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.

Tuesday Extra 9/20: Student-faculty collaboration for a C-based course using robots

TUESDAY, September 20, 2016
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Sara Marku '18, Ruth Wu '17, and Professor Henry Walker will present "Student-faculty Collaboration in Developing and Testing Infrastructure for a C-based Course using Robots."

The MyroC project provides extensive support (software infrastructure, readings, examples, labs, additional course materials) for a C-based introductory course that emphasizes imperative problem solving and data structures. Past papers have highlighted the collaborative nature of both project development and the course itself, and the model of student-faculty collaboration in course development. MyroC.3.1 expands capabilities for blocking and non-blocking functions, taking and displaying camera images, and porting of the infrastructure to both Linux and Mac OS X. This new release illustrates substantial advantages for student-faculty development and testing, with benefits to the project itself, students in the target introductory course, and students in the development team.

Thursday Extra 9/15: Summer Internship and Research Experience in Computer Science

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

Summer Internship and Research Experience in Computer Science
Already, many of the big companies are reaching out for internship opportunities for next semester. At this week's Thursday Extra, Toby Baratta '17, Alex Mitchell '17, Ying Long '17, Larry Boateng Asante '17, Sooji Son '18, and Maddie Kirwin '19 will go over how they got their respective internships and research opportunities, the process and planning, what they did during their experience, and whether they liked what they were doing. They will spend the first half of the session discussing what they all did and how, and the second half answering questions about their positions and experiences. Come with questions!

Open Tenure-Track Position, Starting Fall 2017

Grinnell's computer science department is pleased to announce that we have a new opening in the department. You can find the position description at http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/prospective-faculty/tenure-track-2017-ad, additional information about being a faculty member at Grinnell at http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/prospective-faculty/overview, and answers to questions about the position at http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/prospective-faculty/tenure-track-2017-faq.

CS Table 9/13: Data Privacy in Higher Ed

For the CS Table on September 13, Peter-Michael Osera would like to discuss data collection and privacy in a place we normally don’t consider: higher education. In efforts to streamline operations and better the student experience via data analytics, universities are frequently turning to the cloud for answers. Does this have implications for how we as students and faculty manage our data? Read these two articles:

Printed copies of the readings will be available after noon on Friday at Charlie Curtsinger’s office (Noyce 3827). In addition to the readings, there is a short “homework” activity to get you in the spirit of the discussion. Try to answer these brief questions:

  1. What FERPA is and how does it relate to your personal information? Read more about FERPA here: US DOE. "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)”. http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
  2. Grinnell employs a number of third-party services that handle our (digital) data in various ways. List as many as you can.
  3. Why can these third-party services handle sensitive data that would otherwise be protected by FERPA? You can find the answer in this FERPA FAQ: US DOE. “FERPA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)”. http://familypolicy.ed.gov/faq-page#t62n218
  4. Completing this homework isn’t required to attend CS Table, but we will start the discussion by tackling these questions. So please come prepared if you have the time!

    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 9/8: Prof. Osera on Type-Directed Programming

Thursday, September 8, 2016
4:15 p.m. in Noyce 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817)

Programming Assistance for Type-Directed Programming
Type-directed programming is a powerful programming paradigm where rich types dictate the structure of the program, making design largely automatic. While mechanical, this paradigm still requires manual reasoning that is both tedious and error-prone. In this talk, Assistant Professor of Computer Science Peter-Michael Osera will explore type-directed program synthesis techniques to build an interactive programming assistant for type-directed programming. This tool bridges the gaps between simple auto-completion engines and program synthesis, complementing the strengths of each. He’ll demonstrate a current prototype of the tool as well as discuss next steps for transforming the prototype into a usable programming assistant.

Learning from Alumni on 9/8/16

Thursday, September 8, 2:00-3:50 p.m. in Science 3821.

All students are invited to attend the Learning from Alumni talks, whether or not you are registered for the class. This week Jeff Dickey-Chasins '81 (English major) talks about his long and varied career with many stints in technology and computing-related businesses.

Biography: The Job Board Doctor is Jeff Dickey-Chasins, a veteran of the job board, publishing, and e-learning industries. He provides consulting services for job boards and online recruiting companies. Jeff was the original marketing director for Dice.com, growing it from $7 million to $65+ million in three years. He has worked with 450+ job boards and HR-related sites and startups over the past 20 years, in almost every sector, including finance, technology, education, health care, sales and marketing, energy, and specific geographic regions. He has published research, e-books, and blog posts on almost every aspect of the industry. He also speaks at industry conferences on key topics in the online recruiting industry, and has conducted numerous seminars and workshops.

Thursday Extra: Graduate School Panel

The first Thursday Extra will be a panel discussion about Graduate School in Computer Science: What it's like, what it's for, and how to apply.

Thursday, September 1, 2016
4:15 p.m.
Noyce 3821

Professors Charlie Curtsinger, Peter Michael Osera and Titus Klinge will discuss what graduate school in computer science is like, why you might consider it, what opportunities there are for graduate education, employment after graduate school, applying (for computer science or related fields in particular), and other related issues attendees may be interested in.

Refreshments will be served at 4:00 p.m. in the computer science commons (Noyce 3817). Everyone is welcome to attend!

CS Table 9/6: Passphrases, MFA, and Security Hygiene

On Tuesday, September 6th, we will continue CS Table with a discussion of security practices, including the ongoing debate over passwords versus passphrases, multi-factor (or two factor) authentication, and general security practices. There are three short readings for this week:
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