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Exploration Sessions

Thursdays, 4:30-5:30pm, in GUG 220

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

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 9: Making with a Social Purpose - Thursday, March 5th from 4:30-5:20 in GUG 220

Speaker: Jon Froehlich

  • I am an Allen School faculty member at the University of Washington where I direct the Makeability Lab. The goal of our research is to develop interactive tools and techniques that address pressing global challenges -- so-called 'wicked' problems -- in areas such as environmental sustainability, accessibility, and education. In this talk, I will describe a few major threads of research in accessibility and STEM learning. The first thread examines how to make the physical world more accessible for people with disabilities. The second thread explores how wearables and augmented reality can be designed to promote and engage children in life-relevant, personally meaningful STEM learning experiences.

Week 8: Building Beautiful Apps with Google's Flutter - Thursday, February 27th from 4:30-5:20 in GUG 220

Speaker: Andrew Fitz Gibbon

  • During the day (and often at night, too) Andrew Fitz Gibbon -- aka Fitz -- is a Developer Advocate for Google. Last quarter, he was also the lecturer for CSE154, a role he'll reprise again this spring. His career in tech has been broad, covering everything from backend infrastructure to cloud and containers to mobile app development. Currently, Fitz's focus is formulating fun Flutter functions for which future figures may forge fantastic forms. Flutter is Google's toolkit for building cross-platform apps. Using Dart, a language that's like a cross between Java, JavaScript, and C#, Flutter allows developers to build apps that run natively on a variety of platforms. In this talk, a Google Developer Advocate for Flutter will teach us the fundamentals of Flutter and how to quickly build beautiful apps.
  • Slides
  • Recording

Week 7: Computer Ethics - Thursday, February 20th from 4:30-5:20 in GUG 220

Speaker: Jared Moore

  • Be it social media platforms, robots, or big data systems, the code students write -- the decisions they make -- influences the world in which it operates. In this talk, I'll both touch on those influences and how to think about them. We'll draw from critical perspectives on the use of technology and historical and local issues in tech, particularly those concerning data. In so doing, we'll come to recognize that the devil is in the implementation details.
  • Recording

Week 6: No exploration session this week

Week 5: Computing Industry Panel

Speakers: Various People in Industry

  • We will have a panel of people working in the computing industry who will speak about their experience with Computer Science and working in the industry. We will hear about what they did in college, what life in the industry looks like, and more. These panelists were once introductory college students just like you! This is a great opportunity to ask some questions you may have or to seek some advice!
  • Recording

Week 4: The Limits of Computing - Thursday January 30th from 4:30-5:30 in GUG 220

Speaker: Sam Wolfson

  • We've seen that computers can make quick work of many problems that would take humans years to figure out on our own. But this isn't always the case. In this talk, we'll learn about the types of problems that even computers can't solve efficiently—and in doing so, we'll touch on some of the most fundamental and important open questions in computer science.
  • Slides
  • Recording

Week 3: CS Experience Student Q/A Panel - Thursday, January 23rd from 4:30-5:20 in GUG 220

Speakers: Various CSE Students

  • 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 taking the introductory programming series themselves. This is a great opportunity to ask some questions you may have or to seek some advice!
  • Recording

Week 2: Programming Languages - January 16th from 4:30-5:20 in GUG 220

Speaker: Omar Ibrahim

  • 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? And how far can programming languages push the limits of computing? Join us tomorrow for an exploration of several different programming languages and what makes them special.
  • Recording
  • Esolang Wiki
  • BF Interpreter
  • Hello World in BF
  • Hello World in Shakespeare

Week 1: No BS CS Career Talk - Thursday January 9th from 4:30 - 5:30

Speakers: Kim Nguyen and Kasey Champion

  • Come on a journey with Kasey Champion and Kim Nguyen as they guide you through their top tips for not losing your gd mind trying to pursue a career in tech while attending the UW.
  • Recording
  • Slides