Written on October 1, 2018

Town Hall Minutes Spring 2018

Minutes from the semi-annual Computer Science Graduate Student Town Hall on April 19, 2018.


  1. Pay rate increase
    • AY Salary- 24,469 level 1 (pre-proposal), 26106 level 2 (post proposal)
    • Weighted August and May stipends
  2. Christine: Department working with GSA to learn and discuss issues
    • Feel free to approach Graduate Director (Christine Lv), Rajshree (Graduate Advisor), or CSGSA (csgsa@colorado.edu) with any issues or questions

Course Survey Results

  1. Stephen presented course request results
  2. Working on long term planning- tracking who’s demanding courses (by depth area)
  3. Thank you for giving us feedback on course requests
  4. Feel free to send suggestions to GSA or Rajshree
  5. Add a comments section on the shaping of the course (ex. Use Python vs MATLAB, matching with industry)
  6. What about the write in course requests? Want to restrict breadth courses to CS department, but depth can be non-CS. Discussing allowing Masters to petition courses outside the CS department. There are discussions about how to shape the curriculum in the future.
  7. Comment that breadth is a very strong requirement that we already covered in undergrad.
    • We do want students to have a broad background.
  8. Poll: Is 4 breadth classes too many?
    • Students feel discouraged from taking classes that interest them in order to satisfy requirements
    • Consensus: People would be fine taking breadth but want more generalization/differentiation between breadth areas.
      • Some labels seem arbitrary
    • 7000 level don’t count as breadth because they are typically topics classes, but can be petitioned to count as breadth. Haven’t been reviewed as thoroughly
  9. Masters students would like 7000-like courses where they learn more software and prepare them for industry. (7000 for PhD are great for research, Masters want equivalent courses to prep them for industry)
  10. Can [applied] Big Data be added as Breadth area?
  11. Can Distributed Systems be split up into 2 topics/courses? Level 1/level 2 covers a lot of material
    • Rajshree asked for writeup, hope to send on to faculty.
  12. In addition to FCQs, course review about material covered?
  13. Are course requirements clear?
    • Yes, once we ask Rajshree.
    • Let’s get it all centralized
    • Masters communication forum requested (slack?)


  1. Gap in communication when trying to communicate with GPTIs, create a gtpi mailing list / instructor mailing list
  2. What works in communicating with TAs?
  3. Re-evaluating TA feedback from professors
  4. Pre and post course survey to measure problems and points of improvement
  5. What is the balance in responsibility between TA and research for PhD students
    • Could TAing count toward graduation requirement?
  6. Interview process for TAs should be by subject if possible

Course preparation

  1. Post previous class structure/rubric alongside syllabus along with major (anticipated) changes
  2. Ask new professors to more rigorously plan classes
    • Sometimes ends up overly simple
  3. Hypothetical: A student presents someone else’s work. What do you do?
    • Notify the faculty member and go to Grad Comm

Reporting Harassment

  1. Disturbing number of people who reported witnessing harassment and didn’t know where to go
  2. Christine (Grad Comm director) is the point person.
  3. Jim Martin (ECES 126) also volunteered as tribute.
  4. However, remember faculty are mandatory reporters for certain things.
  5. Draft a “flow chart” of who to go to for which situations

Improving community

  1. Hoping for regular happy hour/social after colloquia
  2. Contact csgsa if you have ideas you want to see come to life
  3. Come to the spring picnic!
  4. Event during orientation
    • Come meet new students
    • Scavenger hunt!

Suggestion after town hall

  1. Instead of strictly doing happy hour, maybe do Bowling nights? ($9.50 per person for 2 hours includes shoe rental and soft drink).