At this week's Computer Science Table (at noon on Friday, December 6, in Rosenfield 224A), we will discuss issues, other than efficiency, that programmers should take into account when implementing algorithms. The reading is:
Computer Science Table is an open weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science.
On Thursday, December 5, in Noyce 3821, Professor Sam Rebelsky and the other faculty of the Department of Computer Science will speak on summer opportunities in CS:
It may be hard to believe given the forthcoming sub-freezing temperatures, but it's about time to starting thinking about what you're going to do this coming summer (and maybe even in subsequent summers). If you enjoy computer science (or at least computer programming), summer is an opportunity to explore new approaches, to develop new skills, and perhaps even to make some money. But what kinds of things can you do? While students tend to focus on a few options (e.g., research with faculty), a wide variety of opportunities are available. In this session, we will discuss goals you might set for the summer and some opportunities that can help you achieve those goals.
Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). Professor Rebelsky's talk, “Summer opportunities in computer science,” will begin at 4:30. Everyone is welcome to attend!
On Wednesday, November 20, in Noyce 3821, Professor Aaron Stump of the University of Iowa will give a lunchtime talk on the use of program verification tools in software development:
Usually programmers try to ensure code quality by testing. In this talk, I will describe an emerging new approach to creating high-quality software, using theorem-proving tools. These tools allow you to write a program and then prove mathematically that the program satisfies some desired specification. Formalized mathematics is not easy, but once you have completed your proof, you are guaranteed beyond a shadow of a doubt that your code is bug-free, at least with respect to the specification you have formulated. I will demonstrate verified programming — and maybe a little computer-formalized mathematics — using the Agda theorem prover, and speculate about how these new technologies could impact the future.
Professor Stump's talk, “Writing bug-free code using theorem provers,” will begin at noon. Pizza and soda will be served.
At this week's Computer Science Table (at noon on Friday, November 8, in Rosenfield 224A), we will discuss the Network Time Protocol. The reading is:
Internet time synchronization: the network time protocol.IEEE Transactions on Communications 39, no. 10, pp. 1482–1493.
The Network Time Protocol (NTP) uses a symmetric architecture in which a distributed subnet of time servers, operating in a self-organizing, hierarchical configuration, synchronizes local clocks within the subnet and to national time standards via wire, radio, or calibrated atomic clock. The servers can also redistribute time information within a network via local routing algorithms and time daemons. Performance data show that the NTP synchronization system ensures timekeeping accuracy throughout most portions of the Internet to within a few milliseconds, even in cases of failure or disruption of clocks, time servers, or networks.
Grinnell's CS faculty regularly reviews and updates the CS curriculum in response to curricular recommendations, feedback from alumni, and discussions with colleagues around the country. For example, over several semesters, the faculty has drawn upon feedback in discussing alternative approaches for team-based, project courses.
Also since 2010, the major professional computing societies, ACM and IEEE-CS, have been working toward new curricular recommendations for undergraduate CS. The forthcoming recommendations propose adjustments in some areas (e.g., programming languages) and substantial expansion in others (e.g., security).
Recently, synergy between these two efforts has led to a proposal for substantial changes in Grinnell's CS program, including some course revisions, new courses in emerging areas, and increased flexibility in the major.
The CS faculty will present current ideas for a revised CS curriculum and major on Monday, November 11, 2013, at 4:30 in Science 3821, with refreshments served at 4:15 pm in the CS Commons. Everyone interested in computing is encouraged to attend.
Feedback on the draft curriculum and major will be encouraged!
On Thursday, November 7, Chike Abuah 2014, Aaltan Ahmad 2014, Nediyana Daskalova 2014, Erik Opavsky 2014, Kim Spasaro 2014, Daniel Torres 2015, and Brennan Wallace 2016 will conduct a panel discussion on summer experiences in computer science. The participants will describe their internship experiences, ranging from start-ups to Apple to research and more.
Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The panel discussion will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!
At noon on Wednesday, October 30, in Noyce 3821, Gábor Bojár, Founder and Professor of IT Entrepreneurship at the Aquincum Institute of Technology, will speak on his institution's off-campus study program for students interested in computing, design, computational biology, and IT entrepreneurship:
The AIT program has a first-rate faculty including professors such as Erno Rubik (inventor of the Rubik's Cube and recent recipient of the U.S. Outstanding Contributions to Science Education Award), an innovative curriculum including courses such as "Computer Vision for Digital Film Post-production" taught by faculty affiliates from Colorfront Studios (recent recipients of an Academy Award for technical contributions), and a guest lecture series that brings prominent speakers to campus.
All classes are conducted in English at AIT's state-of-the-art campus on the lovely banks of the Danube River. Students live in vibrant neighborhoods of Budapest and have ample opportunities to interact with Hungarian students and explore Hungary and the region.
AIT is small and friendly, with typical class sizes of 5–15 students. Recent U.S. AIT students have come from Harvard University, Dartmouth University, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Harvey Mudd College, Princeton University, Smith, Swarthmore and Williams Colleges, among several others. The program also includes a number of Hungarian students.
Pizza and small treats from Hungary will be served. Everyone is welcome to attend!
At this week's Computer Science Table (at noon on Friday, October 18, in Rosenfield 224A), we will read a variety of 'blog posts about programming in the real world. The readings were suggested by our alumna Eryn O'Neil 2007. Eryn writes:
I've come up with aHow To Program In the Real Worldseries. They're short blog posts, not 5-10 page readings, but that's secretly part of the theme, too -- in the industry, the new ideas are circulated by blog, and if you're not reading them, you're behind.
Here is her list of suggested readings:
Advice for computer science college students.Joel on software, January 2, 2005.
You must try, and then you must ask.The Akamai blog, October 4, 2013.
How to develop unmaintainable software.Typical programmer, October 14, 2013.
And, as a bonus (Eryn:
I recommend skimming, not reading, but it's a classic):
How to write unmaintable code: ensure a job for life ;-).The hacker's choice, October 29, 2006.
On Thursday, October 17, Max Mindock will describe his summer internship on weather radar systems.
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!
From the September 27 edition of the S&B:
"Last weekend, a group of seven Grinnell students went to the annual MHacks “hackathon” event, organized by the University of Michigan. This was the first time students from Grinnell participated in such an event as a group. With approximately 1200 participants from over 100 schools across the country, this was the biggest hackathon of the year."