We want to make sure that you have plenty of opportunities to reach out and get help with this course as you need it.
If you have questions about the material, an assignment, or want to discuss any course-related matters, please do so (1) during class (two days a week), (2) during the discussion sections (three days a week), (3) during the Professor’s office hours (two days a week), or (4) during any of the TA office hours (every day of the week).
As mentioned in the Syllabus, the professor and TAs will not be available via through any online discussion boards such as Piazza. Please address questions about assignments during the TA discussion sections and office hours instead of email. This type of “in person only” way of interacting may be unfamiliar to you, and different from other classes you’ve taken at UCSD (or elsewhere).
My motivations for structuing class this way are very well express by recent CSE student Daniel Lau, reflected on lessons he learned here at UCSD:
“Another interesting lesson that I’ve learned is to ask my questions in person, especially if it’s technical. It’s good practice to verbalize what you’re saying and be able to communicate it to someone in a clear & concise way. This not only helps with your technical expertise in talking about things related to computer science, but also your communication skills in general. The reason I say to ask them in person is because often times it can lead to additional insights or different pieces of knowledge that aren’t exactly related but still helpful. I use to just message my teammates when I needed help but I found that over time the effectiveness of my progress and learning were much more improved when I would get up and ask them in-person. I think this can be particularly useful when it comes to instructors for classes. Over the past few years that I’ve been here, I haven’t been to too many office hours because I could always get help on Piazza for my questions and that was perfectly fine. I realize now that I could potentially be missing out on more things and a more personal relationship with them as well.”
For each assignment, get started early and at least read over the entire assignment before starting. If you have any questions or require clarifications on an assignment, come prepared with those questions to the next discussion section, to class, or to the my or the TA’s office hours. However, continue working on a different part of the assignment or project in the meantime.