minutia press.
ACM Fireside Chat

David has posted about the ACM fireside chat that took place last night. Here are my observations.

  • The Wash U ACM organization is one of the most active (and fun) groups of its kind in the country. As such, it deserves to be designated a National Treasure.
  • With its National Treasure status, the space ACM occupied formerly and presently on Lopata 4th floor is hallowed ground and should be appropriately protected from inappropriate appropriation (by a plausible proclamation).
  • Now that the ACM organization is both a national treasure and the undergraduate advisory board for our department, they should be able to convince The Powers That Be to bestow upon them the space that they want and need to continue as a vibrant, active, useful organization.
  • Learning C and assembly before 342 will be helpful, especially if somebody explains to students how C++ translates into assembly language (that is, what is going on behind the scenes).
  • Next time I do 101 I'll try to have students do a lab or two by booting Linux instead of Windows so they can see that Linux (unix) is not so scary.
  • Although the food was good, there was not enough of it (see next post above).

My sincere thanks to David, michael, Sean, Joseph, and to the new officers Ben, Jim, Raquel, James for all their work for the ACM chapter.


I think points 4 and 5 are really good. I'm taking 342 next semester and am worried because I have no programming experience in anything but Java.

I especially like point 5 however. In fact, maybe it could be taken a step further. I have Linux installed on my computer, and wanted to do my programming in it, but never really had enough time to actually get everything working correctly. It is significantly more difficult, I found, to get Java working under Linux. So maybe if there were at least instructions available, students would be more likely to try out Linux. Actually, this summer I was planning on trying to set up a Linux computer that can completely duplicate my Windows computer, and of course Java will be on there. I'd be happy to provide any results that I find to help future students.

Posted by: Nathan at April 30, 2003 9:37 PM