Honors Section (CSE 390HA)

Tuesdays, 5:00-6:20pm, in CSE 403

Instructor: Zorah Fung (zorahf@cs.washington.edu)

This quarter, we are offering an honors section for students who are interested in exploring additional topics related to technology and computer science. This is a one-unit, CR/NC course that will be offered in a seminar setting. Sessions will consist of group discussions about various topics and ideas along with some activities. There will be a small amount of homework prior to each session, primarily readings or videos that will be discussed in class. Students must attend eight (8) of the ten (10) scheduled sessions and participate in all discussions and activities to receive credit.

Each week, we will discuss various topics related to computer science. Our sessions will mostly relate to the societal and cultural impacts of technology and CS, and some exploration of some technical concepts. This course is NOT an opportunity to learn more programming or add more "rigor" to 142, nor is any background or familiarity with computer science required. This is an opportunity to think about computer science and other related topics in a broader context.

In this course, we will be reading chapters from 9 Algorithms The Changed The Future by John MacCormick

Week 10 (12/4): Industry Panel; What's Next?

For the last class, we had a panel of past UW students who are now working in various technical jobs in the industry. Thank you so much for a great quarter!

Week 9 (11/27): AmazonGo and Tech Culture in Seattle and the Bay Area

In this week's class we discussed the AmazonGo store and what we think about it, as well as discusses tech culture and the environment in Seattle and the Bay Area.

Homework for next section:

  • None! We'll be doing a career panel with various former UW CSE students. Come prepared with questions!

Week 8 (11/20): Technology's impact on social beahvior

In this week's class we answered a series of PollEverywhere questions ranging from the amount of time we spend on our phones, whether we feel dependent on them, how texting has impacted our language and how we feel about interacting with strangers.

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Week 7 (11/13): Q&A with Brett!

This week, Brett covered the class, got to know some of you and sharedsome of the things he's excited about.

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Week 6 (11/6): Technology and Politics

In this class we talked about the voting process -- what our personal experiences were and whether we think casting votes should be done via paper or technology. We also discussed whether it's okay for tech compancies to express their political beliefs using their platform.

Mentioned in class

Homework for next section:

  • None! Brett will be covering this class, and you'll generally just get to know him and he'll share things he's excited about. Think about some questions you may want to ask him.

Week 5 (10/30): Artificial Intelligence

In this class we did an exercise where we tried to identify poem as either human-authored or written by a machine. We also discussed the value of human-generated art vs machine-generated art, what is intelligence and whether or not that question is important.

Mentioned in class

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Week 4 (10/23): Machine Learning

Review on Reading: What are the Nearest Neighbors algorithm, Decision Trees and Neural Networks? Biases in Machine Learning Outputs

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Week 3 (10/16): Public Key Cryptography; Privacy; Security

Review on Reading: How does public key cryptopgraphy work? Is it a company's responsibility to release or protect its data about people?

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Week 2 (10/9): Search Indexing, PageRank and Google's Impact on Our Beliefs and Behaviors

Review on Reading: How does Search Indexing and Page Rank work? Google's filter bubble and its responsibilities to address it.

Interesting Links and related reading to what was mentioned in class:

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Week 1 (10/2): Welcome!

Course Overview; Get To Know; What is a computer? What is computer science?

Homework for next section: