Friday, February 5, 2016

We're taking a break ...

CSA is in stasis as the next phase of Computer Science Associates will be determined in the not-too distant future by:
1) those individual computer science enthusiasts who want to meet and mingle with CSE faculty, researchers, students, staff and other enthusiasts.
2) the department administration's review of the 'social' needs and wants of the department, the college, and alumni.

In short, if 'you' want to support and help define a place and purpose for CSE alumni, friends, fans and all those associated with the CSE department, then let the the CSE powers know. Call or email them! It's pretty simple.

The new Industry Associates Council (IAC) was formed and is off to a great start. CSA is proud and delighted to have had 'a hand and a say' in it's formalization.

CSA has had it's share of directed missions over it's 40+ years of existence. CSA rose from industry pioneers raising public awareness of an emergent, disruptive science, to raising funds and garnering political commitments for space for a rapidly growing and important department, to advocating for the university at the legislature, and providing counsel with respect to curricula, honors, special programs and direction. CSA has had an action-oriented past. Now there are many organizations that are vying for the 'brass ring'. At this juncture our thinking is that there are now plenty of people out in the local community who have been touched by the teaching and research of the department and perhaps CSA's next chapter is to evolve into a more social organization with the purpose to have fun. Hmmm, what do you say?
All the best...

Friday, December 12, 2014

U Tech Upgrade Nearing Deployment

The massive, $83.5 million systemwide upgrade is counting down until it’s finally operational beginning in February 2015.  Read the story.

Sound bends Light

Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it.

UofMN researchers created a single chip that generates and contains both sound and light waves, the first of which modulates the optical light waves used to carry information, said lead researcher and physics doctoral student Semere Tadesse.  The sound vibrations generated act like an earthquake and creates waves on the surface of the chip which alter the properties of the chip’s materials...
Here's a link to the full story -  Sound bends light on a tiny chip | - The Minnesota Daily 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Clark Griswold would be proud!! 100,000 LEDs and lasers!!

Join the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering (CSE) during the first two weekends in December for a dazzling light show designed by students. The high-tech light show is bigger and better this year featuring more than 100,000 LED lights and laser projection set to music, some of which is written and recorded by University of Minnesota students. Learn more here.

CSA Celebrates Computer Science Education Week

The CSA crew held it's fall semester meeting on December 9, 2014 featuring a lunch and learn session with Prof. Dan Knights on his research and fascinating results in "Hacking the Microbiome".  The business portion of the meeting centered on CSA associations and activities relevant to "Computer Science Education Week",

Monday, December 1, 2014

Go West Coder Dojo! Go West to Minnetonka!

Minnetonka High School launches the state’s first high school-based CoderDojo

The first day of school often brings feelings of nervous excitement to students returning from summers filled with bonfires, vacations and relaxation. But for two Minnetonka High School seniors, the back-to-school excitement began weeks before the first day of class.

Javidan Odqan and Josh McGrath have spent their summer coding in internship positions with an innovation company called Edmentum. As they enter their final year at Minnetonka High School, they’ll bring with them a new coding club that boasts a wait list already 85-people long: Tonka CoderDojo.

CoderDojo is an open source, volunteer-led movement that runs nonprofit coding clubs for young people. According to, children 7-17 are welcome, and each Dojo determines the age range its volunteers can handle.

Read the full article:

CSE Alumni Matt Gray and Rebecca Schatz, founders of the local Coder Dojo movement, have provided tons of encouragement, knowledge, tips, advice and support to Javidan Odqan and Josh McGrath as they navigated the waters of school district rules and regulations and built a functioning chapter.    Good ideas win out and the Minnetonka School District has embraced Josh and Javi and welcomed Coder Dojo into their facilities and learning community.  John Borowicz, CSA chair and CSE alumni, is a regular mentor at Tonka Coder Dojo and also provides web development, promotional and operations support.

Dan Knights - On the Cutting Edge of Computational Biology

Dan Knights is a new professor at the University of Minnesota doing cutting-edge work on microorganisms in the human body - but that's not why he's been on "Today" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."  View Full Story 

Prof. Knights will be presenting on his research during the "Lunch 'n Learn" portion of the CSA December 9, 2014 meeting.  

For details and a reservation contact Anahita Ahrar, Communications Coordinator Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering  Office: 612-626-8020    Email:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

3 CoderDojos in Town

Welcoming, open, safe, free environments for kids to learn coding.

There are now three CoderDojos in town: the CoderDojo Twin Cities, Katie CoderDojo and the new Tonka CoderDojo.

Each one  has a different style, code groups and age ranges so explore them all to find the best fit for your child.
Tickets are free, but go fast; register early (this weekend!) to avoid disappointment.

The CoderDojo movement was started in 2011 in Ireland by code-savvy teenager James Whelton and philanthropist Bill Liao.   There are now almost 500 CoderDojos in 48 countries. You can start one too; here's how.

Code Savvy is delighted to borrow 100 Finch Robots during the month of September, thanks to Bird Brain Technologies. Finches are rugged little robots with light, obstacle, temperature and orientation sensors as well as the ability to move, change color, talk and play music.

We'll be programming the Finches at CoderDojoTC and Katie CoderDojo and also loaning them to teachers in schools across Minnesota during September. Interested educators please contact 

The Digital Empowerment Academy is a digital literacy initiative founded in 2013 that enables Northside teens to become savvy users and creators of digital technology. DEA is hosting a series of digital literacy workshops in North Minneapolis -- check out the schedule of events here -- and has recently convened the Northside Digital Innovation Alliance.

Save the date: A fundraising gala for the Digital Empowerment Academy will be held November 8, 2014 from 7 - 10 pm. For more information, please contact:

Reproduced with respect and gratitude from Rebecca Schatz's Code Savvy email report 9/6/14