CS Table

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.

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.

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.

CS Table 11/15: Algorithmic Bias

As computation plays a larger role in society, we are beginning to see cases where algorithms encode the biases of the past. While this phenomenon is widespread, there is a particularly interesting case where computer programs make bail recommendations for suspects in criminal cases.

There are two short readings suggested for the discussion on November 15:

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 11/8: The State of JavaScript

On November 8 in CS Table, we will discuss the state of JavaScript, the language running inside your browser. This is a programming language that seemingly ignores virtually all of the wisdom garnered in programming language design over the last half century, and yet it has a huge devoted fan base and enormous impact worldwide. We'll talk about some of the amusing quirks in JavaScript, briefly dive into the world in which JavaScript developers must operate, and speculate about why JavaScript has still been so successful. As always, you do not need any experience with JavaScript to participate in this discussion.

Readings:

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 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.

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.

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