Thursday Extras

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

Thursday Extra 5/5: Increasing Access to STEM for Blind Students

Catie Baker from the University of Washington will talk about increasing access to STEM for blind students.

Thursday, May 5, 2016
4:15 pm in Science-3821
Snacks at 4 in the CS Commons.

This talk will focus on two of Baker's research projects. Tactile Graphics with a Voice (TGV) proposes an alternative to Braille labels on tactile graphics. Many people who are blind do not know Braille, and Braille is often too large to fit on the graphic anyway, so Baker's team proposes using QR codes instead, which can be read aloud by smartphones. They created a smartphone app which can provide guidance to a blind user to help them scan the QR codes. Baker will also present StructJumper, an Eclipse plugin which creates a hierarchical tree based on the nesting structure of a Java class. As screen readers are linear in nature, it can be difficult for a blind programmer to quickly skim or move around in the code. StructJumper presents a new way for blind programmers to navigate the code using its structure.

Thursday Extra on 2/11: Alumni Career Discussion

Thursday, February 11, 2016
4:15 pm in Noyce 3821

Visit with four CS alumni: Ian Young '08, Cassie Koomjian '05, Jonathan Koomjian '03, and Wes Beary '05. Each will give a short overview of their post-Grinnell careers, and then they will answer questions from students.

Refreshments at 4:00 in the CS Commons (Noyce 3817), followed by the discussion at 4:15 in Noyce 3821.

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