Class Meetings and Communication Forums
Attending lectures is
mandatory and will account for up to 5% of the final class grade. To take attendance,
frequent one-question quizzes (at some point during a randomly selected set of
lectures) will be given.
are responsible for ALL the materials covered in the lectures including any
topics not in the notes or references.
Class participation and questions are very welcome during the lectures. There
is no such thing as a "stupid question". Failure to ask a simple question
might result in the inability to follow the rest of the lecture (and even
Up to 10 minutes at the beginning of every class may be devoted to answering
questions related to topics discussed in previous lectures. This is a
particularly good time to ask if you have questions.
If you are taking this class then you have signed up for a weekly
discussion session. Please check the course web page for the
coordinates of your teaching fellow and of the place/time of the discussion
The teaching fellow(s) will be leading the discussion sessions. Materials
covered in the discussion sessions will be elaborations on materials covered in
the lectures. In some of the discussion sections (especially at the beginning of
the course), the teaching fellow(s) will be covering background/prerequisite
materials that many students typically do not master. Also, the discussion sessions will be the venue used to answer any
questions (or provide clarifications) regarding the homework assignments.
If (for some reason) you miss (or cannot make) the discussion section for
which you are signed up, then please make sure to attend another one in the same
You should come to the Instructor and/or Teaching Fellow(s) office hours with
your questions well-thought out. Office hours are NOT meant to be tutoring
sessions; they are meant to answer specific questions about the material covered
in the lecture, discussion section, and lecture notes.
Questions like "could you
repeat your explanation of ..." or "I do not understand section ... of the
lecture notes" should be asked in the lecture and/or discussion sections.
Forums and Facebook Group Usage:
communication forums (e.g., Piazza, Blackboard, and Facebook) are for you to use as channels
for asking questions and seeking clarifications, whether from the instructor,
teaching fellow, or classmates. However, like any broadcast medium, you should
be careful not to abuse these channels. This means that "one-liners" and "cute"
commentaries should be avoided.
You will be held responsible for
any inappropriate postings on these forums.
In an effort to make things a bit more dynamic during lectures and sections,
the instructor and the teaching fellow may occasionally award "Bonus"
credit points for student participation. Also, as a further
motivation to read the notes thoroughly, bonus points will be
awarded to students who discover technical "bugs" in the lecture
notes, or who provide significant contributions. Such bonus points will count as extra credit points for the
homework that is due next and will be capped at 10 points per homework. Any points above the maximum
grade for the homework will not count (i.e. if your grade in a homework is
100/100 and you get 10 extra points, your grade for the homework will continue
to be 100/100).