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Computer Science Crew

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Computer Science Crew 2009-09-29 14:02:25


Welcome to Newgrounds' Computer Science Crew. This a place for all those who are either studying Computer Science or have a keen interest in the subject to group together and discuss related topics of their choice. Everyone is free to post in this thread, assuming they stay on topic, so there is no need for "Can I join?" posts.

I would also like to remind you all that Computer Science is a lot more than simply computer programming. Those who are studying Computer Science at university/college level should know this. There are a wide range of topics covered under this subject. Such topics that may be discussed here include: Emerging Technology, Interactive Systems, Computer Systems, Database Systems, Internet, Communication & Mobility, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Graphics, Operating Systems, 3D Modelling & Animation, Robotics, Biologically Inspired Computation and Computer Games Technology to name a small few.

I would like to make some of the following points clear:
- This is not a thread for advice on building or modifying computers. If you came here for such advice, I shall redirect you to the Computer Construction Crew.
- This is not a thread for questions regarding computer related problems. If you came here for such advice, I shall redirect you to the Computer Hospital.
- This is not a thread for receiving answers to homework questions. You may, however, ask other users for information on a particular Computer Science related topic.
- Although programming may be discussed here, this is not a thread for coding help. If you came here for such advice, I shall redirect you to the Programming Forum.
- Obviously, the standard BBS rules apply. Should you need to refresh your knowledge on these, they can be found here.

Please, keep this information in mind when posting.

I'm hoping that this crew will interest and bring together a lot of users who share a similar interest in Computer Science to that of my own.

Also, a thank you goes out to 36Holla for letting me see how this crew goes!

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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-29 14:22:15


I'm going to be taking a University Course of Digital Forensic's when I leave college!

Can I join?

Your friendly neighbourhood devils advocate.

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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-29 14:35:11


At 9/29/09 02:22 PM, ArmouredGRIFFON wrote: I'm going to be taking a University Course of Digital Forensic's when I leave college!

Can I join?

Obviously Digital Forensics isn't an aspect of Computer Science, although the technology that it uses is. You are free to discuss anything related to Computer Science here as long as it sticks to the guidelines I mentioned.

I also mentioned no "Can I join?" posts, yet I get the feeling you were trying to be wise there.

Anyway, in order to give this thread a bit of a starting point those interested in visiting regularly should perhaps give a brief introduction about themselves and why they have chosen to post here. I might as well go first.

I'm in my first year of Computer Science which I am studying at university. I'm really enjoying the course so far and have already started work on several small projects. For my Emerging Technology module I have to create a 30 second(ish) Flash animation. I've finished that with 2 weeks to spare. Granted it's not the most advanced use of Flash, but it does the job. I might even submit it to Newgrounds should I feel it worthy.

For my Interactive Technology module we have been asked to become familiar with Second Life. Once we have got the hang of it we must design and script a creature of our choosing. I've gone for recreating my dog and plan to give is such features as playing fetch with any user.

I've also been asked to write a short report on the topic of "soft computing" for my Praxis module. I haven't started on this yet, but it's due in a week today.

I've always had a keen interested in Computer Science, even if I didn't give it the fancy label in my younger years. I'm hoping to meet a few people here on Newgrounds so that we can discuss the subject and perhaps help each other out should we need it.

Anyway, that's enough about me for now. I hope to hear from a few users in the near future.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-29 21:46:12


I've just started my second year of Computer Science straight at University of Birmingham.

It's swell.

Just to get an idea (and potentially some discussion), what languages are you learning in your first year? Any in specific?

We learnt java last year, and this year we learn more java, c++ (i think), and prolog.

Prolog is awesome, check it out when you have the time.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 03:26:25


At 9/29/09 09:46 PM, BananaBreadMuffin wrote: Just to get an idea (and potentially some discussion), what languages are you learning in your first year? Any in specific?

I'm at Heriot Watt University which is just outside of Edinburgh myself.

So far we've only started on Java in our Software Development module, although I'm sure we move on to others in later years. It's my first time using Java, and I seem to be picking it up pretty quickly compared to some of the others. It has been about two years since I last programmed and even this it was in Visual Basic 6.

We will be making a start on Linden Script pretty soon. It's the scripting language used in Second Life if you didn't already know. I was rather surprised to find out Second Life is used for educational purposes.

I'll be sure to look into Prolog like you suggested. I've not heard the language mentioned much whilst I've been here, but there's no harm in learning something new anyway.

Out of curiosity, what other modules or classes do you have in Computer Science aside from the programming based ones? A lot of people seem to think that Computer Science is nothing more than programming, which I find a little odd.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 05:15:27


Nearly finished my first year of a Bachelor of Software Engineering degree at Australian National University, so I guess I'm in.

At 9/29/09 09:46 PM, BananaBreadMuffin wrote: Just to get an idea (and potentially some discussion), what languages are you learning in your first year? Any in specific?

Well, first semester we did Haskell, but that was just a general introduction to Programming rather than anything specific. This semester we're doing Java in one course, and SQL/Database programming in another. I personally find SQL a pain and a joy at the same time. It's enormously painful since it's so rigid, and simple expressions that would make absolute sense in Java, when given in SQL, the parser spits the dummy. However, it is good when it just works perfectly and gives you the query results you wanted.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 05:23:29


2nd year student for Computing Science(Art Intelligence) Bsc at Aberdeen University.

Wait! You get to muck around on Second Life while I had to suffer BlueJ for a year?

Luckly we've moved on to NetBeans! :D


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 05:26:40


i can program in c - -

but not c++

so... am i in?

Also I know a bit of z++ and k#


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 05:35:57


At 9/30/09 03:26 AM, GodsBitch wrote: Out of curiosity, what other modules or classes do you have in Computer Science aside from the programming based ones? A lot of people seem to think that Computer Science is nothing more than programming, which I find a little odd.

Well, as I've half-mentioned, I'm doing Relational Databases as well as Introduction to Software Engineering as my Computing faculty courses. My other two this semester are Physics (ugh) and Maths. Somewhat annoyingly, it's these last two that are the ones taking up most of my time.

At 9/30/09 05:23 AM, Sweeper128 wrote: Wait! You get to muck around on Second Life while I had to suffer BlueJ for a year?

What is Second Life? I've never heard of that before.

Anyway, I use Eclipse as a Java IDE... just love that autocomplete, it makes getting the Syntax right so much easier, and you don't have to worry about trawling through a million syntactical compiler errors when you go compile it.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 08:16:45


At 9/30/09 05:23 AM, Sweeper128 wrote: Wait! You get to muck around on Second Life while I had to suffer BlueJ for a year?

Oh, I have to use BlueJ in my Software Development module. I had never used Java prior to this course so I was pleased to hear that we were starting on the really basic stuff. Now though, I've managed to bore myself a little since I've been working with Java in my free time to get used to it and now the lectures seem a little repetitive. I suppose there's no harm in me trying to get ahead of the game, although some people here are already fluent with Java. They must be bored out of their mind when in the Software Development classes.

At 9/30/09 05:35 AM, ParadoxVoid wrote: What is Second Life? I've never heard of that before.

Second Life is a virtual world where most of (or all?) the content is user created. It's not used only for education. A lot of people treat is as a game, which it is not as there are no rules. Any one can use it, be it for education or entertainment. I suppose it is good for learning how to script.

It's also nice to see a few people posting here now. I hope you all choose to stick around.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 08:21:11


I use netbeans solely because I do all of my work in the labs at uni (open 24/7, yay) and they have netbeans on. It's good enough. What's the auto-complete do in eclipse?

As for modules, well, in the first year I did as follows:

First Year Java Workshop
Information & The Web (XML, HTML, CSS, and a little javascript)
Intro to AI (theory of artificial intelligence)
Foundations of CS (theory work relating to sorting, hash tables, graphs, etc. No language used specifically)
Design & Media (Group work creating a 'media product', we made a dynamic website in my team)
Software Engineering (About how to create a good program, how companies go about doing so, etc)
Language & Logic (An introduction to formal logic, was the best module of the year imo, so much fun)
And then two modules of my own choice (I chose introductory maths for those who haven't done Alevels in maths).

The end.

Also @ ParadoxVoid, that's cool. I had the option to learn either Prolog or Haskell this year.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 09:13:56


As I mentioned in a previous post, I have to make a Flash animation for my Emerging Technology module. I've spent several hours trying to familiarise myself with Flash as the guy teaching the module has been away for two weeks, although there were meant to be files on the university network instructing us what to do. The network has had some problems so far, and it was only sorted out a few days ago, so we didn't really know what we were meant to be learning in Flash. I just self taught myself the basic features.

We met our lecturer again today now that he's back, and he apologized for the network muck up and told us that by next week he wanted us to make a Flash on something along the lines of a square that uses motion tweening, shape tweening and follows a motion guide. After hearing this I was rather shocked, as I've spend ages working on a 30 second animations involving a stickman meeting various items while out for a walk that end by him being hit by a car. A lot more advanced that what is expected of us.

On the up side I should receive full marks for this project. At least I hope, after all the work I've put into it. I've also been considering making something worth submitting to Newgrounds, but in general, I wouldn't submit something that I wouldn't enjoy watching myself. Might be a while before you see anything in the Flash Portal from me.

It's only three weeks into the four (possibly five) year course, and already I feel like I have learned so much.

So far most people only seem to be discussing programming, which is obviously quite a big part of Computer Science. I'd like to know what kind of projects you've had to work on that don't really involve programming, like Flash example.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 09:27:24


meh, computer science is just a branch of mathematics. did some while i was doing that, mostly just some programming, and a module on history of computing which was pretty cool.

also, lol @ bbm being at birmingham, i literally just finished a job app for there yesterday

Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 12:50:11


At 9/30/09 09:27 AM, jonthomson wrote: meh, computer science is just a branch of mathematics.

Luckily, no maths for me this semester. I think I get a maths module after Christmas, and since I already have a B at higher (A-Level in England I think) and sat Advanced Higher (but failed) I think I have to do the more advanced math module out of the two.

Anyway, I just got back from an Unreal Tournament LAN that some of the older Computer Science students set up in one of the computer labs. It was dead at first but about 30 mins - 1 hour in all the computers were taken. Never played the game before (it was the original, not UT3) but I was coming between the middle and top of the leader board. Hope they have more LANs set up now and again, but it did take up a lot of computers.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 16:20:48


Still in high school here, so nothing fun yet.

Next semester, I'm taking a more hardware-based Computer Sciences course. I was kinda disappointed, as I really wanted to make it into the more software based one, but it was already full. :l Luckily, they overlap alot, appernetly, so I should get a bit. From what I heard, they are teaching HTML mainly for the programming aspect of the course.. Other than that, there really isn't much else. I do a little bit of Visual Basic programming when I'm in the mood, and I'm planning on learning AS 3.0 once I get Flash, in a few weeks.


This looks froody.

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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 16:41:52


I'm a hardware guy.

The ins and outs of a circuitboard are of endless intrigue to me. I've been trying to learn a bit here and there off the internet, but I can't find any sources that actually go into extensive detail. I'm trying to find if there are colleges nearby that offer computer related classes, but so far no good.

Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 17:05:46


Hey guys. I've been looking into CS for awhile now, and now that I'm a senior and looking at colleges, it's becoming more and more real. Once I get Java down, rebuild my computer, and start college, I'll be good to go =D


RAWR.

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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 17:22:27


At 9/30/09 04:20 PM, XIII13 wrote: I was kinda disappointed, as I really wanted to make it into the more software based one, but it was already full.

I'm the same as you, in that I prefer the software aspect of computing over hardware. Don't feel to upset though, there's a lot of fun to be had tinkering around with computer hardware if you enjoy doing anything technical. Sometimes I wish my knowledge of hardware was better, which is one of the reasons that I'm going to be building my own computer sometime soon.

At 9/30/09 04:41 PM, ThoseSneakyFrench wrote: I'm trying to find if there are colleges nearby that offer computer related classes, but so far no good.

You really can't find any? When you say computer related classes, I assume you are referring to something more suited to studying hardware, since that's your topic of interest? I'm sure there will be some sort of course for you somewhere close by.

At 9/30/09 05:05 PM, TheWolfe wrote: Hey guys. I've been looking into CS for awhile now, and now that I'm a senior and looking at colleges, it's becoming more and more real. Once I get Java down, rebuild my computer, and start college, I'll be good to go =D

Before I started my Computer Science course I was really wanting to get to grips with Java, but unless you really want to be ahead of the game there isn't any real point. You really will start from the very beginning when being taught how to program in Java. I was expecting that you should already have some sort of programming knowledge before you came, but at least half the people on my course have never programmed at all! Knowing some VB6 from school did help me a little. Not so much with the Java language, but it gave me an insight to what programming is all about.

------------

I could use a little help from some of you. I have to write a short report (around 500 words) on the topic of "soft computing" but I really have no idea what this is. I took a look on Wikipedia hoping to skim read the article and get the general idea of the concept, but the article doesn't look like it makes 500 words itself.

I think it's more the idea of getting the structure of reports right more than the content, but I still need some information on soft computing. I can't really find any sources on the web that give me a good description. If any of you lot could give me a quick rundown on what it actually is I would be most grateful.

A link to a decent article on the topic would also be helpful.

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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 17:27:51


I just learned how to build a computer a year ago, and this year I'm taking CS 1 and 2.
Right now I'm using Alice, and will be using Java in a week or so.
I'll learn other stuff in college lol.

And French, doesn't that mean you're into CSE?


RAWR.

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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 18:12:01


Computer sciences doesn't apply to software+hardware as a whole? Well, my bad. I guess I would be into CSE then. DX

Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 18:32:21


At 9/30/09 09:15 AM, gumOnShoe wrote: omg, auto-complete is amazing XD

No only does it provide auto complete for the basic java api, but you also get it for anything you right. Any time you use the . on an object, a list pops up next to the cursor that is narrowed down alphabetically as you type until you find the function you want. On top of that, the java docs are displayed next to the list for the currently active function. You rarely need to open a browser to look more in depth into an object.

But the really nice features include the auto formatting for comments, the refactoring, the ability to produce javadocs and junit test suites inside. You can also use Eclipse for c++ development, and I managed to do some action script development in it as well, though I wasn't crazy about it.

Swell. Netbeans does indeed have an auto-complete thing, and also works for anything you wrote yourself too, also refactoring + auto-formatting save my skin so many times.
I'm sure both IDEs are pretty similar. Apparently some of the menus and things on eclipse are more intuitive according to a friend though.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 18:37:21


At 9/30/09 06:12 PM, ThoseSneakyFrench wrote: Computer sciences doesn't apply to software+hardware as a whole? Well, my bad. I guess I would be into CSE then. DX

Well, from what I've read from my course handbook, none of the modules really focus much on the hardware. The only real mention is that the Introduction the Computer Systems module has a little information on hardware. Obviously I cant really tell you much about the amount of hardware based content in the CS degrees as I'm only three weeks in and I'm sure it will differ in each college/university.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 18:42:35


At 9/30/09 05:22 PM, GodsBitch wrote:
At 9/30/09 04:20 PM, XIII13 wrote: I was kinda disappointed, as I really wanted to make it into the more software based one, but it was already full.
I'm the same as you, in that I prefer the software aspect of computing over hardware. Don't feel to upset though, there's a lot of fun to be had tinkering around with computer hardware if you enjoy doing anything technical. Sometimes I wish my knowledge of hardware was better, which is one of the reasons that I'm going to be building my own computer sometime soon.

Yeah, I know. Like I said though, it's a pretty basic, entry level course. Were talking grade 10 open level, entry-level course, so they pretty much said they overlapped a lot. Unfortonatly, or perhaps fortunatly, my build will be starting before my course, so either I will horribly at building it, or I will get a jump start on the course.

------------

I could use a little help from some of you. I have to write a short report (around 500 words) on the topic of "soft computing" but I really have no idea what this is. I took a look on Wikipedia hoping to skim read the article and get the general idea of the concept, but the article doesn't look like it makes 500 words itself.

I would love to help, but I have no idea what it is either. :P Sounds interesting though, make sure to let us know what it is once you find out.


This looks froody.

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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-09-30 19:00:10


At 9/30/09 06:42 PM, XIII13 wrote: I would love to help, but I have no idea what it is either. :P Sounds interesting though, make sure to let us know what it is once you find out.

Since the report only has to be 500 words I'd be as well to post the entire thing once I have it written up. I really was expecting this to be a fairly easy task, but the lack detailed of sources makes me think this is going to be a lot harder.

As for it being an interesting topic, I doubt that very much from the little information I read on Wikipedia.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-10-01 19:40:46


At 10/1/09 12:46 PM, gumOnShoe wrote:
At 9/30/09 06:12 PM, ThoseSneakyFrench wrote: Computer sciences doesn't apply to software+hardware as a whole? Well, my bad. I guess I would be into CSE then. DX
Well, computer science doesn't even necessarily have anything to do with Software, which I wish someone had told me going into it. CS, at my college, was "soundly based" in theory. Which means that when you graduate you understand a lot of why a computer is built the way it is, or why software is the way it is, or how to tell whether software is optimized, but not enough to actually get a job developing software.

In america, if you want a good job in the computer industry, it seems to me, you ought to plan on going to grad school. :(

Yeah, I plan on getting a Masters. But I have no idea in what. I would have thought you'd at least learn how to program things in CS?

And I'm not even sure if I wouldn't like CSE, it's just I'm so use to and comfortable with home computers, and building computers and such, where as with circuit boards and such I'm totally lost and have no experience.

Plus, it looks like people with CS degrees and some business experience get to be the high paid managers of software programming, where as CSE engineers just go out and find a better way to make a light bulb, or wire a house, or something complicated and hands on like that. I know they get paid more, but their major seems 10x as daunting and difficult.

Truth?


RAWR.

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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-10-02 03:45:00


At 10/1/09 07:40 PM, TheWolfe wrote: Yeah, I plan on getting a Masters. But I have no idea in what. I would have thought you'd at least learn how to program things in CS?

In my Computer Science course there is a fair bit of programming. We've also had a lot more practical work than theory work so far. I even found out that 3/4 of the modules I'm doing this semester get the grades based on coursework, not written exams. The one exam I do have is done on a computer as well, which is a little better than doing a hand written one in my opinion.

Also, can someone please give me a definition of "Soft Computing"? I've been searching the internet and I'm really struggling to find enough detail to write my report on the topic. I thought this was going to be a really easy task as well.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-10-03 17:19:24


I take it nobody knows much, if anything, about soft computing then? I spend several hours searching the web for a decent source and found nothing.

The part that is going to make my report a little more tricky is that I have to refer to at least 3 sources and I'm struggling to find one worth using.

I also only have 2 days to get this thing done now.

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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-10-03 17:40:00


Can someone explain to me what computer science is? All I really know is that it's a popular course at college, and I'm sending my application of soon, so I'm interested.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-10-03 19:01:46


At 10/3/09 05:19 PM, GodsBitch wrote: I take it nobody knows much, if anything, about soft computing then? I spend several hours searching the web for a decent source and found nothing.

If I can remember correctly, it is something to do with replicating the human mind with software.

The web says look for Fuzzy and Neural Networks.

Here is a link for a web Neural Network, but that would only allow you to create a Neural Net instead of learning enough for sources.

Sadly, after skimming my notes for my AI exam, I couldn't find much for you to look at.

But Fuzzy and Neural Network techniques are used in Chess, I believe. There's something.


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Response to Computer Science Crew 2009-10-04 04:58:54


At 10/3/09 05:40 PM, Obvious-M wrote: Can someone explain to me what computer science is? All I really know is that it's a popular course at college, and I'm sending my application of soon, so I'm interested.

Computer Science is basically the theory of how computers work/what they can do. It does get practical as well though. There's programming involved, which is usually Java to start out although I imagine this may change depending on where you are studying. I've done quite a few interesting things so far. Making a Flash was fun and so is creating content for Second Life which allows us to have a look into scripting.

If you enjoyed doing computing at school then you should like doing Computer Science.

At 10/3/09 07:01 PM, Sweeper128 wrote: But Fuzzy and Neural Network techniques are used in Chess, I believe. There's something.

Neural Networks and Fuzzy Logic were some of the other topics given to the other students. I take it I've been given the general term that covers all these fields? If so then this might be easier than I've been making it.


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