Assignment 0: Course Participation

Each week will focus on a specific analysis topic. For each, we will be reading a set of required papers and also having a guest lecture. For the course to be successful, we expect you to invest your time and attention in a couple of ways.


First, all lectures require mandatory attendance. We understand that you may have conflicts or conference travel during the quarter. Please be sure to inform us ahead of time.

Reading Responses

Second, each week you will be required to submit a reading response. The response is your chance to engage critically with the readings and share your thoughts with the rest of the class. For your response, you should choose one of the readings that you found the most insightful or challenging. Write a short response (roughly 2-3 paragraphs in length) outlining your reactions. What did you find the most insightful about the reading? Are there notable flaws or shortcomings? Do you have lingering questions about the research? What new research ideas did the reading help spark?

Reading responses are due by 8am the morning before in-class discussion. Discussion days are those for which we do not have a guest lecture. Note that this can alternate between Monday and Wednesday depending on speaker availability. Submit your responses as plain text email to cs448g@cs. We will then post each to a shared website for review by the class before lecture.


Each student in the class is also required to serve as a discussant at least once throughout the quarter. The discussant is responsible for moderating the class on discussion days. The discussant should prepare a short presentation (roughly 10 minutes in length) and collect a set of questions to spur debate in class. We will determine the discussant schedule in the first week of class.

Guest Lectures

We are lucky to have an impressive set of visitors coming to share their experiences. The goal of the guest lectures is not simply to hear about others' work, but to meaningfully engage in discussion with analysis experts. Strive for spirited and engaged class sessions!

To help the process along, at least once in the quarter each student is required to formulate a set of 5 or more critical discussion questions prior to a guest lecture. Similar to reading responses, these questions will be due at 8am the day of the lecture via email to cs448g@cs. The questions will be shared online with the rest of the class. Think of these questions as a "cheat sheet" for jump-starting conversation if it fails to develop more "naturally". To prepare the questions, we suggest you look at the guest's web page or online biography and their publications. In many cases, one of the week's assigned readings will be by the guest lecturer.

Submission Details

As described above, submissions of reading responses, discussant slides, and guest lecture discussion questions will be on-going throughout the quarter.