CS Table/CSC 295: First meeting, Friday August 27

Welcome back! This semester, CS Table will be conducted together with the 1-credit special topic course CSC 295, Socio-Technical Issues in Computer Networks. We will consider issues from access and net neutrality to censorship and denial of service attacks. Registered students will be expected to lead discussions throughout the semester; all other interested students are welcome to attend and participate in discussions.

We will be meeting in JRC 224A. There is no reading for this Friday. Our agenda:

We'll consider metaphors as a way to consolidate our prior knowledge of how the Internet works (and perhaps learn some new things as well). Registered students will sign up for the first round of presentations.

A schedule for the entire semester is available at http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/~davisjan/csc/295/2010F/.

Hope to see you there!

Congratulations to our graduates!

The Computer Science majors of the class of 2010 are:

  • Andrew Fred Applebaum
  • Paul Robert Bellora (Henry-York Steiner Prize for Fiction)
  • Alexander Lewis Brooks, with honors
  • Alexander James Exarhos, with honors
  • Aditya Manjeshwar Kini
  • Nathan Allen Levin
  • Augustus Guang-Li Lidaka, with honors
  • Richard Darryl Mays
  • Jiabei Pan, with honors
  • Patrick Russell Rich, with honors
  • Jeffrey Bartholomew Thompson
  • Cyrus James Witthaus

Congratulations to all!

Thursday Extra: "An introduction to the Google Maps API"

On Thursday, May 13, Tony Pan will demonstrate some basics of the Google Maps Application Programming Interface by building a 2010 Iowa Census map in ten simple steps.

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

Friday Extra: "Combinatorics, heuristic search, and software testing"

At noon on Friday, April 30, in Noyce 3821, Myra Cohen of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln will speak on the role of combinatorics in the design of test suites for software:

Software systems today are magnitudes of order larger and more complex than their recent ancestors. Instead of building single systems, we now build families of systems. User interfaces are graphical and programs event-driven. The software/hardware interfaces we once kept distinct have become blurred. Developing reliable and affordable software presents an increasing number of challenges. As glitches in these large-scale systems continue to make newspaper headlines, developing reliable and affordable software presents an increasing number of challenges.

In this talk we examine advances in software testing that focus on the difficulty caused by one simple but ubiquitous concept -- system configurability. Configurable systems include software such as web browsers and office applications, families of products customized by businesses for different market segments, and systems that dynamically reconfigure themselves on the fly. We show how theory from combinatorial mathematics, combined with heuristic search algorithms, can help us to test these systems more efficiently and effectively.

Pizza and soda will be served shortly before noon. Professor Cohen's talk, Combinatorics, heuristic search, and software testing: Theory meets practice, will begin promptly thereafter. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: "Interactive MediaScripting"

At 4:15 on Thursday, April 22, in Noyce 3821, Jordan Shkolnick 2011, Nora Coon 2010, Jillian Goetz 2010, and Cyrus Witthaus 2010 will present the results of their summer 2009 Mentored Advanced Project, Interactive MediaScripting.

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

"Technical interview tips"

At noon on Thursday, April 8, in Noyce 3817 (the Computer Science commons), there will be a brown bag lunch with alumnus Ian Bone 2009. We will have an informal discussion on technical interviewing, including an overview of the process, a group practice interview, and example problems. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

Thursday Extra: "Keeping the millennials engaged with active learning"

At 4:15 on Thursday, April 8, in Noyce 3821, Dr. Dan Garcia of the University of California - Berkeley will give a talk on his experience with a technological and pedagogical innovation:

When lecturing to a large class, one typically hears from a few, vocal participants, it's difficult to keep short-attention-span students engaged, there's no way to get high-resolution feedback, and there's no in-class learning community. Peer instruction with clickers addresses all these issues, and has been used in many classes at UC Berkeley with great success. We will share our experience using this technique for five years in a two-hundred-student sophomore computer-science class.

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

Tuesday Extra: "A real grand challenge"

On Tuesday, April 6, Kate Deibel, a doctoral candidate in computer science at the University of Washington and a research assistant at the Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching, will give a talk describing

the many challenges faced by designers of technologies for college students with disabilities and will discuss who the user population is, what they experience, and what policies that shape supporting them. Design approaches like universal design and inclusive pedagogy will be discussed. Most importantly, identifying when technology is not the answer will be covered. Although this talk will apply to all disabilities, specific focus will be given to reading disabilities.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, A real grand challenge: Designing technologies for college students with disabilities, will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Friday Extra: "274 students can't be wrong!"

At noon on Friday, April 9, in Noyce 3821, Dr. Dan Garcia of the University of California - Berkeley will describe the work of the GamesCrafters research group there:

The UC Berkeley GamesCrafters undergraduate research and development group was formed in 2001 as a watering hole to gather and engage top students as they explore the fertile area of computational game theory. At the core of the project is Gamesman, a system developed for strongly solving, playing and analyzing two-person, abstract strategy games (e.g., Tic-Tac-Toe or Connect 4) and puzzles (e.g., Rubik's Cube). Over the past nine years, more than seventy games and puzzles have been integrated into the system by over two hundred seventy-four undergraduates.

Pizza and soda will be served shortly before noon. Dr. Garcia's talk, 274 students can't be wrong!: GamesCrafters, a computational game theory undergraduate research and development group at UC Berkeley, will begin promptly thereafter. Everyone is welcome to attend!

CS Table, 19 March 2010: Classics: Computer

This Friday at CS Table, we will be discussing a classic in computer science, Donald Knuth's Turing Award lecture speech, "Computer Programming as an Art".

Knuth, Donald (1974). "Computer Programming as an Art". Communications of the ACM 17 (12): 667–673.

This document is available at http://fresh.homeunix.net/~luke/misc/knuth-turingaward.pdf and elsewhere.

Grinnell College's CS Table is a weekly gathering of folks on campus (students, faculty, staff, alums, etc.) to talk about issues relating to computer science. CS Table meets each Friday at noon in JRC 224A, the Day Public Dining Room (PDR) in the Joe Rosenfeld '25 Center (JRC). All are welcome, although computer science students and faculty are particularly encouraged to attend.

The Spring 2010 theme of CS Table is Software Design.

Contact Professor Rebelsky for further information or for a printed copy of the document in booklet format.

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