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A break from your regularly scheduled programming....

February 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm


       I haven't talked about it much yet, but I am really enjoying and being challenged by my intro to computer science class. Computer science is unlike anything I have ever done before, which is both incredibly exciting and somewhat nerve racking. I choose to take this class because I was honestly just curious, and wanted to try something different. 

        Already we have done a large variety of programming, mostly with the help of partners. These projects have included things like a scrabble program that would come up with all possible scrabble words, given a hand, and then output the word for the highest amount of points.  We have also done programs, which could encode messages, say whether an inputted date was valid, as well as one, which could convert a number into the written number.

            Yesterday, for the first time in a while, I really did not have very much homework. Inspired by the Tic-Tac toe game that we programmed in class, I (with the help of one of my friends) was able to create a program for hangman. I think this was an incredibly fascinating experience, because there were no guidelines whatsoever, and yet eventually we got a finished result. At times it was frustrating, but little by little we got the program to work.  This program takes a random word from the dictionary, and then gives the user ten tries to guess what the word is. Nearly every time, the random word ends up being something fairly obscure, which makes the game all the more interesting and difficult.

            I think these programs really show how much creativity can be involved in computer science. For every program there are many different ways of creating it. I didn't quite realize that in computer science, we can truly write code for what ever we want to do. You can just write down code for anything, and then see what happens when you run your program! Sometimes programming can become very frustrating. Several times, I have found myself staring at the computer screen not really accomplishing anything, stuck on one specific part of a project. Sometimes, it helps to take a break from the program and come back to it with fresh eyes. On the flip side of this, this frustration results in even more satisfaction when you finally do figure out how to do what ever you are doing.

            I'm still not so sure what I think of the idea of majoring in computer science , but I am definitely glad that I took the class. It has really encouraged me to think in a very different way. I feel like the opportunity to take this class is a wonderful example of the benefits of a liberal arts education.  Carleton allows me to just experiment with interesting subjects, even if I may not end up being my chosen field. This is especially helpful freshman year, when I am not entirely sure what field I will focus on.  

      I can’t believe it is already 5th week, this terms seems to be flying by even more quickly than the last.  Also I apologize for the lack of pictures in this blog, I have some pictures of campus, but other than that, I haven’t found very much to photograph, hopefully I will have some photos in the future!