In this our second spring edition of the newsletter included are short articles including an alumni corner, a current major spotlight, faculty notes, the planning schedule for next Fall, a featured computer wizard, the link to a movie featuring the computing concepts taught during our 2008 J-Term trip to Haiti, and a feature on the REU experience of Victoria Cooper.
On Tueday April 10 at 4:00 p.m. Prof. Rance Necaise from William & Mary gave our spring colloquium presentation on his research in parallel computing, "A Parallel Algorithm for Error-Diffusion on a CUDA GPU".
During the first week of May, Wednesday the 2nd starting at about 5:00 p.m, the department will host its spring bash - also referred to as our annual picnic. The menu will follow our recent tradition. Last year we had a wonderful alumni turn out. We hope many of you can join us and our current majors and minors at this end of the academic year celebration!
Research Day is Friday, May 11. The schedule has not been finalized but if recent history can be used our six graduating seniors, Mark Lotts, Victoria Cooper, Larry Ballance, Kevin Soltis, Nick Alaniz, and David Darwin, will give their capstone presentations starting at 8:00 a.m. The presentations in Copley 214.
The improvements to our lab space in Copley 216 are almost complete. This year the college funded the purchase of six new lab computers and a wonderful HDTV monitor for our projection system in the room. It was used for the instruction of the Junior Seminar, the Operating Systems course, and the Compiler Design course this year. It also serves as the home for our capstone seminar on coding theory.
Curriculum 2013 is taking form. It is likely to mean some interesting changes in our curriculum. Next Spring, Prof. Burrell is teaching an Honor's course on Android progamming with App Inventor. We expect to add mobile computing labs to some of our core courses in the near future. Next spring, Jeff Hague will use the new lab equipment purchased for our Networks course. The Junior Seminar in the fall will focus on software engineering tools, methodologies, and design patterns.
This has been a very enjoyable academic year. Teaching our introductory programming course in Python is always fun and complementing that with another offering of our junior seminar (topic: programming languages –Scheme, ML, Python, Prolog, and some sprinklings of C, Java, and Scala) only added to my enjoyment. Combine these interesting fall-semester classes with a friendly, hard-working group of students in the J-term course on C & Unix, and you see why I'm happy. And the spring semester is equally appealing—the second course in programming (Java), a course in compiler design, and a capstone seminar on coding theory. So, I'm just delighted to be thinking about stimulating topics this year. That's fun, eh?
Mark Lotts and I got word that the paper we wrote following our work together in the summer of 2010 has been accepted for publication in the Electronic Journal of Combinatorics. Once I finish making some format changes I’m hoping we'll see it on the web before long.
I must say that over the last four years it has been a great pleasure to work with our seniors, a wonderful graduating class of computer-science majors. Mark, Victoria, David, Nick, Larry, Kevin—thanks for your hard (generally excellent!) work, good efforts, and kind congeniality. We wish all of you lots of success and even more happiness in the future.
Our work on our CSCI 106 course materials project continues; a first draft of text-like notes and a couple of case studies are completed. In early March I attended the annual SIGCSE conference. I issued a large sigh as the conference ended. I had served as Associate Program Chair, Chair of Panel and Special Sessions, and a Session Chair. I guess I really didn't learn my lesson, I am serving as Track Chair for this fall's Informs conference. On March 30, I served as one of two program reviewers for the 10-year review of the Computer Science department at the University of Mary Washington. My joint work with Professors George Lowry and Ed Showalter from the Economics and Business department continues. I am developing a couple of software systems for their use in assessing the use of single word reinforcers. I've missed out on attending the last two conferences where our work was presented. I was also active as coordinator for Panels and Special Sessions for SIGCSE 2012 testing and editing my portion of the web site.
In addition, I worked with (as his supervisor) Larry Ballance on his SURF project which involved conjectures about splay trees. Immediately after the SURF Symposium I headed to New York and Connecticut for some rest and relaxation with friends and family.
And, now, for the best I have to offer - new pictures of my grandson Connor enjoying the only day this winter with enough snow to be on his very first tubing experience and my granddaughter Caitlin in her Easter finery - pretty awesome, but, then, I am a bit biased!