Donald J. Patterson

Category: Teaching

Design and Implementation of Solutions to Computational Problems

Cover of Python for Everyone, 2e by Cay Horstmann and Rance Necaise

  CS-010: Design and Implementation of Solutions to Computational Problems For Fall semester 2016 I am teaching an introductory course on Python Programming at Westmont College.  This is the first programming course that many students have ever encountered so it should be a great teaching opportunity and possibly a challenge for some of the students.  We have a large class…

Design a Transreality Game (iOS Capstone)

iOS Capstone: Design a Transreality Game

Together with Sam Kaufman, UCI and Coursera, I’ve launched the final class in a six class specialization on Coursera. It’s called “iOS Capstone: Transreality Game”  We designed this one to be the culmination of everything that the students have learned in the previous 5 classes. Over 60,000 students have enrolled so far! The students have a ton…

iOS Development for Creative Entreprenuers

Mayterm iOS for Creative Entreprenuers

iOS Development For Mayterm 2016 the Westmont Computer Science Department is trying something new.  We are running an intensive iOS 9.0 programming class designed to get upper division students experience working with platform-based computing.  Another first is that we are going to be teaching it in the library’s computer lab. This 5-week course is scheduled to meet…

“Games, Sensors and Media” is Live!

Asteroid Hitting a Spaceship

This has been the most fun online course that I’ve put together yet.  In 40 lectures, 4 projects and 1 exam we cover everything from geofences and device orientation sensors, to playing sound and making particle emitters, to running the physics engine and interfacing with Game Center.  This is the fourth course in an online series of 6…

Reel{Talk} screening of Citizenfour

Citizenfour Reel{Talk} poster

Citizenfour screening I can’t wait until Thursday March 3rd, because Westmont is hosting a screening of Citizenfour and a post-screening discussion of the themes the movie brings up.  Several Westmont faculty were asked to be present at the discussion to help provide insight and perspective on what is a very complicated issue.   The movie is…

Object-Oriented Programming

Cover of Big Java Early Objects

Object-Oriented Teaching For Spring semester 2016 I am teaching a course on “Object-Oriented” Programming at Westmont College.  It’s been a long time since I’ve taught a lower-division Computer Science course, but I’m really looking forward to introducing students to Java and object-oriented thinking.  So far the group are really newbies to programming (except for one).  This…

Syrian Refugee Teach-In

Graphic from Westmont Syrian Refugee Teach-In

Refugee Teach-In at Westmont College Today There will be a one hour teach-in on the Syrian Refugee crisis today at noon on the Westmont College Dining Commons lawn (or Founder’s if raining). I was asked to speak to the vetting-process/security-threat angle briefly. Between handling the immigration of my oldest son, a Top Secret clearance in…

Information Retrieval and Big Data

Introduction to Information Retrieval Book Cover

For Fall semester 2015 I am teaching a course on “Information Retrieval” at Westmont College.  This is my first time teaching over a semester and I’m looking forward to investigating some new big data tools like Apache Spark! The course webpage can be found here: http://djp3.westmont.edu/classes/2015_09_CS150/structure.html

Software Engineering

Essentials of Software Engineering cover

For Fall semester 2015 I am teaching a new course on “Software Engineering” at Westmont College.  This is my first time teaching over a semester and I’m looking forward to investigating some new tools like Pivotal Tracker! The course webpage can be found here: http://djp3.westmont.edu/classes/2015_09_CS130/structure.html

Mobile and Ubiquitous Games

Prof Patterson playing Terra Tower

In Spring Quarter 2015 I will be teaching a course on “Mobile and Ubiquitous Games”. This isn’t a course about making Angry Birds, it’s a course about games that bleed into the real world and leave the confines of devices.  It is about using technology to have fun, while layering game mechanics on top of real…

Infrastructure in Haiti

Solar Powered Street light in haiti

I just got back from a trip to Haiti that I took with a diverse group of people from my church.  While there I was working with Haitian kids, schools and churches and studying intermittent infrastructures.  I produced a series of videos that describe the infrastructure hacks that I saw while I was there.  I’m…