About the Course/Instructor

CSC 211 - Computer Organization and Architecture - Weinman

1  About the Course

Q
How will the tests be structured?
A
Much like the questions we work on in class (which are usually exercises from the book).
Q
How long do the batteries on the clickers last?
A
Pretty long; at least three or four semesters in my experience
Q
How can I sign up for the regularly scheduled office hours?
A
The sign-up sheet near my office door.
Q
Which category does significant bit fall under? Homework or Class Discussion?
A
Homework.
Q
The structure of the schedule seems different from my previous CS courses here - Are Mondays and Fridays reserved for lectures without any accompanying lab work? Does this also mean that Wednesdays/lab days don t include any lecture?
A
We'll do some "mini-labs" on Mondays and Fridays (computer-based applications, much like the work in other courses). But we've arranged so that Wednesday really is the more traditional "lab" section of a science course. Occasionally there will be a shorter lab on Wednesday accompanied by some overflow "lecture" from Monday.
Q
Will there be mentor sessions/times outside of class where the mentor can aid us?
A
The mentor sessions will be weekly and geared toward helping you solidify your understanding of the course concepts (not work on your homework).
Q
Are we allowed to use calculators during class and/or exams?
A
Yes; I'll make sure they're provided at appropriate points.
Q
why does the course need to be 2 hours 3 times a week?
A
It's a workshop-style lab science course. That means we need plenty of time for you to work in class where your partner, the mentor, and professor are available simultaneously.

2  About Me

Q
Do you have any hidden talents?
A
I'm assuming you mean hidden from you, rather than hidden from me (which would mean the answer is "I don't know-they're still hidden!"). I'm a fair fingerstyle guitar player and a pretty decent cook.
Q
Do you have any insight into the (possible) overlap of computer science and religious studies?
A
Just as one example, there is a lot of computational work in reconstructing ancient texts (usually religious). I find both image-based and language-based approaches deeply interesting.
Q
What is your favorite thing to eat when you are sick?
A
Hm. I suppose it depends on what I'm sick with. Usually I don't eat much of anything, but try to drink a lot of water and tea.
Q
Where is your field of expertise in CS.
A
Computer vision, powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Most recently, I've been working to automatically extract textual and geographical information from photographs of historical maps.
Q
Why did you decide to major in computer science, is that reason still the same, and do you have any regrets?
A
I was first introduced to programming in seventh grade at a summer camp. Since then, I've loved controlling the machine and using it to solve problems. While I currently program machines to learn, I still love using them to solve problems (see the previous question. No regrets about CS!
Q
Why have you decided to continue teaching at Grinnell for so long?
A
Well, getting tenure certainly helps. But in all seriousness, I share Grinnell's commitment to social justice, and I love the kind of student that ethos attracts, particularly in Computer Science, where its easy simply to be dazzled by many other factors.
Q
How did you decide on what you wanted to specialize in and learn it?
A
As a college junior, I took a class on the mathematics of image processing. I loved the simultaneous beauty of the abstraction and the concrete visual results. From there I continued to learn more about computer vision and machine learning (taking college classes in each). So at its root, it was about exploring to find something that truly fascinated me as useful, interesting, and beautiful.