Thursday, July 20, 2006

OK, it's Thursday already. One last train ride down to SD for COSMOS tomorrow. Well, actually I hope to get down there one day next week too, but we'll see. I sure won't miss that 6:30am train. I mean, I am a morning person, but there are only so many days that I can get up at 5:30am. I could do 6am... there's just something about that 5 that really gets to you.

Anyway, I'm having a great time with COSMOS this summer. I'm really surprised how much fun I am having. Not that I didn't expect it to be fun, but it really doesn't feel like work at all! I really like putting the lectures and labs together and teaching and helping students in the lab. My only fear is that people aren't really seeing how awesome programming really is. I mean, why use lame Jython to modify your images when you could use Photoshop, right? :) But programming is what makes photoshop possible. Plus, once you get through the basics, some of the programming extensions have you creating programs that automatically transform images in ways that would be tedious and take a long time in Photoshop. Anyway, I hope everyone is getting at least a little excited about CS, and that you will consider taking a CS class in college (or high school).

OK, that's all for now. See everyone tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Yesterday we talked more about some fundamentals of programming: functions, return values, parameters, variables. Basically what you would expect to cover in 2-3 weeks we whipped through in 2-3 hours. Everyone seems to be picking it up pretty well, but I'm afraid some people are a little frustrated because it's hard and they are still struggling to understand. Well, all I can say is, it *is* hard. But it's also rewarding, so don't worry if you don't get everything right away. This class is going very fast, but you are all doing great. Stick with it!

Only two more days for me with the COSMOS people. :( It's sad that I have to miss the last two weeks. I'm really looking forward to seeing what projects people create. We assign groups on Wednesday (maybe Thursday) then the fun really starts. See you tomorrow!

Friday, July 14, 2006

It's Friday and I am back on the train. I am getting a taste of what my husband's life is like taking the train to work every day. He doesn't have to be in quite so early, though... :)

I can't believe a week of COSMOS is already done. I'm looking forward to lab today because we'll be doing some really cool, sophisticated things wtih pictures.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I'm excited to be back at COSMOS this year! I live up in Orange County (Fullerton), and so these next few weeks will be a test of how reliable the Amtrak morning train is. I'm trying things out this morning. So far so good... the train left 3 minutes early from Fullerton!

A little bit more about me. I just finished my first year as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Harvey Mudd College. Harvey Mudd is a great school, although a bit different from UCSD. There are only about 700 students in the whole school! How did I get involved in COSMOS? I spent some time last year teaching at UCSD and through that experience I got involved in the first year of the COSMOS program. Even though I have moved away since then, I liked it so much I am back for another year. :)

I'm looking forward to a great summer.