At this workshop educators from Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Math, and allied fields shared their experiences teaching computation in undergraduate science courses. Participants worked with peers and MathWorks representatives to develop new, and revise existing, activities and course materials that incorporate MATLAB for computation. They discussed best practices for combining computation and quantitative thinking in science courses and for assessing students' understanding of applied computation.

Workshop activities featured demonstrations of activities, hands-on MATLAB sessions, and opportunities to work in small groups on activity/course design. This effort drew on the work already done on required competencies across the science fields. Instructional materials and other information are organized and compiled as collections of digital resources to support teaching computation in the sciences using MATLAB. Activities produced at the workshop will be made publicly available to anyone teaching in the sciences. This workshop provided access to a wide range of experienced and skilled practitioners in a single, focused space. In addition, MathWorks representatives were on hand to support the workshop and share expertise and resources for teaching with MATLAB, providing insights into topics such as data access, high performance computing, and education aids for teaching and assessing computation skills in the lab, live, and even online and in flipped-classroom settings.

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Workshop Goals

The goals of this workshop are to:

  • Strengthen faculty members ability to teach computation;
  • Improve MATLAB knowledge and skills in service to teaching;
  • Create a community that can work collaboratively on teaching materials and approaches;
  • Compile teaching activities, lists of resources, and a synthesis of workshop findings for publication on the workshop website that showcase methods and resources for teaching computation using MATLAB;
  • Synthesize best practices for using MATLAB in science courses to teach computational skills.

Dates: October 14–16, 2018

Participants should plan to arrive in Northfield in time for the first workshop event at 5:00 pm on Sunday, October 14. The workshop will be over on Tuesday, October 16 at 2:00 pm, and participants should plan return travel no earlier than 4:30 pm that day.


By applying to the workshop, participants agree to do the following, if accepted:

  • Submit an activity that involves teaching computation using MATLAB. A template will be provided for participants to enter the essential information about their teaching activities. These activities will be showcased at the workshop so they must be completed prior to the workshop.
  • Submit an essay on your experience with teaching computation in the sciences using MATLAB.
  • Prepare in advance for the workshop discussions via readings, writings, discussion, or other activities developed by the workshop leaders.
  • Participate fully in the entire workshop and attend all workshop sessions. Many participants will be invited to make presentations or serve as discussion or working group leaders at the workshop.


MathWorks is supporting the complete cost of hosting the workshop. Participants or their home institutions must cover the costs of local lodging and travel to and from the workshop at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. A shuttle to and from Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport will be arranged for participants.

The stipend application deadline has passed. There are funds available for stipends for some participants from institutions unable to cover the costs of travel to the workshop. Otherwise, participants or their home institutions must cover the costs of local lodging and travel to and from the workshop at Carleton College in Northfield, MN.

Application and Selection Criteria

Applicants for this workshop must teach at a two- or four-year college or university. They should also have experience using MATLAB in teaching or detailed plans to use MATLAB for teaching. The final list of participants will be developed with the goal of assembling a group of experienced educators, representing a wide range of experiences, educational environments, and specialties.

The application deadline has passed.


The workshop will be held at Carleton College (more info) located in Northfield, Minnesota . All scheduled workshop events will be on the Carleton College campus. Most sessions will be in the Severance Hall Great Hall. Participants will need to walk from the hotel to campus, except for those who need assistance.

For More Information

If you have any questions, please contact Mitchell Awalt at the Science Education Resource Center: mawalt@carleton.edu.