student research

Thursday Extra 3/2: Student Research Presentations

Thursday, March 2, 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!

Students from the Rebelsky and Osera research teams will be presenting aspects of their summer research in preparation for their trip to SIGCSE in Seattle.

  • The Rebelsky group will be discussing the design of its code camp for middle schoolers and lessons learned.
  • The Osera group will be discussing issues of proof and/or program generation.

Then during the March 14 CS Table, these groups will debrief on their experience at SIGCSE.

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.

Thursday Extra 9/15: Summer Internship and Research Experience in Computer Science

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

Summer Internship and Research Experience in Computer Science
Already, many of the big companies are reaching out for internship opportunities for next semester. At this week's Thursday Extra, Toby Baratta '17, Alex Mitchell '17, Ying Long '17, Larry Boateng Asante '17, Sooji Son '18, and Maddie Kirwin '19 will go over how they got their respective internships and research opportunities, the process and planning, what they did during their experience, and whether they liked what they were doing. They will spend the first half of the session discussing what they all did and how, and the second half answering questions about their positions and experiences. Come with questions!

Thursday Extra: "Historical map processing"

On Thursday, November 20, Toby Baratta 2017, Bo Wang 2016, and Kitt Nika 2016 will present their summer research on the automatic detection of place names on historical maps:

This past summer we did research on toponym detection and recognition on historical maps. Overall, our research goal was making historical maps more search-friendly and making information in the maps more accessible. Kitt Nika and Shen Zhang worked on detecting text strings on map images with maximally stable extremal regions (MSER). With this, they implemented a binarization method for future research in text detection. Kitt will discuss MSERs and the methods involving them in regards to text detection. Toby Baratta and Bo Wang worked on linking geographic datasets and recognizing toponyms from the detected text strings. With the alignment between historical maps and real-life geography, we used a Bayesian model to calculate probabilities of possible toponyms. Toby and Bo will discuss their work on increasing the range of our recognition system by adding area features such as lakes.

At 4:15 p.m., refreshments will be served in the Computer Science Commons. The talk, “Historical map processing: text detectors, database linking, and region models,” will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Monday Extra: "Bluetooth communications with Scribbler 2 robots"

On Monday, April 14, Spencer Liberto 2014 and Professor Henry Walker will present a progress report on a project that Mr. Liberto worked on last fall, in collaboration with Dilan Ustek 2013 and Jordan Yuan 2015, under Professor Walker's direction:

Since fall 2011, CSC 161 has utilized Scribbler 2 robots as an application theme, with the software infrastructure based on a C++ package available from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Although the C++ infrastructure has worked well, it is not very portable to other platforms, and this limits the range of institutions that can use the CSC 161 materials developed here. To address this issue, Mr. Walker worked with three students in fall 2013 to begin rewriting the C++ infrastructure in Standard C. This talk will outline the substantial progress made during fall 2013 and propose a subsequent MAP to the complete the Standard C infrastructure during fall 2014.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The presentation, “Bluetooth communications with Scribbler 2 robots: a progress report,” will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: "Designing technology to help Grinnellians sleep more"

On Thursday, April 10, Nediyana Daskalova 2014, Nathalie Ford 2014, Ann Hu 2014, Kyle Moorehead 2015, and Ben Wagnon 2014 will present the results of their summer and fall 2013 research with Professor Janet Davis:

We designed persuasive technology to encourage better sleep habits in college students. Using participatory workshops, we collaborated with Grinnell students to identify problems, brainstorm potential solutions, and develop low-tech prototypes. This talk will give an overview of the design process and directions for future work.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The presentation, “Designing technology to help Grinnellians sleep more,” will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: "Mobile computing for social good"

On Thursday, January 30, Spencer Liberto 2015 will report on the work of his summer 2013 research team:

Over the course of the summer, a group of students worked with Professor Sam Rebelsky to redesign the CSC 207 curriculum. Our goal was to create a curriculum that was a more natural successor of the first two introductory courses in the sequence, by engaging the students with motivational tools and a core theme they could relate to. We achieved that by building the curriculum around Android development, to provide students with tangible end-of-course projects to call their own, and tying it all together under an overarching theme of social justice.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, “Mobile computing for social good in CSC 207,” will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: Summer 2014 research projects

On Thursday, January 23, Professors Sam Rebelsky, Jerod Weinman, and Eliza Kempton will discuss summer student research in computing at Grinnell, describing the projects that our faculty will direct this year. In addition, John Stone will describe the system-administration projects for which he hopes to hire one or two student assistants.

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: "Multiple models of media scripting"

On Thursday, December 12, in Noyce 3821, Marsha Fletcher 2015, Alexandra Greenberg 2016, Mark Lewis 2016, Evan Manuella 2016, and Christine Tran 2016 will present the results of their summer 2013 research internships, directed by Professor Sam Rebelsky.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, “Multiple models of media scripting,” will begin at 4:30. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: "Summer experiences in computer science"

On Thursday, November 7, Chike Abuah 2014, Aaltan Ahmad 2014, Nediyana Daskalova 2014, Erik Opavsky 2014, Kim Spasaro 2014, Daniel Torres 2015, and Brennan Wallace 2016 will conduct a panel discussion on summer experiences in computer science. The participants will describe their internship experiences, ranging from start-ups to Apple to research and more.

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

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