Computer Science Update 3.31.20

Due to concerns related to the spread of COVID-19, the Department of Computer Science is currently operating during regular hours but relying on virtual meetings, except for absolutely critical activities.  Please contact an appropriate person on the list below if you need help via email or if you would like to arrange a time for a phone call or an in-person or online meeting:
 
Undergraduate Advising: uccs@pdx.edu
Graduate Advising: gccs@pdx.edu
Department Manager: krys@cs.pdx.edu
Department Chair: mpj@pdx.edu
CS Office: csoffice@pdx.edu

CHROMEBOOK LOANER PROGRAM

One resource our community has recently developed is a Chromebook Loaner Program managed by staff and volunteers in the Computer Action Team.

A generous group of MCECS faculty have loaned Chromebooks normally used in classrooms and outreach activities so that we may coordinate this lending program. You may request a Chromebook if you do not have access to a functional laptop for your courses this term. Please note, we have a limited pool of loaners available and they should be reserved for students that don’t have another option available to them. If you would like to review more details about the Loaner program and request a Chromebook, visit the Computer Action Team website: https://cat.pdx.edu/loan-chromebook/.

BUILDING ACCESS

We want our entire Maseeh College community to be safe, including all of our students, staff, and faculty.  As such we emphasize that you should not enter the Engineering Building or Fourth Avenue Building under any circumstances in light of Governor Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives order. If you are a graduate teaching assistant and/or a graduate research assistant needing to come to campus for essential projects, please speak with your supervisor or department staff for guidance on access to labs and building resources.

OTHER RESOURCES

If you need assistance with transitioning to remote learning this term please review this guide: https://www.pdx.edu/insidepsu/guide-to-a-remote-spring-term. The PSU Library has also developed a lending program, though we recommend first requesting a loaner through MCECS. You can review more details on that program by visiting the library’s website.

CS TUTORS (UNDERGRADUATE LOWER DIVISION COURSES)

We have transitioned CS Tutoring to an online format using slack as our primary form of contact.  (If you have not previously used slack: please visit pdx-cs.slack.com, click the “create an account” link and follow the instructions on screen.  Once you are logged in, click on the “cshelp” channel in the sidebar on the left.)
 
Tutors will be available on Monday to Friday (11am-6pm) and on Saturday (12-6pm).  Their primary role is to provide help for CS 161, CS 162,  CS 163, and CS 202.  The tutors may also be able to provide some support for CS 201, CS 250, and CS 251.  For the latter group of courses, however, it is recommended (and for all other courses not listed here, it is required) that students contact their instructor or class TA for help.
 
A student can request help from a tutor by posting a short message on the cshelp slack channel that includes the class number and a very brief description of the problem that they need help with.  These messages are public so they must not include any personal details, including code or any other part of a student’s solution to a problem.  A tutor will then follow-up using direct messaging and, if appropriate, may also offer a zoom meeting for one-on-one interaction.  If the tutor determines that a given question can be answered without personal information, and that the answer may be useful to other students, then they may respond by starting a new public thread instead.  All conversations with a tutor must begin with a posting on the cshelp channel; it is important that students do not otherwise direct message tutors with questions.