Category Archives: Computer Science

CS Student Tasks

Attention all CS students: I won’t be in class on Tuesday, but Mr. Bergquist will be there to help out. Below is a summary of what each team or person should be working on. Please check the list for your task and make some good progress.

Make sure everyone on the bike project teams gets status updates to Henry, Filmon, and Salman so they can update the project website: RHS Bike Computer Project

We’ll take stock again on Thursday.



  • Salman, Filmon, Henry: Project website This has a good basic setup for all of the sub-teams. Henry and Filmon should talk to each team, take photos, and get status updates to Salman so he can post updates on the site.
  • Ben, Anthony: bike mounting
    Build a small board with the temp sensor, the light sensor, and the clock module on it so that it can be mounted on the bike and connected to the Arduino. Talk to Forrest and Conor about soldering; you can use one of those Radio Shack blank perf boards. Get the components from spares and find the necessary circuit stuff from each team working on those modules.
  • Jordan, TJ: magnetic sensor
    Get a small program working with a Hall Effect sensor and a magnet that can calculate RPMs. I gave Mr. B some sample code that you can look at that does this.
  • Mike, Jack: integration
    Get a test program running on the Mega and plan out the pins to use on that patch board with the shield I showed you. Be ready to have other teams plug their pieces into it. There are tons of Ethernet cables in a box in the back room on the steel shelf rack.
  • Forrest, Conor: integration
    Work with Mike and Jack on the integration, especially the hardware ends, for the Mega system. Be available for other teams needing soldering, etc.
  • Mack & TravisJ: LEDs
    Get your test program working with the LED array that Forrest and Conor made instead of your breadboard version. You should be able to replace your setup with theirs and make sure it works identically.
  • TravisS: LCD text display
    Program the display to display the time, temperature, RPMs, and MPH. Layout the 16×2 display with space for each, with text labels as necessary. Use dummy values for the four fields. Get from Jacob and Spencer the clock module and code and see if you can get the actual time of day updating on the display. o the same for the temperature from Mitchell and Ethan.
  • David: ambient light
    Figure out what the system should do with the light levels you detect. Test your program with different levels (like under a table where it might be dark) to see what the different values it detects are.
  • Mitchell, Ethan: temperature
    Get the sensor and code to TravisS so he can integrate it into  the text display.
  • Jacob, Spencer: clock module
    Get the module and code to TravisS so he can integrate it into  the text display. See if you can go one whole period without looking at anything baseball related on a computer.
  • Minnie, Kevin: turn signals, brake lights
    Work on modifying the button code to make it turn on LEDs the way you want!
  • Meron, Sydney: LED necklace
    Continue wiring the prototype and get help soldering it together from Forrest, Conor, or Jordan.
  • Zach, Kwon, Salvador: Scratch games
    Continue working on your Scratch projects. We’ll review things on Thursday.

UW CSE Professor Richard Ladner Guest Lecture

Next Monday, June 6, will be the final guest speaker from the UW CSE Department at Roosevelt.

We are very lucky to have Professor Richard Ladner visiting; he will be speaking about his work in accessibility technology, which is the effort to provide tools for people with disabilities. Professor Ladner’s research focuses on technology especially  for deaf, deaf-blind, hard-of-hearing, and blind people.

In addition to having a long and distinguished career in computer science, Professor Ladner is fluent in ASL and does a lot of outreach work with high school students in the DHH community.

As usual, all are welcome to attend: Monday, June 6, 2nd period, Room 319.

UW CSE Guest Lecture: Jon Froehlich

This Friday, May 27, we will have another guest lecture by a PhD student from the UW Computer Science and Engineering Department — Jon Froehlich.

Jon is part of the Ubiquitous Computing Lab (UbiComp), which focuses on advanced sensing systems and enabling novel human-computer interactions.

Jon will be speaking about his work in analyzing everyday activities to promote environmentally sustainable behaviors. One project in this vein involves putting simple sensors in your home in an ingenious way to help you monitor and reduce water consumption.

All are welcome to attend: Friday, May 27, 2nd period (9:00–10:00), Room 319.

Computer Science job prospects

In case you had any doubt about the usefulness of studying computer science, job prospects are very good these days for college grads with degrees in CS.

Here is a quote from a recent story specifically about the UW’s program [emphasis mine]:

Campus legend has it that one computer science student at UW recently secured a $100,000 annual starting salary, a $40,000 signing bonus, and about $200,000 worth of stock from Google. The average computer science undergraduate is said to be getting about $85K to start. Word is that all computer science seniors have job offers, and some have multiple offers from the likes of Google, Microsoft, Zynga, Facebook,, and others, says Pratik Prasad, a UW junior. This is consistent with the stories I hear from tech CEOs in Seattle, who say they are engaged in trench warfare with rivals to get the best young science and engineering talent.

It’s from Xconomy, an online journal about business and technology: “Considering a Career in Biotech? How About Trying Computer Science Instead,” by Luke Timmerman, May 2, 2011.

The Bicycle Computer

Your next Arduino project is inspired by two bicycling events in May.

This Saturday begins il Giro d’Italia, the classic three-week Italian bike race, and it is also National Bike Month in the US.

In celebration, and because I will find almost any excuse to work bicycles into a project, your next challenge is to make your own bike computer with an Arduino.

An Arduino is the perfect platform to use to explore this topic. It will allow you to integrate work in both software and electronics. And it is a good engineering and design challenge for a very practical application.

Today we’ll do some brainstorming on what it is involved and how to approach this challenge.