Reading group has been a blast! Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun this semester. I won’t be on campus next year, so Allison and Gaby have offered to take the lead; reach out to them with questions.

If you’re wanting one last round of research talks, I suggest attending one of the public CS defenses.

04.29.2020 – Claire is leading a discussion of “Designing Awe in Virtual Reality”. We’ll be meeting on Zoom, view logistical details here (requires Wellesley sign-in).

Claire suggests you consider the following questions as you’re engaging with the work:

  • How did the authors design their experiences to induce awe? What other kinds of experiences can you imagine that might induce awe?
  • How does VR allow for a different emotional experience than other forms of media, and why?
  • How should we think about the ethics of designing VR experiences to induce strong emotions? What kinds of emotions are okay to design for and which aren’t, and under what circumstances?

04.15.2020 – Alissa is leading a discussion of “The trouble with ‘women in computing’: a critical examination of the deployment of research on the gender gap in computer science”. We’ll be meeting on Zoom, view logistical details here (requires Wellesley sign-in).

Alissa suggets you consider the following questions as you’re engaging with the work:

  1. The idea of a “leaky pipeline” is used through much of the paper to describe how women end up leaving STEM.
    • Have you seen/experienced the “leaky pipeline” as a student in STEM yourself? When?
    • Why might a “leaky pipeline” be good? Why might it be bad?
  2. The paper mostly focuses on Western culture and trends but the short section on non-Western attitudes brings up curious insights.
    • Do the attitudes about computer science being a good job for women (because it’s indoors and a mental rather than menial task) sound familiar to anyone?
    • Do you agree?
  3. The paper brings up the point about enjoying vs being employed in STEM and how to count that.
    • Is enjoying computing the same as being a STEM person?
    • How is it different?
    • Should it be treated the same?

04.1.2020 – Allison is leading a discussion of “Where The Light Gets In: Analyzing Web Censorship Mechanisms in India” (or via ACM Digital Library if you have access to the Wellesley VPN or network). Perhaps some submissions from SIGBOVIK 2020 as well. We’ll be meeting on Zoom; login info here (note Wellesley sign-in required).

02.15.2020 – Gaby is leading a discussion of “Privacy is not for me, it’s for those rich women”: Performative Privacy Practices on Mobile Phones by Women in South Asia. Gaby suggests you consider the following questions as you’re engaging with the work to jump-start our discussion:

  1. How do women in South Asia secure and maintain information on mobile devices?
  2. And how are cultural expectations and power dynamics reflected in women’s agency to use mobile devices?

General information

We’re starting a student-run reading group for Wellesley CS students! Join us!

Purpose: to discuss interesting research papers in any subfield of computer science (or any applied computer science discipline). If you’re interested in joining us (or helping organize this group), please email me: arothsch [@] wellesley [.] edu. Information about leading a session can be found at the link at the bottom of the page – we welcome discussion leaders who have a passion for a particular topic and a scholarly article to center the discussion around. No formal expertise is required to be a discussion leader; we’re all figuring out how to grapple effectively with technical language and writing, so the atmosphere should be welcoming and supportive. We’re here to ask questions and help each other find answers, not present polished “conference” style talks.

No formal background or expertise is required to join; we hope to gather students from various grade/course levels and backgrounds. The goal of this group is to gain experience in reading research papers and discuss interesting technical innovations.

Reasons to join us:

  1. Exposure to deciphering technical papers — whether you want to get involved with CS research or need it for a class, it’s a worthwhile skill.
  2. Meet other CS students! This will be a fun, informal environment to hang out with other CS-minded folks and discuss interesting topics.
  3. Learn what other fields and applications of CS are out there.
  4. …become intrigued by CS research opportunities — but please still join us even if you are more interested in the applied and/or professional side of CS (such as software engineering), we promise this will still be a useful and enjoyable experience.

How to get involved

Questions or interested in helping organize this group? Please feel free to email me directly.

Fill out our when2meet here (we’re now virtual, new poll link). Sign up to lead a discussion here (Wellesley sign-in required).

Tips for reading CS research papers

Note: I’ve used bits and pieces of these in the past and link them here to be helpful, let me know if you have suggestions!