Last Updated: 2020-06-03 Wed 11:44

Tool Time Lecture Series

Table of Contents



This series of lectures covers some time-tested tools useful to every coder. All students welcome!

Lectures will be delivered by Prof. Kauffman, Computer Science Department, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.


A printable poster to advertise the lecture series is linked here: advertisement.pdf


Topic Date Time Location
Emacs Editing Basics Tue 02/04 6:30-8:00pm Keller 3-180
Emacs Customization with Lisp Tue 02/18 6:30-8:00pm Keller 3-180
Text Processing (grep, awk, etc.) Tue 03/03 6:30-8:00pm Keller 3-180
Bash Scripting Tue 03/17 6:30-8:00pm Keller 3-180


Session 1: Emacs Editing Basics

Emacs has been editing files for 40+ years and is still going strong. Why? It's an extremely powerful and flexible tool for manipulating text. This session will mitigate its difficult learning curve to show why Emacs can absorb most coding work and is truly the "hundred year editor."

Session 2: Emacs Customization with Lisp

Most of the power in Emacs derives from a built-in Lisp interpreter. Nearly every aspect of Emacs can be customized through writing bits of Lisp code and this session will cover how. As a by-product, participants will gain some basics of Lisp, a language still relevant 50+ years into its life.

Session 3: Unix Text Tools

Looking for phone numbers in hundreds of HTML files? Need to rename all variables in an entire source tree? Unix is full of small sharp text processing programs for just such occasions, making them essential tools in any power user's utility belt.

Session 4: Bash Scripting

Beyond 'cd' and 'ls', the command line interpreter is an old and powerful programming environment which includes variables, loops, conditionals, and functions (sort of). Find out how to exploit Bash to make your terminal life more enjoyable.

Author: Chris Kauffman (
Date: 2020-06-03 Wed 11:44