CS Tea is a weekly department event where students and faculty gather to discuss computer science related topics. Tea, cookies, and (usually) pizza are served. Below is a list of the special events planned for the Fall 2020 semester! New attendees are always welcome! 

Normally all CS Tea events take place at 11:30am in Ford 202. It's when we have weekly social chats and special events. However due to corona virus we will be hosting the social chats over Zoom. 

Interested in presenting at CS Tea? Please check out our schedule for this semester and contact our department head Fritz Ruehr at fruehr@willamette.edu.

Fall 2020

August. 27th

11:30am -12:30pm
Introductions, care & comfort, reassurance, pandemic procedures

An informal meet & greet and "coming together in crisis" gathering

September. 3rd

11:30am -12:30pm
CS Department: Introduction and Reminders

More formal, with information about the major & minor, classes, clubs & other activities, internship & REU opportunities, etc.

September. 10th

11:30am -12:30pm
Visiting Professor Eric Roberts winner of the Teppola Award
This year’s Teppola Visiting Professor Eric Roberts and his Stanford colleague Brigid Barron jointly led a project to develop a new computing curriculum for Bermuda's public high schools—schools that are attended almost entirely by students of color because white parents typically send their children to private schools.  The curriculum development work was carried out almost entirely by Stanford students, with over 20 taking part during the lifetime of the project.  In the years since the curriculum was introduced, every public high-school student in Bermuda has taken at least one course designed by the Bermuda Project, opening up significant new opportunities for young people on the island.

September. 17th

11:30am -12:30pm
Airing Concerns on Corona And The Fires

Are the Covid situation and the fires leaving you anxious and concerned? Are classes leaving you frustrated and lost? Are you missing the social interaction that helped you get through your school day?

Come to CS Tea this Thursday and air your complaints, let off some steam, and hear about some measures we are taking to try and help you out.

We are making new semester schedules (in Senior Seminar), modifying homework routines, announcing tutoring help, and searching for ways to restore some of our lost social milieu (the CS lab and the second floor hearth) to help get you back to ... well, maybe not quite normal, but as close as we can.

We will be holding a CS Tea in response to these expressed student concerns and the dean's recent messages; the meeting will not be recorded so that you can speak freely.

September. 24th

11:30am -12:30pm

October. 1st

11:30am -12:30pm
Data Science at Willamette
The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data.
                                                             -- The Economist, May 6, 2017
We will hear about Willamette’s new Data Science program and what opportunities it offers for undergraduates.  Faculty members from the Data Science committee, including faculty director Jameson Watts, will join us for the discussion.

October 8th

11:30am -12:30pm
Graduate and PhD programs in CS
This week’s CS Tea will feature a discussion of graduate study in computer science covering such topics as the differences between Master’s and Ph.D. programs, the admissions process, funding for graduate study, and the job market for students completing graduate degrees.  In addition to an overview of these topics from the CS faculty, Alex Tamkin, my former undergraduate advisee who is now a third-year Ph.D. student at Stanford, will join us to offer a more informal perspective on what graduate school is like.

October. 15th

11:30am -12:30pm
Race and Gender in CS

As the AI revolution is poised to impact nearly every industry, as well as government, education, family, and social life, concerns are mounting about how training computers to think like us can amplify some of the worst parts of ourselves. Is our training data teaching machines to adopt human biases on race, gender, age, and more? And how does this connect with the composition of our workforce, and with societal questions of who decides who gets to see themselves as "a computer person."

Cynthia Lee is a Senior Lecturer in the Computer Science Department at Stanford. She specializes in team-based and question-based course design, and founded peerinstruction4cs.org to support educators in flipping their computer science classrooms using peer instruction. Her teaching awards include the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for exceptional contributions to undergraduate education at Stanford, a "Top 10 Papers of All Time" award at the 50th anniversary of the ACM SIGCSE technical symposium, and the Stanford Society of Women Engineers' Professor of the Year. She has a PhD in high-performance computing from UC San Diego. Her industry work experience includes NASA Ames and startups.

October. 22nd

Computer Science for a Civil Society

Computer Science and Civil Society (CSCS) is a Stanford graduate student group dedicated to bringing more discussions about the social implications of CS technologies and research to the Stanford CS Department and the broader campus community. In the past year, we've reflected on our own research, discussed the limits of algorithmic fairness, how race is embedded in technology, when not to build tech, and how computing can affect social change. Our members collaborate on research and advocacy projects, like our recent group opinion piece in Scientific American. We've also hosted speakers from the Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (FAccT) research community.

October. 29th

Anna Ritz of Reed College, presenting on Graph Algorithms in Signaling Pathway Analysis

Abstract: Graph theory has been a fundamental research area for over 250 years.  As the amount of molecular biology information has exploded over the past few decades, graphs have been a critical tool for modeling how proteins work together within a cell to achieve some response (for example, a cell may grow, divide, move, or die).  A major goal in systems biology is to identify signaling pathways, the molecular players and interactions involved in a cell's response to a specific signal.  This talk will demonstrate how graph algorithms can be used in signaling pathway analysis to make new biological discoveries and predictions.  Many state-of-the-art methods to reconstruct signaling pathways rely on fundamental graph algorithms, and I will show how a shortest-paths approach can generate experimentally testable hypotheses about cellular signaling.  Our recent work has the potential to enhance nearly every previously-published algorithm for reconstructing signaling pathways.  Graph algorithms offer new insights into computational systems biology and pathway analysis, and this is a field where algorithmic developments have the potential to accelerate the pace of biological discovery.

November. 5th

Guy Fawkes Day Discussion

An open discussion on what we as computer science students and faculty can do to support democracy. We will use tomorrow's CS-tea to generate questions that address what role computing and the technology industry play in the increasing polarization of political dialogue and other issues highlighted by the still-undecided election.

November. 12th

Paul Gronke of Reed College, will present on "Computer Science and Elections"

The 2000 election was a watershed in American political history, because for the first time, many Americans were first aware that the underpinnings of American elections relied on radically decentralized voter registration systems, outdated voting technology, and the labor of 10,000 or more local election officials in counties and townships throughout the country.

Post 2000, an active, interdisciplinary group of scholars and researchers have engaged in efforts to improve and reform the American elections system, and computer scientists have played an active and prominent role. What have been the contributions of computer scientists to improving American elections?

In this tea, Professor Paul Gronke, Director of the Early Voting Information Center and Political Scientist at Reed College, will discuss the role that computer science has played in election advancement and reform, focusing on the contributions of Ron Rivest, whose new voting system is profiled here.

November. 19th

Josh Barnes of University of Hawaii, presents "Adventures with a Tree Code"

Abstract: A tree code evaluates the gravitational forces between N particles in O(N log N) time.  I will trace the development of the "Barnes-Hut" tree code from its roots in recursive programming and computer graphics, and describe some applications in astrophysics.  Ironically, simulations of galaxy mergers, which motivated the original code, are now limited by issues which have little to do with speed of computation.  However, tree codes live on as an integral component of some of the largest numerical simulations -- models of galaxy formation in an expanding universe.

Bio: Josh Barnes is a faculty member at the Institute for Astronomy, and chairs the undergraduate astronomy programs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  Before coming to Hawaii, he held postdoctoral positions at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics and at the Institute for Advanced Study, and attended the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard College.  After following the Grateful Dead for many years, he settled in Honolulu, where his non-professional passions include family life, travel, photography, and amateur astronomy.

Willamette University

Computer Science

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Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
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