on drafts of this manuscript. We further thank all instructors of CMSE 201 for their enthusiastic participation and thoughtful feedback during the course creation process. We thank the MSU CMSE Department, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, the College of Natural Science, the MSU Connected Mathematics Endowment (as administered by the MSU Program in Mathematics Education), and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for their generous support.
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