Written on October 25, 2018

Town Hall Minutes Fall 2018

Minutes from the semi-annual Computer Science Graduate Student Town Hall on October 25, 2018.


  • Degree Requirements
  • Course Issues
  • Space Needs
  • Open Discussion

Degree Requirements

  • (PhD) Clarify the degree requirements and post it in the website
  • Conversation on degree requirements is happening right now, sending out proposals for feedback soon
  • Overhauled the Graduate Student Handbook over summer - if something still isn’t clear, please let CSGSA know so we can clarify
  • (PhD) What do (other students) value in a breadth requirement?
    • (PhD) Two perspectives: foundation everyone should have, or way to encourage everyone to explore new areas?
    • (PhD) Different graduate students want different things out of breadth- Masters might be looking to prep for specific industry positions (i.e. applied), where PhD might want to be prepared to teach a variety of classes outside their research area
  • (Sriram) Goal: make requirements small and keep them minimal, possibly make the same across the board for all graduate students
    • Things outside out control: how many distance classes, total class, within the department, etc.
  • (PhD) 4/5 breadth courses is a lot
  • (PhD) Will new requirements allow PhD to pick up Masters along the way? Yes

Course Issues

  • Course Availability
    • How would minimal requirements affect course availability?
    • What courses are offered in summer?
      • Two this summer- multilingual NLP and graphics, both with distance sections
  • Course Issues
    • (Masters) After drop date, the professors have just decided to completely abandon syllabus- is there some form of accountability?  
      • FCQs, but be nice and constructive
      • Please feel free to approach one of the Grad directors/Jim throughout the semester
    • Are the expectations the same for graduate (6000/7000) courses?
      • Some ambiguity between 7000 topics and the 7000 that’s going to be turned into a 5/6000
      • Suggestion: Renumber 7000 transitioning courses
    • Methods of CogSci is 6000 means it can’t count as breadth. Any class can be depth with advisor approval

Space Issues

  • (Masters) Many TAs have to (interview) grade in public areas- violation of FERPA
    • Want to give out grading space before office space
    • How far in advance do we know when we’ll need interview grading space?
      • Depends on the course
      • Classes with more interview grading, allocate larger chunks of space, but some classes only have interview grading as needed
      • Card access for interview grading rooms after 5pm gets removed
  • (PhD) desire for kitchen where you can actually cook and hopefully
  • Other departments have grad lounges where community is built
  • ECES 112 reserved for graduate students Mondays 8am-1pm
    • 8:30-9:30 is used for TA training
    • 12-1pm is used for CSGSA
  • Do graduate student use CSEL? Yes, for group projects
  • Why aren’t we getting a new building?
    • We need the Dean to be a CS person
    • Movement to promote Jim to Dean Martin
  • No interaction between students in different labs
  • Is there a way to partition CSEL with a part for Grad students
  • Is there a way to use hotelling offices for interview grading?
    • Issue is key access, using conference rooms is alternative
    • If it has key access, can request for card access with the new system used on east campus
    • Could we use a combination lock containing key in the meantime?
    • Study rooms cannot be used for interview grading, but has anyone tried using study rooms in libraries?
      • Business, Norlin, math libraries
      • If they notice you’re turning it into an office, you might not be allowed to book it anymore

Wrap up

  • Thanks for coming!
  • Please fill out the surveys we send out
  • Don’t feel like you need to wait for a survey or town hall to approach
  • Monday at 10am DLC Masters projects research session.