Thursday Extras

Thursday Extra 11/2/17: Build your own programming language

Thursday, November 2, 2017
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Building your own programming language and other reasons to go to graduate school is presented by Eric Van Wyk from the University of Minnesota.

To motivate a discussion on graduate school opportunities, Van Wyk will describe some of his group's work on techniques and tools that allow programmers to construct their own programming language, either from independently-developed domain-specific language extensions or by developing language extensions from scratch. Such extensions can provide new syntax and semantic analyses that address the computational task at hand. His specific interest has been on techniques to ensure that one can pick and choose these extensions with some assurance that this collection will in fact work well together.

Research work like this is indicative of what one can do in graduate school in computer science, be it in programming languages, robotics, machine learning, systems, graphics, visualization, bioinformatics, or a plethora of other areas. One has the time and opportunity to dive deeply into an area of interest and push the boundaries of what is possible. Van Wyk will describe what graduate school is like, both generally and specifically at the University of Minnesota and, hopefully, encourage to consider graduate school as part of your future.

Thursday Extra 10/12: Improving software reliability and security

Thursday, October 12, 2017
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Improving the reliability and security of software with formal methods and automated reasoning is presented by Cesare Tinelli from The University of Iowa.

Producing robust, reliable software, which performs its intended function and is less prone to errors and security vulnerabilities, is becoming more and more important as software comes to control increasingly large and critical aspects of modern society. This talk makes a case for using mathematically rigorous approaches based on formal logic to specify the behavior of safety-critical software and verify its correctness. These methods can reduce automatically large classes of program analysis problems to constraint satisfaction problems in some formal logic, and then solve them with the aid of automatic reasoners for that logic. The talk will give a brief overview of this approach and discuss its recent successes and applications in industry, focusing on research done at the University of Iowa in this area.

TUESDAY Extra 10/10: Chat with CS Alumni

TUESDAY, October 10, 2017
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Come meet with Wes Beary '05, Cassie Koomjian '05, Terian Koscik '12, Alex Leach '06, and Ian Young '08, the alumni mentors for CSC 321. They will discuss issues they have encountered as computing professionals and answer questions you have about life after Grinnell.

Thursday Extra 10/5: Graduate study in CS

Thursday, October 5, 2017
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Graduate School in Computer Science

Professors Anya Vostinar, Charlie Curtsinger, Peter-Michael Osera and Titus Klinge will discuss what graduate school in computer science is like, why you might consider it, and how to choose and apply to graduate programs. The panel discussion will include ample time for questions, so come prepared with your own questions.

Thursday Extra 9/21: Off-Campus Study

Thursday, September 21, 2017
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Off-Campus Study for CS Majors: Why, how, and where?

Professor Weinman will lead a discussion about study abroad and how it fits into a CS major and what it can mean for your liberal education. Staff from the Off-Campus Study Office will also be on hand to to help answer your questions. Second-year students should plan to attend if possible, and first-year students are strongly encouraged to attend. All CS students who have studied abroad are also encouraged to attend.

Thursday Extras Schedule

Thursday Extras Schedule

Fall 2017

31 Aug Julie Foster (CLS)
7 Sep Shu-Yang Lin (Rosenfield)
14 Sep Nick Roberson, Theo Kalfas, et al. (MAP)
21 Sep Jerod Weinman with OCS
28 Sep
5 Oct CS Faculty (graduate school)
10 Oct 322 Alumni Mentors
12 Oct Cesare Tinelli (U Iowa)
26 Oct
2 Nov Eric Van Wyk (U. Minnesota)
9 Nov
16 Nov
30 Nov Charles Ofria (MSU)
7 Dec Samuel A. Rebelsky (Grinnell): Summer Options in CS

Spring 2018

25 Jan
1 Feb
8 Feb
15 Feb
22 Feb
1 Mar
8 Mar
15 Mar
5 Apr
12 Apr
19 Apr
22 Apr
3 May
10 May

Thursday Extra on 8/31

Thursday, August 31, 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!

Non-Compete and Non-Disclosure Agreements: What Students Need to Know Before Signing Employment Agreements

Many companies, particularly in technology fields, require student interns and new full-time employees to sign employment agreements. While these agreements typically cover items such as start date, salary, title, and benefits, they also may include clauses that could have long-range serious impacts on the employee's future career choices. Julie Foster will introduce students to these clauses, what they should be aware of, and questions they should ask prior to signing such agreements. Ms. Foster is Assistant Dean and Executive Director of Career Communities at Grinnell College's Center for Careers, Life, and Service.

Thursday Extra: "Exploring Algorithms with Design and Analysis Techniques"

On Thursday, May 11, students from this semester's “Analysis of Algorithms” will describe and analyze two algorithms with real-world applications.

Two problems will be addressed: “Worst Case Performance Analysis of Machine Learning Robustness” (Anna Blinderman and Reilly Grant), and “Formalizing Mimble-Wimble: Scaling Bitcoin” (three presenters who wish to remain anonymous). Both of these problems pose interesting design questions when considered from a theoretical rather than implementation standpoint. The presenters will describe their work in progress and encourage formative assessment from the audience.

At 4:00 p.m., refreshments will be served in the Computer Science Commons, Noyce 3817. The presentation, “Exploring Algorithms with Design and Analysis Techniques,” will follow at 4:15 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra 5/4: Inclusion in CS

Who: CS students, CS faculty, and guest speakers
What: Discussion of inclusion in CS
Where: Science 2022
When: 4:15 p.m., Thursday, May 4, 2017 (Refreshments served beforehand in the same room)
Why: To address important issues
Direct questions or comments to Professor Rebelsky.

Thursday Extra 4/27: Project Gadfly

Thursday, April 27, 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!

Project Gadfly: Students and Alums Coding for Social Good

Over spring break, six mentors and eight Grinnell students created Project Gadfly, a system designed to help U.S. residents contact their elected representatives. With Gadfly, users can create sample call scripts and share them with friends using QR codes. Anyone who sees these codes can scan them with the app and have the script and a button to call their representatives at their fingertips. The students created a web client, two native app clients, a database, a server, an API, and an Iowa non-profit in 12 days, balancing security and design decisions with rapid development. Students who worked on Project Gadfly will discuss both the design of the system and what it was like to work with mentors on a rapid-learning, rapid-development project.

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