Friday, April 23, 2010

Extra Apr 29: Shafi Goldwasser @ Drexel

Drexel University will be hosting a symposium in honor of Shafi Goldwasser who is this year's recipient of the Franklin Institute Award in Computer and Cognitive Science ( The theme of the symposium will be theoretical CS with applications to cryptography (Shafi is the co-inventor of zero knowledge proofs and the complexity class IP along with many other significant results in crypto and complexity theory). The symposium will be held on Thur. April 29 from 10-2 and will feature, in addition to Shafi talks by Silvio Micali and Avi Wigderson, two of her collaborators and major contributors to the field themselves.

More information about this event is available at

I hope you will be able to attend, but in the case that you are unable to attend, we will be recording the lectures. Please invite your colleagues who might be interested in the symposium.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

April 19, 2010: Susan Rodger of Duke University

Computer Science Concepts Come Alive

Susan Rodger
Department of Computer Science
Duke University

Monday, April 19, 2010
4:30 pm (Tea at 4 pm in KINSC H208)
Koshland INSC H109
Directions and Map


We describe how to make computer science concepts come alive through visualization and interaction in several computer science courses from introductory computer science to theoretical computer science. We discuss three software tools. JAWAA, a scripting language, aids in creating animations of algorithms and data structures. JFLAP, a tool for automata and grammars, allows for experimentation with theoretical concepts. Alice, a virtual worlds programming environment, visualizes programming concepts in 3D that are accessible for students as young as middle school. We provide examples of how such tools aid students in understanding concepts.


Susan Rodger is a Professor of the Practice in the Computer Science Department at Duke University. She received her PhD in computer science from Purdue University. Rodger's research interests include interactive and visual software and computer science education. She developed JFLAP, a tool for experimenting with automata theory. JFLAP is used around the world in automata theory courses, compiler courses, and discrete math courses. Rodger developed JAWAA, a scripting language for algorithm animation over the web. She has taught Alice to students from college level to middle school level, and has run Alice workshops for K-12 teachers. She was a finalist in the 2007 NEEDS Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education Courseware (for JFLAP) and received an ACM Distinguished Educator award in 2006.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mar 18: David Clark at Swarthmore

Computer Science as Social Science: The future of the Internet

David Clark, EECS, MIT

Thursday, March 18
4:15pm in SCI 101
Swarthmore College | Map and Directions

A lesson I have learned in my 35 years of working on the Internet is that the technologists are not in charge, and have not been in charge for at least the last 15 or 20 of those years. The forces that will shape the future of the Internet primarily derive from the deep social, economic and cultural embedding of the Internet. Technology will be successful if it is responsive to these pressures. This fact is both exciting and perhaps alarming--it is exciting to be working on a system that has had so much impact on the world, but Computer Scientists are not normally trained to think about these issues, and to derive from these issues what technical problems we should address. I will give some examples, both past and future, that suggest methods and models we can use to link what we as technologists do to the forces in the larger world that will interact with that technology.

David Clark is a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he has worked since receiving his Ph.D. there in 1973. Since the mid 70s, Dr. Clark has been leading the development of the Internet; from 1981-1989 he acted as Chief Protocol Architect in this development, and chaired the Internet Activities Board. His current research looks at re-definition of the architectural underpinnings of the Internet, and the relation of technology and architecture to economic, societal and policy considerations. He is helping the U.S. National Science foundation organize their Future Internet Design program. Dr. Clark is past chairman of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies, and has contributed to a number of studies on the societal and policy impact of computer communications. He is co-director of the MIT Communications Futures Program, a project for industry collaboration and coordination along the communications value chain.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Feb 25, 2010: Judith Bishop of Microsoft

The Hot under the Cool - Patterns, Programming and Performance

A Colloquium by

Judith Bishop
Director of Computer Science in External Research, Microsoft Research

Thursday, February 25, 4:00-5:00pm (Tea at 3:30pm) in Room 243 Park Science Building, Bryn Mawr College


So much of what computer science produces is labeled as cool, that it is easy for the public to miss the real hard science that goes into getting the graphics, the communications or the devices out there into the consumer space. Yet it is the hot topics under the cool that attract the best students and the biggest grants and should be as visible to the public and to policy makers. This talk looks at research underneath user interfaces and in the quest for performance in the past decade as seen through my years as in academia, but more recently in Microsoft. Patterns and abstraction are not evident to the naked eye, but they drive reusable, safe and cost-effective software. I will examine the progress that has been made, the current research that is ongoing, and the steps that will need to be taken - technical and social - to meet the massive estimated needs of computer specialists in the future.


Judith Bishop is Director of Computer Science in External Research at Microsoft Research, based in Redmond, USA. Her goal is to foster strong links between Microsoft's research groups and top computer science departments globally, through encouraging projects, supporting courseware and conferences, and engaging directly in research. Professor Bishop has a distinguished background in academia, having been a professor most recently at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She has had visiting positions in the UK, Germany, Canada, Italy and the USA. Her expertise is in programming languages and distributed systems, with a strong practical bias and an interest in compilers and design patterns. She has over 90 publications including 15 books on programming languages that are available in six languages and read worldwide. Professor Bishop serves frequently on international editorial, program and award committees, and has received numerous awards and distinctions, in particular the IFIP Outstanding Service Award in 2009 for service to the worldwide computer science community.