POCS is going 100% virtual

POCS is going 100% virtual

par George Candea,
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The Principles of Computer Systems course (POCS) is going 100% virtual this semester! This is the most reliable way to reduce the risk of infection and transmission during this Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, working and learning "from anywhere" is becoming a new standard in the tech world, so you need to be fully prepared for when you'll be "out there". 

There are no on-campus exams permitted during the semester, so 50% of your grade will be determined based on a final exam during the January exam session. The remaining 50% of the grade will be based on work you do during the semester: 30% based on 1-page writeups (OPs), 10% based on a presentation you will give online, and 10% based on your participation and contribution to class discussions. Even though only 50% of the grade is directly derived from the work you do during the semester, all the learning in POCS occurs during the semester. In other words, 100% of your grade will be determined, directly or indirectly, by what you do during the semester.

Lectures will be 100% virtual, and we will use a mix of online videos, lecture notes, and other online resources. All of these you will be able to peruse asynchronously, when the time is right for you. We will do our best to help you become auto-didacts, which is what successful researchers and techies need to be in the modern world.

The assigned readings and your OPs will be the principal ways of learning. We will hold interactive online sessions during which we discuss the week’s readings, in order to understand in depth the topics of that week. The OPs will then serve to solidify this understanding and to push you into the creative domain of systems design.

We will organize virtual recitations during which you can get help and answers to your questions from the POCS staff. We will use Zoom breakout rooms and schedule enough sessions to address all your POCS needs. We will offer an online forum where you can ask questions and receive answers from your peers in POCS and the staff, as well as post news about interesting POCS things you come across. For as long as the hygiene regulations permit, we will also offer in-person office hours upon request.