🧙 What's new for 2024? 2️⃣4️⃣

This pages lists the major changes to CS 300 we made for 2024. We also discuss these in the first lecture.

Weekly Sections!

This year, we will continue to evolve sections in the course and make them weekly, rather than bi-weekly. So, for 2024:

If you are a remote student or in CS 1310, please see here for more information.

Sections are not gear-ups or TA hours. They serve to review material, have it explained again in different words, and to address your conceptual questions.

Two Instructors!

This year, we have a second instructor join us: Nick DeMarinis! Nick has been doing systems at Brown CS for many years and will add additional expertise and instructor bandwidth to the course.

EdStem Quiet Time

To avoid staff overwork and to comply with TALO union's agreement with the university, we will have quiet hours on EdStem from 12am (midnight) to 7am. Staff will not answer EdStem questions during this time, so that we can all get a good night's sleep. (Remember that you do not accrue late hours in CS 300 between 12am and 7am, either.)

Assignment Changes

We have updated some assignments and brought back material that the course did not teach for time reasons in 2023. In particular, project 5B now covers distributed systems material that we didn't teach last year.

TA Hours Format

This year, we will offer in-person TA hours for students on campus, and Zoom TA hours for remote students. You can find the details on the hours calendar.

TA hours have a very specific purpose. That purpose is not for TAs to fix your bugs for you, or to tell you the solution to a problem you face, or how to do an assignment. TA hours exist for TAs to help you figure out issues yourself. With this goal in mind, and given CS 300's collaboration policy, this year we will continue with our collaborative TA hours format. This format might be different to what you're used to from other courses.

TA hours in CS 300 are collaborative, rather than 1-on-1. This means the following:

  1. Hours are open and collaborative. Simply come to the room where hours are being held and sit down with the TA/other students. There will be an Hours queue to establish an order for the TA to visit students.
  2. The TA holding hours will group students according to what part of the assignment they are on. You are encouraged to work with your peers to answer each other's questions (remember, you're free to look at each other's code!). If you have a question for the TA, then you may sign up on the Hours queue and the TA will visit groups in order.
  3. In order to help as many students as possible, TAs will help you work out the next step of the assignment and then leave you to work through the implementation with your group while they visit other students.
The consequence of this TA hour structure is that we are able to avoid long queues and make sure everyone gets the help they need.