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Avvisi, week of Sep 25

Cornell university has a problem meeting the demand for computer science classes.  And they’re not the only university.  It’s a problem across the US, UK, and many other countries.  The Cornell Daily Sun posted a well written article about the issue and how Cornell is dealing with it. A lovely quote from Nikita Gupta, interviewed for the article, is:

“The one thing that really excites me about computer science is that I can go into any industry and know that a software engineering role will be needed,” Gupta said. “I can go into fashion, I can go into food, I can go into social service, I can go for the consumable hardware products.”

We’ve remodeled the Map case over on the right.  If you’re in Esab, you won’t notice this difference, yet.  But those of you in the Village of Cigol should now see an additional map over there.  If you don’t see it, please check in with Loremaster Rellim about it.

None of you are quite there, yet, but when you leave the “N00b” label behind and become N00bLords or higher, you’ll have a new privilege: set your own custom Avatar image.  As soon as you achieve N00bLord, you’re eligible to purchase this access in the Exchange.  It may take the Loremasters up to a day to notice the purchase, then your access should be enabled.  You’ll have a new section near the bottom of your profile settings in which you can upload your preferred avatar image.  Enjoy!

Bebras challenge coming up!

The Bebras challenge is a set of computer science questions that test your abilities at computational thinking.  These are the core skills of computer science, no matter which language you use.

The Bebras challenge doesn’t use language programming; instead it asks you to solve problems using the same types of skills you’d use when programming: abstraction, iteration, recursion, decomposition, algorithm formation, and so on.

The challenge will officially open in November, but you can practice your skills now with some early challenges.  We’ll have official logins later, to save your 2016 Challenge work.  This is for practice, to hone your skills.

Challenge me

Avvisi, week of Sep 18th

Phys.org posted a couple interesting articles this week. One of these is about a new programming language called Milk that helps with Big Data problems.

 

Sometimes the old ways are the best: a second article at phys.org shares that a 40-year-old algorithm has been mathematically proven to be the best at solving the problem it addresses.

 

Reminder:  Last class your semi-weekly self reflection post in the Codex was due. If you didn’t post then, be sure to post one right away.

Notes

HS morning announcements, in case you missed them

 

Bebras challenge coming up!

The Bebras challenge is a set of computer science challenge questions that test your abilities at computational thinking.  These are the core skills of computer science, no matter which language you use.

The Bebras challenge doesn’t use language programming; instead it asks you to solve problems using the same types of skills you’d use when programming: abstraction, iteration, recursion, decomposition, algorithm formation, and so on.

The challenge will officially open in Novemeber, but you can practice your skills now with some early challenges.

I'm interested

Avvisi, week of September 4th

I‘ve added the city map to your map case sidebar (over on the right).  This should make it easier to jump directly to the quests you’re working on at the moment.

 

Below is an excerpt from Eric Raymond’s classic essay, “How to become a Hacker.”  It’s well worth reading all the way through, but especially section 2, “Basic Hacking Skills.”

 

Should this be this OK? Google can now guess, pretty accurately, where a picture was taken, just by looking at it.  Their tool could strip even more privacy away from individuals.  Is this an OK thing?  Should we be talking, as a society, about what privacy individuals should be assured?

 

Important!  It’s time for your next semi-weekly self reflection post in the Codex.

Notes

HS morning announcements, in case you missed them

Repeat: Art and math and science, oh my!

How to become a Hacker

“…I often get email requests from enthusiastic network newbies asking (in effect) “how can I learn to be a wizardly hacker?”. Back in 1996 I noticed that there didn’t seem to be any other FAQs or web documents that addressed this vital question, so I started this one. A lot of hackers now consider it definitive, and I suppose that means it is.”

“The Jargon File contains a bunch of definitions of the term ‘hacker’, most having to do with technical adeptness and a delight in solving problems and overcoming limits. If you want to know how to become a hacker, though, only two are really relevant.

There is a community, a shared culture, of expert programmers and networking wizards that traces its history back through decades to the first time-sharing minicomputers and the earliest ARPAnet experiments. The members of this culture originated the term ‘hacker’. Hackers built the Internet. Hackers made the Unix operating system what it is today. Hackers make the World Wide Web work. If you are part of this culture, if you have contributed to it and other people in it know who you are and call you a hacker, you’re a hacker.

The hacker mind-set is not confined to this software-hacker culture. There are people who apply the hacker attitude to other things, like electronics or music — actually, you can find it at the highest levels of any science or art. Software hackers recognize these kindred spirits elsewhere and may call them ‘hackers’ too — and some claim that the hacker nature is really independent of the particular medium the hacker works in.”

The Hacker Attitude

1. The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved.
2. No problem should ever have to be solved twice.
3. Boredom and drudgery are evil.
4. Freedom is good.
5. Attitude is no substitute for competence.
Read more

Codechef Sept Challenge

There is a great competition over in India each year called CodeChef.  Even better, all their materials, including the questions and the feedback, are online.  These are puzzles for serious computer science students, so they’re not particularly easy, but if you’re interested in the subject for the long term, CodeChef is a good site to keep your eye on.  You’ll know you’ve really hit your stride as a computer scientists when you start solving their puzzles regularly.

Check it out
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