Archive for February 2011

The Work of the Dead Coder Society Confirmed Through Oracle

Oracle recently presented at Stockton through an event organized by the Stockton Computer Society. The presentation was titled, “Are You Ready For Graduation?” and explained what technology employers are looking for in student résumés.

They’re looking for projects. Grades were important, and extracurricular activities were nice, but employers are looking for experience through projects. Projects represent a  passion for technology, as well a drive to learn more on your own. The quality of a project completed shows a level of maturity and an ability to see a job to its completion.

Doing work makes you valuable. Explaining your work reinforces it. Doing both at Stockton makes you a part of the Dead Coder Society.

Cheers to the Dead Coder Society!

Introduction to MIPS Assembly: Doug Taggart

Doug Taggart presented an introduction to the MIPS assembly language, as well as a general overview of coding in assembly. Assembly language is used to control microprocessors and micro-controllers, among other things. It has the smallest amount of abstraction from machine code, and it is quite easy to translate lines of assembly code into binary machine code.

The discussion focused on the basic aspects of MIPS assembly language such as basic arithmetic operation, conditional statements, and control statements. Coding assembly in a unix shell was also reviewed. A basic banking programing written in MIPS assembly, was demonstrated which  encapsulated much of the assembly language functionality covered in the presentation.

The second half of the presentation was an open discussion revolving around the differences between Stockton and Rowan’s Computer Science programs. A brief descriptions of Rowan’s CS faculty was given with emphasis placed on individual research interests and courses taught. The level of student interest was also discussed as was a potential crossover event for the Stockton Dead Coder’s Society and the Rowan Chapter of the Association for Computing Machines.

Feel free to download a copy of the slides used during the presentation here: MIPStalk

Exploring Alton Auditorium with Andrew Hofstetter

Alton auditorium is located at Stockton College and recently underwent a 3.3 million dollar renovation in 2009. Andrew Hofstetter is a student worker for the technology department at Stockton and was able to provide the group with an extensive tour of the facilities. We examined the sound booth on the second level, as well as some of the different capabilities the auditorium provides. Some of these capabilities include remote control of the cameras and a podium that allows the speaker to control the video input. The tour ended after watching one of the pre-selected video clips available to teachers.

Intro to R and New Ideas by Stan Schwertly featuring Joe Mora

pie chart with open mic information

Pie chart generated by R, using information collected from CraigsList

Stan Schwertly presented an introduction to the R programming language this week. R is used in statistics and mathematical applications, and can be useful for a variety of problems. The discussion reviewed reading in a comma-separated values file and interpreting the data with R. Input/Output into different file formats were covered, including exporting a graph to file in 4 lines of code.

Finally, a hypothetical use-case involving the data being collected by the system described by Stan in the first set of lightning talks was described (and later put into action.) The graph displayed at the top is automatically generated by R each night through cron. First a cronjob dumps the MySQL table to CSV including column names. Afterward, R picks up the file and creates the graph. Since MySQL is unable to overwrite files, a cron’ed “rm -f” job eliminates the old CSV file.

Joe Mora was able to attend this talk and prompted the second half of discussion, which was centered around the question, “Where do new project ideas come from?” The group talked about the starting place for new ideas, and where the first inspiration to begin programming starts from. We also discussed how one goes from liking basic things like video games to data structures and more advanced computer science topics.

Some of the members present were in the same class group for the “Software & Security Engineering” class and explained the current project: integrating historical data with Google Maps.