Thursday Extra: "Algorithmic arts"

On Thursday, September 27, Professor Sam Rebelsky will discuss the emphasis on the algorithmic construction and transformation of graphic images in our CSC 151 course:

We have transformed the introductory course in computer science to emphasize the construction and manipulation of images. Students work with a drawing application, creating images by hand and with “scripts.”

The capstone project for the course is A Procedure is Worth 1000 Pictures, in which students write a program that, given a width and height, can generate one thousand different but related images that meet particular guidelines. The project must meet both studio and computer science design criteria. We do studio critiques of both the aesthetic and computational aspects of the projects.

We are exploring ways to have students in this course collaborate with students in the introductory studio art course. One approach builds on a Modular Print project in the studio art course in which students build a square block that they then print in multiple rotations to achieve a more complex image. For the bridge activity, we expect that studio students can propose basic arrangements of the blocks, and CS students can build a program that helps the art students explore the design spaces those arrangements suggest.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, Algorithmic arts: bridging computer science and studio art, will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Algorithmic arts / CS Table: Computers and creativity

This week in Algorithmic Arts / CS Table, we will read part of a report from the National Academy of Sciences on the role of computers in creative practice:

Mitchell, William J., Inouye, Alan S., and Blumental, Marjory S., Eds. (2003). Creative Practices. Chapter 2 of Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity.

Algorithmic arts reading list

Algorithmic arts / CS Table: Generative art

This week in Algorithmic Arts/CS Table (Friday, September 14, at noon, in Rosenfield 224A), we will read Matt Pearson's introduction to his book on generative art:

Pearson, Matt (2011). Introduction to Generative Art. Manning.

You can find the introduction online at http://www.manning.com/pearson/GenArt-Sample-Intro.pdf, and find out more about the book at http://www.manning.com/pearson/.

Adriana and Max will lead our discussion.

Remember that you can always find the readings list online at http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/~rebelsky/Courses/CSC295/2012F/Handouts/schedule.html.

Algorithmic arts / CS Table: Radical bricolage

This week in Algorithmic Arts / CS Table, we will read a piece by James Clayson on “radical bricolage.” The preferred version is

Clayson, James (2008). Radical Bricolage: Building Coherence in the Liberal Arts Using Art, Modelling, and Language. International Journal of Education Through Art, 4 (2). doi=10.1386/eta.4.2.141/1.

This article is an expanded version of a conference paper that is available online (with color images):

Clayson, James (2007). Radical Bricolage: Making the Liberal Arts Coherent. From Proceedings of Eurologo 2007. http://www.di.unito.it/~barbara/MicRobot/AttiEuroLogo2007/proceedings/PP-Clayson.pdf.

Participants are encouraged to read the 2008 version and skim the 2007 version.

Here's the abstract of the 2008 version:

Because of the very broad and fragmented nature of undergraduate general education requirements there is a need to help students find unity in diversity. The search for coherence has led my institution, the American University in Paris, to introduce a series of freshmen courses called First Bridge that deliberately pair professors from different disciplines to develop and teach a common course that explores the linkages between their areas of special interest. This article describes my own experience of teaching a First Bridge course called ‘Visual Thinking and Artful Seeing’, in which I represented the mathematics and computer science department while my co-teacher, a painter, came from the art department. It was our intention to explore how different ways of seeing, the very act of seeing and the art of talking about seeing could help each of us begin to discover the commonalities that lie behind seemingly different disciplines and their methodologies. My part of the bargain requires using Imagine Logo to gain access to different levels of seeing by building computer models to examine a range of visual artefacts and their inherent structures.

Grinnell Science Project

The department welcomes new students participating in this year's Grinnell Science Project. Five of the participants are signed up for the workshop in computer science on August 21 and 22, on the topic of recursion. Follow the link below if you'd like to follow along in the readings and exercises!

Recursion workshop

Congratulations to our graduates!

The Computer Science majors of the class of 2012 are:

  • Martin Dluhoš (with honors)
  • Chase Allen Felker
  • Jacob Ethan Convissor Guild
  • Andrew Kiyoshi Hirakawa
  • Xin Jin
  • George Matthew John
  • Dugan Drischell Knoll
  • Terian Devera Koscik (Hill Distinguished Award in Music)
  • William Joshua Raymond
  • Alexander Gedalia Rich-Shea
  • Russel Scott Steinbach (with honors)

Congratulations to all!

Thursday Extra: "Dynamic code generation and what it takes to get there"

On Thursday, May 3, Isaiah Sarju 2013 will discuss the nature, history, and theory of security vulnerabilities associated with dynamic code generation:

More specifically, the talk will deal with the underlying hacking techniques and security principles which have led to research into dynamic code generation: the history of memory vulnerabilities, the security mechanisms which are used to protect against these attacks, and the state of the art of bypassing these protections.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, Dynamic code generation and what it takes to get there, will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: "Self-disclosing code"

On Thursday, April 26, Pelle Hall 2014, Andrew Hirakawa 2012, and Jennelle Nystrom 2014 will present the result of their work in summer 2011 on software that generates programs to duplicate the effects of operations that users perform in a graphical user interface.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, Self-disclosing code, will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: "K-selection on the GPU"

On Thursday, April 19, Tolu Alabi 2013, Brad Gordon 2012, and Russel Steinbach 2012 will discuss their work in summer 2011 on parallel algorithms for computing order statistics:

How do you select the 1,678,341st largest number out of a list of 500 million numbers? The answer is surprisingly simple, and will be the subject of our Thursday Extra. We will present two efficient, parallel algorithms for selecting the kth largest element out of very large lists, a problem known as k-selection. We will discuss how graphics processing units (GPUs) enable us to easily and efficiently implement these algorithms on single computers.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, K-selection on the GPU, will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: "The MediaPython project"

On Thursday, April 12, Chike Abuah 2014, Rogelio Calderon 2014, and Sydney Ryan 2014 will discuss their work in summer 2011 on media computation using Python:

The Media Computation approach to learning, interactive scripting and design, since being pioneered at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has become increasingly popular in the introductory computer science courses at Grinnell College. To support this approach, we designed the MediaPython architecture, with the help of Professor Sam Rebelsky. MediaPython is the collection of GIMP functions that allow users to issue commands in different Python environments that affect images and make context changes in the GIMP.

In our talk we shall discuss the MediaPython architecture, the universal gimpbus plug-in, and the use of Python as a functional scripting language, accompanied by several exciting demonstrations.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, The MediaPython project, will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

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