Programming Teams Win at Longwood Competition

Six members of the W&L Programming Club excelled at the annual Longwood Programming Competition, held October 19.  The two teams of three placed second and third out of 10 teams competing.

Team ArrayList, which placed second, included senior Richard Marmorstein ’14 and two first-years, Lauren Revere ’17 and Jamie White ’17.  Team UnlimitedCodeWorks placed third and included senior Garrett Koller ’14 and third-years Onye Ekenta ’15 and Samantha O’Dell ’15.

Plugging away: from left, Richard Marmorstein '14, Lauren Revere '17, Jamie White '17.
Plugging away: from left, Richard Marmorstein ’14,
Lauren Revere ’17, Jamie White ’17.

In such competitions, teams try to solve as many of the programming problems as possible in the least amount of time, fuelled by doughnuts and caffeine.  A solution consists of code that correctly executes for all possible correctly formatted inputs.  Both teams solved five of the seven possible problems. Longwood seniors Nick Pastore, Richie Noble, and first-year Andrew Brogan placed first in the contest.

The Programming Club at Washington and Lee is led by Alex Baca ’14.  The Club is now preparing for the imminent ACM Regionals competition, which will be held nationally at many sites on November 2. Go Generals!

CSCI Outreach: Middle-School Students Explore Robots, iPhone Apps

On Wednesday 23 May 2012, Lexington middle-school students supervised by Gifted Education Coordinator Kevin Kendall (pictured above, at right) joined Prof. Simon Levy (above, at left) for an afternoon of building iPhone / iPod Touch apps and learning about wirelessly-controlled robots and related issues. (Steve Goryl photo.)

T-Shirt Design Poll

We had three t-shirt design submissions. You can click on each design below to see it in a larger form and then vote for your favorite in the poll at the bottom of this entry.

Computer Scientist as The Ultimate Superhero
Best Major Ever
Computer Science is AWESOME
2009 T-Shirt Design

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 and original (we don’t want to worry about trademarks)!

Submission (subject to change): Send the images (in some commonly used format, like jpg, png, tiff) to Sara Sprenkle (sprenkles@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.

Spring-Term CSCI ‘bots invade Leyburn Library

This year’s W&L Spring-Term Festival took place in Leyburn Library, and the Computer Science Department was there in force: the twelve students enrolled in CSCI 250: Introduction to Robotics demonstrated robots that flew over obstacles, followed their creators around like a pet, played a game of Tron, and obeyed commands issued from an XBox Kinect sensor.  There was even some cross-project interference, as the Kinect-driven bot tried to steal the Rovipet’s beloved green ball.

CSCI 250 also featured a field trip to the Areva Nuclear Power facility in Lynchburg, where we got to see some bigger robots in action.

               

What Is IBM Jeopardy! Challenge?

W&L Computer Science students watched the first episode of the IBM Jeopardy! Challenge in the cozy Hillel House conference room, with large TV.  The CS department provided snacks, while the students provided the conversation and analysis of the game.  At the end of the episode, only the first round of Jeopardy! was played.  Brad Rutter and Watson were tied at $5k, while Ken Jennings had $2K.

Picture taken at the Viewing Party, using Apple's Photo Booth.

Congratulations CS Class of 2009

Anne, Alex, Nicole, Pasko, and Mariya
Anne, Alex, Nicole, Pasko, and Mariya

Congratulations CS class of 2009!  Way to go and good luck.

Seniors’ Conference Experiences

As previously posted, seniors Nicole Carter and Anne Van Devender were awarded scholarships to attend conferences earlier this month. Here is a brief summary of their conference experiences.

Nicole Carter’s Experience at the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing

Nicole in Oregon
Nicole in Portland, Oregon

I thought the conference was an amazing experience to see the types of projects that are taking place all over the country. There was definitely a great sense of pride of being a part of this growing conference which helps motivate and inspire students and faculty from different organizations and schools to work in computing or related fields.

Nicole and Chas
Networking at a conference is important! Nicole and Chas

The most interesting thing I learned was the current implementation of tele-immersive technology, which allows two people to dance in two different geographic locations and puts them in a virtual 3D space, which looks as if the people are really interacting. This topic was presented by Ruzena Bajcsy who is collaborating with UC-Berkley and Illinois-UC. This research was so fascinating because it gives new meaning to what it means to be in a space, especially when you are not really there.

The most interesting person I met was Prof. Andrew Williams who teaches at Spelman College. His family was so poor that his bed used to be a cardboard box, yet he still was motivated to go to grad school and get his Phd and was able to coach a winning all women robotics team at Spelman.

Anne Van Devender’s Experience at CHI (Computer-Human Interaction)


The conference was great. It really is amazing to see all of the great minds in HCI come together in one place. The whole thing was really inspiring. Just walking down the halls of the convention center, I saw people who I had read about in my HCI course or in Interactions magazine.

I think the most interesting event or talk has to fall into two separate categories: entertainment and interest. The most entertaining talk was on “The Status of Ethnography in Systems Design.” It was basically a debate on whether or not ethnography should be used for design. It was just these two groups presenting absurd powerpoints to argue their points. The most interesting talks to me were the ones on “Online Relationships” and “Computer-mediated Communication.” There is a lot of potential in each of those areas.

As for the most interesting person I met, I think just the graduate students in general. I would say 85% of the talks I went to were led by graduate students and that really surprised me. It was very exciting to see such impressive research being done by students!

Overall, the conference was a great experience and I think more W&L students should attend them so that they can see what research looks like!

CS Department Spring Picnic

Professor Lamber is hosting the CS Department’s Spring Picnic on Sunday, April 26. There will be plenty of food and games and good times!

The sign up sheet to attend is on the department office door.