By Stanley Benjamin Yukon (20S03M), Vice-Chairperson
Amazon has nearly no stores.
Uber owns almost no cars.
Facebook creates no content and Bitcoin (as we all know) has no physical coins.
However, millions of people are willing to fight tooth and nail for shares in these imaginary entities.
Saying the internet and computers have revolutionised the world is nothing short of an understatement; they form the very backbone of modern civilisation. Chances are, you have absolutely no idea how they work. But it’s okay! We didn’t either! (Some of us still don’t.)
That’s why here at Raffles Computer Science Club (CSC), we dedicate two hours of our lives every Wednesday into discovering the technicalities of things such as Python (a programming language), computer architecture, web development and basic cyber security tools. We may even decide to start a course on neural networks and machine learning.
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 that, 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.
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.
The depth of the topics covered also tends to nrange from introductory to intermediate as one year the exco tried to give a course on university-level algorithm building. Which nobody could follow in the end.
We don’t talk about that year anymore.
Besides internal training, we go on external learning journeys throughout the year to learn about technology outside the computer labs. In 2017, 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 or try to capture pieces of information called “flags” in mock-hacking trials (e.g. Whitehacks or Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp (CDDC) organised by Defence Science Technology Agency).
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 how to hypothetically build your own social media site or your own mobile games, do join us at CSC!