About Ab Van Etten

Evergreen Faculty

Welcome to Computers and Cognition, Spring 2014

June 9:  Here is the schedule I have for conferences:

Ryan Baldwin




Ryan Bartley

We will be in room SEM II, B2116.  This office is in the EWS office area.  I will have my email on, so let me know if you have problems.  Have your questions and evaluations ready.

June 6:  I will sit down with each of you during class to make sure we are on the same page for assignments and competencies, as well as any make-up work.  Be sure to let me know of any extra work you have done, changes in TTT or Mastermind, extra assignments, or other issues.   Show me the changes you made in TTT and Mastermind, along with any extra programs on the computer, so I will know they work if I have problems when I run them again at home.   Again, if you are not in class I will have a hole in your evaluation, so let me know right away if you will not be in class.   Also I need to have you sign up for a time for evaluations on Monday.  There will be a 10 minute slot for every time interval between 1 and 6pm.  If you need longer, then sign up for 2 slots.  My office is in room Sem II,  B2116.   I will not require a self eval, but you need the faculty eval for me during the evaluation.  Check the requirements for the course in the Covenant section of the blog if you have questions.  If you have a missing assignment or missed a class before week 7 you will have to have a make-up assignment to plug the hole.  Make sure I know what exactly you have done for this, even if we talked briefly about it before.   The goal is to have no surprises during the evaluation itself.   I still need an email from you for your individual presentation giving your research resources, and I need a couple of papers from your group for the group presentation tomorrow.  See you then.

June 4 #2:  We will have our group presentations before lunch, so be ready to go with them right away.  You will need a paper copy of your research sources and a paper outlining the contributions of each of your members.  Give these papers to me before your presentation.  It will be a problem if you are not in attendance.  Let me know right away if there is a chance of missing the class.  We will have a sign-up sheep for our conferences.  The times will be from 1pm to 6pm on Monday.  Plan 10 to 15 minutes.  Have your faculty evaluation with you for the conference.  If there is no chance of making a school evaluation, let me know and we will make other arrangements, but email me about this ahead of time.

June 4:  Make sure you email me with the research and presentation you used for your presentation.  In going over your portfolio, I see there are still a number of you who need to show me what you have done on Mastermind.  I will reserve time on Saturday for this, and any other improvements you have made, especially on TTT.  We will have our last Seminar, so do your reading and prep for that.   We will have a competency exam during class, and if there is a need I will stay after and you can do another one then.  Your competency exams will be the largest part of your narrative evaluation.  Don’t let me overlook any extra work you have done.   If you had the 2-4 page summary/analysis of the Create a Mind Kurzweil book to make up for a missed class, I need that right away.  Email it to me before the end of the day on Thursday.  I did not add a forum for Mastermind, as it seems you have a couple of study groups.  Still, email me with questions if you are stuck.  Send me what you have and a description of what you have tried, or why your code does not work.   The code you need to write is just a few lines of code, but it is not easy, especially what is in the while statement.

May 30:  We have an important summary and overview we will do shortly after the start of class on Saturday.  We will, during this process, talk about what you need to know for the review content exam on June 7.  Please be on time and have notes ready.  We will be all be sitting off the computers and up front for that.  We will also spend some time reviewing before the next Competency exam, especially Arrays.  If you have not given your individual presentation, you must contact me before class so I can schedule you.  Be ready for our next-to-last Seminar, over Kurzweil chapters 6-8.  We will also have a time to work on your group presentation, which will be given on June 7.  Again, I will need to leave right at 4pm tomorrow.   I will copy all of the Portfolio folders before I leave.  Remember to append ‘fin’ after any program that is done.  If you still need to improve a program, you will need to show me in class on June 7 what it can do.  We will have a ‘show off’ day for programs on June 7 as well.  If you know you will not be able to meet the requirements for the course, you need to email me or talk to me ASAP so we are on the same page in terms of what you will be doing.

May 29:  You should all have an email from me regarding you status with the competencies.  We will have another exam this Saturday, another one on the final class, and a third try after class on June 7.   There are lots of students who have passed, with the exception of the Array one with still only a handful passed.  We will do another Array example in class on Saturday.  The remaining tasks for you for this last few weeks are as follows:  1.  Readings in Reed and Kurzweil,  2.  Finishing your Portfolio, and especially MM, as well as extra programs if needed  3.  Working on your competencies  4.  Researching and giving your group presentation  5.  Review the content of the course for an evaluation June 7.  I will also ask for your research from you individual presentation in class.  We have a lot to cover on Saturday.  I will have to leave by 4pm on Saturday, but I will plan to stay after again on June 7 for an extra competency exam.   Be thinking about a good time for a conference.  I am thinking Monday, June 9, in the afternoon and early evening.  If you cannot make this time work, email me and give me some alternatives, but try to make that time work first.

May 27 #2:  I posted the practice and regular competency exams we went over in class on Saturday.  They are under Classes/Week 8, or here

May 27:  If you have make-up work for a missed class, either the Create a Mind book or other pre-approved activities, you should plan to have this work in by this Saturday.  The Create a Mind book should be reviewed with a 1-2 page summary plus a 1-2 page analysis/reaction.  Remember you do not need to make up last Saturday.  The big thing at this point is to communicate.  I need to know what you are doing well ahead of time.  We will have our conferences on Monday or Tuesday following our last class on June 7 in my office.   Please be thinking about times that would work for you, and we will discuss the most convenient times in class on Saturday.  The bulk of your evaluations will come from your competencies, programs, and participation.  You will need to be working on your self and faculty evaluations as well.  We will share our evaluations on paper at the conference and discuss them.  This should take 10-15 minutes.   This Saturday at 3pm will also be the last time to update or change all of your programs.  Make a folder called Portfolio in your cubbie and have all your programs there.  One big problem is if you do not attend the last class, you will not have your second presentation.  Make sure, if this is a possibility, you talk to me about presenting your portion of the brain presentation on Saturday.  A few of you need to finish your individual presentation.  Do not let Saturday go by without giving this presentation.   Nice job again to those who both helped and worked so hard on the competencies last Saturday.  Get the help you need, through me or other students.  Make sure you are getting some progress on Mastermind.   This Saturday will be very busy.  We will not be able to DO all we had planned, but we will want to talk about some important details, especially how to make computers fast and solve complex problems.

May 25:  A big thank you to all of you who helped your fellow students with the competencies.  An equally big thanks to those who worked very diligently to master the basics of  programming (and cognition)..  I have posted a couple more example write code and write array competency questions under Classes/Week8.  You also have many other posts on the website or old tests to practice from.  Email me if you are having trouble.  Remember to work on the To Do list, which is actually for 2 weeks of work.  Your final Portfolio must be in by 3:00pm on May 31.  The Portfolio folder in your cubbie should contain:  PWSfin.html, Formletterfin.html, Changefin.html, gradesfin.html, Moviefin.html, crapsfin.html, TTTfin.html, MasterMindfin.html, and any other extra programs you have completed such as crapswithevents or battleship.  Don’t forget to be in touch with your group presentation members and email me if you are lacking focus or have any problem.  You will turn in a paper outlining each member’s contribution to the task.  Group presentations will be on the last day of class, but if needed we can do one next week if there is a reason.  Keep me posted.  A few of you still need to get into a group.  Email me ASAP.

May 23:  Tomorrow will be a catch-up day.  We will begin by working either in small groups or with me on a practice competency eval.   We will work on old programming assignments, especially TTT and Mastermind.   Your final programs must be in your Portfolio by 4pm next Saturday.  We will look at the Machine Language challenge program to divide, and review transistors, gates,  and adders.   We will also have our Presentations.   Our actual Competency exam will be around 2pm or so.  Come with questions ready.  Some of you have make-up work to accomplish.  Make sure you are communicating with me on your progress.  All work, including your report on Creating a Mind, if you need one, must be in by next Saturday, May 31.

May 21:  You should all have an email from me giving your status on your Portfolio, your assignments, and your competencies.  Let me know right away if you do not have this email.   We will work on all the problems or make-up in class this week.

May 20, #2:  Here is the other extra program you can work on finishing if you need a boost to your scores or attendance.  Let me know if there are issues, as it is not tested extensively, but it appears to work OK, and I think you can find many ways to extend this further.  Find it at:  http://academic.evergreen.edu/v/vanetta/bship.html

May 20:  I added another Write Code competency example as a link off the Week 7 page under the Classes Menu item.  Here is another function read example as well.  I have the competency exams graded.  Most of you have passed the read code competency, or are very close.  You will have lots of people in class to help you figure it out.  About half have passed the write code competency, and the function read competency.  Only a few have either taken or passed the array competency.  The competencies will be the first, second and third priority this Saturday, but it will be time wasted if you do not come in after some practice first on your part, so you can have a good idea where you are getting lost.  Without that prior works, it is too easy to have someone show you how to do it, but then forget it all when you have to do it on your own.  I am making a new program for you to work on for extra credit, playing the game Battleship.  Again, you will need to spend time with your Brain group, so try to contact members with some prior research before class you can get organized.  We will start the presentations the following Saturday, but most will be on the last day of class.

May 19 #2  One more thing about the group presentation.  Most everyone will be in class on Saturday.  We will reserve some time for your group to discuss your presentation.  Of course, this will require that you all do some preparation research on the topic, like wikipedia, before then.  Plan on an hour or so to discuss who will do what and the tack you will take on the topics and points of emphasis.  If you are one of the few not coming next Saturday, please contact your other group members with your thoughts and contributions.   We will have at least one competency exam on Saturday, but we will review and practice in small groups instead of the entire class, unless that is the preference of the group.  Again, come to class with some competency practice under your belt so you know where you are getting lost.  I have posted the last exam under Week 7.  Remember you can cut and paste the read code examples into notepad, add the tags, and run them to see the right answers.

May 19:  We will have our group presentation on the Brain on May 31 and June 7, the last day of class.  Each presentation should be about 15 minutes, and you should be prepared for a short Q and A after.   Not all of the members need to present, and you can divide the work load up as you wish, but you will email me with a description of each person’s contribution to the group.  I have left the categories broad and non-specific for a reason.  This is a chance for you to explore and research something that interests you.  If, however, you are struggling to find a point of emphasis or need a more pointed direction, please email me and I will be happy to give you some guidance.  I want you to have a chance first to explore.   I would begin with a Wikipedia search on the topic or topics.  You will need to be in communication with your group members.  Thanks to Denise, I have the groups now as:

Neurons:  How an individual neuron works: Grant Caleb

The Brain as a whole:  regions, communication between regions, plasticity,  disease: Denise, Leala, Andrew, Joel, Ryan B

Brain Mechanics:  How the brain can interface with mechanical/computer devices: Taralynn, Monique, Hayley, Justin

peripherals I/O: Dean, Ryan, Matt, Michael

Neural Nets and efforts to simulate a brain, Consciousness: Hannah, Trevor, Elizabeth, Jeremy

If you are not on this list, please email me right away.  The Perception and Neuron groups have room.  Hopefully you have all shared emails and contact information.  You can use the About Me to find someone’s contact info, or email me and I will give it to you.  You should plan to get together after each member does some general exploration on the topic and divide up the responsibilities.   Please keep me informed if there are problems or you have an unequal distribution of work.  Remember to look for things that perk your interest, and email me if you want to change the focus to something a bit different.

May 16:  At the present time, we have about half of the class who have passed the read code competency, and almost half who have passed the write code competency.  A few have passed the function read.   We are a little behind where we should be.   I am going to prune the 8 puzzle from our topics.  We will do it together in class, so your last big program is Mastermind, which we will go over in greater detail on Saturday.  It will require writing very little code, but you will have to think hard to get what you do write correct.  I have had a number of folks ask about next week, Memorial Day weekend.  Since we have pruned the 8 puzzle, and since we still need some extra help on the competencies, I will not introduce new material on the 24th, although there will still be readings and assignments to do.  Please see me if you have a compelling reason to miss class.  For everyone else, it will be a time to practice, get caught up, and solidify the material.  I would greatly appreciate help with those who are comfortable with the competencies to help individually or in pairs with competency questions.  We will have another competency exam at the first of the class, but I will have a chance to ask questions first.  Try to take the last exam again to see where you are getting lost.

May 15:  I got a note from Dean asking about how to change the size of the buttons.  We had a program earlier that allowed you to change the size and color during the run of the program (See Week 5  Properties)  but he wanted to have them changed initially when the program first ran.   If you have a similar problem, here is an example solution:  Note you can use red, blue, etc.. as values for the background color.  Come prepared to give your Presentation, but we may need to finish some in week 7.  Starting in Week 9 we will have our group Brain presentations.  Be thinking about what you would like to research, including how a single neuron works, the parts and communication of the brain itself,  Neural Networks and brain simulations,  Consciousness and Cognition,  etc..   We will have a sign-up in class.

May 13:  We will have a full hour for Seminar this week.  There is a lot of meat in chapter 5, and not just the kind that will solve the world’s food shortage.   Read the text carefully, but don’t just argue why is will not happen.  Create questions for what you do not understand, and the implications on what will happen if something like the GNR revolution does transpire.  We will also look at the details of how the computer works, down the the transistors and gates.  Read Chapter 14 carefully.  We will also review chapter 8.

May 11:  We have a bit of a mess to clean up after a far too rushed afternoon on Saturday.  I will go over MasterMind in much more detail next week, but you can look at the code to find just the a’s in the response, given 2 codes.  We will finish this code for the z’s on Saturday, and do the code for a good second guess.  You will fill in the code for the 3-6 guess.  It will be surprisingly straightforward, given the difficulty in describing a solution to the code breaking problem as you are playing it.  The computer will just be able to test ALL of the possibilities quickly until if finds one that works.  This is sure easier than TTT.   We also did not come close to finishing our discussion on Arrays, or even Strings.  We will do so, again on the 17th.  For those of you who stayed for the 4-5 (or later) time and saw a couple of the Array competencies worked out, you will be a step ahead.  In all cases, I am relying on you all to help each other, as it takes a person looking over your shoulder to help you spot errors sometimes.  Again, if you can do the basics that the competencies cover, you will be in a very good position to either move forward if you desire to pursue programming or computer science, or you will have a very good grasp on what a computer is, what you can teach it to do, and how the process works.   In the next couple of weeks we will look deeper, and see how the computer actually adds, compares, stores and branches, at the transistor level.  I have put the last competency exam on the website, Under Week 6, or a link here as well.  Notice you also have the answers to the read portions of the competencies under Week 6.   You have many other example competency questions, but email me if you need more.

May 9:  We will begin tomorrow with a competency exam, and we will spend extensive time going over each question after the test.  Make sure you come with note taking material, digital recorder, etc and plan to stop any discussion with a question if you are unclear.  We will then begin discussion on the last piece of the puzzle, Arrays and the array competency.  If you are still working on Tic Tac Toe, go ahead and put that aside for now to concentrate on the competencies.  We will have our ‘show off’ of your Tic Tac Toe program next Saturday.  We will defer our next Seminar until next time also, and this will cover ALL of chapter 5, so continue your notes.  After lunch we will start on our next big program, Mastermind.  This program will be typical of the next level of computer cognition.  You will need to do some deep thinking to figure out how to play this game, and participate in a solution to the code-breaking problem.  We will start our Presentations after our Mastermind and cognition discussion.   Make sure you make a folder in the Workspace area on our ORCA drive.  Put your presentation display materials in this folder.  You can use my computer to display it on the big screen during your talk.  Remember to practice and keep the presentation to between 3 and 5 minutes.  If you are reading this after May 10, you need to make sure you check this page every other day.  It is where I communicate with you.  Read ALL of the entries back as far as you have not read.    All of your programs (movie, number guess, and craps) should be finished by the end of class, and I will check them again at the end of class, but for now, the competencies are job #1, #2, and #3.

May 7:  After looking at a number more of the number guess and craps programs, it looks like we need to make an update in our To Do.   I will look again at all of your previous programs, but for now the single biggest issue is to be able to read and write code, and that is best practiced for now with the competencies.  For now, do not work on finishing movie, number guess, or either craps or craps with functions and events.  Come back to these programs later.  For now, make sure you are practicing reading code and writing code, and the function one if you are OK with the previous 2.   I have put a practice test under the Classes/Week 5 page.  I would suggest you print out this test and find a few other students to work with online or in person.  The skill of reading and writing code will make finishing your other programs much easier, especially since many of them did not work or crashed when I ran them.  Again, put off the second craps program with the dice for now.  Concentrate on the competencies.  Make sure you are ready for your presentation.  We have another competency exam Saturday, and go over it carefully in class.  Take notes and ask questions.  Computer Science, and probably cognition as well, are the application of a few fairly simple ideas recursively, over and over.  The competencies test these basic ideas:  Get your brain to think like a computer when you read code.  Get the computer to think like your brain in write code, Be able to break a program into chunks or functions in function read, and be able to handle lists of information in array write code.  Those skills are the key.  Spending time mastering them will yield big rewards in not only what you can ‘build’ with programming, but with your understanding of what computers are and what they can do.

May 6:  I am about a third of the way through my emails to you regarding movie, number guess and craps.  Some are fine, but there are also a number of programs that are missing, don’t work, or not started.  While you need to show me that you have made some progress on these programs by the end of the quarter, make sure that job #1 (and #2 #3 and #4 for that matter) is to pass the competencies.  If you are behind on these programs, and have not started Craps with Events, but still are struggling with reading code and writing code, spend your time with these problems first.  You have a bunch of read code examples under Classes/week 4.  Click on the link and you will see the output.  Print out the source code.  Trace through the code.  If your output does not match what the program initially gave you, see if you can find where you went wrong.  If you cannot, find where you went wrong and describe why you think it should be what you have.  There will be a number of people in class who can help you trace it.   It is probably the lack of this skill that is giving you problems with your other programs, like number guess and craps, so it will be easier to go back to them after you can read code well.   As far as Write Code practice, I have posted a practice problem here:

Write Code Practice

May 5:  I have added 2 new Forums, one for the two CRAPS programs, and one for Competency Help.  The forums have been badly underused.  Please use them, or get together in person or via email/etc to see if you can resolve issues, but then email me if you remain stuck.  Again, let me know what you have accomplished, what you have tried, and what is still not working.  I hope some of you can heed Trevor’s offer for TTT help.  Brainstorm solutions, but code your program yourself.  Getting together for Competency help is even more important.  7 folks passed the Read Code competency on the first try (Good Job!).  This is typical, if not better than usual for this class.   If you have the competency down, consider helping others, both for their sake but also to cement your knowledge.  4 folks also passed, or nearly passed the hardest competency, Write Code.  It often takes 3 to 5 times before this competency is correct.  Keep after it.  Again, help others when you get it, or nearly get it.   Our first Read Function competency will be this week.  Some of you will not even try it yet.  Once you absorb the few rules that the computer uses to assign variables, it is not too bad.  Look on the Classes/Week 5 page for examples.  We will do 2 more in class this Saturday.

May 4:  Next Saturday you will be ‘showing off’ your Tic Tac Toe program.  You will run your program on your machine and others will run it.   Make sure you have move 3 and 4 done, and try to add any extensions you can think of.  Look at the Classes link for Week 5.  Under Events and Properties there is a program you can run that shows you how to change the size and color of the board.  That is one example.  As we talked about in class after 4pm last Saturday, the easiest, though not the shortest or most elegant way to program move 3 and 4 is to just check every possible location for where an O could be, after checking if your second X in in location 3 or 7.  You might need a dozen if statements to find all the possibilities, but you can mostly cut and paste each, so this will not take much time.  For move 4 it may be easier to look for the blank spaces instead of the O or X, since by move 4 there are only 3 empty spaces left.  Again, the problem is not with JavaScript, or really even programming.  You just need an English model that says unambiguously, using an if type of statement, how to decide where to put the next X. There are many correct answers.   Remember, you copy the if statement:-   if (cnt==0)  {  } for each move.   if (cnt==0) is used for move 2.   if (cnt==2) for move 3, if (cnt==4) for move 4.   Again, if you get stuck, use the forum, work with another student or students, and email me with what you have and what you are working on if you are still stuck.  This program is important, and will be commented on in your evaluation, and must have substantial progress to get full credit for the program.  See what you can come up with.  We will spend time from now on with the competencies.  We will talk about our last one, Writing code using arrays, next time, and we will have your second chance for read code, write code, and Function Read in class.  Remember to prepare for your Presentation as well.

May 3:  The Craps with Events template did not work right in class.  There are sometimes differences how different browsers render HTML, or in this case, the problem was probably the Operating System.  I made a new template that you can run and see here:

Craps with Events Template:

Work on this program, and see how much stuff you can add to make it better.

May 2:  Come ready to participate in the first hour of class tomorrow.  We will discuss the possibilities and limits of computing in a little more detail.  Think about your reading and our past discussions.  How would you answer those questions?  Be involved.  We will spend some time on Tic Tac Toe tomorrow.  You should be finishing move 3 at least.  I will grade your final product next week.   In particular, I will help with questions like:  On move 3, I know if I have an X in this position and an O in that position I want to place my X in position 5..  In other words, you need to, using English, have considered under what condition you want to move to a place on the board.  That is not programming or JavaScript.  It is solving the problem and describing HOW to solve the problem.  It is in your head, and you need to spend some time getting it our.  Think about turning your eyes around to look at your brain working.  That skill is not teachable, but it is practiceable.   Again, we will spend a full hour tomorrow on Seminar.  We will finish Chapter 3 and also Chapter 4 of Kurzweil.  Have your preparation ready.   Have questions and comments, but make sure it is not all tangents.   Ask pointed questions on the content of the reading as well.   Again, we will have 2 competencies tomorrow- reading code and writing code.  We will add another tomorrow on reading functions.  One more to go, on arrays, and you will have the keys to the kingdom.  Try your best to pass the competencies the first time, but you will have other chances.  The trick is to make sure where you end up, and to learn from your mistakes.  Pay attention when we review the answers in class.

 April 29:  Remember that the most important task you must complete to get all of your credits is to pass 4 competencies on how a computer thinks.. We have 2 of them discussed now, and the other 2 will be covered in Week 5.  You will have, then, 5 weeks to pass them, and we will work on examples every class session.  You will have 2 competency evals this week, one on reading code and one on writing code.  Writing code is not easy, and will take work.  I have posted another sample under Week 4/Another Write Code link on this website.   Write the solution in english, then translate to JavaScript.  Your JavaScript should be close, but it does not need to be exact.  I am interested in the programming process and describing how to solve a problem.  Put some dedicated time into practicing for these 2 exams before Saturday.

April 28:  Next Saturday, May 3, will be the most important part of the class.  We are ready to talk about the possibilities and limitations of computers.  We will do that after our review quiz.   I have made an entry in the Number Guess, Move and Tic Tac Toe.  In this post, I have reviewed what we have talked about in class on coding TTT.  You should be done or almost done with move 3 by classtime.  If you have questions, we will spend time answering them, but you will only get good questions after you make some progress with the code.  Use the forum or email me if you need help.  Don’t put it off.  It is doable, but not easy or obvious.  Also, remember to turn in the code you have for Craps, and turn it in before class.  We will spend extra time this week on the Seminar.  Come with your Chapter 3 Kurzweil questions, along with your new questions/summary/critique for chapter 4.  Remember you have a presentation to prepare for.  Put your powerpoint/pictures/etc..  in your cubbie.  Make sure you time your talk and keep it between 3 and 5 minutes.  You will publish your sources as a post to a forum after your presentation.

April 24 #2:   Make sure you are making progress on the Presentation (Job or Technology) you will be making starting May 3.  It will be a 3-5 minute oral presentation along with a Powerpoint or other preparation you have stored in your cubbie.   Check the Presentation link on this page for details.  Again, this should entail between 3 and 5 hours of preparation before your talk.  Start soon, and make sure your topic is reserved on the Jobs forum.

April 24:  I am not seeing any activity on the Movie/NGuess/TTT help forum I posted a couple of days ago.  Hopefully you are all in good shape evolving your program.  Remember, you will have to show you have the skill to write code in class, so monitor your own understanding.  If you get help, great!, but make sure the goal is to understand and not just to get the assignment done.  The programming process is something you will need to be able to do yourself.   Review your notes before class and be on-time.  Several of you need to show you have mastered the basics such as diagramming the computer and listing what it can do.

April 23 #2:  I have posted an entry into the forum for help on the Movie/NumGuess/TTT programs.  I have an overview of what we talked about in class, including some steps to do first.   Use this forum first to get help, but remember to spend some time forming a good question.  State what your program does now, what you are trying to get it to do, and what you have tried already to get this task done.  If you are getting a program crash- that is the program does not work, you can copy and paste the line or two that you added (you should not have more than a line or two added from each successive working program) so someone might help you find your syntax error.   Again, do not reply with code, just point out the problem.

April 23:  I had a question about copying code in the Help forum.  Remember, you are only writing a line or two at a time, testing it to see if it works, saving that working version, then trying to evolve your program further.  If your program crashes, or you get a wrong result, you should know exactly what code is the problem.  When you ask a question in the Forum, you can copy this non-working code, say what you have tried, and form a question to ask of the group.  You should never copy entire programs, as you know what lines are the problem.  Remember, this class goes until 5.  Use the 4-5 hour to get individual help.  It is not extra, it is regular.  I generally stay after 5 if you need that help also.   You need to start on your programs early.  If you try to beat the clock and scramble to get programs done on Friday you will frustrate yourself and choke your learning.   Get your programs a step or two along the way early in the week and work when you have time to make them better.  For example, I had some excellent CHANGE programs from several students for last week that were evolved nicely beyond the basic version.  We will work a bit on Tic Tac Toe on Saturday, but you should at a minimum be thinking about how to explain where to put your 3rd X given different plays by the 0 player.  See if you can try some code, and for sure fix the code for the second X move.  I have a limited version we did in class still on the Workspace you can copy, but it needs tweaked to work right.

April 22:  I have posted a new HELP forum for the Movie, Number Guess, and TicTacToe programs under Communications/Forums.  Use the site first if you have questions, or are willing to help other students.  You can also try to get a time to work together on these problems.  The last forum was not used.   Please exercise this forum, and do so early so you have time to work through problems.  You will post your Movie.html and NumberGuess.html programs to a Week 4 folder you make in your cubbie.  I will be emailing you on your assignment status so far.  Remember, our class runs until 5, and I will stay after that if needed.  Although you can leave at 4 if you are very confident you have the To Do assignments down cold, it would be better if you can get a start if you are at all uncertain.  We will have another quiz the first of class.   You for sure by now should have the model of the computer, and the 6 things it can do down pat.  I will review again some of the other questions, such as the programming process diagram.  Make sure you take and then review your notes before class.

April 21:  There has been a lot of faculty chatter about jobs and the liberal arts degree, prompted by a Seattle newspaper ranking.   In regards to that discussion, if you would like to do your presentation on a technology discussed in Kurzweil, Ch 3, such as nanotubes or quantum computing instead of a job, feel free to do so.  Update your entry in the Jobs forum so we do not have many presentations on the same technology.  Your presentation will be for 3-5 minutes, should include a powerpoint or slide presentation, and should be well researched.   It is impossible to say how many resources you have, since you could have dozens of abstracts or short articles with no real depth at all, or you could have impressive depth and understanding by reading one book.  Let’s instead go with limiting your research time at 3 hours minimum and 5 hours maximum.  If you want to go beyond 5 hours, great, but let me know.  Carefully document the resources you site and reviewed in your 3-5 hours of research.  You will be giving the presentation a week from Saturday, May 3.  Your goal is to present how technology will be changing, or is changing, a job, or how a new technology will be changing how we use computers.    Kurzweil, Ch 2 talked about how there HAS been exponential growth in technology (accelerating returns) and Ch 3 talks about new technology that will ‘guarantee’? the trend continues- until we pass up the human brain.   It is not an easy read.  Start early, read carefully, and make comments and questions as you read.  I am a bit concerned about attendance.  A few folks missed the class and a few more were gone in the afternoon.  Remember, you have 4 hours ‘free’ if you make arrangements.  You have another day you can miss by reading and reviewing Kurzweil’s new book, and after that you will lose credit.  Don’t put your credit at risk.  Be on time and stay involved.   I will not be nagging you, but I am keeping track.   I intend to be fair to the large majority who are present, involved, and responsible.

April 18 #2:  With a big thanks to Hannah, here is a link that talks about how they do the VLSI you read about in the Reed Ch 6 History text:  http://www.lithoguru.com/scientist/lithobasics.html   Make sure you read through all of these posts in case you missed one since your last visit.  Again, it is here that I will communicate with you.

April 18:  Remember to be on time for class tomorrow.  Review your notes, especially the model of a computer and the 6 things it can do.  Come with your change program and grade program to class on a USB drive.  When you are here, make a folder in your cubbie called Week3.   In this folder put the 2 files in this folder and call them change.html and grades.html.   I will run them from home, but make sure they are in your folder by the end of class.  You will turn in your paper review for Chapters 3 and 6 before class.  Have them ready.  Also, I may collect your preparation paper for your Kurzweil reading (Chapter 2), so have that available.   Make sure your Jobs and Technology forum post is done before tomorrow.  I know.. I am reading you basically the To Do list, so this is a second nag…  There is a lot to do tomorrow, so come ready for a challenge.

April 17:  If you have not received an email from me with your scores from week 1, you need to send me an email at 14candc@gmail.com.  The vast majority of you are in good shape.  Remember, it is very easy to get behind and lose credit if you do not keep up, are late or miss class, or get swamped with both new and old work.  Keep current.  Follow the To Do list, and work as early as you can in the week.  Form study groups.  Email me before you get too frustrated.  It may be possible for you to see your cubbies at home.  Try this link:  https://myfiles.evergreen.edu/academics/programs/computers-cognition/Cubbies/    You might have to log in, or try the link just through /cognition    Review notes from the last 2 classes for your quiz at 9 on Saturday.  For sure you should know the model of a computer and the 6 things it can do.  You may want to look at Reed, Ch 5 for JavaScript examples.  Again, I am online often if you have questions at 14candc.gmail.com.   Email me if you want to set a time to chat or phone message.  Here is an interesting link from Gene Angel you might find interesting, if you did not see it on his forum entry:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTMS9y8OVuY   We can discuss this in class.

April 16:  Remember when you do the Change and Grade program, follow the link to the running program and then view the source.  If you try to copy the code on the website you might get an error.  Copy the ‘view source’ code from the running program into notepad, run it there, and then make small changes.  Remember that in Change, it is easier to use the / to find the number of dollars (given) and then all the quarters, dimes, and nickels.  Use % to find what is left after you pull out each type of coin.   You have a Forum just for Change and Grade.  Check it out.   The Kurzweil reading is pretty heavy.  You will not be able to skim it quick and get much out of it.  Start early.  Write down your question to discuss in Seminar.  We will talk about the logarithmic scales on all the charts in class.  You have, or will soon have, an email from me giving you your scores for week 1.  If you do not have one by tomorrow evening, you need to email me so I can give you this information.  An email to me was one of your assignments.  Again, check the To Do list carefully and have all things ready to go on Saturday.  We will again have a quiz at the start of class.  I will probably keep this one to see if your have the big things like the model of the computer and the 6 things down cold.  You can review the KNOW link on the website, but we have not covered all of them yet.  Remember to email me when you get stumped, but see what you can figure out on your own first, or use student groups, forums, or emails first.  I will be online most of tomorrow, so you can see me there.  Add me to your contact list and use gmail.

April 15:  Hope your taxes are done..  I will be emailing you the results of your Chapter 1, blogs, and email assignments.  I still have not received an email from a couple of students.  Remember to check the To Do list very carefully, especially looking for the + marked items so that you do not miss anything.  Again, you will need to turn in the work anyway, so you might as well not have it marked as late.  I have started a special blog for help on the Change and Grades JavaScript programs, so look there for help.  More later..

April 12:  Thanks for a pretty productive and enjoyable class.  I appreciate your involvement, questions, and participation.  It is really helpful for all concerned, especially for an 8 hour class.  I will be gone for a couple of days, returning Monday evening.  I will return emails and be online on Tuesday.  See me on gmail, and remember to add me to your gmail contacts, if you can.  Let me know as problems arise.  Also, I will not be checking your website or formletter until Tuesday, so feel free to improve them until then.

April 11:  Make sure you come on time on Saturday, as we will have a short quiz on what a computer is, what it can do, and Ch 1.   It will serve as roll as well.  Come with notebook paper to class.  We will have several quizzes each session.  Remember to buy or obtain a thumb drive USB memory stick so you can save and load files to and from your cubbies on Orca.   I will be looking at your personal website and formletter from your cubbie.   In your cubbie, make a folder called PWS and put all your files into this folder.  Make sure your root file, the one you run to get your website to display, is called index.html.  You will have time in class to make this directory and change names, as well as a little time to work on the files themselves.  Save your formletter program as formletter.html in your cubbie.  Make sure you let me know if your cubbie is not on the ORCA drive.   I have added our reading schedule for Seminars.  It is on the website.  Remember to check the To Do list and make sure all x marked items are ready.  You will be turning in the Chapter 1 assignment on paper, either typed or hand written.  Most of you have submitted to the About Me and What I Believe forums, but remember to reply to at least 1 of the What I Believe forum entries.  I want you to read the posts, but also want to make sure you can reply.  Form groups with the About Me information.  I am still missing a lot of emails to my email account (14candc@gmail.com).  Make sure I have it submitted before class on Saturday.  If it is not, you will still need to email me, but it will be marked late.  We will have time in class for questions on the website and formletter program, so have questions ready.  Also, if you are having trouble, try to reserve the 4:00 to 5:00 hour to ask questions of me before you leave.  This is particularly true with regards to getting the example program running, making an easy change, and re-running the program in notepad.

April 10:  I am still missing a bunch of entries into the About Me and What I currently believe forums.  Remember, this is a task on the To Do list and must be completed before class on April 12.  In addition, you should look through the entries on the ‘What I currently believe’ forum and reply to at least one post.  Make sure you do not start out behind in the class.  I have often had students who ended up losing credit the first week or two of the course be getting hopelessly behind.  It will happen fast.  We will have quizzes several times in class on Saturday, one right at 9am.  I will use this as review, but also as a way of taking attendance.   While you should review your notes and try to demonstrate your knowledge of things like diagramming a computer and listing the 6 things a computer can do, you NEED to be in attendance.  Review the covenant.  You have only 4 hours of flex time, and you can lose all of those very quickly.  This would apply also to other quizzes throughout the class.  If you are not in attendance for a late morning or afternoon quiz, and you have not contacted me, it will constitute your 4 hours of flex time.  It is too early in the class to break your flexibility bank, so don’t come late or leave early, especially without letting me know.  I have posted a reply to a student who was having trouble getting the html files for the personal website to work.  Again, in general, I will not use HELP to answer questions.  Email be directly at 14candc@gmail.com for specific questions.  Get in the habit, however, to first use the HELP forum for a question, or better yet form a study group and share information online or in person.  Check the About Me forum and contact folks you think you might want to work with.    Try adding my email to the contacts list in gmail.  We can then chat, call, or video during the week.

April 8 (#1):  I mentioned in class that this class in FRONT LOADED, meaning that we will work quickly to get to where we need to be in the first part of the course so that we have time at the end to practice, perfect, develop, and create with the new knowledge.  The same concept is true for each class.  Make sure you do not put off until later in the week the TO DO list of assignments.  Start on each one early in the week so that you have time to improve and extend them.  I am looking at the emails, forum entries, cubbies, and HELP entries, and I am concerned that there is too much procrastination.  Along those lines, I will be available for questions online, either via gchat, gmail, or skype during the day, especially early in the week.  If you catch me there (add me to a hangout in google+), great.  Otherwise, email me with your question and a few times to catch me online that work for you.  Or.. use HELP and ask a question of other students, use About Me to contact other students, or even see if you can figure it out first.  Just monitor your frustration level and time expense.  Shoot for a 10-16 hour window for your week for outside work.  It is easier, however, and more fun if you are improving the requirements rather than cramming to get them done on Friday..

April 6:  I have only received a few emails so far.  Make sure you email me (14candc@gmail.com) and start soon on all of the TO DO list of activities.  I will be out of town tomorrow (Monday), but will be available all day on Tuesday.  Add my email to gchat and catch me online if you want to videochat with a question.  Make sure you scroll down on this page to read all of the posts, as I may post several times per day.  I will have a short quiz at the start of class April 12, so don’t be late.  Remember you only have a few hours of missed time before you lose credit or have a large make-up assignment.  It makes no sense to use this time all up the first few days of class.

April 5: I will post messages on this home page every few days.  Check here often, at least every 2-3 days.  Scroll down for earlier messages. Each message will have its date.  This page is where I will communicate with the whole class.  Do not miss vital messages.