teaching machines

CS 330: Lecture 12 – Type Systems Continued

Dear students, Last time, we introduced types as one of the distinguishing features of a programming language. We enumerated a bunch of types commonly supported in programming languages and distinguished between static, dynamic, and duck typing. The first two identify the time at which types are inspected, and the latter referring to the idea that […]

CS 318: Lab 9 – Fixed Positioning

Dear students, Today we begin our exploration of the several ways to break away from the normal left-to-right, top-to-bottom flow of a web page. We started with fixed positioning, because it introduces the ideas of anchoring outside the hierarchy. In fact, fixed position effectively removes an element entirely from its natural position in the hierachy […]

CS 491: Lecture 4 – Pathlete

Dear students: Today we implement a little puzzle game inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: To make this happen, we’ll use an analog joystick to direct the platform. These commonly have five pins: voltage, ground, a horizontal analog pin, a vertical analog pin, and a digital button pin. Let’s hook up circuit like […]

CS 330: Lecture 11 – Type Systems

Dear students, Today we begin our focus of programming language concepts, rather than the tools (regex, lexers, and parsers) that we use for interpreting programming languages. In particular, we start off with types. To get us started, here’s a question to discuss with your neighbor. What are types? Why do have them? In the past, […]

CS 318: Lab 8 – Horizontal Alignment and Gradients

Dear students, Today, we will continue to explore the box model—because we need to. The vast majority of our difficulties with designing for the web will involve alignment and positioning. Suppose you want to horizontally center an element. What must be true? It must be a block element. Centering doesn’t make sense for phrase elements. […]

Introducing Twoville

Some students and I are building a programming language for generating animated SVG images. Rather, each of us is building our own language, because each of us wanted 100% of the learning experience. By the end of the semester, we’ll have four different takes on how to build such a language. My take is called […]

Fourlords Paddle

I said I was going to build a co-op game alongside the students in my gamedev class, but I haven’t touched Fourlords (a clone of Warlords) since before the semester started. Not until today, that is. I am in Baltimore for a conference, with a reprieve from lecture preparation. When not developing humans, I get […]

CS 330: Lecture 10 – Conditionals and Loops

Dear students, The dream of every machine is to amplify human effort—turning a little force at the input end to a big effect at the output end. Our language is starting to have this quality. With just a few utterances we can draw a picture. But there are still two big things missing from it: […]

CS 318: Lab 7 – Box Model

Dear students, Let’s stop a moment to reflect upon what we have done so far this semester: We’ve organized information in a hierarchy and represented it in plain old text. We’ve seen how to make our text “hyper” through the use of images and links. We’ve added style to established elements of this hierarchy. We’ve […]

Wolf Hollow Virus

My children and I just finished reading Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk. As I closed the book, 9-year-old Lewis said that books that win awards are always sad. This book won an award. I won’t go into any of the book’s merits. Rather, I will focus on one non-essential part of it that has been […]

1 2 3