Lecture in Computer Science

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daroPL
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Lecture in Computer Science

Post by daroPL »

I'm looking for a material for a speech about some Computer Science things. It has to be about 15-20 sheets. It should be something easy to understand for people without an advanced IT knowledge.
I thought about a speech about phpBB, but I think it's hard to talk (generally) about that for 10-15 minutes.
Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by daroPL on Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Lecture in Computer Science

Post by RMcGirr83 »

The birth of the internet itself? I would think many could relate to it as many use it on a daily basis.
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Darth Wong
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Re: Lecture in Computer Science

Post by Darth Wong »

The problem with your request is that "some computer science things" could be anything, and you're talking about 15 to 20 pages, which is pretty long. What kind of group is it? Do they have any particular focus, other than not being necessarily tech-literate? If it's a bunch of sociology students, you would probably give a much different speech than if it's a bunch of retirees.

PS. It's spelled "speech", not "speach".

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Re: Lecture in Computer Science

Post by Sajaki »

I don't know your intended audience, but it would not be amiss to mention the M.I.T. Opencourseware lectures on computer science.

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Re: Lecture in Computer Science

Post by daroPL »

RMcGirr83 wrote:The birth of the internet itself?
It seems to be a good choice.
Darth Wong wrote:What kind of group is it? Do they have any particular focus, other than not being necessarily tech-literate?
It's a group that contains math and computer science students. But they don't have any special knowledge yet.

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Re: Lecture in Computer Science

Post by Darth Wong »

If it's mathies and CS guys, I would probably tailor a speech to something that would involve both of their skill sets and remind us of their mutual importance.

For example, the development of public-key cryptography is a good example of how arcane mathematical techniques were used to create a technology which underlies virtually all on-line secure communications today.

http://www.ics.uci.edu/~ics54/doc/secur ... story.html

The Diffie-Hellman public-key cryptography method also has a political history: for quite a while, the United States attempted to restrict export of any software which used keys longer than 40 bits, so there were 128-bit "domestic" versions of Netscape and 40-bit "export" versions of Netscape, in order to comply with US federal regulations. This technology allowed communications privacy on a widespread level, and that frightens governments. At a time when Wikileaks is dominating the headlines, this is relevant.

Anyone can talk about the Internet, but most of the public doesn't even know what public-key cryptography is. If you're talking to mathies and CS guys, I would probably go for something like that.

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Re: Lecture in Computer Science

Post by Paul »

Are it first years students? If so, I think talking about cryptografy would be pretty difficult, iam a 3rd year computer science student, and just got the theory about it. Iam pretty sure they will not understand it really. Maybe if you take up the history, and let a the bit more difficult math stuff out, they might understand it.
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Re: Lecture in Computer Science

Post by Darth Wong »

That's true, the actual nitty-gritty of the math would be too difficult. But it's really anyone's choice just how deep you drill down into the tech stuff. One can discuss the flight to the Moon, for example, with or without delving into the actual mathematical equations governing orbital mechanics.

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Re: Lecture in Computer Science

Post by A_Jelly_Doughnut »

One other question is whether you would be speaking in a "serious" mood or a "light" mood.

My urge for such a group would be to provide a fast overview of Formal Languages and the types of machines accepting a "regular" language or a "context free" language. It's not something that requires a huge previous knowledge of math or computer science, and I find it a quite interesting subject. I also find that the concept of a formal language is included as an upper-level course at many universities, and would prefer it was taught at a lower level. :lol:
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