Engagement Activities

We will be offering several opportunities this quarter to increase engagement in the class. Some of these will involve exploring extra computer science topics and some will be targeted at increasing the sense of community in the 142 class. These sessions will be hosted on Zoom. You will accumulate one "engagement point" for each session that you attend. At the end of the quarter, your total engagement 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 engagement 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).

We will have a question of the day for each lecture where we ask students to answer a survey question. We hope that these questions will provide an opportunity to find out more about the students in the class. Some will be more serious, but we are also interested in having some fun questions. We are encouraging students to submit questions that you think we should be asking. If we pick one of your questions, you will get an extra engagement credit. You can only get one engagement credit for question suggestions.

Submit your question here

Engagement Sessions Schedule

Thursdays, 5:45-6:45pm

Please come prepared to listen to and ask questions of the guest speaker.

We will send an announcement email the day before each session with information about that week's topic.

Week 10: Professor Q&A Panel

Speakers: Stuart Reges, Miya Natsuhara, Brett Wortzman
  • Hear it from the heads themselves! It's time to find out what these professors really are professing. What's it like to teach CSE? What's their story? What do we do in future classes? Why isn't my code compiling? (Maybe not that last one). Prepare yourself for this prestigious premiere of professor paneling!
  • Recording

Week 9: Debugging 201

  • As we're nearing the end of the quarter, let's reflect on everything we've learned with Debugging 201! We've all become powerful programmers with so many tools under our belt, how can we use debugging to support us now?

Week 8: Programming Languages

  • 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 for an exploration of several different programming languages and what makes them special.
  • Recording
  • Slides

Week 7: Theoretical Computer Science

Speaker: Anjali Agarwal
  • An introduction to theoretical computer science. We will touch on formal logic, algorithms, and unsolved questions in computing.
  • Recording

Week 6: No exploration session this week

Week 5: What is a Computer?

Speaker: Omar Ibrahim

Week 4: Debugging 101

  • By now you've had some experience writing Java code and fixing it (debugging). But what are good strategies for debugging? How do you address different types of errors, like compiler errors, runtime errors, or just unexpected output? At this week's exploration session, you will learn how to improve your debugging skills. There will be a short presentation on debugging strategies, an interactive walkthrough on fixing common compiler errors, and a hands-on debugging session with a Java program for you to practice your debugging skills!
  • Slides
  • Debugging Guide
  • ElectionBuggy.java

Week 3: Chaos in Computing

  • Nature is complex and chaotic, but surprisingly mathematical. In this session, we will explore how randomness in computing allows us to better simulate and understand the world.
  • Recording
  • Slides
  • Fern.java
  • Dots.java

Week 2: Q/A Panel + Tips for Online Learning

Speakers: Various CSE Students and Faculty
  • The floor is open to ask TAs and members of the CSE department about the learning experience here at UW. As we enter yet another quarter of online learning, how can we tackle online better than we did the quarter before? What strategies can we apply to CSE 142? What even is CSE? Come prepared with questions of all kinds, or come prepared to listen to others. This is a great opportunity to prepare yourself for the wonders of CSE to come.

Week 1: No Session