CSPC 401. 01/12/2010

January 12th, 2010
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mastermark/ / CC BY-NC 2.0
Programming languages, mostly

On the first day we distributed the syllabus and discussed several programming paradigms with demonstrations of using ml and prolog on paprika.umw.edu. All of this is available through links on the web page for January 12, 2002 on the accessible from the CPSC 401 home page.

We won’t have class on Thursday, January 14, 2010. I will be a Higher Education Advocacy Day in Richmond, VA.

For next Tuesday, read Chapters 1 through 4 of the text. You’ll find that the material in Chapters 2 and 3 is very similar to the concepts we discussed in CPSC 336 regarding grammars, syntax, and semantics. Turn in solutions to the following exercises.  Send them to Ackermann by email.

  • Page 24. Exercise 1. h,i,j,k
  • Page 25. Exercise 2 corresponding to h,i,j,k of Exercise 1
  • Page 25. Exercise 3 corresponding to h,i,j,k of Exercise 1
  • Page 39 and 40. Exercise 1
  • Page 40. Exercise 3
  • page 40. Exercise 4.

Finally, please read Chapter 4 for class on Tuesday so that you are prepared to discuss IDEs for two different languages, the terms:

  • virtual machine
  • delayed linking
  • profiling
  • dynamic compilation,

and so that we can go over answers to exercises 2 and 3 of Chapter 4.

As always, send me you comments and questions.

The effective exploitation of his powers of abstraction must be regarded as one of the most vital activities of a competent programmer.

Obama – Biden visit to UMW the night before

September 26th, 2008

We went to the UMW campus in Fredericksburg tonight to see the arrangements in place for the visit by Obama and Biden tomorrow, on Saturday. We were there a little after 7 PM and it looked like there was still a bit of last-minute work being done.

Ball circle has been transformed from a large open space to one divided into areas for the press, a podium with stadium seating behind, and a contained region for the crowds. There is a very large US flag on the front of Ball Hall. 

Estimates tonight are for 10,000 or more even with the forecast for rain. It looks like there is a relatively small area around the podium. The podium is in front of Virginia Hall and facing Ball Hall. See the map at http://www.umw.edu/visitors/directions/documents/Updatedmap.pdf

As you face the podium there is a larger open area on the left. Rented fences all around Ball Circle. It looks like they are going to try to contain the crowd in there, or maybe they will fill the area first and then remove the fencing. The term barricade might be better to describe the fencing. See http://www.statewiderentafence.com/services.html

Questions my students ask me (1)

September 8th, 2008

ruins at arlesI’ve been giving my students the opportunity to ask me questions using an online form.  It seems natural to turn this into a series where I can post the questions and answers.  So here goes.

From students in Introduction to Computer Science, CPSC 110.

questions For Ackermann: How long have you been teaching? Have you always taught at a college level? What is your favorite thing to do outside of class?

I taught HS from Jan – June 1969, and then I taught at Rhode Island College from Sept 1969 – May 1970. That settled it for me. I wanted to do nothing else except teach at a college. I returned to Penn State and got a PhD in Mathematics. I taught mathematics at Muhlenberg College form 1974 – 1978, I taught Computer Science at Gustavus Adolphus College form 1978 – 1980, and came here in 1980. So I’ve been teaching at colleges for about 35 years. Wow! That’s a long time. (Thanks for reminding me how old I am 🙂 )
Outside of class I like to ride my bike, garden, cook, and hang out with my family. unfortunately our kids live in Brooklyn and we don’t get to see them that much.
questions For Ackermann: Will our tests be on paper or taken on computers?

 On paper.

questions For Ackermann: What is your favorite type of cereal?

Homemade Crunchy Granola
2 3/4 cups rolled oats
lots of other nuts and seeds, 1/4 cup each. I use walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds & sesame seeds. 
2 tbls oil (I use olive oil), 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 tsp vanilla. Heat these together until they are all soft & blended.
Mix this with the oats, nuts  & seeds
Put it all on a cookie sheet and heat slowly with frequent attention at 350-375
All ingredients should be organic and fair-trade where possible.

questions For Ackermann: With python are you able to write programs that have visual aspects and are you able to create a simple game with it?

 Heck yeah. We’ll be doing graphics in chapter 5.
I copied your question to a friend & former student who is a software developer in California. He said “ I’ve used http://www.wxwidgets.org/ in C++ before, but there’s a python interface to it too.”

Blogs with Web site annotations

April 15th, 2008

The list as of Tuesday morning, April 15, 2008:

Homework due April 15, 2008

April 8th, 2008

fountain Montreal

From Chapter 6,
pages 193 – 193 problems 3 – 5. Prepare written answers

CPSC 110 Blogroll, April 4, 2008

April 4th, 2008

sp125.jpgMore student’s blogs added to the blogroll for this blog. Here is the current list.

U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 4011
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 2
Total 4013

DoD Confirmation List

Latest Coalition Fatality: Apr 03, 2008

Source Iraqi Coalition Casualty Count

Blog Roll – April 3, 2008

April 3rd, 2008

fountain Montreal
The list of blogs from students in CPSC 110, Section 05 is getting longer. Here is the current list.

Ann McIntyre has added a neat cartoon about Python programming in her post “Hello World,” http://compsci110.umwblogs.org/2008/04/02/hello-world/

Python cartoons might be a good topic for a collection.

U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 4010
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 2
Total 4012

DoD Confirmation List
Latest Coalition Fatality: Mar 31, 2008

Source: Iraqi Coalition Casualty Count

CPSC 110 Blogroll – April 1 2008

April 1st, 2008

fountain Montreal

Students in my CPSC 110 class are creating blogs at http://umwblogs.org to post their annotated Web site listings. I’m putting links to their blogs in my blogroll.

Here is the list so far

U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 4007
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 5
Total 4012

DoD Confirmation ListLatest Coalition Fatality: Mar 31, 2008

Source: Iraqi Coalition Casualty Count

CPSC 110 Xtra Credit

April 1st, 2008

self-portraitThe scores on the second test in CPSC 110 weren’t so great so I’m giving the students in the class an opportunity to get some extra test-points.

The idea is to give 0,1, or 2 points for discovering and annotating Web sites in one or two topic areas. At most 20-test points may be amassed this way.

Suggestions for topics

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Careers in Computer Science
  • Computer/Electronic games – not a list of games, but sites that discuss the creation, study, and nature of the games
  • Computer graphics – sites that provide information/discussion about the nature of computer graphics or the state of the area.
  • Computer Networks
  • Cyber Security
  • Electronic Commerce
  • Electronic Communication
  • Electronic Learning
  • Information Infrastructure
  • Intellectual property – issues related to the establishment, protection, and sharing
  • Knowledge Management
  • Privacy as related to digital/electronic activities
  • Robotics
  • Ubiquitous computing
  • Web 2.0
  • Web site design and implementation
  • Robotics

Places to find reliable Web sites

The Annotated Listing

Start with the title of the site
Then an image of a portion or the home page for the site

A paragraph or two, 100 – 200 words that describe the purpose, features, and significance/importance of the Web site.

A bibliographic reference consisting of the title of the site, the URL for the site, the name of the author or sponsoring organization, and date it was visited.

The annotated listing is to be posted at umwblogs.org