UMM’s MICS papers and slide decks are on-line

In case anyone’s looking for a little light summer reading to take to the beach, the papers and slide decks for this year’s five UMM MICS presentations are now all posted on the UMM CSci wiki:

  • “Analysis of genetic programming ancestry using a graph database” by David Donatucci, Kirbie Dramdahl, and Nic McPhee
  • “Exploration of parallelization efficiency in the Clojure programming language” by Henry Fellows, Joe Einertson, and Elena Machkasova
  • “Applying machine learning to energy usage” by Andrew Latterner
  • “Adopting Node.js and Coffeescript in a software design course” by Maxwell Marti
  • “Developing a graphical library for a Clojure-based introductory CS course” by Paul Schliep, Max Magnuson, and Elena Machkasova

This includes the winner of second place in the student best paper competition (Donatucci & Dramdahl), but all five presentations and projects were really cool.


Christian Borden (’00) to visit Morris

Christian Borden, CSci & Physics '00

Christian Borden, CSci & Physics ’00

Christian Borden (CSci & Physics, ’00) will be coming to campus this week (Wed/Thurs, 2/3 Apr) as part of the Science and Math Visiting Alumni Program – a program where the Science and Math Division brings cool alums back to campus to share stories and network.

There were will be a number of opportunities to meet with Chris while he’s here, including two talks. There will be a general audience talk Wednesday (2 Apr) at 7pm in Sci 1020:

“From Modeling Air Pollution to Predicting Third-world Regional Stability: Using Computer Science and Physics to Solve Real-world Problems”

Christian Borden graduated with degrees in Computer Science and Physics from University of Minnesota, Morris in 2000 and then went on to get a Master’s of Computer Science in 2003 from Michigan Technological University. He started his career at Signature Research Inc. as a Research Scientist where he developed thermal modeling capabilities, device interfaces and physics-based rendering systems for next-generation electro-optical sensor systems. The second chapter of his career is currently taking place at Atmospheric and Environmental Research Inc. As Senior Manager for the Mission Planning Technologies group, he integrates environmental models, a broad spectrum of scientific research, and cutting edge software technology to produce weather impact tools for decision makers in the government and private sector industries.

There will also be a more science-y talk (“Developing and Integrating Environmental Models for Applied Research”) Thursday evening at 6:30pm, also in Sci 1020. This will be provide a somewhat more technical overview of the modeling and simulation work that Chris does, and should be a neat opportunity to hear (and ask questions) about some cool applications of science.

This is a great opportunity to meet a cool alum who’s doing some very interesting work, so definitely get these talks on your calendar.

There will also be an open pizza lunch with students at noon on Thursday, and we’ll be hosting a special “open” CSci Tea on Thursday open to students all across the Science and Math Division (and campus), so feel free to invite friends who might be interested.

Definitely share this with any other students that you think might be interested.

If you have any questions, definitely get in touch!

31st semi-annual senior seminar conference is tomorrow (Saturday, 7 Dec)!

‘Tis the season once again, and Saturday, 7 Dec, is the Thirty-first semi-annual CSci Senior Seminar conference, and that evening is will be the CSci potluck. Come along and join us!

The conference will be from 1-3:30pm in Sci 1020:
  • John McCall – “Zero knowledge compilers” (1-1:30pm)
  • Emma Ireland – “Intrusion detection with genetic algorithms and fuzzy logic” (1:30-2pm)
  • Andrew Latterner – “Computing polarity in sentiment analysis applications” (2-2:30pm)
  • Phou Lee – “Bot detection in online games” (2:30-3pm)
  • Chris Thomas – “An overview of the current state of the test-first vs. test-last debate” (3-3:30pm)
All CSci majors are strongly encouraged to attend as many of these conferences as possible. It really helps you understand what happens in senior seminar and better prepare you for that important experience, and it’s a cool opportunity to learn about some really interesting research in the field.
Friends, family, and interested parties are all welcome to join us.
There will also be a potluck at 7pm at Nic McPhee & Susan Gilbert’s house, and all CSci folks, friends, and family are invited to come celebrate the wrap-up of another fine semester. Our house is a 20-30 minute walk from campus and we have a friendly cat so be warned if you have allergies.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all both at the conference and at the potluck! Hang in there as we roll towards the end of the semester :-)

“Building Fast, Modern Web Applications with Node.js”, next in Bits ‘n’ Bytes series

Photo of Joe Einertson during his internship at Fog Creek Software, Summer 2013.

Coming up next in our Bits ‘n’ Bytes series: “Building Fast, Modern Web Applications with Node.js” by Joe Einertson. Joe’s a UMM CSci senior who spent the summer working for Fog Creek Software in NYC doing JavaScript/ CoffeeScript development for their Trello tool. He also spent Spring semester at the University of Oslo, which afforded him the opportunity to travel around Europe, so there are lots of stories to tell.

Joe’s talk is Wednesday, 30 Oct, at 8pm in Sci 1020. There will be snacks, so come on down!

People have wondered if there might be video of the talk, either live or available on-line after the fact. We’re not sure about that at the moment, but we’re looking into it and will report back if we work something out.

P.S. If you think you might be interested in a summer internship at Fog Creek, they’re currently accepting applications for next summer, and I bet Joe would be willing to give you some pointers if you ask nice.

Startup weekend in Sioux Falls, 15-17 Nov

What, oh what to do after graduation? Getting a job at a big company with rows and rows of cubicles is one option, and often a very good one. And while it’s often the most visible option, it’s not the only option. In three weeks you’ll have a cool opportunity to explore some alternatives at Startup Weekend Sioux Falls.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

So this would be a great opportunity to meet cool people, see what’s involved in the whole gamut of creating a company out of an idea, and explore in a meaningful but low-risk way the world of start-ups and entrepreneurship. You don’t have to feel like an entrepreneur or have an idea for a start-up. You don’t even have to any particular feeling that you want to be involved in a start-up. But if you’re curious and want to perhaps open (or at least peek through) some new doors, it sounds like a great opportunity.


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Morris team takes 2nd at 2013 Digi-Key Collegiate Computing Competition!

Just heard that a UMM team has once again placed in the annual Digi-Key Collegiate Computing Competition in Thief River Falls. The Five Musketeers (MK Dramdahl, Alex Gunness, Max Magnuson, and David Pagel) took second in this year’s competition. Their fine work netted them individual prize valued at $200 plus $3000 for the CSci discipline to use to support important things like student conference participation.

Well done and big congratulations!

Papers for the Fall 2012 Computer Science Senior Seminar Conference

If you’re interested in checking out the papers for this semester’s Computer Science Senior Seminar conference, they’re now available on the wiki. Any Gold Stars that are awarded will be noted there after the conference, and hopefully the speakers will share their slides there after the conference as well.