Campus Corners: The Computer Science Fiefdom

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A Bwog classic, Campus Corners is returning from a two year hiatus — for one day. Here, we bring you some of Columbia’s less crowded study spots, if only to get you to leave Wien’s warm embrace for a couple minutes.

Getting into the computer science lounge isn’t easy. Last year, every undergrad was sent an email with a picture of a balding, middle-aged man in a tweed-patched jacket. As it turned out, this still-unidentified pseudo-intellectual (at whom nobody would have batted an eye were he teaching databases) didn’t work at Columbia. His job was to walk into the CS building and steal computers.

Since the day that those security camera photos first circulated, admission to the computer science department has required special swipe access. Two swipes after 5 PM. Three swipes for a special windowless room where it’s always 52 degrees, but never mind! Because behind the second door, if you’re walking behind a gullible or easily distracted programmer, is the computer science lounge.

The lounge is a typical nerd-centric space in many ways. Utilitarian metal tables with a few grad students are the norm, with the monotony broken up by the occasional pizza party/giant Halo session. (Monday nights). But there’s a fridge, and a nice stove, and a microwave, and — most importantly — free coffee. And behind a wall of glass doors is the courtyard.

Open space is at a premium on the Columbia campus, of course, so it’s a surprise that a space as big as Uris Lawn (check Google maps, hey) is enclosed on four sides and can only be reached through a locked building. But the courtyard is bizarrely sunny and quiet; a few cherry blossom-ish trees [note: Bwog is not a botanist] break up the bricks and park benches, and there’s a view of nearby apartment buildings over the edge of Mudd. The coffee is terrible, but hey, the wireless works, and you can see the students in eighth floor classrooms peeking jealously through windowshades.

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  1. Varsity Show  

    Tonight (8pm)
    Tomorrow (8pm)
    Sunday (3pm)
    Sunday (3pm)


      after all, "the fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."

      KCST14 ("as you like it")
      friday 11:59 pm
      saturday 8 pm
      free of charge
      low plaza

  2. Shit  

    Sunday 3pm AND
    Sunday 8pm

  3. rogers

    varsity show sucks, dude. it's only good to occupy the largest on-campus performance space for far too long. stop spamming bwog posts with the listing. thanks.

    - the thousands of students that don't give a shit about the varsity show

  4. OMG  

    Zach von Schouwen we know this is your doing!!

  5. so bwog  

    i know you took cc like the rest of us (yeah, yeah, unless you're in seas and then maybe you didn't). somehow i don't think that the tables hold the philosophy that they should make decisions that bring the most people the most happiness at any given time. they're useful and designed to be useful, and that's about it.

    (this is my hopeful comment that maybe sometime soon people will stop using "utilitarian" to describe stuff that's designed to be useful)

    • so douchebag  

      that was utter BS

      learn to deal with your linguistic neuroses without rationalizing them

    • Anonymous  

      Utilitarian (adjective)

      3 a: of, relating to, or aiming at utility b: exhibiting or preferring mere utility (From Merriam-Webster)

      If you're going to be that douchey, you should try to be right. Plus, come on, this is a piece on computer science, most likely written by a computer scientist (which I also study, for the record), couldn't you let one grammatical error slide anyway?

  6. very uninformed  

    Bwog/bwoggers, what is the giant tent on south lawn for? I'm assuming it isn't graduation.

  7. lover of friday bwog  

    now listen here, haters of friday bwog. i, personally, had no idea this area even existed and appreciate ZvS for keeping me in the know. how many of y'all have even in been in the computer science lounge? not i. but i'm glad to know i can go there to write my final papers with all the free coffee i could dream up and perhaps get my ass kicked in halo AT THE SAME TIME. bwog salutes you, ZvS, and will miss your stellar reporting skills. yes, stellar.

    • well see...  

      the thing here is that while i am personally happy to learn about somewhere where there's free coffee & ample study space i also know that i would be pissed if bwog ruined one of my own semi-secluded study areas that manage to have enough space during finals. so i would like to politely request that bwog not publish too many of these things -- generally i feel like the kids taking 6 or 7 classes who desperately need them know where to look and those who don't can manage without them.

      just my $.02

      --nerd taking 6 classes

  8. This

    proves my theory that Bwog commenting bitchiness is inversely correlated to the niceness of the weather.

  9. shut up  

    --kid taking 8 classes, no one cares

  10. in soviet union  

    8 classes take you.

  11. what is...

    A Bwog Classic? A Bwassic? A Clog?

  12. CivE  

    personally, I have always seen this space from my civil classes on the 6th floor of mudd and have been perplexed as to what the hell that random courtyard is - so thank you bwog for clearing that confusion up for me.

  13. Pigeon Beef  

    What do you call a cool classics class?

    A Class-is-Sick! Class.

  14. Alum

    Fwiw, the reason the courtyard is so big is that it and the CS building are on top of the Engineering Terrace. The portion of the Terrace underneath Fairchild was designed to support a large building, but the rest of it was not. The CS building is about as heavy as the structure beneath it can safely support, which is why it's only two stories tall and why it has such a small footprint.

    Btw, the "view of nearby apartment buildings" is over the edge of CS, not Mudd. Mudd is to the north and rises more than ten stories higher than the courtyard. CS rises one story to the sourh (allowing a view of Schermerhorn and its extension) and two to the east, which is where the apartment buildings are visible as in the upper photo.

  15. anonym

    10 classes? I believe we have a record.

  16. Diss Track  


    Yo, what's up lil' peeps?

    Homie with the 10 classes probly takes PE, basketweaving, and music. That aint nut'n compared to me.

    Can't hold a candle to my 22 hardcore street credz.

    Not saying I have the record, but I def have one o' the tuffest schez---


    I submit
    Essays by the breath,
    take tests when I sleep,
    and lecture when I eat.

    I say feel my beat,
    Look at my homeostasis,
    You're braggin' has no basis

    With ten cans o' red bull
    I start feelin' full
    But it's what I gotta do
    If I'm gon' beat him and you

    I don't care about grading
    Just here anticipating
    The day I'm liberated
    from this academic jail
    without no bail

    And all I knowz is I'll never fail

    I read philosophy by day,
    At night read I. Kant
    While you scream "I can't"
    And I rarely complain
    You always feelin' pain

    I'm the rough writer
    The hard fighter
    I'll bring it on
    Cuz im numba one.

    Yeah, if I aint
    You ain't salutatorian
    Cuz I'll always be ahead
    Your essays marked in red

    So come on,
    I'll bring it on

    Come on.

    22 Homie. 22.
    I think I'm tougher
    than YOU.


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