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Bus and tram network simulator developed for entry-level programming at the Chair of Transport Services and Logistics.
Programming skills are important for students of all disciplines. However, getting started is rocky and often demotivating. At the Chair of Transport Services and Logistics of the "Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, the software BuS-Sim has been developed to help students get started with programming. The team was guided by the following questions
- How can basic ideas of programming be conveyed in an exciting, motivating, descriptive and fast way to non-informatics students?
- How do you pick up students in the early phase of their studies and show them the importance of programming knowledge for the subject they are studying?
- Where do you start as a teacher when the knowledge of the participants of a course brought along from school is individually unknown but known to be heterogeneous?
Instead of working on boring "Hello World!" tasks unrelated to the subject area, the BuS-Sim software (= Bus and Tram Network Simulator) aims to integrate the teaching of programming skills and relevant specialist knowledge from transport management. In this way, the aim is to increase motivation for programming among students of the Bachelor's degree programme in Transportation Economics.
The starting point and idea for the conception and development of BuS-Sim was the consideration that nowadays (almost) every student knows and uses public transport systems such as buses, trams or underground or suburban trains. But hardly anyone knows exactly what has to be planned and what data has to be collected before a functioning complex passenger transport network actually works.
Developing a bus/train network on the computer and learning the programming language at the same time
This is where the BuS-Sim software comes in. It has been programmed so that students can set up a functioning bus and/or tram network and have vehicles driving along routes they have set up themselves. The result of this work is directly visible in moving images on the student's own screen.
On the one hand, BuS-Sim demonstrates the necessity of collecting and preparing traffic-related information. On the other hand, basic knowledge of an important programming language (C++) is taught and directly applied with the aim of processing and using the collected data. In addition, the students gain subject-specific knowledge about the systematic structure and operation of a complex public passenger transport system, which is indispensable for the further course of a transport science degree programme.
BuS-Sim Demo Video Tram Network Dresden