W&L Computer Science Blog

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An Algorithm for Fun!

In Wednesday’s CSCI111: Fundamental of Programming I class, the students wrote an algorithm for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.   Fellow student Jean Paul Mugabe ’14 then attempted to make a PB&J sandwich using their algorithm.  The students could not make any assumptions about what Jean Paul knew, and Jean Paul did exactly what they told him to do in the algorithm.

Jean Paul Mugabe '14 follows the class's PB&J algorithm, while Professor Sara Sprenkle asks questions. As you can see, the class did not tell Jean Paul to remove the peanut butter jar's safety seal, so he stuck the knife through the safety seal.

This exercise illustrates the importance of having unambiguous programming languages because computers cannot infer what we’re telling it to do.  The exercise also motivates some important properties of algorithms, such as what data and operations we have available, naming, ordering steps, handling special cases, looping, and subroutines.

CSCI Flies High at the Spring Term Fair

W&L Computer Science presented results from two new spring-term courses at the Spring Term Fair on 21 May 2010. Professor Sara Sprenkle’s CSCI 335: Software Engineering through Web Applications featured a much-needed revision to W&L’s daily Campus Notices, and Prof Simon Levy’s CSCI 251: iPhone Application Development debuted some student-authored apps.  This video, courtesy of Professor Ken Lambert, shows senior Sam Reed ’10 flying a prototype AR.Drone quad-rotor helicopter from an iPad.  Sam’s work enabled flying the drone to from this new tablet device, and projecting the image from the drone’s camera to a video screen via the iPad.

Winning T-Shirt Design

Designed by Senior Anne Van Devender:

We’re getting the t-shirts from The Graphic Cow Company.

Anne Van Devender Teaches Middle School Girls

841300191Senior Anne Van Devender teaches girls from Maury River Middle School Computer Science.  As a member of WITS (Women in Technology and Science),  Anne introduced the girls to the basics of HTML through creating their own web pages.

T-Shirt Design Competition

The Computer Science Department is having a t-shirt design competition!

Rules (subject to change):

  • short or long-sleeve t-shirt
  • one color printed on a solid color t-shirt
  • options for printing are front/back/sleeve (probably only 2 of those 3)
  • keep it clean!

Submission (subject to change): Send the images (in some commonly used format, like jpg, png, tiff) to Derek Pinkham (pinkhamd@wlu.edu)   Include explanation, if necessary, such as which image is on the front and which is on the back.

Please let us know if you have any other ideas/suggestions.  You’ve been coming up with some great ones!