CS Table 2/27/18: SIGCSE Debrief

Folks returning from last week's SIGCSE 2018 will be discussing experiences at the conference. This was a technical symposium for the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

The reading for this week is to browse the SIGCSE 2018 website. In particular, you can browse the full schedule to get a sense of what the conference covered. If a particular session seems interesting to you, feel free to mention it on Tuesday and we can see if one of our panelist also visited that session and can share their thoughts!

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).

Lunch Q-and-A: 4+1 Master's Degree in CS with U.Iowa

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Noon to 1 p.m. in Noyce 3821
RSVP for lunch by end of day Tuesday, Feb. 20!

This Grinnell-UI 4+1 program provides a way for Grinnell CS students to spend an extra year and get a master's degree in CS from The University of Iowa, in addition to a Grinnell bachelor's degree. The first batch of Grinnell students are currently enrolled in the program. Sriram Pemmaraju, professor at U.Iowa, will describe how the program works, how to apply for it, and why it might be right for you.

Students from all class years are welcome at this information session. The March 1 application deadline for juniors is rapidly approaching!

CS Table 2/20/18: Privacy, Security, and Revenue on the Web

We will consider the implications of two models that websites can use to generate revenue from their users: advertising and cryptocurrency mining. Advertising has been a popular model for website operators to generate revenue even though visitors do not pay to access their content, but advertising has some significant problems with security and privacy. We’ll explore these problems, look at two new approaches, and think generally about how web companies should generate the revenue they need to pay their bills while respecting and protecting their users.

While there are many excellent articles on the wide variety of issues related to this topic, the first three readings listed should serve as a good foundation for our discussion. The additional optional readings raise some important issues that we hope to touch on in the discussion, so take a look at one or two that interest you.

Readings:

Additional readings:

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).

Résumé Building and Interview Preparation Extravaganza

Thursday, February 22, 2018
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

This Résumé Building and Interview Preparation Extravaganza is brought to you by your SEPC and will be dedicated to helping you look as good on paper as possible.

We will be going through how to start the process of building your résumé, and, if you already have an outline, how to edit it to showcase yourself. Bring your résumés so you can get feedback! A portion of the session will address prepping for interviews, where your friendly neighborhood SEPCs will go over common questions you may encounter in interviews and how to respond to them.

CS Table 2/13/18: CS Accessibility

Computer Science Accessibility is an incredibly important issue in the CS community today. Even our own introductory courses have evolved to reach as many audiences as possible. However, there are still many obstacles faced when creating a truly accessible curriculum. This week we'll be discussing computer science for the visually impaired.

Readings:

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 Extra: Life and Career after Grinnell (Lessons from Alumni)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
4:15 p.m. in Science 2021

Note the different location and different day of the week: WEDNESDAY in Noyce 2021.

The CS department and the CLS are co-sponsoring an alumni panel on Life and Career and Diversity and Inclusion after Grinnell in Tech. The cast of players will include CSC 322 Mentors Cassie Koomjian '05, Alex Leach '06, Ian Young '08, and Terian Koscik '12; and Megan Goering '08 of Human Centered Design and her partner Joe Mellin of Microsoft. They will all give a brief description of their life and careers and then have time for questions and answers.

Thursday Extra 2/8/18: Incorporating Data Science into Introductory CS Course

Thursday, February 8, 2018
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

A Functional Approach to Data Science in CS1, presented by Professor Samuel A. Rebelsky, discusses the new "data science" version of CSC 151 he has been doing with Titus Klinge and Sarah Dahlby Albright.

As part of the development of a new interdisciplinary initiative in data science that draws from statistics, mathematics, computer science, and the social sciences, we have developed a new introductory CS course that emphasizes data science and that we refer to as DataCSCi. Unlike other introductory data science courses, such as Berkeley's Data 8, our course retains the broad array of concepts necessary not only to introduce programming principles related to data science, but also to prepare students for the second course in our standard introductory computer science sequence. In particular, the course includes coverage of recursion (numeric and structural), unit testing, linked data structures, and other concepts we rely upon in subsequent courses in computer science.

At the same time, we introduce students to a wide variety of techniques and approaches that support them in their subsequent work in data science, including techniques for wrangling, cleaning, and visualizing data. We achieve this combination of breadth and depth through two core approaches: We focus on a spiral "use then implement" approach and we focus on a functional model of programming using Scheme/Racket. While Python and R are the most commonly used languages for data science, we find that Scheme works particularly well to introduce students to concepts both complex, like map-reduce, and simple, like list filtering.

CS Table 2/6/18: Digital Ownership

This week in CS table, we'll discuss what ownership looks like in a digital world. How have our expectations and rights around ownership changed in the wake of digital goods and services? What have we gained and lost as consumers?

To prepare for our discussion check out the first (sample) chapter of Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz's 2016 book, The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy.

The reading gives an excellent overview of the considerations and problems in this space; take notes and try to form "the big picture" in your head of digital ownership. We'll begin our discussion by trying to capture these concerns. In addition, come equipped with one example of a consumer product that is beginning to shift (or has already shifted) from a physical to a digital good. We'll use these more specific examples to try to hone in how we can respond to these changes.

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 12:00–1:00pm 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 JRC front desk).

Thursday Extra 2/1/18: Diversifying Through Code Camps

Thursday, February 1, 2018
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Diversifying the CS Pipeline through Innovative Code Camps shares the results of a summer research project by Caelin Bryant, Jonathan Gilmour, Bea Herce-Hagiwara, Anh Thu Pham, Halle Remash, Marli Remash, and Jonah Zimmerman.

The underrepresentation of women, students of color, and people from lower-SES backgrounds within computer science remains a national issue. Recent studies demonstrate one reason for this: persistent stereotypes about "who does computer science" can cause members of underrepresented groups to preclude interest in the field. Join us this Thursday to learn about how the use of art, data science, social good, and summer camps contributes to adolescent self-efficacy as well as the future diversity of our discipline.

CS Table 1/30/18: Security Vulnerabilities

At the January 30 CS Table we will discuss the recently-announced Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities. These are complex security vulnerabilities that rely on two important features of modern processors: speculation and out-of-order execution. In addition to a technical discussion of these specific vulnerabilities, we’ll discuss the ways in which vulnerabilities are disclosed and fixed.

There are two assigned readings for Tuesday. The first gives a non-technical analogy for both vulnerabilities, and should be helpful for getting a handle on how these vulnerabilities work. The second looks at the implications for end users and the tech industry.

If you are feeling adventurous, you may want to read the original Spectre and Meltdown papers at https://meltdownattack.com/. These are relatively accessible and include a quite a bit of background information.

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 12:00–1:00pm 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 JRC front desk).

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