The Core Curriculum takes up most of a Mudder’s first three semesters. It’s intended to give all of us a base of knowledge across the different scientific fields, as well as the humanities. As a frosh (freshman) all but one of my classes are Core. And while I have enjoyed all of my classes this semester, I think there is one that has stood out. Introduction to Computer Science, commonly called CS 5, has been far and above my favorite class. I think it is important to begin by clarifying that I had absolutely no experience in computer science at all before Mudd, and frequently broke computers by being in close proximity to them. Despite that, CS 5 has been amazing.
Jessica’s favorite part was learning to draw circuits. She adds:
“My favorite part of CS5 is how the things we learn (in this case binary) are connected to something more tangible (like circuits) instead of remaining abstract. In this way, we can apply them to most of the other majors and all of us can benefit from taking this class even though we may not become a CS major in the future.”
“These are pictures from my favorite part of CS5: Making an AI that can sometimes beat me in connect 4.”
Connect 4 was popular:
“I don’t have a picture but my favorite moment was when I had trouble figuring out whether I should feel smart or stupid after I lost to the Connect Four program I wrote.”
“My favourite thing about CS 5 has been how accessible Prof Dodds is! I could just email him questions I had, and he would answer them! (Although there is a lot of people in CS 5!) He is also very nice and encouraging! Now, my favourite project that we did is probably the text adventure! I knew about these text games, but I didn’t know how they would do it, so it was fascinating for me to learn and make my own. I did one about finding a table tennis partner in HMC and had a ton of fun!”
Anya’s favorite part was modelling the behavior of ants and where they will go. She describes the pictures of it:
“The nice one is the ant class we made when it only follows one ant, and there’s only 4 ants. The ugly one they change which ant they are going towards each time. Colors are always random.”
I’m going to end with what has been my favorite part of CS 5 so far: using recursion to draw creative shapes!
We learned how to use an online program, called Turtle, to program python code that would draw. These shapes are made out of a few lines of code that repeat through recursion. I really loved it.
That and learning to program my own AI.