Email discussion lists can be created for any department-related purpose. Course lists are created and retired at the start and end of each semester, so each class starts fresh each year.
Each list is assigned an administrator who can tweak the many options that are available such as archiving, bounce processing, content filtering, and spam filters.
These options, and many more, are explained in the online documentation.
Note about archiving: Although rarely used, there is an option to have archiving turned off for a list. This is something that can not be done by the list administrator, but must be done by one of the list masters (email problem with this request). If we have turned off archiving for you it is possible, by mistake, for the list administrator to turn it back on. If you edit anything on the admin/edit list config/archives page and then click "update" it will turn archiving back on. If this happens just mail problem and we'll reset it for you. This is a know bug... You can tell if archiving is off if, on the page mentioned above, the "Web archives/access right" is set to ().
The list server
The CS Department list server is http://lists.cs.brown.edu/.
To request a discussion list, visit http://lists.cs.brown.edu/ and log in (on the right and very top of the page) using your Brown Account. Click on "Create List" and fill in the form (or send an email message to email@example.com). Don't request course lists, mail problem instead.
You are your email address
To the list server, you are your email address. Perhaps you forward your @cs.brown.edu email to your @brown.edu account, and you also have an @gmail.com account. To the list server, those are three separate people. You can subscribe to lists using any of the three, but you'll have to manage each address individually.
Logging in using your Brown Account
Brown CS people can log into the list webserver using their Brown Account by selecting the Brown Login button. When you log in this way, your email account will be your @brown.edu account.
If you wish to subscribe using your @cs.brown.edu address or any non-Brown address, you will have to set up a list server password, as though you were a non-Brown person.
Changing your email address
You can subscribe to CS lists using any email address (or addresses) you like. You can also change your email address for all your list subscriptions from the preferences menu. But note that if you switch from a Brown address (as described in the previous section) to a non-Brown address, then the next time you log into the list server, you will be prompted to create a new list server password - you will effectively be a new non-Brown person.
Because there are so many of them that are created and destroyed each semester, course lists are managed in bulk, based on the hta, ta and student course group memberships.