Sallyportal: Madly Blogging Reed



Digital Pioneers Help Reed Design CS Program

Computing experts converge on Reed to help the college design a computer science program.

A formidable array of computing brainpower converged on campus yesterday to help Reed think through a long-awaited computer science program.

The digital elders represented a full spectrum of computing expertise: mathematicians, cryptographers, AI gurus, network wizards, codeslingers, and technology innovators, all focused on a fascinating problem—how Reed can build a computer science program that dovetails with its academic mission.

Reed has a long and proud tradition of computing, but has never had a CS department or a CS major. Courses in computing are currently offered through the math department, but students’ ravenous intellectual appetite for the subject is overtaxing the department’s resources. Since 2007, the number of students enrolled in the introductory CS course has soared from 34 to 102. The college has recently created a computer science concentration in the math department and launched a Software Design Studio to give students more hands-on coding experience.

Remembering Prof. Crandall

Prof Richard Crandall ’69 [physics 1978-2012]

At yesterday's faculty meeting, Prof. Mary James read a moving tribute to the late Prof. Richard Crandall ’69, written by Prof. Nick Wheeler ’55.

Wheeler, who was Crandall's thesis adviser at Reed during Crandall's student days, and later served alongside him on the physics faculty, calls it an "informal remembrance," but it's so good that we just had to reprint it here . . . 

Convoking the Muse


Students, parents, and professors descended in their multitudes upon the Great Lawn on Wednesday for Convocation 2012. Under the billowing big top, 358 newly-minted Reedies were formally inducted into the tribe by an equally fresh president: John Kroger kicked off the ceremony with his first public address as head of the college. Kroger remarked that what he has been struck most by in his first eight weeks cannot be conveyed in a brochure: "Reed is one of the warmest kindest, most welcoming institutions I have ever experienced," he said. "It feels like home."

Home may now be Anna Mann or Foster-Scholz for new students, but they came from all over the globe to get here. Keith Todd, dean of admission, laid out the impressive pilgrimage; students hailed from China, Kenya, New Mexico, and Jakarta, among others. They include more Texans than Minnesotans, several Nicholases and Katherines, not to mention a Thor and a Zeus.

Reed Prof Finds Fractal Geometry in Mouse Cortex

Fractals, the bizarre geometrical shapes that undergird natural phenomena from snowflakes to lightning bolts, have been discovered in a new and striking location: the synapses of the brain.

In a recent paper, professor Richard Crandall '69 [physics 1978–] and colleagues at the Reed Center for Advanced Computation found intricate fractal patterns in synapses in the somatosensory neocortex of a mouse brain.