Computer Skills for Today's Scientists and Engineers

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Official Description

Physicists use supercomputers to analyze massive collisions in underground particle accelerators. Neuroscientists use artificial neural networks to probe the inner workings of the brain's neurons. Engineers write computer code to control complicated circuitry and robotics. Scientists and engineers in a wide range of disciplines use modern computing technologies to make discoveries, design and develop new technologies and methods, analyze the results of experiments, and solve complex problems. Learn how to program using techniques scientists and engineers employ for data processing, laboratory equipment control, computation, and graphical analysis.


  • Grades 8, 9, and 10
  • Terms 1 and 2 at Duke East

Term II 2019

The term II 2019 class had 18 students and was taught by Brandon (teacher) and Stephen (teacher's assistant). Most humor centered around bullying Stephen and most academics were centered around group projects based in Arduino or Python.

Term II 2019 group photo.

General history


  • 1. No political talk. Later changed to TIPpropriate Political Talk.

This rule actually lasted a long time, and was very rarely broken. Any political talk was quickly shut down.

  • 2. No homework.

This rule was broken on several occasions. The most notable was when Brandon asked us to try to 'socially engineer' a random tipster into giving us money or personal information. No one even attempted to do the assignment.

  • 3. No bullying. Later changed to No bullying (except the TA).

The original rule was broken on countless occasions, with the entire class collectively bullying the TA on an hourly basis. The revised rule wasn't broken, but there was lots of teasing (especially Tara).

  • 4. No Fortnite Dancing/T-Posing at all.

This rule was only broken a few times, most notably when Clair T-Posed on everyone while in the tree outside the cafeteria.

  • 5. No running in the halls.

Of course, this rule was broken all the time, with no reactions or rebuttal.

  • 6. No tampering with other people's projects without permission.

This rule wasn't broken very much at all, and infractions were small. The projects weren't good enough to be worth breaking.'

  • 7. Don't break the law. Later changed to Don't break the law (unless told otherwise)...

There were no notable incidents of this rule being broken.

  • 8. If gum is chewed, dispose of it properly.

The only time this rule was broken was on the second to last day, when Nilo stuck unchewed gum on the back of Tyler’s neck.

  • 9. Don't flick the lights on and off.

This rule was never broken.

  • 10. Ask the internet or a friend before the teacher.

This rule was broken all of the time.

  • 11. Don't call the TA by the name "Stephen" or "Steve".

This rule was followed about 75% of the time someone needed to get his attention, and by the writers of this article.

  • 12. DON'T BREAK THE TA. Later changed to DON'T BREAK THE TA (oops).

This rule was almost broken on dozens of occasions. Almost breaking this rule was one of the most common forms of entertainment.

  • 13. Jimothy mustn't break the students.

Jimothy refers to the TA, Stephen, and this rule was broken on the Wednesday of the third week.

First Week

Was kind of a disaster. On the first day, we discovered that our teacher (Brandon) had not finished his background check. Therefore our TA (Stephen) taught the class for the first three days. Being the comedic geniuses that computer scientists normally are, a running joke began of calling Stephen any name except his own. During class we worked on learning the basics, and starting group projects on python and Arduino. The project teams were randomly assigned by Stephen and focused on either Arduino or python. Arduino groups started projects like a gimbal, a remote-controlled rover, and a musical keyboard. Almost, if not every, Python group started a game-based project like an RPG and an arcade. When we finally met Brandon on the third day, we discovered he was a middle school computer teacher during the school year, and had been hired about a week before the term started. He had not been given lesson plans and did not know Arduino or Python. He was very transparent about how difficult the situation was and asked for 'brutally honest feedback'. With our Arduino projects past the planning stage, we realized that the first batch of Arduino parts did not include some necessary parts. Stephen created a spreadsheet, and teams added parts. Corey, however, had a different plan. He created a python program to create thousands of random names for Stephen, and he added them to the spreadsheet. During the rest of the week, Brandon taught a lesson during half of the day (some of which were painfully elementary), we did our Arduino projects during the other half, and we learned Python basics and did Python projects during evening study. Mao became a popular activity during break times, with Corey being the deputy Mao master and Tara receiving literally thousands of sass cards. The joke of calling Stephen anything but his name merged into general bullying. Rule 3 was modified from 'no bullying' to 'no bullying except for the TA'. Perhaps out of guilt, another rule was added: 'Don't break the TA'.

Second Week

Was our first week with an instructor. Because Brandon wasn’t very experienced with the material, Stephen gave us circuit problems. He taught us about resistors, ohm’s law, and Kirchhoff’s laws. Continuing the pattern of torturing our TA, we devised new methods of torture. One favorite was voltage drops. In evening study, Stephen started giving us more difficult Python problems. The first challenge was a very simplified encryption-esque challenge. The challenge was to store a user's input in a way that was not easily readable to humans, and then to decrypt the jumbled text. The second problem was to find the intersection of any two functions and to, optionally, graph the result. Most students gave up before finishing the intersection challenge. Regarding the Arduino projects, most were stalled because the parts had not arrived. Although they were available with prime shipping, administration had not ordered them because the supplies were supposed to have been ordered before the term started. Instead of expediting the ordering process, the parts only became more delayed (arriving in the third week). Second week ended gloriously with the second dance.

Third Week

During the third week, burn-out arrived, and with it: chaos. The second round of Arduino parts finally arrived on Wednesday. Python projects were completely abandoned, and with a final burst of energy, some teams managed to resume work on their Arduino projects. With the mathematics of distortion class starting final projects, hordes of children wanting octopi or other floppy animals, and some Arduino teams needing parts, time using the 3D printers became a scarce, valuable resource. By Wednesday afternoon, the stress was cracking even the toughest students. When asked why he wasn't working on his Arduino project and was instead suiting up for VR, Aden looked to the ceiling and let out an ear-splitting screech. The thirteenth rule had been broken, and something deep inside all of us snapped. A sizable population of the class joined in, creating a noise that brought physical pain to those in the room. Both Stephen and Brandon were willing to do anything to stop it, eventually letting everyone take a break and play VR for the rest of the day. The 'VR Que' was revived and nearly everyone mobbed the white board to sign up.

Alternative description

A bunch of high schoolers give the TA an aneurism by making Arduinos that play Megolovania and turn 3D printed octopuses into beyblades (that was started by Tyler). We also do Python, but nobody wants to do the intercept code (except Eli, who also made gravity — showoff). During break most of us play Mao or practice voltage drops because we refuse to go on the crunchy grass (I can’t believe Z🅱️even makes us go outside). Another noteworthy event from this term is Tara being late every day since the second week. ALSO Weiwei’s slug is a murderous creature. (Don’t insult my slug!)



  • Ellen (won't tell us how they clean the Llama)
  • Jeremy ("what the flip?")
  • Mathew (wants to look like he does work)
  • Michael (surprisingly edgy)
  • Weiwei (violent slug, not asian)
  • Jia Jia (kahoot god)
  • Corey (deputy Mao master)
  • Eli (Tara gets distracted too easily)
  • Tara (kiss ass, give sass)
  • Sofie (actual demon)
  • Sophia (nice human)
  • Claire (lowkey scares me tbh)
  • Miles (foreign languages)
  • Tyler (B***, Thunder!)
  • Nilo (Boris wannabe)
  • David (he's not Asian, he swears)
  • Elaine (we’re so sorry, Elaine)


Most likely to...

  • Michael: know the resistance.
  • Ellen: have friends outside of class.
  • Jeremy: be socially engineered.
  • Mathew: hum during class.
  • WeiWei: trip someone
  • Jiajia: actually go onto the cruchy grass.
  • Corey: give Ted an aneurism.
  • Eli: say "peddle to Mao".
  • Tara: have "spicy" communication skills.
  • Sofie: join a certain Russian ops force.
  • Sophia: be a sweetheart
  • Clair: violently "remove" a bug.
  • Miles: be doing "work".
  • Tyler: throw a wet floor sign at Nilo while he's in the shower.
  • Nilo:be on an internet watch list.
  • David: actually play outside.
  • Elaine: be an actually, genuinely nice person.
  • Aiden: watch Pewdiepie during class.


  • Brandon: have better music than Stephen.
  • Stephen: be called anything other than "Stephen".

Notable events


A non-original octopi

Originally printed by Tyler, the “Octopi” (which is not the correct plural for octopus) were plastic octopus figures made on the 3D printers in the library, characterized by their floppy appendages. Their popularity clogged most of the printers, and delayed several projects. They also inspired a slew of other 'floppy animals' to be printed.

  • Floppy animals:
    • Weiwei’s slug (very notorious for biting people)
    • Jia Jia's gecko's

After getting bored of merely re-positioning his Octopi's arms, Tyler decided to attach his Octopi to a DC motor and power it with 2 AA batteries, later escalating to 12. The beybladed Octopi proved a hit, more were made, and Brandon exclaimed that if he could redo the class he would've centered it around Octopis.

First Dance

The beginning of the first dance was not very fun. The dancers in the circle quad had not 'moshified' and when a group of class members started to play games of Jenga and poker in the quiet room, the group was removed for being too loud. The group resettled on the grass outside the circle quad, and then were told to move again - this time for being too far away from the circle quad. The group moved again, towards the circle quad, but not in it. Then a different staff member came over, and tried to get the group to move inside the quad circle or into the road. Tired of being moved every few minutes, the group successfully convinced the other staff to let them sit outside the quad. A game of spades was started, but completely abandoned when people left to join some group dance. The most notable event of the first dance happened when Tyler asked Tara to the dance. Tara interpreted this as Tyler asking her 'as friends', and agreed. Halfway through the dance, Tara informed Tyler that she was lesbian.

Second Dance

During the second dance, a group of people including Tara, Tyler, Micheal, David, and Eli decided to sit in a circle in the back of the circle and socialize instead of dance. A conversation about places to 'do it' turned into planning an orgy on the roof of the library (which, unfortunately, never occurred). As it got dark, a game of truth-or-dare-or-slap began. The group was too afraid to 'dare', so 'truth' was chosen exclusively for the first few rounds. Members learned too much about everyone else, but especially Micheal's romantic life. As the questions got more invasive and personal, people began to choose 'slap' and 'dare'. People who choose 'dare' had to agree to let Tara do their makeup, but she never went through on the offer. People who choose slap weren't hurt very badly at first, but they got progressively harder as the game went on. One individual saw stars and tasted blood after getting slapped by Tara, but recovered by the end of the round.

Third Dance

Tyler at the third dance.

During the third dance, we realized the no one in our class had taken a date to any of the three dances. This was slightly unexpected, seeing as there were 54 opportunities for this to happen (18 people, 3 dances). More people danced, but most people refrained from most songs, instead choosing to play truth-or-dare-or-slap. The Rice Purity test was taken communally again, and the group scored a 60. Later, the group took turns explaining their sexuality, and discovered that well over 50% of the group was not straight. On her way back to her dorm, Tara asked Tyler to date her. He accepted, but the dance had already ended, continuing the pattern of no one in our class having a date to the dance.


  • Corey stealing Stephen's lanyard

He stole his lanyard, ran around the room, and finally had a lanyard of every color.

Day to day

Stephen's many names

  • Ted (Stephen's preferred nickname, of the ones we gave him.)
  • Zbeven
  • Jimothy
  • Tobio
  • Beef
  • Kanye
  • Francesca

The above were some of the most common and beloved, but many more exist. As his first python project, Cory made a list of several thousand names and added it to the Arduino Parts spreadsheet. Later, the list was later expanded by Elaine and Weiwei, and filled around 5,000 rows on the spreadsheet.

Mornings under (and in) the magnolia tree

Every morning after breakfast we would try to prepare for Stephen coming to pick us up from under the Magnolia tree right of the cafeteria. We did this by climbing into the tree, spraying water at him, and tricking him in various ways. Every day, he would see us in the tree and yell at us to come down. However, he didn't have any disciplinary power, and all threats were empty. This was obvious, and most climbers took advantage of this fact. One morning on the third week, someone announced that since Stephen had 'used the s-word while getting his coffee, so now we can climb the tree!'. No one questioned this logic, and everyone except for Corey and Miles climbed the tree. Our time under the tree

Break Times

Stephen and Brandon were shocked to learn our class did not love to play outside. On the first break, when Stephen yelled 'who want's to go on break?' the response was very muted and mostly a 'not me'. When he responded that we had to go anyway, we unexcitedly shuffled towards the dangerous sun. Once out of the building, everyone stayed on the raised porch. When questioned on why we wouldn't play in the sun like 'normal children' (like they exist), responses included "Do you want us to die from skin cancer?" and "Of course we can't leave, we would have to walk on the crunchy grass!". The only person who dared to venture into the crunchy grass was David. He and [[Stephen Allegri|Stephen] occasionally threw a ball back and forth. For the rest of the class, #Voltage drops and Mao were among the most popular activities.

Voltage drops


Corey, this year’s deputy Mao Master was in our class. Mao is a pretty cool game here at TiP.

VR Time

VR time became more and more common throughout the term. The activity involved playing games, usually 'Beat Saber' on the play station 4. Most people played 'crab rave'.

Notable quotes

  • -"Can I use the bathroom?" -Any Student

-"I don't care" -Stephen

  • "It looks better when you're high on print fumes" - unknown
  • "come fight me and my janky ass beyblade!" -Tyler and his octopi
  • "Change the font to Times New Ramen." -Eli
  • ”I’m the best Asian mom there is.” - Stephen
  • "I love floppy flings" -Several people, usually commenting on someone else's octopi.
  • Stephen started it.
    • "Guys play Starcraft 2 with me. I'll kick all your butts ... like it's Thanksgiving." -Stephen
    • "You eat ass for Thanksgiving?" -Unknown
    • "Yes, its an Italian tradition. We eat it after the meatballs and the spaghetti." -Stephen
    • "No guys, its 'eat ass, smoke grass, skip class" -Corey
    • "No its 'eat ass, smoke grass, die fast." -Eli
    • "Guys stop..." -Stephen
    • "No its smoke ass, eat grass!" -undetermined
    • "For Tara, its 'kiss ass, give sass'" - Eli
  • "You can't put someone in jail for not having friends" -Claire
  • "SASS" -Corey to Tara every single Mao game.
  • ”This jawline has worked wonders” - Z🅱️even
  • We started bullying Zbeve again
    • ”You should’ve taken [Jackson] to the dance.” - Tyler
    • ”No, we’re both about as straight as can be.” - Stephen
    • ”Then why did you sit in his lap?” - Sofie
    • ”Cos he has a comfy lap!” - Stephen
  • ”If you touch me, I’ll vomit.” - Stephen on Corey hugging him