teaching machines

Stepping Up in Deltaphone

Recently I added chords to Deltaphone, which required me to rethink how I was structuring the blocks to play notes. Previously, the play block came in two forms. There was a form for an absolutely-specified note, like “play C natural in the fourth octave.” And there was a form for a relatively-specified note, like “play […]

Kookaburra in Deltaphone

Though we have been in Australia for several months, we have hardly seen any of its unique wildlife. Fearing that we’d return home with no distinctly Australian experiences, we set out to find some animals. Given the number of news reports I’ve heard about kangaroos injuring humans, we decided to take it slow. We headed […]

Sensing Shapes

In the late 1600s, William Molyneaux posed a question to a friend: Suppose a man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a cube and a sphere of the same metal, and nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell, when he felt one and the other, which […]

Flips and Twists

Living in the Southern Hemisphere after a lifetime in the north draws one’s attention to geometric concerns. I regularly trace a path through time and space to remind myself if I am 15 hours ahead of my colleagues back home or behind. Different stars light up the sky. Many phenomena, like the seasons, flip. But […]

Stolen Rings

Recently, I stole something precious from a friend. I was sitting in Andy’s office, and there it was. An interesting shape. Three rings nestled inside each other. They could rotate independently, but if any translated, the others would follow. I had to have these rings. So, I stole them. Well, I stole the idea of […]

Introducing Deltaphone

A collaborator and I have been talking about turtle geometry lately. Meanwhile, I’ve been taking the piano lessons I was never forced to take as a child. One thing led to another, and now these two separate activities of my life have had a child. That child is named Deltaphone. Deltaphone is a blocks programming […]

Vector Giraffe

One of the ways I hope to make it through my children’s teenage years is to make games with them. I think we’ll be able to skip over drugs, alcohol, tattoos, skateboards, and pubescent love entirely if I play my cards right. To that end, I’ve made decent progress on getting my kids to learn […]

Resize and Pad Images

I was recently given the task of converting a massive corpus of images (10) to a fixed resolution with a fixed amount of padding. In the past, I’ve used ImageMagick to make quick work of problems like this, but I can never remember its commands. Maybe I should write down my solutions as an investment […]

Barrel in Pixels

My sons and I have started taking a Coursera MOOC on pixel art. Our first assignment was to create a barrel, like that which might appear in a “pirate game.” Here’s my interpretation: I’m not sure that I thought about pirates at all as I laid down those pixels.

Digital Musical Instrument Design

Welcome to Digital Musical Instrument Design, one of the courses at the 2018 Summer Computer Science Institute at Carleton College. This page contains all the course notes and exercises that you will need throughout the week. Day 1 On this day we introduce the notion of a sound wave, and we see how the frequency […]

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