CS Table 2/7: Privacy and security

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has put together a detailed guide of a number of recommended practices used to maintain privacy and security at https://ssd.eff.org/, which we will rely on for this week's discussion. Please complete the following readings before Tuesday:

  1. An Introduction to Threat Modeling. EFF Surveillance Self-Defense Guide.
  2. Seven Steps to Digital Security. EFF Surveillance Self-Defense Guide.
  3. At least one other overview, topic, or briefing from the SSD guide.

If you have specific practices that you use and would be willing to share, please come prepared to demonstrate or describe them. When you choose additional readings, you are encouraged to look for guides that you think are relevant to your own use of technology.

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 224B. 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.

Thursday Extra 2/9: Impact of image based rendering on photography

Thursday, February 9, 2017
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817).
Everyone is welcome to attend!

Image Based Rendering and its Impact on Studio Photography is presented by Gary Meyer, Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota.

A new computer graphic technique, called image based rendering, has the potential to fundamentally change how professional photographers take still life and portrait pictures. Instead of lighting the object or the person in their studio and capturing a few images, we are developing a system in which the photographer takes a comprehensive set of simple pictures with an attached flash and then uses a virtual studio lighting setup and camera to synthesize the final images. Projective texture mapping is used to blend the original pictures and project them onto a mesh that is also derived from the photographs. To achieve the desired relighting effect, the images are carefully weighted as part of the interpolation process. The result is, by definition, photorealistic because it is derived directly from the original pictures, and the method goes beyond traditional studio photography because it allows complex relighting using environment maps and it permits the production of animated flybys in addition to static shots. In addition, new lighting setups and pictures can generated any time in the future using the original set of flash photographs. The talk will be illustrated using images produced in collaboration with the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Thursday Extra: Summer Research Opportunities in Computer Science at Grinnell

Welcome back!

On Thursday, January 26, the faculty of the Department of Computer Science will discuss opportunities for students to participate in research projects in computer science at Grinnell in summer 2017. We'll present overviews of the projects, explain how students with various levels of expertise and background can contribute, summarize the benefits and rewards of the summer research experience, and explain how to apply.

At 4:00 p.m., refreshments will be served in the Computer Science Commons, Noyce 3817. The discussion will follow at 4:15 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

CS Table 12/13: One Line Programs

At this CS Table we will run and decipher a collection of interesting one line programs. Short programs can be surprising, mind-bending, elegant, infuriatingly clever, or all of the above. We'll follow a relaxed format, where we will look at a new program, run it on a few examples, then try to figure out how it does what it does.

If you have any programs you would like to contribute, please send them to Prof. Curtsinger via email. All programming languages are welcome. We're happy to bend the definition of "one line" in many cases, but do try to stick to programs that are concise.

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 224B. 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.

CSC 322 Student Presentations

The CSC 322 ("Team Software Development for Community Organizations") students are wrapping up their multi-semester projects for release and will be presenting the near-final projects at 1:00-2:30pm on Friday, December 9, 2016, in Noyce 3819.

CS Table 11/29: Election Hacking

At this CS Table we will discuss a recent turn of events in the presidential election: election security experts are calling for recounts in several critical states. Why are they doing this, and why do we need to recount or audit our elections?

Read these three recent articles building up to this recent call:

In addition, to give you more background on the perils of voting and technology, read this paper by researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor about breaking into Internet voting systems:

Printed readings are available at Noyce 3827.

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 224B. 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.

CS Table on 11/22: CS Education Intitiatives

This CS Table will focus on two computer science education initiatives: CS Unplugged and code.org. These are interesting new approaches to getting computer science education into high school and grade school with some interesting goals. We'll start with a CS Unplugged exercise before the discussion!

There are three short readings suggested for the discussion on November 22:

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 224B. 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.

Thursday Extra 11/17: Student research projects

Thursday, November 17, 2016
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Sooji Son, ’18, Medha Gopalaswamy ’18 and Jianting Chen ’18 will present "ORC²A Proof Assistant."

There is a natural correspondence between mathematical proofs and computer programs. For instance, a recursive function and its correctness relate directly to inductive proofs in mathematics. However, many undergraduate students feel that there is a disconnect between the required mathematics and computer science curricula. There are several proof assistant tools which have been used by the educational community to introduce such concepts to students, but since these tools are not primarily created for educational purposes, students often do not benefit from them to the expected extent.

We have created an educational tool that draws from the benefits of existing provers and assistants and includes a novel proof language that mimics handwritten proofs. By creating a proof assistant targeted towards introductory computer science students with an intuitive user interface and a rich mechanism for providing constructive feedback, we hope to bridge the gap that many students find between mathematical proofs and program correctness.

Reilly Grant ’18 and Zachary Segall ’18 will present "Semi-Automated Program Synthesis."

Program synthesizers have evolved over the past several decades as a method for generating programs from user specifications. One approach to synthesis is using a type theoretic approach and proof search; the Myth synthesis engine uses this approach. One major difficulty with this synthesis model is the exponential blow up of the search space. To circumvent this issue, we present the Scout synthesis engine, designed for semi-automated synthesis: we expect that the user will be able to prune the search space more intelligently than a fully automatic synthesizer. Our study reveals limitations, advantages, and possible expansions of semi-automated program synthesis.

CS Table 11/15: Algorithmic Bias

As computation plays a larger role in society, we are beginning to see cases where algorithms encode the biases of the past. While this phenomenon is widespread, there is a particularly interesting case where computer programs make bail recommendations for suspects in criminal cases.

There are two short readings suggested for the discussion on November 15:

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 224B. 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.

Thursday Extra 11/10: Summer Opportunities in CS

Thursday, November 10, 2016
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Faculty of the Department of Computer Science will present the department's annual discussion of summer opportunities in CS.

Summer is an opportunity to explore new approaches, to develop new skills, and perhaps even to make some money. But what kinds of things can you do? While students tend to focus on a few options (e.g., internships and research with faculty), a wide variety of opportunities are available.

In this session, we will discuss goals you might set for the summer and some opportunities that can help you achieve those goals. Note that we will not be talking about the details of summer research in our department. Instead it's a broad overview of the kinds of opportunities one might pursue. Some companies are already starting to select interns; you can use time now to build your portfolio, and you can use winter break to prepare additional applications. Handouts will be available for those who cannot attend the talk.

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