Geek Generation

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Video coming soon. For now a transcript: …

Video coming soon. For now a transcript:

1. This is an advocacy talk on why it's so cool to inspire kids in computer science and ways you can help

2. . I’m a computer scientist with a PhD who has worked as a software engineer and a manager. I can honestly tell you I never ever thought of myself as a teacher. Then I started down the path of primary sourcing geeks.

3. I started by generated 2 geeks of my own. One going to college and wants to major in CS, the other just got back from a lego robotics camp.

4. 2 years ago I got approached to be a part time CS teacher. So I had to learn how to teach what I just *did*.

5. I picked a programming language to teach in (Java) and a book

6. I figured out the important things i wanted to impart about CS, SW engineering and programming, about writing readable code AND about good problem solving skills.

7. But I wanted to have fun with it too - teaching how to count in binary on fingers, and that Oct 24 is Kilobyte day.

8. It took me nearly a year to find a good regular schedule.

9. There are difficulties. Grading and writing tests is very time consuming. Often I'll get a bimodal distribution on tests as some kids just GET it quickly, others take much longer.

10. My sanity savers: Other teachers, AP email list from the college board, and conferences.

11. The upshot is that secondary sourcing has certainly increased my geek generation rate. One problem that I’d really like to solve is to get more girls to come into the class.

12. Incredibly rewarding. Quick story about one kid from this year who was actually struggling, overall but in this case with recursion. He was very good about coming in for extra help. So we went over the concept with the towers of hanoi. When he GOT it… that look in his eyes, that excitement. He had this new found excitement about the class and was able to confidently explain the concepts to other classmates the next day.

13-14. Other cool thing: the end of the year student projects. Wanted to talk about them all but told a story about 2 person teams from last year and this year and how much students love proving me wrong.


16. Guest lectures are awesome because students see how the theory is put into practice. Kids as great questions. Wish I could thank them all. Let me know if anyone else wants to guest lecture.

17. Help with programming contests: logistics/space, mentoring, judging, SWAG!,

18. Pet peeve of mine: very talented kids who write commented code want to put their talent to use, but there are very few internships around!

19. Join the CSTA as a teacher or industry representative. It's free!

20. Contact info.

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  • 1. Geek Generation
    Inspiring kids in
    Computer Science
    Ways you can involved
  • 2.
  • 3. Primary Sourcing
  • 4.
  • 5. 1. 2.
  • 6. // Comments and Javadoc!
    // Write readable code!
  • 7. Programming Concepts
    CS concepts without a computer (
    History (Kilobyte day, Ada’s birthday)
    Interesting projects (
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10. Redmond HS (Redmond)
    Tahoma (Renton)
    Garfield and Sealth (Seattle) Kamiak (Mukilteo)
    Soundview (Lynnwood)
    UW CSE
    ap-compsci email list
  • 11. Secondary Sourcing
  • 12.
  • 13. Student projects – Year 1
    GUI Battleship with AI
    Dijkstra’s algorithm
    Project Euler problem
    Learning Python
    Learning LOL code
    Call Scheduler
    Survey application
    Graphical Graphing Calculator
    Blackjack by a pair of students
    Reimplementation of an early program in C# with GUI
    GUI hangman with Model View Controller
    Battlefield Simulator using Gridworld case study
  • 14. Student Projects – Year 2
    Blackjack with a Graphical User Interface - done by a pair of students
    Lesson on Sequences and Series 
    Soduku Solver
    Guitar Hero
    Learning Mathematica
    Command Line Bridge (Simplified bidding)
    Graphical Tic Tac Toe
    Chemistry Solver (using A* algorithm)
    Robocode Design Presentation - in class Code     
    Facebook game of life application
    CubeFall - Game by 2 students
    Reimplementation of 3 programs in Ruby
    Learning LOLcode
    GUI Rock, Paper, Scissors
    Learning XNA
  • 15. How you can help
    Guest Lecture
    Help with area programming contest
    Provide lesson plans, software, hardware, etc
    Get involved with Puget Sounds CSTA
  • 16. Guest Lecture!
    How computers compute sine and cosine (D. Ballard, ex Microsoft, ex Lakeside)
    The Boot Loader (L. Ballard, Apple)
    Video games and the dead Queue (G. Bartels, ex Surreal, Google)
    Maps (E. Brandt, Google)
    Technology beyond the desktop (A. Brush, Microsoft)
    Developing for mobile devices (J. Buregel, Ontella)
    Points in Career Space (A. Carlson, IMDB)
    Speeding up website display CSS (N. Deflaux, IMDB)
    Web-based systems(P. Franklin, Amazon)
    Applied Software: Global Optimization (M. Hazen, APL)
    Large scale search services (R. Ortega, ex Amazon, A9, Trusera)
    Detecting flame mail (E. Spertus, Mills College, Google)
    Lakeside class scheduler (T. Rona, Lakeside)
    Computing for Genome Science, “How I got where I am today” (E. Walkup, Dept. of Genome Sciences, UW)
    Design Principles For Online Collective Intelligence System Architectures (S. White, ex Radar Networks,Onespot)
  • 17.
  • 18. Hire a high school student
    Studentshave a real passion for what they do
    Takes the “theory” and turns it into practice.
  • 19. New Puget Sound Chapter forming!
    Join if you’re a CS teacher from the area
    Be an industry representative!
  • 20.