Note: After the first meeting, course materials will be posted to a Yahoo Group. If you missed the first meeting and need to be added to that group, please email

CSCI 2830 Computer Science as a Field of Work and Study

First Assignment (in class)



Home town_____________________

In the space below, and on the reverse if necessary, write a brief autobiography, starting NOW and ending with your death (far in the future, we hope.) Put in the things that you want to see when you look back over your life, and how you will have done them.

NOTE: Before you start writing, please take a few minutes to chat with someone sitting near you (move, if nobody’s near) and ask Clayton any questions that come up about what you are supposed to do.


CSCI2830 Computer Science as a Field of Work and Study

Assignment Two, due BEFORE CLASS Wednesday, August 31

Note: Post your response as a message in the Yahoo Group that will be set up for this class. Be sure you include your name, unless it’s obvious from your Yahoo ID what your name is.

1. What activities do YOU PERSONALLY want to carry out for this class? You should make a plan that provides for about two hours of work outside of class each week. You can propose ANYTHING that you feel will help you make the most of your experience as a Computer Science student. If some of your suggestions seem lame to Clayton he will negotiate with you about them.

Here are some examples of things you might propose. NOTE that examples is ALL these are: they are to help you think about what it might be useful for you to do, NOT to suggest that any of these activities are appropriate for you. In fact, if your proposal contains only items from this list, Clayton will wonder why.

If you would like to do something, but aren’t sure how to go about it, go ahead and include it... Clayton will help you do it.

Examples: visit somebody who works in computing to see what they do every day; create a resume you can use to apply for an internship; make one or more calls to learn about internship opportunities; talk with a faculty member about his or her research, and how you could participate in it; figure out why the CS requirements are what they are; create an outline of Computer Science, so that you know what you want to learn about; find the connection between computing and a field you are passionate about, like sports or political science or public health; research one or more topics that are on the frontiers of CS research, like quantum computing, or molecular computing, or machine translation, or cybersecurity, or...; find out how to get into the games business; find out about opportunities for project work on campus in space science, or game development, or educational technology, or ...; find out the difference between the CS program and the information systems program in the College of Business; find out whether offshoring is sending all the jobs to China and India; find out what can be done to interest more women and girls in CS; find out how you can get control of your time; learn what the intellectual core of CS is; learn how CS connects to the really important intellectual issues of our time; learn who the most interesting historical figures in CS have been; get practice making one or more oral presentations to a sympathetic audience; find out who among your fellow students it would be most rewarding to get to know; learn about Multimedia University in Cyberjaya, Malaysia

2. What activities do you think it would be most useful for the CLASS AS A WHOLE to do, in our time together in class? In the same spirit as for Question 1, here are some examples , mostly things the class has done in past years, none of which have to be on the agenda for this year’s class:

Question-and-answer sessions (Q&A) with alumni and other people with careers in CS; Q&A with people in the games biz; comparison of how people in the class spend their time over a week; Q&A about the CS requirements; hear Clayton’s sure-fire method for job searching even for shy people; Q&A with CS juniors and seniors; hear how people learn; mock job interviews; mock job intervew skits; getting to know the people in the class; interview Clayton about the meaning of life; hear from faculty about their research