EECS20N: Signals and Systems

Organizational Notes



The instructor and TAs and head reader should all be actively on the newsgroup. The instructor most importantly. This task cannot be delegated. It is particularly important to monitor the newsgroup closely the day before a problem set is due, and the days before an exam. This way, you can clarify ambiguities in the assignments. If you fail to monitor the newsgroup, you risk flame wars erupting, which can cause a general sense of dissatisfaction to spread among the students.

Students seem to prefer using the newsgroup over office hours, and ultimately, it is probably a pretty effective communication device. However, you encourage students to come to office hours, because some things are much easier to explain in person.

Mailing Lists

The mailing lists are at
Mail to that machine gets forwarded to bennett.eecs.
Who is actually on each list is determined by contents of CVS controlled files in eecs20/adm/mailingLists.
EECS20 mailing list, controlled by eecs20/adm/mailingLists/eecs20n
Class mailing list, controlled by eecs20/adm/mailingLists/eecs20n-class
TA mailing list, controlled by eecs20/adm/mailingLists/eecs20n-tas
To add edit the lists, use CVS.


Ideally, homework would be due Mondays so that they can relate to the lecture material of the previous week. However, this creates a problem, because students expect timely response on the bulletin board. If homework is due Monday, then you or the TAs have to monitor the bulletin board continually over the weekend. If you aren't sure you can do this, make homework due Friday.


Students like for you to schedule midterm exams in the evening, well in advance, so that time pressure is not a critical issue. However, this is an extremely difficult thing to do. You are very unlikely to find a time that does not conflict with a significant percentage of the students, and you will spend hours scheduling alternative times and proctoring alternative times. It's not worth it. Give the exams in class, but try to schedule a room with enough chairs so that the students can spread out.

Do your exams completely before giving them. Ask your TAs to do them. Otherwise, errors inevitably get though. At the very least, this can make exams very difficult to grade. Grading should be done all once, with the TAs, in a room. Provide pizza and/or sodas, if possible. Each problem should be graded through by one person, to ensure consistency. Being generous with partial credit reduces the amount of haggling over grades later. Do not nit-pick.