These are class notes for CS328: Discrete Modeling Development. They will be maintained by Kay and Charlie, but feel free to add parts we may have missed.
Friday, January 16
Initial thoughts from the homework reading:
- crowd sourcing - potentially we could do class sourcing with discrete modeling or something else
- maybe something in Second Life (SL) as a virtual crowd?
- maybe using an existing large scale model in SL?
- scavenger hunt
- make impressions on people
- high level of engagement in activities
- important points from McGonigal about games we should incorporate:
- part of something bigger - make people want to keep going, ie also tie into (mention) other large scale projects - also see next point
- experience at being good at something
- want students to try and succeed on their own, but get enough feedback to know if they are heading in right direction
High level goals for the course:
- use computerse to model the world and show that they're useful for the rest of students' careers
- CS is cool/useful
General points to consider for the class:
- We could look at what other liberal arts sciences classes are covering
- Make sure we're geared also towards potential CS recruits (some non-natural sciences majors) as well as non-science majors
- Open people's eyes to see what CS can do
- Do we have time to explore some of the technical CS behind the projects?
- What general CS principles do we want to convey?
- Basic foundations (like abstraction, algorithmic thinking, etc.)
- Should we base units on the science or the tools/methods?
- Possibly multiple parts to assignments, or different options to chose from. Want to challenge everyone at different levels (but don't want them some noticeably easier than others, just different interests)
- Charlie needs to be able to give lots of feedback in an easy way for him to do
- Possibly many TAs, possibly some specific to a given unit taken from a different department (ie biology student/professor for biology unit, etc.)
Wednesday, January 14
About the class:
- We will be designing a new class â€œin silicoâ€
- new class will be offered the first time next spring
- geared towards first year students
- lots of this already developed, weâ€™ll be selecting the best parts of which ones for this specific course at this specific college
Themes we're designing for:
- quantitative reasoning
- model development and use
- validation and verification
- Did I solve the right problem? Did I solve the problem correctly?
- data -> information -> knowledge
- harder to do as go further to the right
- visualization is one way to make it easier to get more from just data
- mostly the natural sciences, possibly some art
- using tools (spreadsheets, models, make your own or pre-made)
Methods we will use:
- inquiry based learning â€“ find out how to solve a problem and document it, and describe what learned from it
- scaffolded â€“ provide an empty framework for students to work through it in multiple ways
- metric system exclusively
- auto-magic grading?
- Good feedback is important, possibly part of this could come from a machine
Units/modules (each probably week to two weeks) might include:
- lectures/discussion notes
- "Seeing Around Corners" â€“ an article about race behavior using Agent-based models
- Lunch rooms, neighborhoods, etc.
- Possibly a unit with â€œsensor netsâ€
- Possible energy unit â€“ EEAP, wind, solar
- Measuring â€“ area, volume, count
- Ground water â€“ wet lab, analytical, in silico
- Measure gravity (as between the roof of Dennis Hall and the ground)
- Something requiring lots of computational horsepower (maybe?)
- Maybe just mentioning and not an entire unit
- Maybe tied into the genomics unit or chemistry
- Chemistry, possibly forensic
- We may find things that are really cool but that donâ€™t fit into this particular class weâ€™re designing. However, they may be inserted into various places in the CS curriculum â€“ in POCO, ACS. We should capture them somewhere and Charlie will come back to them another time.