Tenure Track Position, Starting Fall 2015

The department is looking for a new faculty member who shares our passions for teaching, scholarship, and mentoring students. Further information can be found at http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/prospective-faculty/tenure-track-2014-ad and http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/prospective-faculty/overview. Materials should be submitted by November 8, 2014.

Reminder: csstudents mailing list

Do you get all of your news about CS at Grinnell from the Web site, from class announcements, or from conversations with friends? If so, you may be missing out on some things. The department maintains a mailing list of folks interested in CS at Grinnell. In addition to the announcements you see here, the mailing list includes notes from the Student Educational Policy Committee (SEPC) about events they've scheduled; information about internships, jobs, and other opportunities that the CS faculty have received and want to pass along; and a variety of other useful bits of information. I expect that Grinnell's student ACM chapter will also use the mailing list to communicate their many exciting new activities.

All CS majors should automatically be on the list, but it is also open to all interested students. If you would like to be on the "csstudents" mailing list, send an email to Sam Rebelsky, rebelsky@grinnell.edu, and he'll get you added.

An Opportunity to Contribute Translations to Ushahidi

This semester, we are using Ushahidi as a platform in section one of CSC 207. Ushahidi is an open-source crowdmapping program that was originally designed for monitoring election violence in Kenya. Its design allows anonymous posting of geolocated events (with optional pictures), using Web, SMS, and more. Since its original design, Ushahidi has been used for a wide range of things, from mapping potholes in LA to burger joints in Germany to emergency response needs during some recent floods in Canada. We've even started a few soon-to-be-announced projects on campus using Ushahidi.

The folks at Ushahidi want to make sure that it's available to anyone. And so they are working on making sure that translations of the platform are available in most languages. Information on the translation project is available at https://wiki.ushahidi.com/display/WIKI/Localization+and+Translation+-+How+to. The list of languages and their status can be found at https://www.transifex.com/projects/p/ushahidi-localizations/.

Grinnell College CS has a strong commitment to free and open source software (FOSS), and we encourage our students to help with FOSS projects as they are able. If you have the knowledge to contribute to this translation project, please consider doing so.

Opening Computer Science Table of 2014-2015

On Friday, 29 August 2014 at 12:10 in JRC 224A, we have the first CS table of the year. As is the norm, our opening meeting will be a chance for people to chat about what they did over the summer and for us to make plans about readings for the year. If you have suggestions, please bring them with you or send them to rebelsky@grinnell.edu in advance. As is usual, we will try to create an appropriate mix of classic papers and new articles.

Computer science 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 Fridays at noon in the Day PDR. Contact Sam Rebelsky for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department.

Congratulations to our graduates!

The Computer Science majors of the class of 2014 are:
  • Chukwunweike T. Abuah
  • Aaltan Ahmad
  • Andrew Lee Clark
  • Nediyana Vesseliova Daskalova (with honors)
  • Peter A. Dixon
  • David M. Fong
  • David Robert Hanle
  • Yasmina Lembachar
  • Maijid Fiifi Moujaled (with honors)
  • Jennelle Kathleen Nystrom (with honors; Alumni Association Senior Award)
  • Erik Opavsky
  • Hart Crane Russell
  • Prashanna Sharma Tiwaree
  • Colin Joseph Tremblay (with honors)
  • Benjamin Edwin Wagnon
Congratulations to all!

Video presentation: "Here's how we take back the Internet"

On Thursday, May 1, a video recording of a recent talk by Edward Snowden, “Here's how we take back the Internet,” will be presented. Mr. Snowden is a former system administrator for the National Security Agency who resigned last May in order to expose widespread violations of civil rights and other abuses of power in the NSA.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The presentation, “ Here's how we take back the Internet,” will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Computer Science Table: Privacy in the age of big data and analytics

At this week's Computer Science Table (at noon on Friday, April 18, in Rosenfield 224A), we will discuss privacy in the age of big data and analytics, and specifically the issues are raised in two videos (one recent, one classic):

“Demo: Big data and analytics at work in banking”
IBM Big Data and Analytics, YouTube, September 7, 2013
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RYKgj-QK4I

“Scary pizza”
American Civil Liberties Union, YouTube, January 15, 2009
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33CIVjvYyEk

For more extensive discussions of some of these issues, you might want to read:

“Big data and the future of privacy”
John Podesta, whitehouse.gov, March 3, 2014
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/01/23/big-data-and-future-privacy

“Comments of the Electronic Privacy Information Center to the Office of Science and Technology Policy: Request for information: Big data and the future of privacy”
Electronic Privacy Information Center, April 4, 2014
https://epic.org/privacy/big-data/EPIC-OSTP-Big-Data.pdf

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.

Thursday Extra: Augmenting reality with Kindle and iPhone

On Thursday, April 17, Charlie Eddy 2016 will present a talk describing his recent work in reality augmentation using the Kindle and the iPhone.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The presentation will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Monday Extra: "Bluetooth communications with Scribbler 2 robots"

On Monday, April 14, Spencer Liberto 2014 and Professor Henry Walker will present a progress report on a project that Mr. Liberto worked on last fall, in collaboration with Dilan Ustek 2013 and Jordan Yuan 2015, under Professor Walker's direction:

Since fall 2011, CSC 161 has utilized Scribbler 2 robots as an application theme, with the software infrastructure based on a C++ package available from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Although the C++ infrastructure has worked well, it is not very portable to other platforms, and this limits the range of institutions that can use the CSC 161 materials developed here. To address this issue, Mr. Walker worked with three students in fall 2013 to begin rewriting the C++ infrastructure in Standard C. This talk will outline the substantial progress made during fall 2013 and propose a subsequent MAP to the complete the Standard C infrastructure during fall 2014.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The presentation, “Bluetooth communications with Scribbler 2 robots: a progress report,” will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Computer Science Table (Friday, April 11, 2014): Lambda expressions in Java 8

As you may have heard, one of the new features of Java 8 is the introduction of anonymous functions (which everyone calls “lambda expressions,” even though there's no lambda in the syntax). This Friday at CS Table, we will explore Java 8's anonymous functions. Here are a few readings you might read or skim in advance of the discussion:

Horstmann, Cay S. “Lambda expressions in Java 8.” Dr Dobb's journal, March 25, 2014.

Weiss, Tal. “The dark side of lambda expressions in Java 8.” The Takipi blog, March 25, 2014.

You may also want to explore the formal tutorial on lambdas:

Oracle. “Lambda expressions.” The Java tutorials, 2014.

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.

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