Computer Science Table: "Women and computing"

This semester, the focus of CS Table is “Women and computing.” We will read and discuss a wide variety of articles that explore issues of gender in computing, particularly the underrepresentation of women in computing. Students may choose to register for CS Table as a one-credit special-topics course. Students should also feel free to attend discussions without registering.

At this Friday's CS Table, we will consider three articles by Maria Klawe that explore the changing status of women in computer science. The articles span nearly fifteen years, giving us a chance to look at how things change and how things stayed the same.

  • Maria Klawe and Nancy Leveson. 1995. Women in computing: where are we now? Commun. ACM 38, 1 (January 1995), 29-35. DOI=10.1145/204865.204874
  • Maria Klawe. 2002. Girls, boys, and computers. SIGCSE Bull. 34, 2 (June 2002), 16-17. DOI=10.1145/543812.543818
  • Maria Klawe, Telle Whitney, and Caroline Simard. 2009. Women in computing---take 2. Commun. ACM 52, 2 (February 2009), 68-76. DOI=10.1145/1461928.1461947

Copies of the reading are available online using the DOI links. Printed copies should be available outside Professor Rebelsky's office (Noyce 3824).

Computer Science 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 Fridays at noon in the Day PDR (the first PDR at the top of the stairs in the Marketplace/Cafeteria, also known as Rosenfield 224A). Faculty, staff, and students on meal plans are expected to pay the cost of their meals. Students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department.

Thursday Extra: Summer 2013 research projects

On Thursday, January 31, Professors Janet Davis and Sam Rebelsky will discuss summer student research in computer science, including the student projects that our faculty will direct this year.

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

Thursday Extra: "Re-architecturing MediaScheme"

On Thursday, January 24, Hart Russell 2014 and Prashanna Tiwaree 2014 will present the results of their summer 2012 research project:

This project sought to replace the MediaScheme console used in CSC 151 with a more versatile system that consists of DrRacket, a Scheme development environment, communicating with the GIMP through D-Bus, an inter-process communication tool that is found in modern Linux systems.

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

Thursday Extra: "Summer opportunities in computer science"

It's never to soon to think about what you're going to do next summer! While summer may seem far away, taking advantage of some of the better summer opportunities requires advance planning—for example, some programs have deadlines in January or February.

On Thursday, December 6, Professor Sam Rebelsky will discuss typical off-campus summer options available in computer science—research, internships, and more—and suggest strategies for developing your applications. (At a separate session early next semester, the CS faculty will describe summer research opportunities available at Grinnell.)

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). Professor Rebelsky's presentation will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Algorithmic arts / CS Table: Evolutionary art

At this Friday's CS Table/Algorithmic Arts session (at noon in Rosenfield 224A) we will consider some basic issues in Evolutionary Art, art which is generated by genetic-like processes. Our reading this week is

Lewis, Matthew (2008). Evolutionary visual art and design. In Romero and Machado (eds.), The art of artificial evolution: a handbook of evolutionary art and music.

Copies of the reading are available outside Professor Rebelsky's office (Noyce 3824). Please make sure to do the whole reading so that our discussion is productive. Spencer and Chike will lead the discussion.

Thursday Extra: "NoSQL"

On Thursday, November 29, Tolu Alabi will describe a widely used non-relational database. She writes:

NoSQL is a new database technology used to store large data. Instead of storing lots of data on one machine, data can be distributed across multiple machines, thereby reducing the load on a single machine. NoSQL is also used to replicate data across multiple nodes. If data is replicated across multiple nodes, one is no longer at the mercy of a single node. So if a single node dies, the data is still available and accessible from another node.

Many big companies have switched from the traditional SQL -like database to NoSQL-like database because of these two major reasons. Come to my talk to learn more about the advantages of using NoSQL.

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

Algorithmic arts / CS Table: A programming language for artists

This Friday at Algorithmic Arts (+ CS Table), we will consider some portions of John Maeda's book Design by numbers, which provides a simple programming language for artists.

Meada, John (1999). Design by numbers. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

The sections include the preface and introduction, a chapter on repetition, and two chapters on dots. There are also a number of images from the book.

For folks who haven't been to CS table lately, this reading gives us some opportunity to talk about language design issues as well as artistic issues.

Copies of the readings are available outside Professor Rebelsky's office. Kate and Tolu will lead our discussion and have asked participants to consider the following questions:

  • How might you create the images from the book (not the ones with the accompanying code)?
  • What's the smallest set of functions you would need to make these images?

Thursday Extra: "Self-Disclosing GIMP with MediaScript"

On Thursday, November 15, Sarah Henney 2013 and Martha Fletcher 2015 will describe their summer internship work on the MediaScheme project:

Self-Disclosing GIMP(SDGimp) is an ongoing project with the goal of adding self-disclosure functionality tailored to the MediaScheme library into the GIMP. In short, SDGimp will allow a user to perform an action in the GIMP and then view the Scheme expression which can be used to duplicate that action.

In this Extra, we will discuss and demonstrate our work from this summer on SDGimp, including our expansion of the MediaScheme library to include more actions from the GIMP.

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

Algorithmic arts / CS Table: Early computer artists' writings on computer art

At this Friday's CS Table/Algorithmic Arts session (at noon in Rosenfield 224A) we will consider some writings by a variety of early practitioners of computer art, published as the art was actually being produced. These articles are taken from

Rosen, Margit, Ed. (2011). A little-known story about a movement, a magazine, and the computer's arrival in art: new tendencies and Bit international, 1961-1973.

The particular readings are
  • Franke, Herbert W. (orig. 1971, translation 2011). Social aspects of computer art (pp. 435-437).
  • Morellet, Francois (orig. 1962, translation 2011). The case for programmed experimental painting (pp. 92-93).
  • Munari, Bruno (orig. 1964, reprinted 2011). Arte programmata (p. 176).
  • Nake, Frieder (orig. 1968). There should be no computer art (pp. 466-467).
  • Nees, Georg (orig. 1968, translation 2011). Computer graphics and visual translations (pp. 320-325).

Copies of the readings are available outside Professor Rebelsky's office (Noyce 3824). Please complete the reading in advance so that our discussion is productive. Colin and Sinan will lead our discussion.

Algorithmic arts / CS Table: Computer art and constructivism

At this Friday's CS Table/Algorithmic Arts session (at noon in Rosenfield 224A) we will discuss the relationship of computer art to some pre-computer approaches, particularly constructivism.

Our reading discusses the ways in which artists have attempted to forefront process and instructions in their work:

Wright, Richard. From System to Software: Computer Programming and the Death of Constructivist Art. In Brown, et al., eds. White Heat Cold Logic: British Computer Art 1960-1980.

Copies of the reading are available outside Professor Rebelsky's office (Noyce 3824). Please make sure to do the whole reading so that our discussion is productive. Jennelle will lead our discussion.

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