Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom is one of the world's leading academic centers with a multi-century reputation for outstanding achievement among its students who include Sir Isaac Newton, Jane Goodall, and Stephen Hawking. Currently ranked fifth in the world by QS World University Rankings, Cambridge also operates one of the world’s largest engineering departments.
To help produce innovative problem solvers, Cambridge is modernizing its engineering program, including introductory computing. Until recently, professors taught required concepts for modeling and simulations using technologies such as MATLAB and C. Students worked individually on exercises. Although this model worked for years, professors wanted to adopt new processes and toolsets. “We’re developing a style of teaching that reflects the way people work, in industry and in the open source community,” says Dr. Garth Wells, Hibbit Reader in Solid Mechanics in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. “And that's very much a collaborative approach supported by open source tools and online services. We also want students to be able to work on computation anywhere, anytime, and on any kind of device.”