Thursday Extras

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: "The Future of MathLAN"

On Thursday, February 23, John Stone, Manager of the Mathematics Local-Area Network, will present a concise account of the history, present status, and possible future directions for MathLAN.

At 4:00 p.m., refreshments will be served in the Computer Science Commons, Noyce 3817. The talk, “The Future of MathLAN,” will begin at 4:15 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

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!

Thursday Extra on 2/11: Alumni Career Discussion

Thursday, February 11, 2016
4:15 pm in Noyce 3821

Visit with four CS alumni: Ian Young '08, Cassie Koomjian '05, Jonathan Koomjian '03, and Wes Beary '05. Each will give a short overview of their post-Grinnell careers, and then they will answer questions from students.

Refreshments at 4:00 in the CS Commons (Noyce 3817), followed by the discussion at 4:15 in Noyce 3821.

Thursday Extra on 1/28: Summer Research at Grinnell

Thursday, January 28, 2016
4:15 pm in Noyce 3821

Computer Science faculty will discuss summer research opportunities at Grinnell.

Refreshments at 4:00 in the CS Commons (Noyce 3817), followed by the discussion at 4:15 in Noyce 3821.

Thursday Extra on 12/10: Summer Opportunities in CS

Thursday, December 10, 2015
4:15 pm in Noyce 3821

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

If you enjoy computer science (or at least computer programming), 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., 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. Handouts will be available for those who cannot attend the talk.

Refreshments at 4:00 in the CS Commons (Noyce 3817), followed by the talk at 4:15 in Noyce 3821.

Thursday Extra: "Bioinformatics Research Internship at Michigan State University"

On Thursday, December 3, Giang Nguyen 2017 will describe her summer internship on bioinformatics, inferring phylogenetic relationships from protein and DNA sequences.

At 4:00 p.m., refreshments will be served in the Computer Science Commons. The talk, “Bioinformatics Research Internship at Michigan State University,” will begin at 4:15 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra on 11/12: Mobile Sensing Applications

Octav Chipara will present "Developing and Deploying Mobile Sensing Applications."

Thursday, November 12
4:15 pm in Science 3821
Refreshments beforehand in the CS Commons

Octav Chipara is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Iowa and part of the Aging Mind and Brain Initiative.

Mobile sensing applications are an emerging class of mobile applications that take advantage of the increasing sensing, computational, storage, and networking capabilities of mobile devices. Chipara's research focuses on the systems, networking, and software engineering aspects of developing mobile health (mHealth) systems that continuously monitor and infer the health status of patients. His work combines the design of communication protocols, middleware, and programming tools with large-scale real-world deployments of working systems.

In this talk, Chipara will describe AudioSense – a novel mobile sensing application that allows audiologists to assess the performance of the hearing aids in the real-world. A key limitation of traditional laboratory and survey methods employed by audiologists is that they fail to predict when a hearing aid user will be dissatisfied with its performance in the real-world. In contrast with these techniques, AudioSense jointly characterizes both the user's auditory context and the performance of the hearing aid in that context. The second part of the talk will cover some of the tools his team has created to simplify the development of mobile sensing applications. The focus is one of coordinating when different hardware resources (e.g., WiFi, 3G) are turned on and off to save energy without hindering user experience. A lightweight annotation language and middleware service will be presented that can be used to build energy-efficient mobile sensing applications for Android.

Thursday Extra: Algorithms for Assembling the Tree of Life

October 29 at 4:15 pm in Science 3821
Refreshments served at 4:00 pm in the CS Commons

Join us for a talk by David Fernández-Baca from the Department of Computer Science at Iowa State University. His talk is titled "Algorithms for Assembling the Tree of Life."

The Tree of Life is a reconstruction of the evolutionary history of all living species. Constructing this tree is one of the fundamental problems in science. At present, however, we are far from solving this problem. Instead, we must be content with building phylogenetic trees (that is, evolutionary trees) for relatively small families of species. Even trees of such limited scope have important uses. They help biologists to decipher the function of genes by comparing these genes to similar ones in closely related species. Ecologists use phylogenetic trees to estimate degrees of biodiversity and analyze rates of species extinction. In medicine, phylogenetic trees model disease progression. Phylogenetic trees are also used outside of biology, to understand the development of human languages and political systems.

This talk will discuss the work Fernández-Baca's group conducts in computational phylogenetics -- the field that studies the construction of phylogenetic trees. The aim of their research is to develop algorithms, mathematics, and software for phylogenetics. Much of the work addresses the computational problems that stem from the scarcity of data for building trees and the conflict among the data that is available. In addition to tackling algorithmic challenges, they also collaborate with biologists to study specific questions in biology. A recent example is applying phylogenetics to the study of legumes. This is a family of plants that are notable for their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen -- a process that is essential for agriculture -- and that includes major food crops.

At the end of the talk, Fernández-Baca will give an overview of graduate study opportunities offered by the Computer Science Department at Iowa State University. The department has 31 faculty members covering a wide range of areas, including artificial intelligence, formal methods & verification, wireless networks and systems, robotics, software safety, software engineering, and theoretical computer science. The department participates in interdepartmental graduate programs in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Human-Computer Interaction, and Information Assurance. Almost all Ph.D. students are supported by research or teaching assistantships.

Thursday Extra: IBM Watson and Innovation in NYC

October 8
4:15 pm in Science 3821
Refreshments served at 4:00 pm in the CS Commons.

Blake Creasey '16 will present: "IBM Watson & Innovation in New York City."

This summer I went to New York City for seven weeks to learn about IBM Watson and engineering entrepreneurship at the Cooper Union. Our IBM mentor taught us about the brand of Watson, how pieces of the technology work, and current implementations of the technology. We met with our client, the New York Public Library, to understand a problem in their book recommendation system, and we set out trying to use the Watson Experience Manager to build a solution. We interviewed potential users, reviewed existing survey data, extensively discussed technological feasibility, met with current IBM Watson business partners, and finally built an iPhone book recommendation application using IBM Watson's natural language processing capabilities. My main focus in this talk will be on IBM Watson and our prototype iPhone application, Shelf. I will also briefly discuss the companies that I toured-Google, Bloomberg, Microsoft, Gamechanger, IBM Watson's Experience Center-and the meetups that I attended. Thanks to the Wilson Program, I hope to share what I learned about innovation, and I hope to discuss my general impressions on what is happening with innovation-the cool, the incredible, the scary, and the future.

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