CCA Previews ’18: Computer Science

By Arnold Tan (18S03O), Chairperson

Photos by Chang Si Yuan (17S06B) and Foo Kai En (18S02A)

The Computer Science Club (CSC) is a clubs & societies CCA where members learn more about computer science. So what exactly is computer science? Computer science, according to Wikipedia, “is the study of the theory, experimentation, and engineering that form the basis for the design and use of computers”. A simple definition would be that computer science is the study of how computers work.

CCA training sessions are usually conducted by the ExCo members in an informal and interactive format, with a typical session as follows: A short lecture on a given computer science topic will be given at the start. Following, members will then get to apply what they have learnt through a guided hands-on practice, such as coding a program to solve a problem. Members can raise questions anytime during the session if they are unsure about anything.

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In 2017, CSC has attempted to teach the following computer science-related topics: Python (a programming language), introductory computer architecture (i.e. how computers are designed), web development (building websites) with node.js, and Haskell programming (another programming language). The quality of training may vary depending on how masterful the ExCo members are on the topic being taught. Given that training materials are prepared within a tight schedule due to the hectic JC life, members might not be able to receive lessons that are always highly rigorous. Nevertheless, peer teaching and learning is what helps forge closer bonds among club members.

Besides internal training, we go on external learning journeys throughout the year to learn about technology outside the computer labs. This year, we got free tickets to go for Maker Faire, an annual showcase of DIY technological projects done by others. We also take part in competitions to apply what we have learnt. Such competitions include hackathons, where we usually build a prototype of an idea in 24 hours as a team. As cyber security becomes increasingly critical in our society, we also participate in cyber security challenges such as the annual Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp (CDDC) organised by Defence Science Technology Agency.

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CCA training sessions are conducted once a week, every Wednesday, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, at Computer Labs 5/6. CSC welcomes students of all skill levels, including complete beginners. All you need is to be willing to learn. Any student, including non-members of CSC, can pop by to have a look at the lessons, subject to the spatial constraints of the computer labs.

If you are interested in learning more about how computers work or how to utilise computers to do cool things like website or game development, do join us at CSC! Do also check out our club website at comsci.club

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