Exploration Sessions

Thursdays, 4:30-5:20pm, in BAG 131

Each week we will offer a different opportunity to explore extra topics in computer science. You will accumulate one "exploration point" for each week that you attend the lecture. At the end of the quarter, your total exploration points will be divided by 3 and will be added to your homework points. There will be approximately 150 homework points total, so this isn't adding a lot to your potential score. As an example, if you were to participate in 3 exploration sessions, you would have 1 point added to your homework points, which is like getting one more point on a weekly programming assignment. The idea is to give people a small reward, but not something that is so large that people feel obligated to participate in these optional sessions. You can get fractions of a point (e.g., getting two-thirds of a point for attending 2 sessions).

Please come prepared to listen to and ask questions of the guest speaker. We have a strict no-laptop policy in these sessions. If you are using a laptop, you will be asked to put it away or leave.

This schedule is subject to change. We will send an announcement email the day before each session with information about the topic for that session.

Week 11: No session - Thursday, December 6 from 4:30-5:20 in BAG 131

Week 10: What's next? - Thursday, November 29 from 4:30-5:20 in BAG 131

  • We are approaching the end of the quarter! Join us for a talk about ways to continue to pursue your interests in Computer Science. We will talk about other exploration session type talks you can attend after the course, other CSE courses to take in the future, resources for you to explore and try out on your own, and more in this session.
  • Recording
  • Slides

Week 9: No session - Thursday, November 22 from 4:30-5:20 in BAG 131

Week 8: No BS CS Career Talk - Thursday, November 15 from 4:30-5:20 in BAG 131

  • What does it take to get an internship? What is it like when you're a full-time tech employee? How can you avoid the most common mistakes of recent college grads? UW alumni and former 14x TAs Kim Nguyen (a program manager) and Kasey Champion (a software engineer) have 3 engineering degrees and plenty of advice for how to not only find your place in tech, but how to get ahead. This will be an informal discussion on how to apply and general CS career talk with plenty of Q & A.
  • Recording

Week 7: CS Experience Student Q/A Panel - Thursday, November 8 from 4:30-5:20 in BAG 131

  • We will have a panel of students (former/current TAs, researchers, CS majors, etc.) who will speak on their experience with Computer Science. We will hear about what they have done here at UW, research they have gotten involved in, internships they have done and more. Not long ago these students were where you were taking the introductory programming series. This is a great opportunity to ask some questions you may have or to seek some advice!
  • Recording

Week 6: No session - Thursday, November 1 from 4:30-5:20 in BAG 131

Week 5: Cybersecurity - Thursday, October 25 from 4:30-5:20 in BAG 131

  • What does it mean to have a security mindset? What can we do to make programs secure? What does hacking something really look like? Join us for a talk on introducing topics of security in Computer Science.
  • Recording

Week 4: Programming Languages - Thursday, October 18 from 4:30-5:20 in BAG 131

  • We have been learning Java, but there are so many other programming languages out there. What makes these languages different? Why use one over the other? Join us tomorrow for an exploration of several different programming languages and what makes them special.
  • Recording

Week 3: Binary - Thursday, October 11 from 4:30-5:20 in BAG 131

  • You might be familiar with the fact that computers are filled with 1's and 0's. But when you interact with a computer, you see a whole lot more than binary code -- so where are all those 1's and 0's hiding? In this session we will explore what binary is and how it makes your computer work
  • Recording
  • Secret message activity (requires Processing)

Week 2: What is a computer? - Thursday, October 4 from 4:30-5:20 in BAG 131

  • Computers have invaded every corner of our lives -- you probably have a personal computer, and you almost certainly have a smartphone in your pocket. But have you ever stopped to think about what a computer actually is? What differentiates a computer from other types of machines? We'll talk about the formal definition of a computer, and why computer scientists are interested in these questions.
  • Recording
  • Slides
  • Surprising Turing Completeness
  • JFLAP Turing Machine Simulator
  • Explanation of Halting Problem Proof

Week 1: No Session