Data! I need more data!

Big data! I don’t know how many times lately I have read or heard that computer science students need to work with big data. But what is big data and where do you get it? If you have ever tried to build fake data you know it can be hard. This is especially true if…

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Time To Mine the Data

Or is it “mind” the data? Last week I read a blog post by Stacey Armstrong (CS News – Video Game Data Mining) that linked to an article about how game companies collect and use the data they collect while people play their games online. (Video Game Data Mining) This is going to be a…

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15 Free Computer Science Courses Online

Trying something different today. Here is a guest post by Karen Schweitzer who has found a lot of interesting online courses in computer science. You can also find free curriculum resources at Microsoft’s Faculty Connection. It is no longer necessary to pay tuition and enroll in a formal program to learn more about computer science….

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Come Find Me at NECC

Early tomorrow I get to the airport to fly to Washington DC for NECC. Saturday is the CS&IT Symposium run by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) with sponsorship from Microsoft Research, Intel and some company that sells ads on Internet search results. Googol or something like that. 🙂 I’ll be talking about certifications with…

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Games As Database Projects

Several years ago I heard a talk by a professor who taught a database course. The case study if you will was a massively multi-player role playing game. is explanation was that all a MMRPG really is is a database with a cool (usually graphical these days) front end. All the complexity of a serious…

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A Group Project – Create an Index File System

Back when I first started writing code for commercial use I was working on a project on a small computer (about the size of a small refrigerator) that was also a very low cost computer (well under $100,000). Obviously a computer like that could not support a real database engine. Whoa! That sounds ridiculous in…

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Who Cares How Fast the Code Is?

Ironically one of the problems teachers can have with teaching about optimizing programs is that computers are a) so fast now and b) getting faster all the time. Students often do not see the need to create more efficient algorithms because they assume that what they have is fast enough and if it isn’t then…

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XML in Schools – Is Now the Time?

The other day I was chatting online with a good friend of mine. Dave was a teacher but has gone back to industry. He’s a SharePoint consultant these days. Its been a real learning experience for him and he seems to be enjoying it. But one of the things he told me is that he…

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Do We Really Need Computer Applications Classes?

Right now I think we pretty obviously do. In the long run I think we’d be better off without them though. David Warlick asks a similar question in his blog and a companion poll. The way he asks it is “Are computer applications something that should be taught in a class, or something that should…

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Learning things the hard way

One of the first things I did when I took over as Technology Coordinator for my last school was to start putting together a backup plan. We eventually had nightly incremental backups and weekly full backups. We had several weekly backups at any given time. We backed up to disk, tape and CD. Some backups…

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