CS 202 Fall 2011

Homework #1 Due Friday 9/09 5pm : Explore Scratch Projects and Games With a Purpose

This homework has three parts. In the first part, you'll familiarize yourself with the Scratch website and existing Scratch projects. You'll have the opportunity to see what types of games, interactive art, stories, and simulations others have made using Scratch! In the second part, you'll play "Games With a Purpose" to see how human intelligence is being used to label and classify text, pictures, and songs - tasks that computers find difficult! In the third, you'll answer a few survey questions to help improve CS classes across the country.

You are welcome to use any computing facilities you have access to for this assignment. The only software that you need is a web browser, such as Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer. You can find details here about how to activate your CS account and use the Windows and Mac clusters.

Part 1: Scratch Projects (6 points)

This part has five easy steps:
  1. Signup for a new user account on the Scratch website. Your username must use the format: FirstnameLastname. To do this, use the web browser of your choice to go to the Scratch website located at http://scratch.mit.edu/. The top of the web page will look something like this.

  2. Upload a picture of yourself by clicking on the change picture link - we want to know who you are in class!

    If you encounter a "picture too large" error, please try to downsize your picture less than 80kb.

  3. Find three existing projects that you find interesting in some way. You can select any three projects of your own choosing. We encourage you to look around!

    If you need suggestions for places to start, we recommend browsing through the Featured, Top Viewed, and Top Loved categories.

  4. Create a new gallery with a descriptive name similar to "Homework 1". The Scratch website requires that all gallery names are unique, so you will need to find a new name no one else has used yet.

    Place the 3 projects you found in your gallery. In the comments of your Gallery (not in the comments for the individual projects), write one paragraph per project about why picked that project.

  5. Request to be friends with the Instructor and the Grading TA, Victor. (We didn't follow the naming convention that you should follow!) Note that you will see a message "dusseau will be notified"; you must then click on the OK button for the request to be sent (which means you should click on the OK button!)

That's it for Part 1!

Part 2: Games with a Purpose (3 points)

Some tasks that are very easy for humans to complete are very challenging for computers. Games with a Purpose (GWAP) has cleverly figured out ways to interest human beings in doing some of these tasks. By making it a game to label pictures or songs and making sure that multiple human beings agree on the labels, the site is able to entice humans to do this "difficult" work.

To explore these types of games and to experience what they are like, use your web browser to visit the site GWAP and play at least three of the available games (you'll see them along the top of the webpage). You can play those games as many times as you like, but you must play three different games and obtain at least a point on each!

Some of the games you might choose include:




You do not need to create an account to play these games. It is fine to play as a guest. When you've completed at three games, view your scores (by clicking on the link near the top right corner); they should look something like this:

Figure out how to take a screenshot on your computer. (On Macs, I like to use GRAB.) Save the screenshot as a .jpeg or .gif file and then upload it to your Learn@UW account.

Part 3: Survey (1 point)

CS 202 at UW-Madison has been chosen to be a small nation-wide pilot to develop a CS course that emphasizes the principles of computation and not just programming. We hope that more U.S. universities and colleges will offer introductory courses similar to CS 202 and that more high schools will offer an AP CS Principles course.

The content of these courses is still being developed. This semester, you have the opportunity to help direct this nationwide curriculum by letting us know about your background and expectations and what you find interesting about CS 202.

To start, please fill out this survey created by researchers associated with the College Board AP. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VWJBCHV.

Please fill out your answers to the best of your ability, but if you are not comfortable with any questions, you are welcome to leave them blank. Your answers to this survey will not be used for grading in any way (just the fact that you complete the survey is enough).

To show that you completed the survey, please take a screenshot of the page that thanks you for completing their survey. You will upload this file to Learn@UW.

Turning in your homework

You turn in part 1 by becoming "friends" through the Scratch website with the TA. The TA will look through their list of friends to find your gallery. If you do not "friend" the TA, we will not be able to grade part 1.

To turn in parts 2 and 3, you will need to upload your screenshot image files to Learn@UW:

  1. Login into LearnUW : "learnuw.wisc.edu" using your UW NetID and password.
  2. Click on the link "compsci202:Introduction to Computation" under the student tab.
  3. Click the Dropbox option which is on Top-Left of your web page.
  4. Click the link to Homework and HW 1. It directs you to a page where you can upload files.
  5. Upload the TWO desired .jpeg or .gif files and submit them.


Fall 2010
Time: MWF 9:55-10:45
Room: 1221 CS
Lab: 1370 CS (1st floor)

Prof Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau
Office Hours
Mon 11-12, Wed 11-12
7375 Computer Sciences
Email: dusseau "at" cs.wisc.edu

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