Thursday Extras

Thursday Extra: "Self-disclosing code"

On Thursday, April 26, Pelle Hall 2014, Andrew Hirakawa 2012, and Jennelle Nystrom 2014 will present the result of their work in summer 2011 on software that generates programs to duplicate the effects of operations that users perform in a graphical user interface.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, Self-disclosing code, will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: "K-selection on the GPU"

On Thursday, April 19, Tolu Alabi 2013, Brad Gordon 2012, and Russel Steinbach 2012 will discuss their work in summer 2011 on parallel algorithms for computing order statistics:

How do you select the 1,678,341st largest number out of a list of 500 million numbers? The answer is surprisingly simple, and will be the subject of our Thursday Extra. We will present two efficient, parallel algorithms for selecting the kth largest element out of very large lists, a problem known as k-selection. We will discuss how graphics processing units (GPUs) enable us to easily and efficiently implement these algorithms on single computers.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, K-selection on the GPU, will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: "The MediaPython project"

On Thursday, April 12, Chike Abuah 2014, Rogelio Calderon 2014, and Sydney Ryan 2014 will discuss their work in summer 2011 on media computation using Python:

The Media Computation approach to learning, interactive scripting and design, since being pioneered at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has become increasingly popular in the introductory computer science courses at Grinnell College. To support this approach, we designed the MediaPython architecture, with the help of Professor Sam Rebelsky. MediaPython is the collection of GIMP functions that allow users to issue commands in different Python environments that affect images and make context changes in the GIMP.

In our talk we shall discuss the MediaPython architecture, the universal gimpbus plug-in, and the use of Python as a functional scripting language, accompanied by several exciting demonstrations.

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

Thursday Extra: "Free software and open source software"

On Thursday, February 16, Martin Dluhos 2012 will give an overview of the history of free software:

I will talk about the ideas behind the free software movement and open source movement, tell a little bit about the history and evolution of those movements, and mention some of the organizations that are involved in promoting free software. I will conclude with describing the accomplishments of the free software movement, particularly the GNU project.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, "Free software and open source software," will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: Résumé Workshop

Our final Thursday Extra of the semester will be on December 8.

It's time to begin thinking about applications for summer internships and full-time jobs. Associate Dean and Director of Career Development Mark Peltz and CS alum Ian Atha '09 will join the CS faculty and CS SEPC for a workshop on crafting résumés geared toward positions in computing. We will discuss résumé strategies, tips, look at several examples, and answer your questions. We welcome and encourage students at all levels to attend.

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

Thursday Extra: Steganography

On December 1, Paul Tymann, Professor and Chair of the Computer Science Department at the Rochester Institute of Technology, will present a talk in the Thursday Extra series:

Steganography refers to the science and art of hiding messages in other objects. The computer and in particular digital forms of information have created new ways in which messages can be hidden. This talk will discuss steganography in general, and then will focus on two simple techniques that can be used to hide messages in digital images.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). Professor Tymann's talk, "Steganography," will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Thursday Extra: Transitioning to an Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

On Thursday, 17 November 2011, Jillian Goetz '10 will join us for an informal CS extra. Jillian, who is in her second year in a graduate program in bioinformatics, will talk about the transition from Grinnell to graduate school and will answer questions students have about her experiences in applying to graduate school, starting graduate programs, and working in an interdisciplinary field.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). An informal discussion will continue at 4:30 p.m. in the same location. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Thursday Extra: Summer Opportunities in CS

On November 10, the computer science department's faculty will discuss summer opportunities for computer science students.

It's never to soon to think about what you're going to do next summer! While summer may seem far away, taking advantage of some of the better summer opportunities requires advance planning - for example, some programs have deadlines in January or February.

At this session, members of the CS department and the Career Development Office will discuss typical summer options available in computer science - research, internships, and more. They will also suggest strategies for developing your applications. At a separate session, to be held early next semester, the CS faculty will describe summer research opportunities available at Grinnell.

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

CS Extra: WANTED! CS Majors to Study Abroad

On Tuesday, November 1 at noon, Gábor Bojár, President of the Aquincum Institute of Technology (AIT), will give a presentation on their study abroad program in Noyce 3821.

An upcoming talk will be presented on campus to encourage students to consider a great new study abroad program, Aquincum Institute of Technology BUDAPEST, for students interested in computing, design, computational biology, and IT entrepreneurship.

About AIT: The AIT program has a first-rate faculty including professors such as Erno Rubik (inventor of the Rubik's Cube and recent recipient of the U.S. Outstanding Contributions to Science Education Award), an innovative curriculum including courses such as "Computer Vision for Digital Film Post-production" taught by faculty affiliates from Colorfront Studios (recent recipients of an Academy Award for technical contributions), and a guest lecture series that brings prominent speakers to campus.

All classes are conducted in English at AIT's state-of-the-art campus on the lovely banks of the Danube River. Students live in vibrant neighborhoods of Budapest and have ample opportunities to interact with Hungarian students and explore Hungary and the region.

AIT is small and friendly, with typical class sizes of 5-15 students. Recent U.S. AIT students have come from Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Harvey Mudd College, Northeastern University, Pomona College, Princeton University, RPI, Skidmore, Smith, Swarthmore and Williams Colleges. The program also includes a small number of Hungarian students. (AIT Alumni).

The AIT website and APPLICATION materials are available on-line.

Thursday Extra: Rethinking Mathematics in CS at Grinnell

On October 27, members of the computer science department's faculty will share information on potential new major requirements and a discrete structures course.

Mathematics serves many purposes within the CS curriculum. Certainly, mathematical techniques are necessary for a wide variety of activities, including linear algebra in computer graphics, mathematical induction as a precursor to recursion, and a variety of techniques in artificial intelligence. In addition, in order to successfully analyze algorithms, an activity central to computer science, students need some mathematical sophistication, including an ability to read and write proofs.

For many years, Grinnell has relied on MAT 218, Combinatorics, to ensure that students had an appropriate background for the computer science major. However, the CS faculty have also been concerned about the effects on students of MAT 218's long prerequisite chain.

The Computer Science and Mathematics/Statistics departments are considering offering a new course entitled "Discrete Structures" that will serve many of the needs of CS majors and will approach many topics through both a mathematical and computational perspective. The new course is also likely to have prerequisites of MAT 131, Calculus I, and CSC 151, Functional Problem Solving. Dr. Stone's notes on a possible structure for that course appear here.

If this new course is offered, the Computer Science department is likely to change its requirements so that students may take either MAT 218 or this new course. Before we move forward further with these proposals, we would like to hear from our students.

We invite you to come meet with us to discuss the new course and the potential changes to the computer science curriculum. Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The presentation and discussion will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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