Responses to Anonymous Feedback
This page will be filled in as we receive anonymous feedback.
I'd rather do the hands-ons on my own laptop instead of in an
Athena cluster. Can you tell me how to install the packages for
my particular set-up?
We can't support individual student set-ups because they vary
so widely. But, there is a solution! To complete the hands-ons,
you don't have to be physically present in an Athena cluster: you
can access it remotely via
In a terminal, type: ssh
(replace <athena_id> with whatever your Athena ID
is). It will ask for your Athena password, and once you've
entered that, you're now using an Athena machine.
Please specify the due date time of the assignments!
The due date times are written explicitly on the assignments
first critique) and discussed as part of
policy. If you find an assignment without an explicit
due-time, please email us!
It's hard to hear in the back of the class during lecture. Can
you speak up?
We'll do our best to check at the beginning of each class
whether students in the back can hear (without us also destroying
the ears of the people up front). If you can't hear during
lecture, please just raise your hand and let us know.
Alternatively, there are many seats available up front!
We don't get enough feedback on our assignments. Can we
receive suggestions on how to improve our grades, specifically
hands-ons grades and reading responses?
Definitely. For hands-ons: in general, we reserve check+'s for
submissions with answers that are correct, explanations that are
clear, concise, and extremely thorough, often giving extra context
to the answer beyond what was necessary to completely answer the
question (e.g., instead of saying "DNS scales because of its
hierarchical design", you might go on to explain exactly how a
hierarchical design helps scalability both in terms of performance
and management). For feedback on individual hands-on assignments,
please contact your TA; they are always available to give more
For reading questions: These questions are factored into your
participation grade, and as long as you're completing them and
turning them in, you're fine. If you occasionally get an answer
incorrect, that's okay, as we also use the responses to gauge
whether large portions of the class are confused about a topic (in
which case we make sure to resolve your confusion). If you leave a
recitation feeling that you don't understand what the correct answer
to a hands-on should be, please contact your instructor or post on
Piazza so we can make sure to clear up any confusion.
How do check's, check-'s, and check+'s translate into letter
We're not in a position to assign letter grades until the end
of the semester. Moreover, most of your grade is based on a
more traditional grading method (participation, the DP proposal
and report, and quizzes all get standard numeric or letter
grades), and we consider all of your assignments when assigning
your final grade.
If you have questions about your individual grade,
please email any of the course staff; we're happy to discuss
individual progress and how you can improve your standing in the
class with you.
My recitation keeps running over. Can we end on time?
Sorry about that. Our intention is to end five minutes before
the hour, and we'll try to be better about that.
It's hard to study for the quizzes using old quizzes because
the solution write-ups are brief and/or poorly explained.
We are always happy to answer any questions you have about old
quizzes, either on Piazza, in-person, or via email (Piazza is
best). If you find a solution unhelpful, please just post a
question so we can clear up any misunderstandings.