We had our second guest speaker of the year, Dr. Calvin Lin. Dr. Lin is a professor of CS at UT Austin, the head of the Turing Scholars Program, and conducts research on compilers, "with a current focus on security and scalable and precise analysis, including pointer analysis." We merged with the CS club for this meeting, and had a packed room full of students eagerly listening to Dr. Lin. Dr. Lin went through a presentation that explained the various roles that CS is playing in our world today, and will play in the future. Thank you, Dr. Lin!
We had our first guest speaker of the year, Kate Bonnen talk to us at WICS today! Kate Bonnen is a graduate student in computational neuroscience at UT. Her current projects include work on 3D vision, decision making, and persistent activity. Her talk was fascinating and everyone was incredibly interested in the work she is doing. Kate was kind enough to leave us an activity that we are planning to do at a future WICS meeting involving computational neuroscience. Thank you, Kate!
Today, we had a project workday. With a few upcoming speakers, we wanted to make sure that we had enough time to work on projects. Everyone filled out a Google Form with their project idea and partners if they are doing a group project. We are super excited to see the progress of everyone's projects over the semester!
Today's meeting was all about internships and delving into careers in computer science. We passed out and went over our "WICS Guide to Getting a Gig" (which is attached under resources). This document highlighted ways to get involved in research and/or industry internships, email drafts, and tips from our experience as high school interns. Furthermore, we discussed the importance and benefit of these internships of high school and encouraged everyone to apply for a summer internship and try it out!
Today was our introductory meeting. We started off with discussing this year's plan for WICS, talked about projects, and did the Peanut Butter and Jelly exercise. This exercise teaches algorithmic thinking through a fun activity. The activity goes as such: One person is the "maker" and follows the exact actions of what everyone else tells her to do. As the maker is literal in her interpretation of the instructions, it becomes imperative for everyone to give concise, clear, and logical explanations. For example, "spread peanut butter on the bread" is less effective as compared to "Grab the knife with your right hand. Dip the knife in the peanut butter. Swirl the knife in the peanut butter until you obtain peanut butter on the knife. Place the knife on the piece of bread, etc, etc.." We ended by discussing the individual projects and brainstormed possible projects for those who do not have a project idea in mind. Overall, we had a packed and very fun first meeting!