CS Table 10/2/18: Grace Hopper 2018

This week at CS table we will hear from some of the students who attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing last week. We’ll discuss some of the keynotes they went to, hear about the other events happening at the conference, and talk about how to get the most out of professional and academic conferences like GHC or Tapia.

There is no assigned reading for this week’s discussion, but you may want to look at the conference schedule to see what kinds of events were happening.

Computer science table (CS Table) is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Tuesdays from 12:00–12:45pm in JRC 224C (inside the Marketplace). Contact the CS faculty for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Visitors to the College and students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

CS Table 9/25/18: Takeaways from Tapia 2018

Students, faculty, and staff who attended the 2018 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference will report on various aspects of the conference, from the keynotes to the job fair. Since FAT AI (fair, accountable, transparent) was a topic of a number of sessions, we will likely cover some perspectives on that topic.

In preparation for CS Table, you may find it useful to review the schedule for the conference.

Computer science table (CS Table) is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Tuesdays from 12:00–12:45pm in JRC 224C (inside the Marketplace). Contact the CS faculty for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Visitors to the College and students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

CS Extra 9/27/2018: Detecting Vulnerable Code: from Mobile Apps to IoT Devices

Thursday, September 27, 2018
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Antonio Bianchi, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at The University of Iowa, presents this Thursday Extra.

Mobile application markets, such as the Google's Play Store and the Apple's App Store, receive thousands of new applications every day. Ideally, all these apps should be properly vetted to find both security-relevant programming mistakes. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of the submitted code rules out the possibility of using human experts to analyze it. Consequently, researchers have proposed and implemented different techniques to analyze automatically mobile applications.

In this talk, Bianchi will talk about his research using automated analysis techniques to detect security issues in existing Android applications. In particular, he will present his work in detecting Android applications implementing vulnerable authentication schemas. He will also discuss some of the currently open problems in the field and future research directions.

CS Table 9/11/18: Fixing Facebook

For our first CS Table discussion of the semester, we’ll be looking at some of the findings and recommendations from ProPublica’s investigation of political advertising on Facebook. ProPublica began by offering a series of proposals for Facebook to reduce the potential for abuse of its advertising system in April, followed by an analysis of Facebook’s first attempt at revising their ad-tracking system. ProPublica then launched their own initiative to collect political ads shown to users who were willing to install a browser plugin. We’ll discuss the challenge Facebook faces with its advertising system, evaluate their work so far, and discuss the broader issues of ad targeting and content moderation online.

Here are the readings for this week:

Computer science table (CS Table) is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Tuesdays from 12:00–12:45pm in JRC 224C (inside the Marketplace). Contact the CS faculty for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Visitors to the College and students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

Thursday Extra: "Off-Campus Study for Computer Science Majors: Why, How, and Where?"

On Thursday, September 13, Professor Jerod Weinman will lead a discussion about study abroad, how it fits into a CS major, and what it can mean for your liberal education. Jonathan Larson, Associate Director of Off-Campus Study, will also be on hand to answer your questions. Second-year students should plan to attend if possible, and first-year students are strongly encouraged to attend.

At 4:00 p.m., refreshments will be served in the Computer Science Commons. The discussion, Off-Campus Study for Computer Science Majors: Why, How, and Where? will begin at 4:15 p.m. in Noyce 3821.

Thursday Extra (September 6): "Adversarial Examples; or, When Is a School Bus an Ostrich?"

On Thursday, September 6, John Stone will give a talk on adversarial examples, which are inputs to software applications for classification, assessment, or diagnosis that are specifically contrived to elicit incorrect or misleading results. Many applications based on neural networks configured by machine-learning algorithms have been found to be vulnerable to such examples. The talk will explain the nature of the vulnerability and explore possible explanations.

At 4:00 p.m., refreshments will be served in the Computer Science Commons. The talk, "Adversarial Examples; or, When Is a School Bus an Ostrich?" will begin at 4:15 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Congratulations to our graduates of the class of 2018!

  • Jong Hoon Bae
  • Clara Rose Bertaut
  • David Hanearl Chang (with honors)
  • Jianting Chen
  • Kevin Forrest Connors
  • Yuxi Deng
  • Devin Austin Dooley
  • Jacob Kennedy Ekstrand
  • Julia Beth Fay (with honors)
  • Henry Walter Fisher
  • Logan Wyatt Goldberg (with honors)
  • Madeleine Rose Goldman
  • Medha Gopalaswamy (with honors)
  • Reilly Noonan Grant (with honors)
  • Connor Lee Gregorich-Trevor (George B. Critchett '25 Service Award)
  • Matthew Julius Guthrie
  • Muhammad Hamza
  • Jinlin He
  • Beatriz M. Herce-Hagiwara
  • An Thien Hoang
  • Aleksandar Pavlov Hrusanov (Merle Fischlowitz '53 International Student Travel Fellowship [2016])
  • Marija Ivica (with honors; Henry M. and Theresa P. Walker Endowed Prize for Excellence in Computer Science)
  • Theo Kalfas
  • Joel Joseph Katticaran
  • David J. Kreis
  • Jeung Rac Lee
  • Andrew Ryan Mack (with honors)
  • Sara Marku (with honors)
  • Mackenzie Grace McFate
  • Eli Andrew Most (with honors)
  • Bazil Tendai Mupisiri
  • Matthew Theodore Tedesco Murphy (with honors)
  • Thu Anh Nguyen
  • Eleanor Cardenas Nicolson
  • Jae Eun Oh
  • Linh Thao Pham (Hill Distinguished Award in Music [2016])
  • Prabir Man Singh Pradhan
  • Arthur Blakely Rish
  • Nicholas Alexander Roberson (with honors)
  • Seth Emmanuel Ruiz
  • Zachary Hong Hui Segall (with honors; Robert N. Noyce Senior Student Award; Andrew W. Archibald Prize for Highest Scholarship)
  • Sooji Son (with honors)
  • Jimin Tan
  • Adam Joseph Wesely
  • Benjamin Jiun-Yin Wong
  • Kathryn Ruth Yetter (with honors)
  • Elizabeth Clare Zak
  • James Louis Zimmermann
  • Chiara M. Zizza

CS Table 5/8/18: Classic computers

For CS table next week we will spend time looking at some of the unusual hardware and software from previous eras in computing. There is no reading for next week’s discussion; instead, please send your recommendations to Prof. Curtsinger by email. If you’ve heard of anything particularly funny, odd, creative, or just different from current computing technology, please send it along. It could include examples like gaming consoles, calculators, mechanical computers, and anything else you think is relevant. We will have a projector available at CS Table pictures or videos are welcome, too. Please send suggestions by 5pm on Monday, May 7, so Prof. Curtsinger has time to organize them.

Here are a few examples to inspire you:

Computer science table (CS Table) is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Tuesdays from 12:00–12:45pm in JRC 224A (inside the Marketplace). Contact the CS faculty for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Visitors to the College and students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

CS Table 5/1/18: SESTA & FOSTA

We'll be discussing the recent passing of the Stop Enabling Online Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA) and Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and its implications for human trafficking and digital privacy.

Computer science table (CS Table) is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Tuesdays from 12:00–12:45pm in JRC 224A (inside the Marketplace). Contact the CS faculty for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Visitors to the College and students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

CS Table 4/24/18: The Rise and Fall of the OLPC

We'll be talking about the rise and fall of the One-Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative started by Nicholas Negroponte in 2005. The purpose of the OLPC was to transform education by introducing digital literacy to children around the world, in particular, in developing nations. To do this, the initiative focused on developing low-cost, rugged laptops and software packages that students in low-income countries could use to realize the constructivist dream of learning-by-building, e.g., through tinkering, programming, and creating digital artifacts.While the OLPC started with lofty goals, it fizzled out over the course of half a decade. During this CS Table, we'll analyze what went wrong and what went right with the OLPC movement and what we might learn from it.

The main reading for this week is an excellent historical analysis of the OLPC initiative by Adi Robertson of The Verge.

If you get interested in this topic, here is an additional paper by one of the authors, Morgan Ames, mentioned in the Robertson reading. Ames takes an ethnographical approach to analyzing the successes and shortcomings of the OLPC movement that I think is a great example of anthropology applied to the history of technology. Please note that to access the Ames article, make sure you are accessing it through a Grinnell IP address, e.g., on campus or through an appropriate proxy.

Computer science table (CS Table) is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Tuesdays from 12:00–12:45pm in JRC 224A (inside the Marketplace). Contact the CS faculty for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Visitors to the College and students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

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