Academic and Career News
UMD CS Masters Graduates
Congratulations to our Spring 2013 Bachelors and Masters Graduates!!!
Second Graders Explore the World of Computer Science
In May 2013, a Duluth Congdon Park Elementary class visited UMD's Computer Science Simulation and Interaction in Virutal Environments Lab (SIVE Lab), operated by Dr. Pete Willemsen. Second graders learned what computer science is like and what we as computer scientists do.
Seven stations provided exposure, engaging experiences, and an education to a variety of computer science related topics. Each station focused on a small and specific subset of computer science ranging from what a computer is, how we represent the alphabet on a computer using binary numbers, how computers can be programmed, Scratch, to how we computers to help scientists.
Volunteers from the CS graduate and undergraduate programs represented a diverse and even mix of cultures and genders. This was purposeful to ensure the 2nd graders interacted with an inclusive and diverse group of students showing a broad spectrum of people (men and women) being computer scientists.
Below is a summary of the stations that we prepared. The second grade class was split into 7 groups of 3-4 students each. Each group spent 12 minutes at each station interacting with the students, equipment, and computers.
Station 1. - What is a computer? - Students learned about the different parts that make up a computer including its memory, long term storage, processing ability, and how it communicates with other computers.
Station 2. - How is a computer built? - Students took a computer apart and put it back together.
Station 3. - How do computers work? - In this exercise, the students learned how computers only use the binary number system (0s and 1s) to make sense of the world. Using the binary representations of the alphabet students spelled their names as a computer would.
Station 4. - LEGO Scratch Programming - Students built LEGO systems that had motors and sensors and programed the motors with software, using the Scratch programming environment. After finishing the assembly of a LEGO kit, students used Scratch to write a program to control the LEGO motor with one of the LEGO sensors. One system, a LEGO alligator, used Scratch to "bite" the person's finger when it gets too close to the alligator's mouth. Hand-outs were supplied showing where students can get Scratch and use it on their own (it's free). There were two LEGO/Scratch stations at the table so pairs of students could work together on one set.
Station 5. - Arduino RGB Light - In this exercise, the students used a very small computer (an Arduino) to construct a small multi-colored RGB LED that could be programmed. They then programed the color of the light with a software program they wrote and changed. This exercise demonstrated the interaction between hardware and software and how colors are represented. Two Arduinos were setup for pairs of students to use.
Station 6. - Sun City, or Gosh, it's hot! - Students used a physical mock-up of a small city to simulate the sun with a bright light. The then determined the hot and cool spots of a city. Volunteers demonstrated how Meteorological Scientists and Engineers use computer simulations to make these observations.
Station 7. - Walk on Mars/Haptic Demo - This was combined demo showing the VR system. The students prepped to be the first astronauts to stand in the Noctis Labrynthis (Night Maze) on Mars. After learning how planetary scientists have collected specific data for the structure of Mars, we explained how scientists use computer science and computer programs to study the red planet virtually. The students each spent several minutes using the virtual reality setup in the lab to stand on Mars and walk around the Noctis Labrynthis. While students waited to, or after they were done seeing the Mars demo, they received a demo of a haptic device to explore how scientists can use robots to help them feel objects that are "in" the computer with the motivation being that if a scientist wanted to feel one of the rocks they saw on Mars, this might be how they'd do it.
|What is a computer|
|Arduino RGB Light|
|LEGO Scratch Programming|
|How is a computer Built?|
GTA Awards in Computer Science
05/09/2013Anand Jha and Swapnil Nawale were recipients of the 2013 Swenson College of Science & Engineering Graduate Teaching Assistant awards for Computer Science! Congratulations!Author: cfordComments
Prof. Pedersen presents talk at U. Alabana Birmingham
Ted PedersenAuthor: cfordComments
, professor, Department of Computer Science, gave an invited talk at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, in the Department of Computer and Information Systems on April 19. The title of his presentation was "Measuring Semantic Similarity and Relatedness in the Biomedical Domain : Methods and Applications."
Top Paying Majors
Technical Degrees Head List of Top-Paying Majors in 2012
Technical majors-particularly those in engineering—dominated the list of top-paying majors in 2012, according to NACE's January 2013 Salary Survey.
The survey found that six engineering majors were among the 10 highest-paid at the bachelor's-degree level. (See Figure 1.) This is not surprising since the supply of these graduates is low, but the demand for them is high.
At an average starting salary of $70,400, computer engineering was the highest-paid major in 2012. Other engineering majors that were among the top 10 were chemical engineering, ($66,400, second), aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering ($64,000, fourth), mechanical engineering ($62,900, fifth), electrical/electronics and communications engineering ($62,300, sixth), and civil engineering ($57,600, seventh).
Computer science majors earned starting salaries that averaged $64,400, the third highest among bachelor's-degree graduates in 2012. Other non-engineering majors whose average starting salaries were among the highest were finance ($57,300, eighth), construction science/management ($56,600, ninth), and information sciences and systems ($56,100, 10th).
NACE's first report on starting salaries for Class of 2013 college graduates will be available in the April 2013 issue of Salary Survey.
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UMD German Grammer Guide on iTunes
The UMD German Grammar Guide developed by UMD Faculty & students is now available on itunes. You can check it out at
UMD German Grammar Guide
By University of Minnesota - Office for Technology Commercialization
Learning German GrammarAuthor: cfordComments
The German Grammar Guide, developed by the Mobile Language Learning Group at the University of Minnesota Duluth, will help you learn the German language by providing two different and effective ways of accessing and learning about the structure of the German language. Language learners at different levels of proficiency can access grammar content at the pace that is right for them.
If you're an advanced learner, you will be able to access grammar tables, and quickly reference relevant grammar content using the Quick View. If you're new to learning German, there is a Guided View that will introduce you to different grammar topics at a comfortable pace.
Languages are complex, and learning the grammar of a language can amount to a daunting and even sometimes overwhelming task. A descriptive grammar, like this one, can help in the process of learning the language. Learning German and communicating in German is your primary focus, and grammar is merely a helpful tool. This Grammar Guide will help you acquire new content and negotiate the highly structured German language, by allowing you to explicitly focusing on those structures that will help you communicate. This brief introduction to German grammar has been designed to provide a quick reference and a short summary of major grammar topics, with maximal ease of use.
Aiding Students at each Level of Language Proficiency
Mobile computing, and applications like this one, can allow students from many different backgrounds and skill levels to access grammar content at a pace appropriate for them. This application was intentionally developed to avoid overwhelming students with too much content too quickly. By accessing grammar content at a comfortable pace, students can continue to have fun learning German!
This app was developed by the students and faculty of the Mobile Language Learning Group at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
For more info on our work, visit: www.d.umn.edu/~mllg/
Additional information can be found at http://www.d.umn.edu/news/2013/February/28.html
Faculty News - Ted Pedersen
Ted Pedersen, professor, Department of Computer Science, published two papers in the Annual Symposium of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) which took place in November in Chicago. These papers were "Using SemRep to Label Semantic Relations Extracted from Clinical Text" (with Y. Liu, R. Bill, M. Fiszman, T. Rindflesch, G. Melton, and S. Pakhomov) and "Evaluating Semantic Relatedness and Similarity Measures with Standardized MedDRA Queries" (with R. Bill, Y. Liu, B. McInnes, G. Melton, and S. Pakhomov).Author: cfordComments