CS Table 11/1: Echo Chambers

On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, we'll discuss what echo chambers are, their pros and cons, and how we ought to change our media consumption in light of them. An echo chamber in the context of media studies is a phenomena where the beliefs of a group are reinforced and amplified through repetition entirely within the group. Paradoxically, while the Internet promises to enable free speech and the transmission and sharing of ideas globally, some argue that it has only served to create silos for like-minded people to avoid interaction with dissenting opinion.

Readings: two short articles about echo chambers with respect to Facebook.

If you are interested in this topic and want to read more, check out these books: Cass Sunstein's Republic.com and Eli Pariser's The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think.

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.

Tuesday Extra 10/25: Technology in Education

TUESDAY, October 25, 2016
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Technologies for Online Instruction: Do They Support Authentic Learning?
Ursula Wolz, Noyce Visiting Professor at Grinnell College, will talk about technology and education. She is also looking for research students for the spring and help with outreach programs in our community.

Abstract: AI Researchers in the 1980s assumed they would replace classroom teachers within a decade. 'Online learning' is not what we envisioned. This talk presents an historical perspective on Computers in Education, raising important issues for student privacy, curricular choice and and freedom of speech. The impact of technology including knowledge engineering and data science/deep learning will be discussed in the context of how it can support both massively online open classrooms, and small face-to-face classrooms.

CS Table 10/25: Panel on the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

This week in CS Table we'll be hosting a panel of students that attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference last week. If you are interested in attending a diversity conference like GHC in the future—and you should because it is a great opportunity to learn from and network with peers and potential employers—stop by to learn more about what the experience is like and how you can get funding to go next year!

There is no official reading for this CS Table, but you should peruse the conference website to learn more about it: Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference website

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.

Learn about the CS Major, 10/25

Are you trying to figure out your major? Is Computer Science one of the possibilities? Come join the CS department at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, 25 October 2016, in Science 3821, to learn about the CS major. We'll give an overview of the major, opportunities for students, and more. You'll also have the chance to talk to faculty and students.

Thursday Extra 10/13: Accessible Computing

Thursday, October 13, 2016
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Kyle Rector, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at The University of Iowa, will talk about accessible computing for all.

One in six people have a disability, whether hidden or apparent. It is important for designers to create technologies that are accessible to people of different backgrounds. After outlining the research that Rector and others have conducted in computer science to improve access and wellness for people with disabilities, the talk will focus on two research projects: 1) Eyes-Free Yoga, an accessible yoga exercise game that provides auditory instructions and feedback for people who are blind or low vision, and 2) Eyes-Free Art, a system that allows people who are blind or low vision to explore 2D paintings using audio techniques. A discussion of future research opportunities in accessibility and computer science will conclude the presentation.

CS Table 10/11: The Intersection of Music and Computing

This week in CS table we’ll be exploring the intersection of music and computation along two dimensions:

  1. Computational Musicology: the analysis of musical structure from a statistical perspective, i.e., music informatics.
  2. Live Coding: the live performance of music using computer programs.

Computational Musicology. Along the first dimension, there are two readings:

The second reading is fairly dense and pre-supposes some knowledge of basic music theory. If you can get through the "Analysing the harmony” section where the authors describe their analysis technique for music, that would be grand. You may find that this recording of Hey Jude by the Beatles helpful to compare against: The Beatles - Hey Jude. Uploaded by TheBeatlesVEVO on youtube.com.

Live Coding. Along the second dimension, watch this TEDxNewcastle talk by Sonic Pi creator Sam Aaron on live coding: Sam Aaron. "Programming as Performance”. Uploaded by TEDx Talks on youtube.com.

If you are interested, feel free to dive deeper by checking out:

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 10/6: Study Abroad for CS Majors

Thursday, October 6, 2016
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Computer science students who have participated in study abroad programs will talk about their experiences. Second-year students should plan to attend if possible, and first-year students are also strongly encouraged to attend. All CS students who have studies abroad are encouraged to attend.

You'll hear from:

  • Students who went to AIT Budapest, DIS Copenhagen, Grinnell-in-London, and more.
  • Students who studied CS abroad and those who didn't. (One can even start a CS major "late" after study abroad without CS.)
  • Students who are doing a double major and studied abroad.
  • Prof. Rebelsky about general departmental perspectives on study abroad.

CS Table 9/27: Discussion with Tapia Conference Attendees

This week in CS Table we’ll be inviting our Grinnell students that attended the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing conference two weeks ago in Austin, TX! They will be discussing their experiences at the conference and share advice on how to get the most of your time at a computing conference like Tapia. We will also have a broader discussion about why we have a conference like Tapia and its importance for computing.

There is no reading for this week, but please view the Tapia website to familiarize yourself with the conference. In particular, make sure to read the bio on Richard Tapia and skim the Tapia conference schedule to give you some context for the 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 12:00-1:00pm 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 9/22: Molecular Computing

Thursday, September 22, 2016
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Preventing Memory Corruption in Chemical Computations
Professor Titus Klinge will discuss his recent work on molecular computing. Molecular computing systems that are contained in well-mixed volumes are often modeled using chemical reaction networks. In these systems, concentrations of molecules are treated as signals and used for both communication and memory storage. A common design challenge for such a system is to avoid memory corruption caused by noise in the input signals. In this talk, he overviews recent results concerning two related signal restoration algorithms for molecular systems modeled with chemical reaction networks. These algorithms are designed to prevent a memory signal from degrading over time, and he shows that under modest conditions these algorithms will maintain the memory indefinitely.

CS Table 9/20: Privacy and the Internet of Things

Join us at the CS Table on Tuesday, September 20, in JRC 224B. We will discuss the conflict between privacy and the internet of things (IoT).

The first two articles describe a Portland-based startup installing IoT devices in rentals. The company also has a promotional video I recommend watching.

The remaining readings cover issues of privacy and consumers' reactions to data use.

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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