Announcements, Spring 2013
Project 5 scores are posted on ANGEL, with an explanation on the
Projects web page.
Course grades are posted on eLion, with an explanation of ANGEL.
Final exam scores are posted on ANGEL, with the grading scale.
Project 8 scores are posted on ANGEL, with an explanation on the
Projects web page.
On the way - Project 5 scores, final course grade.
One of my favorite web sites is The Daily WTF. Here's an
April 26, 2013
The SRTE forms are now available on ANGEL, until Apr. 28. So
far, 46 out of 123 (as of Apr. 29).
Project 7 scores are posted on ANGEL. Grading info is attached
to the project paper.
Project 4 scores are posted on ANGEL. Grading info is posted
on the Projects page.
Project 7 is graded, and the scores will be posted later
today. The papers will be returned in class Wednesday and
Project 3 scores are posted on ANGEL. Grading info is posted
on the Projects page.
Some of the Project 7 scores are posted on ANGEL.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. in 222 IST we'll be giving a
presentation entitled "So you think you know C?" It
will feature some of the more
obscure properties of the C language and common pitfalls to
watch out for. Whether
C is your favorite programming language or you've never
written a line of C in your
life, some of the lesser known trivia is sure to catch you
by surprise. We won't
have pizza, but we will be rewarding participation with
The SRTE forms are now available on ANGEL, until Apr. 28.
Project 8 is posted.
Midterm Exam 2 grades and solution are posted on ANGEL. We'll
return the exams in class tomorrow.
Project 7 is posted.
Prof. Heller's office hours on Monday, Mar. 25, will be changed from
10:00-11:30 to 11:30-1:00.
Mar. 20 - two announcements on behalf of HackPSU, and the PSU ACM
HackPSU is a student-run hackathon held at Penn State University. Hackers
from universities all along the East Coast and Midwest will come together
to hack on web, mobile, and hardware applications for the 24-hour
competition. Students get the opportunity to show off their skills, meet
other students and connect with startups for jobs or internships.
If you have no prior knowledge, do not fear. This is a great chance to
learn something new & have a shot at winning awesome prizes while doing so.
*Sign up & see more details at http://hackpsu.eventbrite.com/*
Judges include Steve Huffman, co-founder of Reddit, David Rusenko, founder
of Weebly, and Justin Kan, co-founder of Justin.tv
There will be tons of free food!
1st place- free trip to CA to tour the hottest start-ups in the valley,
meet the founders and VCs, hear interesting talks and of course attend some
awesome parties and networking events along with 100 other top hackers from
around the country.
2nd place - $1000
3rd place - $500
An Xbox, Surface and iPad Mini will also be given away.
Hey ACM! We'll be holding a hackathon preparation meeting Wednesday night at 7
p.m. in 222 IST. With HackPSU this weekend and HackPrinceton the weekend after
that, we want to go over some tips and tricks for success at hackathons. We'll
discuss how to come up with feasible project ideas, which platforms work well for
hackathons, and look at some example projects from previous events. Pizza will be
served. SEI Investments will also be at Wednesday's meeting to give a short
presentation about their company and job opportunities. Like many companies, SEI is
on campus this week for Spring Career Days. The technical career day is this
Thursday, March 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center. If you're
looking for a summer/fall internship or co-op, be sure to attend.
Today's CMPSC 311 class is cancelled; still trying to recover from
pneumonia, and wimping out on the snow/ice forecast.
We'll continue the Process Control and Signals discussion on
Wednesday, and shorten the Shell Scripts discussion next
Monday. Because of the lecture delays, Project 6 can be turned
in on Monday, Mar. 25.
The second midterm exam will be as scheduled on Mar. 27; if you need
to arrange for a conflict exam, send email to dheller at
The Midterm Exam 1 scores and solution are posted on ANGEL.
We'll return the exams in class Friday Mar. 15.
Project 6 is posted. We'll discuss it in class Mar. 13.
Registration for CodePSU,
Penn State's own programming competition, is now open! This
event is co-hosted by the ACM and
AWC clubs and is
sponsored by Google, Microsoft, Accenture, Capital One, and Booz
This semester's competition will take place on Saturday, March 16
from 1-6 p.m. in the Cybertorium (113 IST). Complementary
dinner by Rotelli's is provided at the end, and prizes valued up to
$300 will be awarded to the top teams.
CodePSU is modeled after the ACM's International Collegiate
Programming Contest (ICPC). In teams of 1-3, you will have 4
hours to complete 10 problems. These problems vary in
difficulty, so this competition is appropriate for all undergraduate
programming levels. Team matching is available the day of the
event, so be sure to register even if you don't have team members in
Today's CMPSC 311 class is cancelled, while I try to recover from
Project 5 is posted.
State Patty's Day has become a Penn State tradition. It's long
past the time to put an end to this stupid idea. Get drunk on
the actual St. Patrick's Day, if you insist on insulting the Irish
with your bad behavior.
Today's CMPSC 311 class is cancelled, while I try to recover from a
hacking cough and fever.
We'll start the Unix System-Level I/O discussion on Monday, and
compress the Files and Directories discussion on Mar. 1. The
notes are already posted.
Reminder - the Project 4 Dropbox will be open until Sunday night
11:55 pm. Project 5 is to implement macro expansion in the
Project 4 code, so a solution to Project 4 will be posted soon after
the Dropbox closes.
From the NY Times, Feb. 19, Chinese
Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking Against U.S.
and Feb. 20, China
Says Army Is Not Behind Attacks in Report
The evidence, from Mandiant -- APT1: Exposing One of
China's Cyber Espionage Units (PDF, 76 pages)
From the NY Times, Jan. 31, Hackers
in China Attacked The Times for Last 4 Months
Project 4 is posted.
Midterm Exam 1 review information is now posted.
Project 3 is posted.
Here is how to get onto the ACM TechNews mailing list. First,
if you prefer simple web access, just go to http://technews.acm.org/ on a
regular schedule. For a subscription, create a myACM account
(this does not require paid membership) at https://campus.acm.org/public/account/signin.cfm
. After registering, go to https://myacm.acm.org/dashboard.cfm?svc=lists
to change your email preferences and make sure you are subscribed to
From ACM TechNews,
Storing Digital Data in DNA
Wall Street Journal (01/24/13) Gautam Naik
Researchers seeking a biological solution to the world's ever-growing amount of
digital information have successfully encoded audio and text on fragments of DNA,
and later retrieved them with 99.99 percent accuracy. The researchers note that DNA
could sit in a storage device for thousands of years without degrading. Scientists
at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute
held an experiment in which they downloaded various audio and textual content onto a
computer and represented it as computer code. A program then converted the code
into letters corresponding to DNA's four chemical bases, and segmented the code
string into about 150,000 fragments and indexed them. A lab machine used the
information to generate DNA that was then fed into a sequencing machine, which read
back the DNA fragments as the letters A,C,G, and T. The next step involved software
reassembling the DNA fragments in the proper order, converting them back to 1s and
0s that were interpreted as the original content file, which could be played back.
The next challenge for DNA data storage is making the process more commercial and
MIT Scientists Achieve Molecular Data Storage Breakthrough
TPM Idea Lab (01/23/13) Carl Franzen
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a method for
storing data on individual molecules at room temperature, which could lead to a
1,000-fold improvement in storage density. The method was demonstrated on a type of
"supramolecule," which was created by binding graphene molecules to zinc atoms.
"Each molecule is around one nanometer in dimension and hence this will let us
achieve storage as high as 1,000 terabytes per square inch," says MIT's Jagadeesh
Moodera. The researchers were able to get the molecules to store binary data by
placing them between two electrodes, which were used to change the conductivity of
the molecules between two states, representing the 1 and 0 of binary code. "The
idea here is to be able to have more and more information available in your portable
pocket device," says MIT's Karthik Raman. "Hence if such a work can make it to
technology, with the existing size of our portable device we can store 1,000 times
more information in the form of documents or music or high quality video files."
The researchers believe their work could eventually lead to quantum computing and
quantum bit memory.
Project 2 is posted.
We will hold a Unix/Linux kick-start session in 218 IST on
The idea is to cover basic login, edit and compile operations, as
well as remote login. Some of this will also be demonstrated
in class. Plan to attend one of these sessions even if you
already have some experience with Unix or Linux.
- Monday, Jan. 7, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
- Tuesday, Jan. 8, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
- Wednesday, Jan. 9, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
- Thursday, Jan. 10, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
- Saturday, Jan. 12, 9:00 - 10:30 am
- Saturday, Jan. 12, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
We will pass around a sign-up list in the first class meeting, so
you can pick which session to attend. The room has only 30
computers, and we have 125+ students. The Saturday sessions
are mostly intended for late-comers and second-tries.
Some information about the CSE Dept. Linux systems --
More information is available under the General Instructions link on
the course home page.
- Your initial password is your nine-digit PSU student ID number
followed by Cse. Your password from Fall Semester is
probably still valid, if you had one. The PSU CSE Dept.
password is not the same as your PSU Access Account password.
- If you get the message "Account Locked", this condition lasts
for 15 minutes. It is designed to slow down automated
- If you tried to start Firefox from a terminal window with the
should work without complaint.
Watch for the description of the first programming project on the
course home page under the Projects link.
Ubuntu on a smartphone - http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/phone
Some reviews -
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