Just over two weeks ago, President Kathleen Murray announced to students, staff, and faculty that “the fall 2020 semester will primarily be via remote learning.”
I spent the rest of that Friday processing the news and finishing other work already in progress. On Saturday, I woke up to an email message and a Slack post from a student proposing a discussion of the news that same day. As department chair, I scrambled to formulate a response. Fortunately, I’d already thought a fair bit already about this possibility. Below, find my email to all CS students that Saturday morning, and the results of a Q&A session during our regularly scheduled Tuesday evening CS Tea. Continue reading
What a wild ride this spring has been! As of 9 am this morning, for my colleagues who had grades to submit, the spring semester is finally officially over. We had a lovely Commencement, plus an end-of-year department social and a departmental Commencement reception for students and their families – all online, of course. Congratulations to the class of 2020!
Although it’s been a few weeks since pre-registration for fall, this is the first chance I’ve had to blog about it. Walla Walla was just approved for Phase 2 reopening, our new babysitter started today, and my summer research students will start on Monday.
This spring’s pre-registration was unusually unsettling. While we didn’t change our offerings or course descriptions in response to fall contingencies, course staffing has been an ever-shifting landscape. Our search for a visiting professor was cancelled, along with several other open searches across the College, just as we were about to start our screening interviews. Weeks later, with a strong local candidate, we negotiated to have the search reinstated.
I’m pleased to announce that Cary Gray will be joining us for the 2020-21 academic year after a long career at Wheaton College. (Incidentally, I read his Ph.D. work in my graduate class on Distributed Systems.) With Cary, new tenure-track colleague William Bares, and longtime colleague John Stratton, we will be able to offer a full slate of classes. However, some changes are still forthcoming; enrolled students will be the first to hear. Continue reading
Over the last week, I’ve posted my colleague John Stratton’s response to Whitman’s move online, and our departmental plans for teaching and departmental community. John has had to update our plans in light of new College policies forbidding meetings between students and faculty, as well as student access to academic spaces. He has given me permission to share his update here. Continue reading
In my last post, I shared my colleague John Stratton’s response to Whitman’s move to online learning. In this post, I share our departmental response addressing logistical concerns. The major headings: lab access; lab aides, class mentors, and virtual office hours; departmental community; information for current and rising seniors; advising and major/minor declarations; the silver lining.
Yesterday, President Kathy Murray announced that Whitman will move to online learning for the remainder of the semester. Though it’s clearly the right decision, we are all disappointed as we revise our plans and expectations for the next several months.
My colleague John Stratton is serving as department chair this year while I am on sabbatical. John gave me permission to share his email to our students as a guest post here. I couldn’t have said it better myself. My next post will address the logistical plans we made at this morning’s department meeting (with appropriate social distancing!) Continue reading
In November, I wrote about launching our search to fill the tenure-track position vacated by Andy Exley after he departs at the end of this academic year. While I’m sad to see Andy go, I’m thrilled that we were able to hire William Bares, currently Associate Professor and C. Richard Crosby Distinguished Teaching Chair at the College of Charleston. Continue reading
Here we are about to round out the first five years of the computer science program at Whitman! I am still on sabbatical in the spring (yay!) but I’ve offered to do my usual pre-registration round-up based on information my colleagues have provided. Continue reading
In this post, I briefly discuss my doings of the last six weeks under two headings (“Yay, I’m on sabbatical!” and “Hey, I’m on sabbatical!”) and four sub-headings (“Scholarship”, “Personal”, “Service”, and “Things left undone”). Continue reading
With busy office hours for CS 210, my husband’s travel for work, child care disruptions, and ping-ponging viruses among the members of the family, I found no time in April for my traditional post on the next semester’s pre-registration. Summer is catch-up time. So with no further ado, here’s the summary table:
||Intro. Computational Problem Solving
||Discrete Math & Functional Programming
||Computer Systems Programming
||Theory of Computation
||Natural Language Processing