CS Table/CSC 295, Friday, Sept 24: Quality of Service & Net Neutrality

This Friday at CS Table, Isaac and Josh will be leading a discussion about quality of service and network neutrality. The popular press articles are concerned with recent regulatory proposals:

Technical readings from Wikipedia are concerned with existing Internet service models:

As usual, we meet at noon in JRC 224A. Hope to see you there!

CS Table/CSC 295: DNS & Denial of Service Attacks

*United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), Understanding Denial-of-Service Attacks, November 4, 2004.
*R. Singel, Twitter, Facebook attacks no surprise to security experts, Wired.com, August 6, 2009.
*R. Singel, Is there rhyme or reason to the attacks on Twitter?, Wired.com, August 6, 2009.
Domain Name System (Wikipedia).
ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC), DNS Distributed Denial of Service, March 2006.

Also worth reading, not required: J. Davis (not me), Secret Geek A-Team Hacks Back, Defends Worldwide Web, Wired 16.12, November 24, 2008.

Presenters: Martin & Max

Thursday Extra: "Exploring persuasive technology through participatory design"

At 4:15 on Thursday, September 16, in Noyce 3821, Professor Janet Davis will give a talk based on research conducted during her sabbatical last year:

Persuasive technology, in the words of B.J. Fogg, is technology to change what we think and do. Though technology can help us change our behavior for the better, persuasive technology raises ethical questions concerning both the means and the ends of the persuasion. Participatory design, with its commitment to engaging future users as full partners in the design process, is one approach to addressing such concerns. In this talk, I will present my participatory design work with Grinnell College's EcoHouse to design technology to support them in their mission of sustainable living.

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

CS Table/CSC 295, Friday, September 10: Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, SMTP, and Spam

This Friday, Jesse and Shitanshu will be leading a discussion on the SMTP application-level protocol and one of its most popular uses, spam. Please read this article:

For additional background, also read about SMTP.

As usual, we'll be meeting in JRC 224A at noon. Hope to see you there!

CS Table/CSC 295, Friday, September 3: Protocols & Standardization

This Friday, Jordan and Alex will be leading a discussion on the Internet Engineering Task Force, the body which governs Internet protocols. It's very different from how you might imagine a standards organization, and Alex and Jordan have some great questions to discuss.

The main article for Friday is

Those who are registered for the course or interested in further technical background should peruse the following Wikipedia articles. While Wikipedia is not an authoritative source, it gives a reasonably accurate overview of many Internet-related topics, and it is cheap.

As usual, we are meeting on Friday at noon in JRC 224A. Hope to see you there!

CS Table/CSC 295: First meeting, Friday August 27

Welcome back! This semester, CS Table will be conducted together with the 1-credit special topic course CSC 295, Socio-Technical Issues in Computer Networks. We will consider issues from access and net neutrality to censorship and denial of service attacks. Registered students will be expected to lead discussions throughout the semester; all other interested students are welcome to attend and participate in discussions.

We will be meeting in JRC 224A. There is no reading for this Friday. Our agenda:

We'll consider metaphors as a way to consolidate our prior knowledge of how the Internet works (and perhaps learn some new things as well). Registered students will sign up for the first round of presentations.

A schedule for the entire semester is available at http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/~davisjan/csc/295/2010F/.

Hope to see you there!

Congratulations to our graduates!

The Computer Science majors of the class of 2010 are:

  • Andrew Fred Applebaum
  • Paul Robert Bellora (Henry-York Steiner Prize for Fiction)
  • Alexander Lewis Brooks, with honors
  • Alexander James Exarhos, with honors
  • Aditya Manjeshwar Kini
  • Nathan Allen Levin
  • Augustus Guang-Li Lidaka, with honors
  • Richard Darryl Mays
  • Jiabei Pan, with honors
  • Patrick Russell Rich, with honors
  • Jeffrey Bartholomew Thompson
  • Cyrus James Witthaus

Congratulations to all!

Thursday Extra: "An introduction to the Google Maps API"

On Thursday, May 13, Tony Pan will demonstrate some basics of the Google Maps Application Programming Interface by building a 2010 Iowa Census map in ten simple steps.

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

Friday Extra: "Combinatorics, heuristic search, and software testing"

At noon on Friday, April 30, in Noyce 3821, Myra Cohen of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln will speak on the role of combinatorics in the design of test suites for software:

Software systems today are magnitudes of order larger and more complex than their recent ancestors. Instead of building single systems, we now build families of systems. User interfaces are graphical and programs event-driven. The software/hardware interfaces we once kept distinct have become blurred. Developing reliable and affordable software presents an increasing number of challenges. As glitches in these large-scale systems continue to make newspaper headlines, developing reliable and affordable software presents an increasing number of challenges.

In this talk we examine advances in software testing that focus on the difficulty caused by one simple but ubiquitous concept -- system configurability. Configurable systems include software such as web browsers and office applications, families of products customized by businesses for different market segments, and systems that dynamically reconfigure themselves on the fly. We show how theory from combinatorial mathematics, combined with heuristic search algorithms, can help us to test these systems more efficiently and effectively.

Pizza and soda will be served shortly before noon. Professor Cohen's talk, Combinatorics, heuristic search, and software testing: Theory meets practice, will begin promptly thereafter. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: "Interactive MediaScripting"

At 4:15 on Thursday, April 22, in Noyce 3821, Jordan Shkolnick 2011, Nora Coon 2010, Jillian Goetz 2010, and Cyrus Witthaus 2010 will present the results of their summer 2009 Mentored Advanced Project, Interactive MediaScripting.

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

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