16-year-old Makes Working Scientific Calculator in Minecraft


16-year-old “MaxSGB” has created a working scientific/graphic calculator inside Minecraft. On a virtual scale, the functional device is enormous — enough so that anyone in the real world would become a red blot of meat and bone staining the road if they fell from the very top. Honestly, his virtual machine looks more like a giant cargo ship ripped from a sci-fi movie than a working calculator. Yet type your problem out on the keypad, and the answer appears on a large white display mounted on the side of the monstrous brick structure. No spaceship can do that… can it?

nxcEditor can be used to program a NXT robot with Linux


The nxcEditor can be used to program a NXT robot with a Linux operating system (the NXC source code is highlighted). The program can optionally be run on the real robot or the nxcSimulator, which is integrated in the nxcEditor (the official NBC compiler is invoked from the nxcEditor). The nxcEditor (as well as the nxcSimulator) is designed for teaching programming to beginners.

Practice Your Programming In More Than 30 Languages


“As an introduction to programming for adults and kids alike, this is a simple, free tool that’s definitely worth a try. Or if you’re an experience programmer, away from your development machine but in need of an environment in which to try out a new idea, IDEone is hard to beat.”

Facebook Message: Girls, Too, Can Do Computers

From the Seattle Times (03/11/12) Brier Dudley


Facebook is working to draw more women into the information technology industry. “I am quite hopeful that Facebook can do something to turn the tide–that we have enough cultural influence at this point that we can influence the next generation of teenage girls to consider computer science,” says Facebook’s Jocelyn Goldfein, who is working on features such as news feeds and photo and video services. Goldfein says she is an example of what women can achieve in today’s tech industry, being one of about a dozen directors, including two women, who collectively handle engineering for Facebook. “I think the biggest thing you need to do for all girls … is have role models out there,” she says. “Teenage girls are using Facebook, and so I think it’s meaningful for them to hear about women engineers working at Facebook.” Although Goldfein says it could take generations for women to make up 50 percent of computer science majors, it is possible. “Considering that women are 60 percent of undergrad degrees these days, I’m really looking for a 60-40 representation to be proportional,” she says

Confidence boosting activities for females interested in computing

Some young women who are interested in computers and engineering were having confidence issues. I asked a very successful female software engineer if she could offer some advice. Here is her reply.

‘Also, the College of Wooster hosts a cool summer camp called B-WISER (Buckeye Women In Science, Engineering, and Research Institute) every year: http://www3.wooster.edu/bwiser/. Although it sounds like the girls don’t fit the age for this camp, the site might provide other resources for them. And another thing to consider… maybe they could volunteer to help be advisors at the camp?! I can say from personal experience that it has helped build my confidence that women CAN do engineering (perhaps even a bit subconsciously), by helping young women realize this. I was a camp advisor during the summer after my first year in college, and it was a lot of fun! I would highly recommend this experience. Another similar camp is called Women in Science, hosted by BGSU. Our Camp Aerospace team participated by hosting an activity station at this one-day field trip camp in 2010. Again, they don’t fit the age requirement, but perhaps could volunteer to help at the camp? Another good experience. If they want additional information about the WIS camp, they can contact Kelly Cusack (kcusack@bgsu.edu). “