Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

Everyone suffers from Impostor Syndrome at some point in their lives, but it's particularly acute in members of underrepresented groups.

In this Slate.com article, "Imposteritis: A lifelong but treatable condition," Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College and herself a computer scientist, talks about Impostor Syndrome and its prevalence in the STEM fields.

Learn to Code

Don't just buy a video game; make one. Learn to code!


Learn Parallel Computation with GPUs

Today's laptops and desktop computers contain the equivalent of a supercomputer: the graphics processing unit. With dozens or even hundreds of compute cores, the GPU is capable of performing billions of operations per second--an amount unimaginable just a few years ago. GPUs power the high-speed graphics of modern video games, Photoshop, and video editors. However, they can also be used to do massively parallel computations such as scientific simulations and data analysis.

If you would like to learn more about programming GPUs with nVidia's CUDA parallel computing platform while earning Sierra credit, we've got an incredible offer this semester. You'll need to do two things:

NVIDIA donates graphics cards

NVIDIA Corporation has generously donated two GeForce GTX 480 graphic processing units (GPU) to the Computer Science department to support student efforts in High Performance Computing (HPC). These cards have 480 CUDA cores each and are capable of sustaining thousands of simultaneous calculations.

HPC students are writing programs to do physics simulations, such as the rotation of galaxies and black hole phenomena. Other interest areas include traffic simulation and protein folding.

Graphics cards such as these are commonly used in high-end gaming and video production systems to provide 2D and 3D rendering. In a typical HPC environment, however, the GPU cards are not attached to any monitors at all; instead, they are computation engines that work in concert with the CPU to process tremendous amounts of data in parallel.

Talk to the Duck

Anyone can ask a question. But being able to ask a great question is a valuable skill. No matter who your audience is (be it a classmate, friend, instructor, or coworker), the key to phrasing a question so that people will care enough to answer it is to include as much detail as possible to make it clear what you're asking. Invest some time in asking the question so that others will invest time in answering it.

Coding Horror is a great blog for programmers hosted by Jeff Atwood. A recent posting titled Rubber Duck Problem Solving presents several instances in which taking a few moments to turn an awkward question into a great question not only encouraged others to answer it, but also helped the asker find a solution on their own!

Programming Contest 2 posted!

The second installment of the Programming Contest has been posted. Titled "Save the Date," your task is to find written dates in a text file and convert them to the standard YYYY-MM-DD format. If you missed out on the first problem, it's not too late to join! Prizes will be awarded at intervals throughout the semester and grand prizes will be given at the end.

Everything you knew about learning is wrong

Well, that's not entirely true. But Robert Bjork, director of the UCLA Learning and Forgetting Lab, will give you a few tips and hints to help you study better and retain more information.

Read it at Wired.

Programming Contest 2012!

It's back! The Computer Science Programming Contest for Spring, 2012, is starting up again. Every two weeks a problem will be posted and you'll have one week to program a solution. You may use any programming language as long as you can provide instructions on how to run it. Points will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Having a correct solution
  • Shortest solution
  • Most original solution

At the end of the semester, the student with the most points wins!

Click the Contest tab at the top of the page for complete details.

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