Logistics for April-May classes

Dear Friends,

WE WANT EVERYONE TO SUCCEED. We want everyone to succeed, we will do everything needed for all of you to succeed.

WE HOPE YOU ARE WELL. I hope you all feel well.

If you are not feeling well and, e.g., cannot turn in your homework on time, let me know, we will check it later when you are able to do it.

SCHEDULE. I will keep the original schedule -- i.e., I will be readily available at the usual class times and during what is now office hours time.

There may be urgent situations when this will need to be changed (just like there situations like that in the past) -- in such cases, I will let you know just like I let you know several times in the past.

If you want me to spend some time with you outside my posted office hours, you can use the same algorithm as described on the class webpage: look at my online schedule at http://www.cs.utep.edu/vladik/appointments.html, find the time when I am not busy and you are not busy, and send me an email with this time; most probably, I will say yes and add a meeting with you tos my online schedule.

CLASS MATERIALS. In addition to the class handouts that are already posted on the class website, I have posted the full texts of what I was originally planning to the tell in the lectures. All this information is listed by date. Please read these materials before the class time (and feel free to read them ahead of time).

Several students asked to provide a step-by-step description of the corresponding algorithms, just like in the face-to-face lectures. Many thanks for your suggestions. I have followed these suggestions when preparing the posted lectures.

Topics that we study in this class are not easy topics, but hopefully, you will all do well, it is not as difficult as many things you have successfully mastered in the class so far. Feel free to start reading ahead of time if needed. If you see any typos or unclear places, let me know, I will give you extra credit points for each such finding.

I tried to be as clear and as detailed as possible in my posted lectures. In the future, there may be a need for further clarification about the materials I posted. If this happens, I will update these files. This may not always be possible right away, since updating a webpage requires using VPN, and VPN is overloaded (I had problems several times). If a long delay with VPN happens, I will send the corrected pdf files (and all other information) by email.

Some additional material is already posted on the class website, e.g., links to notes from the previous semester's class. A lot of material is in the textbook.

PLEASE READ POSTED MATERIALS ATTENTIVELY. I realize that some of you are in the habit of not reading long texts in general, but in these times, this is unavoidable. UTEP has warned us that we cannot simply lecture online, this will clog the web right away (and several experiments showed that everything freezes very fast). THE ONLY WAY TO LEARN IS TO PLACE MATERIALS ONLINE, and supplement it with answering questions. We will all have to go to this mode, we do not have a choice. We will all need to learn how to study from the posted texts. This is tough, there may be glitches, but I am sure we will all succeed.

On a smaller scale, such things happened in the past: a student may get sick and miss a class, in my experience, most of the times, students learned from the notes (and from the book), so I know you all can do it.

QUESTIONS. Please read the posted materials before the class time. During the class time, I will answer any questions you may have.

I can answer questions by email or, if needed, by skype or by other means.

If you prefer phone connection, send me your phone number, I will call you.

As in the past, if there is a question that may be of general interest, I will send a reply to everyone, and not just to the student who asked this question.

HOMEWORKS. Homework assignments are posted already.

To submit a homework, scan it or -- if it is electronic -- send it to the TA (some of you have done this already). The TA will send you the grades, I will post correct solutions, and, if you are not clear, I will be glad to answer questions.

LATE HOMEWORKS. An important difference is that since I will be posting correct solutions to homeworks, it does not make any sense to accept late assignments: once an assignment is posted, it make no sense for you to copy it in your own handwriting, this does not indicate any understanding. So, please try to submit your assignments on time.

Things happen. If there is an emergency situation and you cannot submit it on time, let me know, you will then not be penalized -- and I will come up with a similar but different assignment that you can submit when you become available again.

TESTS. Tests will be performed as scheduled. The logistics is very straightforward:

Similar to homeworks, I will post solution, send you the grades, and answer questions if something is not clear. As usual, if you are unable to attend the test, let me know, I will organize a different version of the text at a time convenient for you.

WE WILL OVERCOME. This whole situation is a challenge, a problem to be solved -- but is not computer science all about solving challenging problems? There may be glitches, but we will find the way.