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Bob Brown's Presentation Topics

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Bob Brown, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer (Retired)

I can present the following at schools or other locations in the Atlanta area. For dates, please see my availability calendar. These presentations geared toward middle school and high school students, but can be adapted for other audiences. Contact me for details or to schedule a presentation.

Binary numbers: This is a single 50-minute (about) presentation that introduces binary numbers. It was designed for grades 6-10, but has been presented successfully to third-graders. The session outline and objectives are included in the teacher notes. If I present this, I will furnish a set of binary counting cards for each student, but we ask schools to duplicate the handout. I have fun presenting this, and I hope you'll invite me to do so, but I've packaged it into a teachers' kit that will let teachers present it independently with minimal pre-work.

Careers in computing: This is a 30- to 50-minute presentation, depending on the time available, in which I discuss a number of careers in the computing field and end by suggesting that students also consider becoming a college professor.

Coding fundamentals: This one is still under development; help me work on it. It is planned to be a two-session high-level overview of the program development process. A draft of the outline and objectives is available.

Coding with Blockly: Blockly is a visual programming environment developed by Google. I haven't developed any instructional material for it, but I'd like to if there's a school that wants to work with me. Doing this thoroughly would probably take several days of instruction.

Cryptography, introduction: A single 50-minute session that introduces substitution and transposition ciphers, beginning with the Cæsar Cipher. Students create a keyword substitution cipher, decrypt a message encrypted with the rail-fence cipher, and then encrypt and decrypt using the Vigenère Cipher. The session ends with an optional take-home exercise in which students create a one-time pad cipher and a note on modern symmetric key cryptography.

Cryptography, public key: A single 50-minute presentation that demonstrates the workings of modern public key cryptography, including digital signatures. This one is all lecture, with no classroom activities, and so is best suited to grades 10-12. There is a take-home exercise in which students generate their own public/private key pair.

Digital logic: This series has been delivered once and I'm refining it based on lessons learned. I'd like to work with a suitable partner school. The series will show students that there's no magic in computers and introduce some mechanisms for logical thinking. There is an outline and objectives document available; I am very willing to adapt it to your curriculum. There's also a very short sample of how this might work here: Students would need an understanding of binary numbers. This might fit best in grades 8 to 12.

Information Security: This is a series of three presentations with a target audience of grades 7-10. It is probably best to do these once a week or every other week for three or six weeks rather than all at once. The three sessions are Information Security Fundamentals, Encryption, and Threat Analysis. There is more detail in the outline and objectives.

Need something else? I am very willing to prepare new material to suit your needs or curriculum. Contact me and we can probably work something out.

Details: There is no fee for any presentation, but we do ask that schools duplicate any handout material that may be required. When I present at a school, a teacher must be present at all times and be responsible for classroom management. The presentations listed are designed for a room with a projector, but can be presented without one if you give me notice.

Last updated: 2018-02-28 11:17