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  • Blog Post: 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 you want the data to be “real”...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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 database...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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 thinks schools need to teach...
  • Blog Post: 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 be learned...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Take Part in a National Survey of High School Computer Science

    The CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association) is conducting a survey of the state of high school computer science in the US. If you are a high school computer science teacher in the US please take part in this survey . There is a lot of discussion and anecdotal reports of declining enrollment,...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started with SQL Server Express - Video Training for Beginners

    I see that Microsoft has released five more videos in their SQL Server 2005 Express Edition for Beginners series . (Now that is a mouthful of a title. There are now 13 difference videos that make up almost 9 hours of training. The videos can be watched as streaming or be downloaded for offline viewing...
  • Blog Post: Picking Programming Languages for High School - Never Ending Story

    I see that Susan Canaga is bringing her school's discussion on programming languages looking for industry opinions. This is a topic I have addressed a number of times before (most recently here ) but one which never seems to be settled. In any case if you an opinionated individual and want to put in...
  • Blog Post: Static Typing, Dynamic Typing or maybe both?

    Erik Meijer has a new interview up on Channel 9 . Erik is one of the people at Microsoft who I have a ton of respect for. Erik is a brilliant computer scientist (he used to be a university computer science professor) who is currently working in a product group creating the next generation of Visual Basic...
  • Blog Post: Databases for Beginners

    Now available for free is a series of video lessons that use SQL Server 2005 Express Edition to teach databases. The whole series starts here and includes over four hours of video-based instruction. There are 8 lessons in all and they start at the very beginning with "What is a database?" You may...
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