Thursday Extra 2/16: Joint 4-1 BA-MCS program with UIowa

Thursday, February 16, 2017
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821

Presentation and Q&A for the new joint 4-1 BA-MCS program with The University of Iowa. Representatives from The University of Iowa will be here and we expect an interesting discussion.

Students will apply in their third year at Grinnell and online UI graduate courses are started during senior year. This year's application deadline is March 1 for the joint program. Refer back to Prof. Rebelsky's program announcement (email January 11) or UI's website for more information, and bring your questions to the meeting.

CS Table 2/21: Net Neutrality

During our CS Table on net neutrality, we'll run through the basic principles and history, discuss previous actions to strengthen or erode net neutrality, and think about the consequences of possible upcoming changes from the FCC. As always, we strongly encourage you to complete the readings before the discussion, but you are welcome whether you have read or not.

  1. Net Neutrality: A Guide to (and History of) a Contested Idea. Alexis C. Madrigal and Adrienne LaFrance. The Atlantic. April 25, 2015.
  2. Net Neutrality Foe to Head the FCC. Larry Greenmeier. Scientific American. January 30, 2017.
  3. What Happens If Net Neutrality Goes Away? Mike Orcutt. MIT Technology Review. January 20, 3017.

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 2/14: On Technology, Slots, and Whales

This week in CS Table, we’ll be examining the use of technology in the gambling industry to create games that everyone can enjoy (perhaps a little bit too much…)! Modern-day slot machines are a beautiful combination of technology, psychology, and data science that power a $150 billion industry. And more recently, the video game industry is looking towards them to understand how to power experiences that are not “gambling” at first glance, but are heavily inspired by it. We’ll discuss what goes into a modern-day gambling experience as well as its ethics.
  1. Brendan I. Koerner. How one man hacked his way into the slot-machine industry. Wired.com. July 15, 2011.
  2. Andrew Thompson. Engineerings of addiction: slot machines perfected addictive gambling. Now, tech wants their tricks. Theverge.com.
  3. Robert Rath. Why cops are raiding arcades over a fishing game. Vice.com. November 23, 2016.
  4. Mike Rose. Chasing the whale: examining the ethics of free-to-play. Gamesutra.com. 2013.
  5. Finally, here’s an extra fun “reading” video: an example of a modern day Japanese pachinko machine (warning, NSFW Aussie language).
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 2/7: Privacy and security

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has put together a detailed guide of a number of recommended practices used to maintain privacy and security at https://ssd.eff.org/, which we will rely on for this week's discussion. Please complete the following readings before Tuesday:

  1. An Introduction to Threat Modeling. EFF Surveillance Self-Defense Guide.
  2. Seven Steps to Digital Security. EFF Surveillance Self-Defense Guide.
  3. At least one other overview, topic, or briefing from the SSD guide.

If you have specific practices that you use and would be willing to share, please come prepared to demonstrate or describe them. When you choose additional readings, you are encouraged to look for guides that you think are relevant to your own use of technology.

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.

Thursday Extra 2/9: Impact of image based rendering on photography

Thursday, February 9, 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!

Image Based Rendering and its Impact on Studio Photography is presented by Gary Meyer, Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota.

A new computer graphic technique, called image based rendering, has the potential to fundamentally change how professional photographers take still life and portrait pictures. Instead of lighting the object or the person in their studio and capturing a few images, we are developing a system in which the photographer takes a comprehensive set of simple pictures with an attached flash and then uses a virtual studio lighting setup and camera to synthesize the final images. Projective texture mapping is used to blend the original pictures and project them onto a mesh that is also derived from the photographs. To achieve the desired relighting effect, the images are carefully weighted as part of the interpolation process. The result is, by definition, photorealistic because it is derived directly from the original pictures, and the method goes beyond traditional studio photography because it allows complex relighting using environment maps and it permits the production of animated flybys in addition to static shots. In addition, new lighting setups and pictures can generated any time in the future using the original set of flash photographs. The talk will be illustrated using images produced in collaboration with the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

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!

CS Table 12/13: One Line Programs

At this CS Table we will run and decipher a collection of interesting one line programs. Short programs can be surprising, mind-bending, elegant, infuriatingly clever, or all of the above. We'll follow a relaxed format, where we will look at a new program, run it on a few examples, then try to figure out how it does what it does.

If you have any programs you would like to contribute, please send them to Prof. Curtsinger via email. All programming languages are welcome. We're happy to bend the definition of "one line" in many cases, but do try to stick to programs that are concise.

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.

CSC 322 Student Presentations

The CSC 322 ("Team Software Development for Community Organizations") students are wrapping up their multi-semester projects for release and will be presenting the near-final projects at 1:00-2:30pm on Friday, December 9, 2016, in Noyce 3819.

CS Table 11/29: Election Hacking

At this CS Table we will discuss a recent turn of events in the presidential election: election security experts are calling for recounts in several critical states. Why are they doing this, and why do we need to recount or audit our elections?

Read these three recent articles building up to this recent call:

In addition, to give you more background on the perils of voting and technology, read this paper by researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor about breaking into Internet voting systems:

Printed readings are available at Noyce 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 12:00-1:00pm 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 on 11/22: CS Education Intitiatives

This CS Table will focus on two computer science education initiatives: CS Unplugged and code.org. These are interesting new approaches to getting computer science education into high school and grade school with some interesting goals. We'll start with a CS Unplugged exercise before the discussion!

There are three short readings suggested for the discussion on November 22:

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.

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