Donald Chinn's Home Page

Donald Chinn
Associate Professor
Institute of Technology/Computing and Software Systems
University of Washington Tacoma
Tacoma, WA  98402

phone: (253) 692-4660
office: Cherry Parkes 233

Office hours: MW 2:30-3:30pm, TuTh 3:40-4:30pm, or by appointment (send me an e-mail).

Spring 2023 courses I am teaching:
(Data Structures)
Required textbook:
    Introduction to the Design and Analysis of Algorithms, 3rd edition, Anany Levitin, Addison-Wesley, 2012.

TCSS 440A (Formal Models in Computer Science) / 540A (Theory of Computation)

Required textbook:

    Introduction to the Theory of Computation, 3rd edition, Michael Sipser, PWS Publishing, 2013. ISBN 13: 978-1133187790.


Quotes to ponder:

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you, too, can become great." -- Mark Twain

"Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny." -- Frank Outlaw

"It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can." -- Sydney Smith

"Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong." -- not quite sure of the source

For students:

If you want to look at your final exam from a course I have taught in a previous quarter, come by during my office hours (or set up an appointment) and pick it up.

David Salesin's Freshman Convocation Address, Fall 2003: "College and the Art of Life"

Eleven Tips for Success in the School of Engineering and Technology at UWT

Study Habits of Successful Students

How NOT to Go About Doing a Programming Assignment

How one musician views his craft

The Career Development Center offers all sorts of assistance for career-related things, such as resume writing, preparing for interviews, etc. Check out their web site and drop in for a visit in MAT 106.

Bored? Need something to read? Here are some suggestions:
Computer science and mathematics readings
Writing and data presentation

Research stuff:

Research interests: algorithms and algorithmic analysis, computer science education

Publications and patents

My visit to Kean University in New Jersey (March 3, 2009) [the link seems to be broken now]

Demystifying Computer Science:

Watch videos of the UWT DeCS (Demystifying Computer Science) team in action at Highline Community College (Real Player required): (April 17, 2008) (January 30, 2009)

Check out CS Unplugged, which is what DeCS is modeled on.

The Concept of Abstraction:

Here is an example of how the concept of abstraction is applied in the art world. Below is a painting by the Spanish artist Velazquez called "Las Meninas."

What follows here are four paintings by Picasso, using the technique of abstraction to represent the main features of Velazquez's work. Note how one or more features are emphasized in some of the abstractions, whereas other features are emphasized in others.

Turing Machine Art:

An artist's rendition of a steam-powered Turing machine.  There is a mural of this between the second and third floors in Sieg Hall at UW Seattle (left). It also appears in the new Computer Science building (on the Seattle campus) in the receptionist area (right).

In the Don't Try This at Home Department:

This is what happens when you insert genes from the Crystal Jellyfish (Aequorea Victoria) into bacteria. The jellyfish has a gene that produces a green flourescent protein (GFP).