Archive for March 15, 2011

MediaComp goes Nifty

One of the most popular sessions every year at the SIGCSE Symposium is “Nifty Assignments.”  Faculty choose their coolest assignments and package them up with directions and examples.  These are submitted to Stanford lecturer Nick Parlante, who selects the best and maintains his carefully curated Nifty website.  Nobody wants to be scheduled opposite the Nifty session because all other sessions are nearly empty — the Nifty room is always SRO.

We did submit some Media Computation assignments early on, but they were rejected.  Criteria for a good Nifty assignment include that it be easily taught by others, that the technologies and pedagogies used were widespread, and that the assignment could be picked up by just about anybody.  The argument was that MediaComp just wasn’t that common back then.

That was then.  This year, Nick Parlante the Curator selected a Media Computation assignment submitted by Nick Parlante the Lecturer!  There’s another Nifty Assignment this year, from David Malan of Harvard, which does Media Computation in simple C by manipulating BMP’s, so no additional libraries required.  Nick’s assignment is based on the new CS101 that he’s teaching at Stanford.  His class (and the assignment) are based in JavaScript, and he’s created some cool examples at  Particularly interesting: Because it’s HTML 5.0 and JavaScript, that page works just fine on the iPad, too.

It’s a great sign for us that MediaComp has gone mainstream, when a MediaComp project is “Nifty.”

March 15, 2011 at 9:26 am 1 comment

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