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computer science

  1. The Mary Sue Interview: Code and Cupcakes Founder Jen Myers

    She quotes Kelly Sue DeConnick. We're smitten.

    "Being treated differently because you’re different is not something with strict boundary lines—it’s like colored dye dropped into water. It permeates everything until all you can see is the dye, and then how do you effectively separate what is dye and what is water? But you know it’s there. It is there."

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  2. Coding as Graduation Requirement: One School is Making it Happen

    10 PRINT "Great idea!"

    Schools need to stop ignoring coding. We use computers every day. We carry tiny computers around in our pockets everywhere we go, and most people can't even make one of them say "Hello World!" Beaver Country Day School outside of Boston is trying to change that by making coding a graduation requirement, and other schools should too.

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  3. This is the Best Cartoon Explanation of Algorithms You Will Probably Ever See

    The latest TEDEd cartoon can take you from vaguely understanding that algorithms are a thing to actually knowing what they are. It did for us, anyway.

    I'm sure there are a lot of you out there who utterly get, in a second nature sort of way, how algorithms work. I, however, am not among them. I mean, I know that algorithms are 'a way that computers sort information to figure things out,' but that's basically one step up from saying 'magic.' Lucky for me and the rest of the folks out there who don't quite get the what an algorithm is, Harvard computer scientist David J. Malan is is here to narrate a TEDEd cartoon on the subject that will save us all from ignorance.

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  4. Stanford University is Offering Computer Science Courses Online, Free to Anyone

    Stanford University is now expanding computer science courses available online, for free, for any students who wish to join. It all began a few weeks ago with an introductory course on artificial intelligence (AI) taught by the award-winning professors Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig. Now, two new courses are available; the first, an Introduction to Databases taught by Professor Jennifer Widom; the second, Machine Learning with Professor Andrew Ng. Over 100,000 students have signed up since the courses were announced. Prospective students need only know one programming language well enough to complete the assignments. The most important requirement is that students commit the time for the class: A few hours of homework and two rounds of lectures running two and a half hours each per week. Professors will aggregate online student questions and answer the top rated ones, and students will receive feedback on all of their work. Additionally, a study group is being run on Reddit for the AI course. 

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  5. Quantum Physics Added to Standard Chess

    Queen's University undergraduate computer science student Alice Wismath has added a bit of quantum physics to the game of chess, creating a style of chess where the identity of nearly every piece is in a state of constant flux.

    Wismath's quantum chess program is based on a paper written by a Queen's University computer science professor, Selim Akl, in which he discusses how computers can see every possible outcome of every possible move when playing chess and wanted to make the computer's task a little more difficult. He settled on having the pieces mimic particles that can simultaneously exist in multiple states.

    Wismath had to create a few rules in order for quantum chess to be playable.

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