Introductory programming courses often leave students unimpressed. We feel this is because teaching approaches (a) overemphasize the syntactic aspects of the programming language being taught instead of using programming to do interesting things, (b) do not respect the computational maturity/intellectual leanings of the students, and (c) are simply not fun enough.
We have developed an approach which we believe addresses these issues in the context of teaching introductory programming to college students majoring in science and engineering. We use the C++ programming language augmented with a graphics library and some linguistic devices we have developed. We believe that our approach enables interesting material to be handled from day one and generally garners more student interest.
This work appeared in the 21st International conference on Innovation and Technlogy in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE 2016.