Planning for faculty leaves

After just three semesters with the CS faculty at full strength, I was on maternity leave this spring, and one of us will be on sabbatical each of the next six semesters. You may wonder how we are managing these leaves as a department.

First and foremost, I am pleased to announce that Rohan Loveland will be joining us as a visiting assistant professor for the 2018-19 academic year. Dr. Loveland earned his Ph.D. in Engineering at Oxford University. He comes to us from Los Alamos National Labs and Dynafit via an adjunct professorship at New Mexico State University. He looks forward to teaching a course on Machine Learning at Whitman in spring 2019.

More of the story below!

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The Pledge of the Computing Professional

Last Wednesday we celebrated the third annual Pledge of the Computing Professional at Whitman College, with our first two computer science majors, three computer science minors, and an independent major.

The Pledge is a rite-of-passage ceremony for computer science students and others who intend a career in computing. Inspired by the Order of the Engineer, a pin and a certificate serve to remind alumni of their moral and ethical responsibility as a skilled professional.
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Pre-registration for Fall 2018

Pre-registration for Fall 2018 concluded a week ago. Our enrollments are strong once again, with all courses nearly filling or overfilling.

Number Title Enrolled Women:Men Waitlist
CS 167-A,B Intro. Computational Problem Solving 42/60 1:1 5
CS/Math 220 Discrete Math & Functional Programming 34/24 1:2.5
CS 267 Human-Computer Interaction 23/20 1:3 25
CS 270 Data Structures 19/24 1:3 3
CS 310 Computer Systems Programming 18/20 1:5
CS 320 Theory of Computation 19/20 **
CS/Math 350 Mathematical Modeling & Numerical Methods 0 enrolled as a CS course
CS 495 Capstone Project 16/16 1:7

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Professoring while Pregnant

Long story short: I was pregnant during the fall semester, my daughter Gwendolyn was born in early December, and I am on maternity leave this semester. We’re both doing very well.

I’ve been meaning to write this post since October, which should say something. For those who have been wondering why I haven’t been writing much, this is why.

This is a fairly personal post. Those mainly interested in the development of the CS program should look for a future post on managing my maternity leave and upcoming research leaves. Continue reading

Pre-registration for Spring 2018

Pre-registration for Spring 2018 concluded on Tuesday night. Our enrollments remain strong, with all sections except the senior capstone project nearly full or overfull:

Number Title Enrolled Women:Men Waitlist
CS 167-A,B Intro. Computational Problem Solving 59/60 1:3 16
CS 210 Computer Systems Fundamentals 24/24 1:4 4
CS 270 Data Structures 28/24 3:4 4
CS 300 ST: Software Engineering 23/24 ** 0
CS 301 / Math 373 ST: Cryptography 0 enrolled as a CS course
CS 320 Theory of Computation 15/20 1:4 0
CS 327 Algorithm Design & Analysis 18/20 1:3 0
CS 351 Artificial Intelligence 24/16 1:4 4
CS 496/7/8 Capstone Project 3/16 1:2

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Whitman CS Summer Experiences 2017

This post shares some of the diversity of our students’ summer experiences—a very important part of a computer science student’s education. I’ve gathered short reflections from a few students and linked to the blogs of a few more. This first draft represents two summer research experiences (one at Whitman and one at a large research university) and two internships (one closely associated with Whitman and one not). Continue reading

Guest Post: Code For Good 2017

During her visit to Whitman this spring, Terian Koscik (Grinnell ‘12) invited students to participate in Code for Good, “an annual event based out of the Portland area where Python programmers from all over the globe get together for a long weekend to build projects that help our communities.” Three Whitman students ultimately participated, including my summer research student Andrew Harvey ‘20, our new CS 167 mentor Missy Gerlach ‘19, and the very enthusiastic Nathaniel Larson ‘19. The three of them have agreed to contribute to a joint guest post about their experiences. First they will give an overview of the event, and then each will share their biggest highlights and takeaways. Continue reading

Hosting LACS 2017

Regular readers might remember that I am the newest member of the Liberal Arts Computer Science (LACS) Consortium. (An earlier post responded to the 2016 annual meeting.) As the newest member, I was invited to host this year’s meeting. Some joked with me that this is hazing, but more accurately it’s paying my dues to an organization that truly depends on the contributions of all its members. It is also the host’s privilege to invite guests of her choosing from both her own institution and others. Finally, I’ve also been invited to host other professional meetings at Whitman in years to come. My experience hosting LACS—a small group who I know fairly well—makes me more confident I can do so. Continue reading