Using robots in introductory computer science classes has recently become a popular method of increasing student interest in computer science. With faculty member, Henry M. Walker, we developed a new curriculum for CSC 161, Imperative Problem Solving and Data Structures, based upon Scribbler 2 robots with standard C. Come hear aboutRefreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The group's talk, "A C-based introductory course using robots" will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend.
- creation of a modular course structure
- focus on imperative problem solving and C
- wrapping of commands from C++ to C
- inclusion of innovative pedagogy
- sharing of software with the international community
On Thursday, February 24, Henry Walker will discuss present some of his preliminary work on integrating the programming of robots with the curriculum of CSC 161 (“Imperative problem solving and data structures”):
Introductory computer science courses around the country have utilized robots for a number of years. In recent years, for some courses, robot control has taken advantage of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs); some other courses provide students with a programming environment designed for beginners. Although these experiences have often been motivating and interesting for students, the use of robots remains a challenge within courses that focus upon imperative problem solving (e.g., with the C programming language), such as Grinnell's CSC 161.
Drawing upon this background, Mr. Walker has devoted part of his current sabbatical leave to explore the use of simple robots, with the long-term goal of possibly using robots in CSC 161. This talk presents a status report on this work. Discussion will include hardware options and capabilities, programming options, available documentation, examples of working programs, challenges, and next steps.
Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). Mr. Walker's talk, “Programming robots: a status report,” will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!
Students interested in the topics of this talk are encouraged to contact Mr. Walker about the possibility of working in the field for Summer 2011 and [maybe] beyond.
This week in Computer Science Table, we're exploring a different side of things. In particular, we are considering some
under the hood issues in some common programming areas, such as strings, memory allocation, and databases.
Spolsky, Joel (2001, December 11). Back to Basics. Joel on Software. Web page at http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000319.html.
Some questions to think about for this meeting: How are strings represented internally in your favorite programming languages? If you had a choice of how to represent strings internally, what would you do? Are all versions of
malloc created equivalent? What flaws do you see in Spolsky's comments?
CS Table meets at noon on Fridays in JRC 224A. All are welcome. Computer science students and faculty are particularly encouraged to attend.
Computing has become widespread in today's society, largely because it helps people solve problems. However, different types of problems require fundamentally different approaches for problem solving. Computer science recognizes at least four problem-solving approaches as being fundamental to work in the discipline. Each approach involves a distinct way of thinking, and each is supported by a range of computer languages.
Grinnell's computer science curriculum explores several of these paradigms in the beginning courses:
Students with considerable background may take an accelerated introductory course, CSC 153, that covers the fundamentals of both CSC 151 and CSC 161 in a single semester.
Later courses build on this foundation to provide depth in each of these problem-solving paradigms and programming languages.