Computer Science Department News

Contained in this news update:

  • How do I know if I should sign up for a 1-credit capstone or a 4-credit capstone?
  • Student Awards
  • Internships
  • What is CIS 390?
  • Update on the Tetris Board
  • Summer Research

How do I know if I should sign up for a 1-credit capstone or a 4-credit capstone?

  • If you are working an internship, sign up for 1-credit.
  • If you have a 4-credit capstone in a different major (like math) and you are using computer science in it, you can use the 1-credit capstone.
  • Otherwise, sign up for 4 credits.
  • 1-credit capstones send in weekly reports and have a presentation at the end.
  • 4-credit capstones meet at least once a week with the professor, need to turn in weekly things that have been done, and have a presentation at the end.

 Student Recognition

National Conferences on Undergraduate Research: Three separate groups of Simpson Students are traveling to an NCUR conference to do a poster presentations on their research.  This is a highly selective conference where there were over 4,000 submissions. To have all three groups get selected out of that is impressive. Please congratulate Tony Clark, Jamie Ethington, Adrian Gibson, Louis Joslyn, Thomas Klein, Kendra Klocke, Abby Lantzky, Kyle Reimers, and Connor Uhlman.

Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium: Louis Josyln, Adrian Gibson and Thomas Klein got their demonstration of “Calculating the Melting Temperature of Linker DNA” accepted to the 2014 MICS conference.


A 1997 alumni from Homesteaders Life Company is looking for software interns! Currently we are setting up a time for him to come in. He will be at the Kent Campus Center from 11 am until 2 pm. Even if you aren’t looking for an internship, drop by to learn what it is like to work there.

 Update on the popular question “What is CIS 390?”

  • This class will be offered in the Fall of 2014.
  • The end-goal, work with a team to create your own game using the Unity Game Engine.
  • It is a web-based course. The first part will involve video tutorials.
  • It is a team-based project.
  • Most of the class will involve regular meetings with your team, and then working together as a team to create a project.
  • Grades will be done individually based on the assets and programming done during the prior week.
  • Programming will be done in C#. Modeling will typically be done in Blender. Having experience in either of those would be good.
  • If you like highly structured and very specific assignments, this course is not for you.
  • If you have difficulty getting things done and turned in, this course is not for you.
  • If you want to work hard with a group of other students and create something truly awesome, maybe even something that could be sold, this is the class for you.
  • Prerequisite is CMSC 150. I recommend Junior or Senior standing. If you aren’t yet at that stage, but you think you can program like your are, that is ok. Having C# or Blender experience is a plus.
  • I will send out information closer to summer on tutorials and other ways you can prepare. If you’d like to get the boring tutorial stuff out of the way during the summer and leave the fun programming to the Fall, that’s an option.

 Update on the Tetris Board

Progress continues on a giant Tetris board. See Dr. Craven if you want to help program it!

Students work to put together a giant Tetris Board

Students work to put together a giant Tetris Board


Summer Research

The University of Illinois is pleased to once again host the Passionate on Parallel Research Experience for Undergraduates for summer 2014. This NSF funded program will bring 10 undergraduate students to the top 5 ranked Computer Science department at Illinois for a 10 week program of hands-on research focused on the application of Parallel Programming to real-world issues. Participants will be mentored by Illinois faculty and their research teams and will also participate in a series of seminars on the research experience. No prior experience with parallel programming is required.


PROGRAM DATES: June 2 – August 8, 2014