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Congratulations to our graduates!

The Computer Science majors of the class of 2013 are:

  • Toluwaloju Elizabeth Alabi (with honors; Joseph F. Wall Scholarship)
  • Zachary Simkin Butler (with honors)
  • David William Cowden
  • Akshay Arun Gulati
  • Sarah Christen Henney
  • Katherine Leigh Ingersoll (with honors)
  • Alexander James Marrs
  • April Lynn O'Neill
  • Austin Russell Redick
  • David Scott Rosen
  • Aditi Roy (ACM Nick Adams Short Story Contest, honorable mention)
  • Isaiah Azibo Sarju
  • Dilan Üstek
  • Emircan Uysaler (with honors)

Congratulations to all!

First Annual Pledge of the Computing Professional

On Sunday, May 19, 2013, the Grinnell Computer Science Department hosted its first annual Pledge of the Computing Professional, a rite of passage ceremony that provides graduating seniors with an opportunity to reflect on their ethical and social responsibilities. Grinnell College is the second node in the state of Iowa. We were honored by the presence of Nathaniel Borenstein '80, who is one of this year's honorary degree recipients.

Women in computing / Computer Science Table: Recruiting and hiring technical women

At this Friday's session of Women in Computing / CS Table, we'll discuss efforts to recruit and hire technical women. We will consider a variety of resources related to this issue.

First, two popular press articles on Etsy's efforts to build its staff of women technologists:

Second, an article on “affirmative effort”:

Finally, we will consider a series of short approaches from the National Center for Women in Technology's Pacesetters program:

Computer Science Table is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Fridays at noon in the Day PDR (the first PDR at the top of the stairs in the Marketplace/Cafeteria, also known as Rosenfield 224A). Faculty, staff, and students on meal plans are expected to pay the cost of their meals. Students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department.

Ingrid Daubechies Caps a Semester of Internationally Renowned Speakers

Ingrid Daubechies, the James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics at Duke University, gave the Convocation on May 1, 2013.  Daubechies focuses on the mathematical aspects of time-frequency analysis, in particular wavelets, as well as applications. Her research was the breakthrough which made applications of wavelets to signal processing possible.

Her Convocation focused on her work commissioned by the Van Gogh Museum to detect fraudulent art, work that was featured in a 2008 PBS broadcast of NOVA.

Daubechies is a fellow of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the McArthur Foundation and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences (USA), and the Academie des Sciences (France). In 2000 she was the first woman awarded the National Academy of Sciences Award in Mathematics. Prof. Daubechies is the first female and current President of the International Mathematical Union.

Other visitors spring semester included:  

  • Associate Professor Bo-Hae Im from Chung-Ang University in Seoul, South Korea. She spoke about elliptic curves in the Math and Statistic Student Seminar;
  • Paul Zorn, past president of the Mathematical Association of America and professor at St Olaf, who spoke to students about "Extreme Calculus;" and
  • Assistant Professor Fernando Gueverra-Vasquez from the University of Utah who spoke on "How to become invisible without a cloak."

In December, Professor Sam Burer of the Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, presented a lecture on employing optimization techniques in ranking problems with a direct application to college football.

Blanchard Goes GAGA for Compressed Sensing

Asst. Prof. Jeff Blanchard and his collaborator Prof. Jared Tanner (Oxford) recently launched www.gaga4cs.org as the platform for the first release of their compressed sensing software. The software, GAGA: GPU Accelerated Greedy Algorithms for Compressed Sensing, solves large compressed sensing problems with millions of unknowns in fractions of a second by exploiting the power of graphics processing units. Two related www.gaga4cs.org/research have also been submitted in the past year. This ongoing project is the major emphasis of Dr. Blanchard's NSF grant and has spawned three projects involving Grinnell Mathematics and Statistics majors.

Faculty Members Travel Abroad During Spring Break

Professors Jeff Blanchard, Joe Mileti, and Jen Paulhus spent some, or all, of spring break working on research outside of the United States.

Jeff Blanchard visited a collaborator in Edinburgh for a week of intensive writing for an ongoing project. The trip to Scotland paid off with a 50 page paper submitted at the end of Spring Break.

Joe Mileti spent a month and a half in Argentina participating in the Buenos Aires Semester in Computability, Complexity, and Randomness. Between January and June, over 40 researchers in mathematics and computer science across the world came together to present and discuss their work. Joe gave a talk on April 10 about his research on primes in computable rings.

Jen Paulhus was in Santiago, Chile for two weeks beginning a collaboration with a faculty member at the Universidad de Chile. She also gave a talk about her research to graduate students there.

Fire and Ice

Two courses of students and faculty participated in international field trips during winter break 2013. 

Kathy Jacobson and Peter Jacobson, associate professors of biology, traveled with students from their Namib Desert Ecology course. 

Students in Korea's Economic Development course traveled with Jack Mutti, Sidney Meyer Professor in International EconomicsKeith Brouhle ’96, associate professor of economics; and Man-Ching Chan, assistant professor of economics. 

For more about the courses, see "Fire & Ice" from The Grinnell Magazine Spring 2013.

The Science Teaching and Learning Group (STaLG)


The Science Teaching and Learning Group (STaLG) is an open discussion group that has been meeting regularly for a number of years. Our goal is to provide a place where science faculty from all disciplines, as well as others involved science education at Grinnell, can come together for informal conversations, brainstorming and strategy-sharing on a variety of topics in science teaching and learning.