4 Aug 2011
The students taking CMP 150: Computer Tools for Problem Solving at Franklin College this spring were not the ones who usually take a MATLAB class. Few were engineering or science majors, and fewer still had any programming experience. Most were pursuing a degree in education, and were taking the course because it is a prerequisite for Calculus 3.
While learning MATLAB might not seem essential to a liberal arts education, the ability to use technology and critical thinking to solve problems undoubtedly is. I know that most of the students in CMP 150 will eventually forget function names, commands, and other details, but that's not vital. What is important is that they learn how to use MATLAB to solve problems by themselves.