Category Archives: Curriculum

Pre-registration for Spring 2019

Pre-registration for spring 2019 courses concluded earlier this week. This time around, we faced a real crisis: CS 210, Computer Systems Fundamentals, closed with the end of pre-registration for the junior class, leaving a waitlist of 23 second-years and 2 first-year students. CS 210 is supposed to be a second-year class, open also to first-year students with advanced placement. Continue reading

I’ve got a POSSE

When Grinnell College announced that its relationship with the Posse Foundation would end, many folks at Whitman asked me what I thought or if I had any inside information. This post is not about that Posse.

Rather, it’s about my experiences with the Professor’s Open Source Software Experience (POSSE), an NSF-funded project that engages faculty from across the US in developing and deploying learning activities that engage computing students with humanitarian free and open source software (HFOSS).

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Prospective students and pre-registration

I’ve heard colleagues describe April as “the month of a thousand nights” because of all the senior recitals, shows, celebrations, and so on. April is also the month of admitted student visits and fall pre-registration. Next year I need to account for all the time in April I’ll spend just  talking with current and prospective students.

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On independent study

Some readers have expressed interest in hearing about differences between Whitman and Grinnell. I recently encountered and responded to one such difference.

On Thursday, I met with a student to discuss possible independent study projects for the spring semester. At the end of our discussion, we talked about next steps. I asked, “How does one register for an independent study at Whitman?” The student didn’t know; he hadn’t done one before. Being resourceful people, we checked the college catalog online and discovered there was an independent study course in Mathematics, but not in Computer Science.

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