Policies #

Health #

If you are feeling sick, you should get tested for COVID-19. If you test positive, or if you are otherwise feeling symptoms that may be contagious, you should not come to class. However, you should notify us where possible so that we can make alternate arrangements.

Punctuality #

Please come to class on time. We have a limited amount of in-class time, and the amount that we try to do while everyone is together can result in rather tight timing. Because of this, we ask that you are ready to start on time, rather than just joining the call at that time.

We take deadlines for work very seriously, particularly for assignments (including self-assessments). Historically, CAs can get quite swamped with requests for help just before an assignment deadline; please consider their well-being and start your work early, making sure to ask any clarifying questions well in advance of the deadline.

Collaboration #

While submission for most work in this course is done individually, we encourage you to collaborate with other students. However, we ask that you limit collaboration to ideas only; sharing ideas is allowed, but sharing code is not. Please do not “spoil the fun” of solving the problems for other students!

In the spirit of transparency, we ask that if you collaborate with others, you disclose this to us. Assignment submissions will ask you to list the people you worked with. Additionally, if parts of your work are unclear, there is a possibility that we will ask you to explain it; you should be prepared to explain any part of the work with your name on it, even if you are in a group and did not do that work yourself.

Asking Questions #

When asking for help outside of office hours, we ask that you use Discord. This ensures that all of us will see and have the chance to respond to a questions. We will make an exception for particularly sensitive questions (e.g., requests due to special circumstances or questions concerning sensitive information).

If you are stuck on a problem, it helps to be precise about what you are trying to do and where you are stuck. It is particularly helpful if you include what you have already tried, and a minimal working example that isolates the problem you are running into (rather than simply saying that your code doesn’t work). While we may be able to help you without this, it may take significantly longer to do so.

Giving Feedback #

We always welcome feedback on the design, content, or delivery of this course. You can do so in Discord, or through an anonymous form linked on Canvas.

We are generally able to respond most effectively to feedback if you are specific and constructive. Rather than simply saying that you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy the day’s activities, please try to point out how something helped your learning or a change you would make if given the chance.

Accessibility #

Olin College of Engineering is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs. If you have a documented disability (or think you may have a disability) and, as a result, need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this class, complete course requirements, or benefit from the College’s programs or services, contact Disability Services at Olin (DSO) as soon as possible. To receive any academic accommodation, you must be appropriately registered with DSO. The DSO works with students confidentially and does not disclose any disability-related information without their permission. The DSO serves as a clearinghouse on disability issues and works in partnership with faculty and all other student service offices. For further information about services for students with disabilities, please contact the DSO.

We assume that all of us learn in different ways, and that the organization of any course will accommodate each student differently. For example, you may prefer to process information by speaking and listening, so that some of the written handouts we provide may be difficult to absorb. Please talk to us as soon as you can about your individual learning needs and how this course can best accommodate them. Even if you do not have a documented disability, remember that there are other support services, including Writing Tutors, NINJAs, ARCs, and Peer Tutors.

Diversity #

It is our intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives will be well served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is our intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and culture. We expect students to conduct themselves in a way that respects the experiences and identities of all members of the class. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let us know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups. In addition, if any of our class meetings conflict with your religious events, please let us know so that we can make arrangements for you.

Work-Life Balance #

Take care of yourself. Do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle this semester by eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking some time to relax. This will help you achieve your goals and cope with stress.

All of us benefit from support during times of struggle. You are not alone. There are many helpful resources available on campus and an important part of the college experience is learning how to ask for help. Asking for support sooner rather than later is often helpful.

If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings like anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. Check out Olin’s Mental Health and Wellness services. Consider reaching out to a friend, faculty, or family member you trust for help getting connected to the support that can help.