Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Winter 12-15-2017


Higher education institutions are currently investing significant resources in attempts to improve student success by improving instruction quality, implementing tutoring programs, and providing other services to help students. While these are all worth- while, one area that tends to be overlooked is the structure of the curricula that are offered. When viewing curricula as data, or more specifically, a graph, it is intuitive to see how its structure can influence a student’s ability to move through it. How- ever, there are currently no tools to analyze a curriculum’s structural properties and how they might affect student success. This thesis describes a software library that was developed to address this issue by providing the ability to represent curricula in a programming environment as well as a set of tools to evaluate the complexity of curricula and simulate students moving through them. Furthermore, the application of these tools are shown through several experiments that demonstrate a negative correlation between a curriculum’s complexity and student success.


Curricular Complexity, Discrete Event Simulation, Julia

Document Type


Degree Name

Computer Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Greg Heileman

Second Committee Member

Ahmad Slim

Third Committee Member

Terry Babbit

Fourth Committee Member

Chaouki Abdallah