Throughout the semester, I will offer you various opportunities to earn extra credit. These will almost always be events I’ve chosen for you to attend because of their relevance to our class. To earn extra credit, you must email me (as soon as possible but no later than the last day of class) a 250-300 word write-up of the event that includes a description of the event as well as commentary on its specific relevance to our class as well as its general relevance. Each time you attend an event and send me a write up you will earn an extra point at the end of the semester.
The first extra credit opportunity is for you to watch either the movie Hidden Figures or The Imitation Game.
Each group has been assigned a specific machine. After you’ve had a bit of time to familiarize yourself with your machine, you will quickly give a demo to the class by covering these points:
- What’s the name of your machine?
- What year was it manufactured?
- How much did it cost then and how much would that be in 2015? (Search online for inflation calculators.)
- Can you think of anything you can do with your assigned machine that you cannot do with your own contemporary computer? This could be anything from functionalities built into the keyboard to the way the machine is designed to be opened up and tinkered with to the affordances of a command-line interface to the affordances of certain programs or games.
Group 1: Apple IIe
Group 2: Altair 8600b
Group 3: Canon Cat
Group 4: Commodore 64
Group 5: Vectrex
Below are questions I ask myself when I am assessing your presentations:
- Have you demonstrated that you have thoroughly read, digested, and understood the material you’re presenting on?
- Are all your claims and facts about the reading accurate?
- Are you engaging with the overall themes of the class as we are working through them in class?
- Is your presentation well organized and carefully thought out? Is there a logic to the ideas you’re presenting in the order in which you’re presenting them?
- Do you make eye contact with your classmates? Do you try to avoid reading directly from your notes?
- Have you made an attempt to present the material in a way that is both sophisticated and engaging?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to all these questions, you can be sure you will receive an ‘A’!
Each group will be responsible for presenting an overview of an assigned section from the reading. Please also try to find some revealing images to show the class – you can email these to me with your group # in the subject line.
Group 1: Babbage
Group 2: Analog computers
Group 3: Turing Machine
Group 4: Electromechanical versus Electronic Computation AND Atanasoff
Group 5: Colossus
Group 6: Turing’s Automatic Computing Engine
Group 7: Manchester Machine (extra group member)
Group 8: ENIAC and EDVAC
Hello everyone – I’m glad to have you in our class! The first and most important thing I’d like you to do is to “follow” our blog. You should see a small “follow” tab somewhere on this page (depending on what browser you’re using). Click “follow” and you can subscribe to our blog so you always get email updates about homework and announcements.
Second, please look through the syllabus, assignments and schedule carefully. This is a paperless class so nearly everything will take place through this blog.