CS 111
Foundations of Computing for Scientific Discovery

Denison

Big Idea Thursdays

BIT 0: What is computation?

Discussion date:Thursday, January 27
Reading: The Pattern on the Stone, chapters 1 - 3
A Tinkertoy computer that plays tic-tac-toe
Like Water for Money
Discussion questions

Your 1-2 page response paper and two discussion questions are due on Monday, January 24. Please send both to me in an email.

Your paper should respond to the following general prompt:

According to Hillis, what is the nature of computation? Compare and contrast with your previous understanding of what is meant by "computation."

Please note that this is a purposefully minimal prompt. You are encouraged to take your response in any direction that interests you. For example, you may want to focus on one particular aspect of the reading or pose questions that you would like to investigate further. You will be graded on both the content and organization of your paper.

BIT 1: Computation and its Limits

Discussion date:Thursday, February 10
Reading: The Pattern on the Stone, chapters 4- 7
Discussion questions

Your 1-2 page response paper and two discussion questions are due in class on Monday, February 7.

BIT 2: Evolutionary algorithms

Discussion date:Thursday, February 24
Reading: The Pattern on the Stone, chapters 8 and 9
Evolving Inventions
The Many Facets of Natural Computing (optional)
Karl Sims' evolved creatures
Discussion questions

Your 1-2 page response paper and two discussion questions are due in class on Monday, February 21.

BIT 3: Emergence and swarm intelligence

Discussion date:Thursday, March 10
Reading: Emergence, through chapter 7
Maze solving by an amoeboid organism
Discussion questions

Your 1-2 page response paper and two discussion questions are due in class on Monday, March 7.

BIT 4: Networks

Discussion date:Thursday, March 31
Reading: Six Degrees, chapters 1 - 5 (minimum)
Discussion questions

Your 1-2 page response paper and two discussion questions are due in class on Monday, April 4.