CS Table

CS Table 11/1: Echo Chambers

On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, we'll discuss what echo chambers are, their pros and cons, and how we ought to change our media consumption in light of them. An echo chamber in the context of media studies is a phenomena where the beliefs of a group are reinforced and amplified through repetition entirely within the group. Paradoxically, while the Internet promises to enable free speech and the transmission and sharing of ideas globally, some argue that it has only served to create silos for like-minded people to avoid interaction with dissenting opinion.

Readings: two short articles about echo chambers with respect to Facebook.

If you are interested in this topic and want to read more, check out these books: Cass Sunstein's Republic.com and Eli Pariser's The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think.

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 10/11: The Intersection of Music and Computing

This week in CS table we’ll be exploring the intersection of music and computation along two dimensions:

  1. Computational Musicology: the analysis of musical structure from a statistical perspective, i.e., music informatics.
  2. Live Coding: the live performance of music using computer programs.

Computational Musicology. Along the first dimension, there are two readings:

The second reading is fairly dense and pre-supposes some knowledge of basic music theory. If you can get through the "Analysing the harmony” section where the authors describe their analysis technique for music, that would be grand. You may find that this recording of Hey Jude by the Beatles helpful to compare against: The Beatles - Hey Jude. Uploaded by TheBeatlesVEVO on youtube.com.

Live Coding. Along the second dimension, watch this TEDxNewcastle talk by Sonic Pi creator Sam Aaron on live coding: Sam Aaron. "Programming as Performance”. Uploaded by TEDx Talks on youtube.com.

If you are interested, feel free to dive deeper by checking out:

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 9/13: Data Privacy in Higher Ed

For the CS Table on September 13, Peter-Michael Osera would like to discuss data collection and privacy in a place we normally don’t consider: higher education. In efforts to streamline operations and better the student experience via data analytics, universities are frequently turning to the cloud for answers. Does this have implications for how we as students and faculty manage our data? Read these two articles:

Printed copies of the readings will be available after noon on Friday at Charlie Curtsinger’s office (Noyce 3827). In addition to the readings, there is a short “homework” activity to get you in the spirit of the discussion. Try to answer these brief questions:

  1. What FERPA is and how does it relate to your personal information? Read more about FERPA here: US DOE. "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)”. http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
  2. Grinnell employs a number of third-party services that handle our (digital) data in various ways. List as many as you can.
  3. Why can these third-party services handle sensitive data that would otherwise be protected by FERPA? You can find the answer in this FERPA FAQ: US DOE. “FERPA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)”. http://familypolicy.ed.gov/faq-page#t62n218
  4. Completing this homework isn’t required to attend CS Table, but we will start the discussion by tackling these questions. So please come prepared if you have the time!

    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 9/6: Passphrases, MFA, and Security Hygiene

On Tuesday, September 6th, we will continue CS Table with a discussion of security practices, including the ongoing debate over passwords versus passphrases, multi-factor (or two factor) authentication, and general security practices. There are three short readings for this week:

CS Table 8/30: Meet and Greet; Content Planning

Tuesday we’ll begin CS Table anew for the semester! For those that are unaware, CS Table is the department’s weekly lunch-and-reading-group where we discuss current issues in technology and society. Everyone, irrespective of major, is invited to attend!

Our initial CS Table meeting will be a meet-and-greet along with content planning for the semester. If you have any hot topics that you’d like to discuss this semester, feel free to volunteer them up on Tuesday or email Charlie Curtsinger and Peter-Michael Osera with your suggestion.

This semester, CS Tables will be on Tuesdays, 12:00–1:00 pm, in JRC 224 B. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department.

CS Table 5/10: End-of-year discussion

This week we'll look back at some of the topics we've covered this academic year, think about topics we would like to include next year, and open the table up for general discussion. (No reading)

CS Table 5/3: Property and Ownership of Digital Media

We'll explore how our notion of property and ownership is changing in the presence of digital media through three separate topics.

  • As the World of Warcraft evolved, private instances have sprung up attempting to reproduce the original game before the introduction of new features that alienated some gamers. The most famous of these, Nostalrius, was issued a cease and desist order by Blizzard Entertainment. Announcements from the Nostalrius team and Blizzard; a Change.org petition.
  • After Keurig's K-cup patents expired in 2012, third parties developed coffee packets to fit Keurig machines. Keurig's updated system featured a DRM scheme so only packets manufactured by Keurig would be accepted by their latest machines. Read about the technology and the pushback from customers in 2015.
  • A recent CACM article by Jason Schultz opines on the decline of ownership in the advent of the digital age, in particular, the internet of things.

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 12:00-12:45 in JRC 224C. 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 3/15: E2E-VIV

This week's topic is End-to-end Verifiable Internet Voting (E2E-VIV), and we'll consider the following questions:

  1. Why do we care about Internet voting?
  2. What do we require of an Internet voting system?
  3. How does end-to-end verified internet voting systems address these issues?

We'll discuss the US Vote Foundations recent technical report on E2E-VIV. For Tuesday, please read:

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 12:00-12:45 in JRC 224C. 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 3/8: Encryption

In light of the recent announcement of Whitfield Diffie and Martin E. Hellman as the winners of the annual ACM Turing Award, we will be discussing their contribution to encryption. We'll also discuss the RSA encryption algorithm, which introduced asymmetric public key cryptography shortly after Diffie–Hellman. The "assigned" readings are the original academic papers on both subjects, which are surprisingly approachable for non-experts. Do your best to work through the technical details, and we'll spend much of the discussion Tuesday making sense of the rest, as well as the implications for this work. Printed copies of these two papers are on the bench outside Curtsinger's office.

  • Whitfield Diffie, and Martin E. Hellman. "New directions in cryptography."Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on 22.6 (1976): 644-654.
  • Ronald LRivest., Adi Shamir, and Len Adleman. "A method for obtaining digital signatures and public-key cryptosystems." Communications of the ACM 21.2 (1978): 120-126.

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 12:00-12:45 in JRC 224C. 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 3/1: FBI and Apple

We'll be discussing the controversy behind the FBI's court order to Apple for assistance in recovering data from the phone of the San Bernadino gunmen. Below are some readings for this week. Reading packets are also outside of Sam/Charlie's office on the 3rd floor of Science.

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 12:00-12:45 in JRC 224C. 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.

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