College of Engineering

From Middle School to Industry Vertical Integration to Inspire Interest in Computational Thinking

While students typically do not see immediate advantages of the topics being studied, top down integration exposes students to larger, more complex projects, giving them better appreciation for topics as they realize the “big picture.”  Funded by the National Science Foundation, this research seeks to vertically integrate software development best practices from industry to graduate, undergraduate, high school, and middle school academic programs, with the intention of increasing student interest in computing and computational thinking. Additional information is available at


Massood Towhidnejad Dr. Massood Towhidnejad

Professor of Computer and Software Engineering

Dr. Towhidnejad is the director of the Next -Generation ERAU Applied Research (NEAR) lab. His research interest includes; Software Engineering Education, Software Quality Assurance and Testing, Autonomous Systems, and Air Traffic Management (NextGen). He has served as a PI or Co-PI on number of FAA, industry and government grants and contracts.

Tom Hilburn Dr. Tom Hilburn

Professor of Software Engineering, Emeritus

Dr. Thomas B. Hilburn is a Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.