teaching machines

CS 396: Meeting 13 – Innovative Computer Software

Dear students,

Today we welcome John Huss of Integrated Computer Solutions as our guest. John brings us the perspective of working for a small company. You’ll have to excuse me for using this class as an opportunity to reunite with old friends. John is a friend I haven’t seen since 2003. He and I were classmates at the University of Northern Iowa, just like you folks are classmates. The importance of your classmates post-school is hard to underestimate. I even married one of mine.

Fourteen years was a long time ago, but I remember respecting John for his ability to be a good student without getting in trouble with the teachers. I have a faint memory of getting the chalk or eraser thrown at me by one of our professors. I think John was beside me when that happened. In fact, I think the professor missed and hit John instead. Is that what happened? If so, I’m sorry.

But what I remember the most about John is seeing him up on stage at various campus events playing the bass guitar. And he’s still playing. Like all of us, he has many facets. Software developer is just one of them.

Next week, our guest is Marc Harter of Applied Data Consultants.

Here’s your TODO list for next time:

  • Our theme for next week is women in technology. You may not think this is an issue. Could you be one of these fellas?
    Please read the following articles:
    There are many unrepresented groups in our field—not just women—and these readings address only a fraction of diversity issues.
  • Discuss these articles in your small group Slack channel. Consider answering these questions:
    • When we comment on diversity, the internet seems to want to polarize us into bigots or snowflakes. How can we talk about diversity issues without the discussion going off the rails?
    • What ideas from the readings are most interesting, disturbing, confirming, or life-changing?
    • Are there points you disagree with? Initiate a respectful debate.
    • What experiences from your life align or do not align with the articles?
    • What questions might you ask our guest?
    Please make at least two separate posts sharing your own coherent thoughts. Additionally, check out and respond to the posts of at least three of your channelmates. Complete these before next Tuesday at noon.

See you next class!



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