Computer Science Association, BITS Pilani

November 13, 2009

IF I by Demetri Martin

Remember the Amphitheater meet? To really understand CSA one has to look beyond the managerial aspects of it and delve into its technical as well as social depths.

Friday the 13th, a get-together of the association with Demetri Martin‘s award-winning ‘If I’ video to be aired as a starter followed by the semester review meeting. There was a decent audience that gathered despite the chilly night and the sudden illness that many of them (inside and outside the association) took to.

The introduction ‘nubes‘ receive for Demetri is thus:

  • he composes everything on his own for his show: the music, the art and the witty lines of course;
  • his jokes are not just funny but they are thought-provoking;

The show takes us through different phases of Demetri’s life by exploring the dictionary meanings of the word ‘IF‘ and using it to explain some why he did the things he did. Here are the hidden thoughts that should get you searching You Tube for the videos (the links can be found below).

  1. Trying/Doing things that you really like: Does solving the cube interest you more than studying for a mid-term test, go ahead!
  2. Achieving technical competency in areas where you think you are good: Good at social media? When a social media activist asks you to talk about it for five minutes on the topic are you up to it?
  3. Keeping your mind strong through self-imposed hurdles: Does waving at the girl-next-door scare you? Do at least one thing everyday that makes you feel scared/insecure.

Trust me, you’ll find your niche in the one hour you spend on it. The entire video is in 6 parts of nine minutes each:

55minutes of watching and 5 minutes of reflection (maybe a blog post?) should make your day! Hope you have all the fun in the world, provided IF you have access to youtube… 😛

October 26, 2009

Copyright issues College Associations Need to Worry About

Copyrights secure the owner of a creative effort the exclusive right to control who can make copies, or make works derived from the original work. It is a legal protection given to authors, artists, and composers to prevent reproduction, sale, or adaptation of their work without their consent. The copyright owner has exclusive rights for printing, reprinting, copying, selling, and adapting the copyrighted material. Rights included in copyright may be inherited or transferred much as other property. They may also be protected against infringement in the courts.

Works not protected by copyright are in the public domain and may be copied and used freely by anyone. Copyright protection extends throughout the author’s or artist’s lifetime and 50 years beyond; upon expiration of the copyright, the work falls into the public domain.

Here are a few simple ways in which college (or university) associations (or societies) can avoid all the trouble and get work done without worrying about copyrights:

  • Be Creative. Or at least Innovative: Before dictionaries start claiming copyright infringement let us define the words as follows.

Creativity is doing something never done before and innovation is building something never seen before.

If you are creative you are not only innovative but also original. If you are building on something (derivative works) that is already present and exhibit it as something never seen before you are just copying original ideas. But, it is sufficient if you are able to innovate in this manner because it would be a lot difficult to see if really you have violated copyrights.

  • Publicize when required:

Now, when college associations conduct events we often need to exercise a lot of care as to the material we use or produce. For example, a case study event should not borrow cases from a book/website directly. Even if we do (for educational purposes, say) we should not put it up as our own work i.e., the matter should not move beyond the gates of the campus.

If you are not sure about the material in hand, then make sure you know the places where it is being put up: blogs?Website? Social Media (highly dangerous)

  • Create awareness:

People would not really violate the copyrights if they understood the consequences of it. So tell them about

  1. Copyrights
  2. Copyright Infringement
  3. Protecting Copyrights

You could do so from:

October 8, 2009

CSA Meeting

Filed under: History — csa2010 @ 8:25 am
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Venue: SAC Amphitheater, Time: 9 PM

Like most of the CSA meets, this one too was initiated with a round of questioning each new recruit asking them their interests and plans for future. Many of them had common interests: while some in programming, some animation and some even in gaming!

The advice given

  1. Trouble seniors: Ask people to teach you whatever you want to leatn without bothering what their reaction would be.
  2. Meet people: Don’t confine yourself to your rooms, move out and get to know how people work, how they think. 
  3. Explore: As first and second years are not very much equipped with a lot of technical knowledge it is very important for them to keep searching newer avenues and that alone will aid them in understanding the subject
  4. Attend: Watch out for every single notice that comes and attend the lectures, events, workshops which are going on in the campus. Learn something new from them. 
  5. Manage: Whenever CSA organizes a event it is very important to know the minutest details of how it is organized. Hence your presence is mandatory in two ways: learning what is being taught and understanding the back-end preparation

We do hope to have such meetings from time-to-time and develop good team spirit. After all, Team work means More WE and Less ME. 

October 7, 2009

Mind Turner 2.0

Filed under: Events — csa2010 @ 7:01 am
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Audience consisted of students from all years and disciplines. Hands shot up and answers were fired: right, wrong and a shade bit funny. No matter which category the answers were predominant in, the fun element was clearly visible.

Then began the serious part of the session… The Quiz

Rules and Regulations of “The Quiz”

ü Max. of 3 participants per team

ü 3 points for general questions and 4 points for star-marked ones

ü A final jackpot, a Su-do-ku round.

The quiz started off with a simple logical problem involving lions and deer.
As the quiz proceeded the questions tickled the participant’s grey cells and made sure that a competitive tempo started building.

 

An excited audience

An excited audience

 

The questions posed were multi-disciplinary, ranging from Mathematics to Philosophy, Science and technology to Science fictions, Business to Bitsians etc. To answer them one required a general touch in fields pertaining not just to Computer Science but also many other areas.

There were some “Photo-Connect” and “Decoder” problems which required crisp logic to arrive at the solution. The questions framed were really good and intellectually challenging. However, there were some extremely enthusiastic participants who discouraged quizmasters from giving clues to some questions which they planned to give. This clearly reflected that we had an intelligent audience.

The Final Su-do-ku round was a new addition in this event which came as a surprise to the audience and added quiet a twist at the end. A Su-do-ku puzzle was given which amounted to 10 points and a hidden word which has to be found using the clues amounted to 15 points. Many toiled a lot in the jackpot round but it proved too difficult for many of them who attempted it.

Mind Turner


Conclusion

Mind Turner completed its 2nd edition under CSA 2010 banner successfully. We’ve seen an excellent start of events in this academic year encouraged by huge attendance and we look forward for more events of this kind in future. So here is to a wonderful upcoming Mind Turner 3.0 🙂

 

TURING TALKS III

Filed under: Events — csa2010 @ 6:52 am
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6th of September, Sunday: The 3rd session of Turing Talks went underway, the topic being “Puzzles & Brainteasers”. It was conducted by Mayank Mohta, a 4th yearite and ex-Google Campus Ambassador. It was arranged in room no. 5106, LTC by CSIS.

The talks were basically held with the simple motive of showing puzzle-enthusiasts the proper way to approach a problem as well as have fun while solving it.

The talks began on a light note by Mr. Mohta or rather Mr. Turing telling everyone to venture into the unknown by taking up challenging problems and experience that “Eureka” moment!

He emphasized that it should not be merely for an interview or for the sake of friends that you solve problems but one must take joy in the amount of brain-teasing a problem makes us undergo.

The session

After that, everyone was subjected to a great variety of puzzles: from the relatively easy ones to the toughest nuts to crack. The subjects of all the puzzles were amusing yet interesting. The bonus attraction being that anyone solving a riddle would get a chocolate!

The hidden motive behind this Turing Talk, as the astute would have deciphered by now, was to encourage people to participate in outside events and bring BITSian populace amongst the most enthusiastic competitors in all technical festivals henceforth. We felt that even if a handful of them get inspired by the idea and let their brain wander we’ve achieved our purpose 😀

Turing Talks I & II

Filed under: Events — csa2010 @ 4:32 am
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Computer Science and Information Systems, CSIS, BITS Pilani in association with Department of CCTV, BITS Pilani conducted two consecutive lectures on learning the software ‘FLASH’ on 22nd and 23rd August, at Lecture Theatre Complex, LTC, 5102.

With a turnout of 150 students in the first lecture and 80 in the second it showed that there were many people who would attend our lecture series. The audience was a mix of students from multiple disciplines including 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th yearites. The audience were informed that they will be required to bring their laptops in order to follow the lecture.

Those who could not bring the laptops were either adjusted in other groups or provided one. Also, those who could not bring installed versions of FLASH CS3 in their laptops were given pen-drives to do so.

I

After the initial adjustment, Mr. Satish of CCTV started the Turing Talks by starting from the very basics:

  • creating shapes and filling colour in them,
  • using the time frame and
  • creating key frames

Then he wonderfully explained shape tweens and motion tweens. The talk ended with the display of some fascinating interactive web pages/websites designed by the CCTV dept.

II 

On the next day, i.e. Sunday, he resumed the talks with a short recapitulation of the previous day’s lecture. Then he shifted gears to topics of greater complexity like the animations of a ball following a trajectory and masking a photograph.

All in all the talks were informative, interesting and got everyone to start appreciating the uses of FLASH. Many of the first yearites whom we interacted with after the lectures told us that they have understood the basics well. They were also curious about the next set of lectures and showed eagerness in learning more and more. 

@Turing
Not everyone can be Mr. Turing 🙂
Not all topics to be covered in lecture series are core compsci but there is a lot to learn in these basics as well.

Turing Talks

Filed under: Events — csa2010 @ 4:26 am
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What is a lecture series without a name? Most of the Association members were truly inspired from the  Ted Talks and wanted to conduct lectures which facilitate great learning. 

We came up with the name of Turing talks. The person taking the lecture shall be called Mr. Turing for the day.  

 

In the further posts we will be taking you through the Turing Talks 1-5.

October 6, 2009

Hello World!

Filed under: History — csa2010 @ 7:04 pm
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A familiar title to start with? Well, being the Computer Science Association, we feel nothing would suit us better than “Hello World!” as our first step in the blogging world. Now that we are here, its better to get a few things clear. 

What we are not going to blog about: 

  • Articles already existing on the web. We use Google Reader to share those. 
  • Coolest of links and latest of news from the tech savvy world. Our Twitter updates tell you as much. 
  • Constant updates that tell you when our next event is or which room number it shall be conducted in. We use the public Google Group for that. 

What we are going to blog about:

  • Our  newsletters which give you a BYTE of knowledge every fortnight.  
  • The history and reasons behind each event we conduct. Just a mention of the rules. This will be of course followed by a synopsis of that event. 
  • The ‘CSA’ perspective on the things that keep happening around us and get us interested. We share our opinions, our thoughts. 

A special attraction:

Apart from the three broad headlines we have mentioned, we will also be having contributions from various sources in terms of innovative project ideas. We, at the association, plan to nurture such ideas and take them to completion. Further, these projects would be displayed at APOGEE, the ISO 9001:2008 international annual technical festival of BITS Pilani, Pilani campus. This year’s APOGEE will be its 28th edition, one of the oldest and biggest technical festivals in India. 

Each blog decides to aim at a particular auidence: we are looking to target the average Computer Science enthusiast. Your feedback will perhaps be the most important thing for us, since no blog can run without its targetted audience showing some enthusiastic response. Rest assured, we will have a lot of fun in the days ahead.

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