Thursday, September 8, 2011

Computer Science I

For my Computer Science I course, I was in the same large auditorium that I had my Chemistry class in, which meant I spent a lot of time in that room. Just as I can't remember a lot of specific things from my American History class, having had so many classes in it, I've taken a lot of programming classes, so it's hard to remember where one ended and the next began.

I do remember a lot of late nights in computer lab down in the basement of the library trying to get my programs to work. I felt the pain and frustration of repeated failures, followed by the rejoicing that would inevitably come when the program finally worked properly.

I remember being amazed by the video our professor showed in class about the making of Toy Story. Here was this fully animated feature film that paved the way for the movies we see today (although if you trace backwards, you'll find Tron paving the way for Toy Story).

I remember taking tests by writing code on a piece of paper to be hand graded by a grad student, an experience many fellow students and I would repeat throughout several other CS courses, until I led my programming team to develop a system for facilitating computer-based testing and grading of student code-writing abilities in a proctored testing center I managed when I worked in the CS department.

One of the coolest things our professor let us do is see what our grade was without taking the final and decide if we wanted to attempt it or not. If we chose not to, there was no penalty. If we chose to take it, you could possibly have your grade go up or down depending on how you did on it. Gambling for grades. I chose not to take it.

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