2/21/19: 4+1 Master's in CS with U.Iowa

Come learn about how you can earn a MSc in CS at U. Iowa with one additional year of school there by taking master’s level courses during your senior year at Grinnell. We will describe how the 4+1 program works, how you might apply for it, and why it might be just right for you. Grinnell and UI faculty will be available to answer any questions about the program.

Students from all class years are welcome, and third-year students are especially encouraged to come.

Pizza lunch will be served for those who RSVP by Wednesday Feb 20.

Thursday, February 21, 2019
12:00-1:00 pm
Noyce 3821

CS Table 2/19/19: Who owns 3D scans?

Feb. 19 CS Table location: JRC 224B, noon.

In honor of the recent talks about 3D reproduction of Mayan sites, we will discuss the ownership of the data associated with such reproductions. We have two readings, and both include links to other possible resources.

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 12:00–12:50pm. Most CS Tables for the spring semester will meet in JRC 224B inside the Marketplace, though a small number will be in an alternate location, so watch each week for the location. 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 (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

Thursday Extra: "Developing Soft and Technical Skills Through Multi-Semester, Remotely Mentored Community-Service Projects"

On Thursday, February 21, 2019, Professor Samuel A. Rebelsky will present a talk discussion the design rationale for CSC 321/322 (now CSC 324/326), in preparation for a talk that he and Dr. Janet Davis will present at the 50th SIGSCE Technical Symposium in Computer Science Education:

For the past four years, we have taught a reimagined software design course with typical and atypical components. Projects form the core of the course: Students work in teams of 4–6 people to develop non-mission-critical software for local non-profits, building their engagement with the community and helping them understand the broader impact of their work. These projects require multiple semesters to complete. Since students typically enroll for the course for one semester, this model gives students the novel experience of legacy software. We also provide each team with an alumni mentor who helps them navigate not only technical problems but also the challenges of working with a real-world, non-technical client.

These aspects of the course also develop our students' soft skills. They learn to work with a team, to communicate with non-technical clients, to work with remote collaborators (or mentors), and to think ahead to those who will take on the project in the next semester. As we tell our students, these skills are often as crucial as their technical skills.

In this talk, we report on the design of the course and describe some of the challenges associated with this model (e.g., projects that inadvertently reveal information, clients who switch management or expectations, and projects that become obsolete) and provide suggestions for those who might want to adopt a similar approach.

Refreshments will be served at 4 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). Professor Rebelsky's talk, Developing Soft and Technical Skills Through Multi-Semester, Remotely Mentored Community-Service Projects, will begin at 4:15, in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra 2/14/19: Code Camps

Thursday, February 14, 2019
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

The Glimmer Labs students from summer 2018 will present their work on Code Camps. These presentations are previews of their talks at the forthcoming SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education.

CS Table 2/12/19: Location Data

Feb. 12 CS Table location: JRC 224B

In CS Table on Feb. 12, we will discuss some of the concerns around sharing location data and the implications that sharing location information can have for individuals and society. We will read about two separate cases to inform our discussion.

In the first case, we will read about how cell phone companies sell users’ location information to third parties. Cox, Joseph (2019). I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300, Then He Located Our Phone. Motherboard..

The second case is a recent development in New York City, where police officers object to sharing the locations of officers conducting sobriety checks. Gold, Michael (2019). Google and Waze Must Stop Sharing Drunken-Driving Checkpoints, New York Police Demand. The New York Times..

As you read about each case, consider the following questions: who owns location data, when is it acceptable for location data to be shared, and what are the consequences of sharing location data?

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 12:00–12:50pm. Most CS Tables for the spring semester will meet in JRC 224B inside the Marketplace, though a small number will be in an alternate location, so watch each week for the location. 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 (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

2/8/19: Careers in CS (Alumni talk)

Join five Grinnell CS alumni for an informal talk about careers in software design and development.

Friday, February 8, 2019
12:00-12:50 pm
Noyce 2022

After the presentation, they will hold informal "office hours" and be available to talk to students in the CS commons, 1:00-1:50 pm.

CS Table 2/5/19: Machine Learning (meets in CS Commons)

NOTE: This Tuesday we will meet in the CS Commons at noon. Please bring your own lunch; we'll try to have some drinks and snacks, too.

This week in CS Table, we will consider some applications of machine learning that show both potential benefit and great risks: The use of ML algorithms in decisions related to bail, sentencing, and parole. We have two readings:

CS Table 1/29/19

Most CS Tables for the spring semester will meet in JRC 224B, though a small number will be in an alternate dining room, so watch each week for the location.

This week we will return to a classic: Ken Thompson’s Turing Award lecture, “Reflections on Trusting Trust.” In this lecture, Thompson reveals a security vulnerability he implemented for UNIX. This thought-provoking lecture raises questions about what it takes to build secure software. We’ll follow that reading up with Bruce Schneier’s summary of Thompson’s work and one attempt to counter this type of attack. You can find both readings below, or in the clear folder on the door to room 3827.

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 12:00–12:50pm inside the Marketplace. 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 (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

CS Table POSTPONED: Software Failures

In one of the early spring CS Tables, we will have a (hopefully) fun discussion focused on software failures. As an example, consider this particular famous Windows blue screen. Regardless of whether or not you are able to attend, please send suggestions to me by email before noon on Monday, December 17th. We will have a projector, so please share relevant images or videos if you find any.

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 12:00–12:50pm in JRC 224C (inside the Marketplace). 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 (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

CS Table 12/4/18: Open Source and Security

This week's discussion topic was suggested by an alumna, who writes:

Recently an NPM package author handed over control of his open source project to a stranger who promised to maintain the package for future users. The stranger added malicious code to the package, which was then downloaded by millions of users. This raises questions about responsibility in the open source world. What responsibilities does the owner of an open source project hold? What responsibilities are up to the user? What can developers do to utilize open source projects in a safe and secure manner?
There are two recommended readings for the CS Table discussion; the first is an account of the recent event we’ll discuss, and the second is a perspective on security and open source from Bruce Schneier, written in 1999.

You may also find these resources helpful or informative as you prepare for our discussion:

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 12:00–12:50pm in JRC 224C (inside the Marketplace). 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 (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

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