CSE 142, Autumn 2021: Exploration Sessions

Each week, we will hold an optional "exploration session" featuring a presentation, discussion, or activity on a topic related to computer science, but outside the normal scope of CSE 142. These sessions will provide opportunities to engage and interact with your classmates, the TAs, and a variety of guests, as well as to explore aspects of CS, STEM, and related areas in ways beyond the programming focus of CSE 142.

Exploration sessions occur on Thursday evenings from 4:30pm - 5:30pm PDT (Seattle time) at BAG 131.

For every 3 Exploration Sessions you attend, you will receive 1 token that grants an extension for a late checkpoint. See the Ed post for complete details. If you missed a checkpoint, go ahead and submit it even though it'll be marked as late on Ed. At the end of the quarter, we will automatically accept Math.floor(# of sessions you've received credit for / 3) checkpoint submissions you have successfully completed.

Ever wondered what it's like to be a CSE TA? How many hours it takes to grade assessments? Curious about applying to be a TA? Join your TAs for a fun Q&A session where you can learn more about the behind-the-scenes of teaching!

Some of you may have heard that internships are a great way to "get your foot in the door" if you're interested in joining the tech industry after graduation. This talk will discuss some of the details of finding and interviewing for internships. Miya Natsuhara (UW Allen School alum/instructor and Software Engineer at Microsoft) will also share her experience of doing two internships, which led to her full-time position at Microsoft. There will be plenty of time for Q&A as well, so please bring your questions!

Speaker: Miya Natsuhara

No exploration session this week- enjoy a few days off!

Computer science can be useful not only in designing systems, but also in understanding critical societal problems. Misinformation is one of the defining issues in our current society. This presentation will show how, through data analysis and visualization techniques, CS can help us better understand the problem of misinformation and its spread online.

Speaker: Joseph (Joey) Schafer

No exploration session this week

Interacting with computers using only your mind is no longer science fiction. We'll cover a few projects interacting with the nervous system to build interesting applications, such as predicting whether you will remember something later, controlling a robot arm with your mind, and measuring which parts of a video you paid more attention to. We'll end with a broad overview of companies in this area and how they work, like Neuralink (funded by Elon Musk) or Kernel.

Speaker: Pierre Karashchuk

Extended reality (XR) sits at the intersection of computer vision, graphics, and human-computer interaction. This talk will briefly cover the history of extended reality (including VR/AR) leading up to the current generation of devices, and how all the pieces come together to create immersive experiences. There will also be a demonstration of how to quickly get started with XR development from any device.

Speaker: John Akers

There's far more to computer science than just writing code -- there are even some computer scientists who write barely any code at all. Theoretical computer science uses mathematical tools to do CS at a more abstract level. You'll get to do some theoretical CS yourselves in future classes, for today we'll try to just see one example: How does one design an algorithm (that is, decide what code should be written) when the inputs are coming from people who might lie to serve their own interests? We'll go through one example in detail -- designing a badminton tournament where no one ever wants to lose (yes, there are tournaments where teams do want to lose!).

Speaker: Robbie Weber

There are many reasons, narratives, and purposes driving us to learn computer science and create computer technologies. Yet we often take many cultural ideas for granted and leave many assumptions unchecked by emphasizing computer science as a neutral and apolitical science. This fireside chat will guide us to reexamine our identities, cultures, and values so that we can realize an anti-oppressive computer science for everyone.

Speaker: Kevin Lin

This week, you will get to hear from a panel of TAs and faculty about their experiences navigating in-person learning and what tips they have to make the most of in-person learning. You will also get an opportunity to chat with other students in 142 about their classes, studying, and college life. How are you doing (in general)? How has your living situation changed since the time of quarantine? How are your other classes going? What strategies or lifestyle changes have you made to cope with life becoming "normal" again? What are you worried about for the next few months? What are you looking forward to? Is the first week what you expected? Please come prepared to share your experiences and listen to others share theirs.

Speakers: Hunter Schafer, Kai Daniels, Andrew Cheung, Ana Jojic