Miscellaneous I545/N564/N364 Class Procedures

Don Byrd - updated 23 Jan. 2008



I'll put my slide shows on the class website from time to time. I'll try to keep them updated, but I make no promises.

Tip: When I update a document on the website, I'll generally rename the old version to, e.g, "I545AssignmentsPREV.html"; that way, if the new version somehow turns out to be a disaster, at least you can see the previous version till I repair the new one.


Except under very unusual circumstances, homework to be turned in will be due only once a week. Specifically, it'll be due on Wednesdays, and I'll put the assignment on the website by early morning the preceding Friday so we can discuss it in class on Friday. But caveat: I may put reading or simple "doing" assignments on the website for any class, so check the Assignments page regularly! (I won't grade preparation for that class meeting unless I've given you plenty of lead time.)

Unless I say otherwise, it's OK to submit homework either electronically or on paper. But I get a lot of e-mail! If you do send yours electronically, to increase the chances I'll see it when I look for homework, use a subject line like "R homework"; don't just use the reply command on my last message to get my e-mail address and leave the subject line untouched. Also, please put the homework in a file and attach it to the e-mail; don't just embed it in the body of the e-mail unless it's very short and simple.

When you send me a file as part of an assignment:

  1. Use a filename like "SmithHomework4.r" or "SmithAudacity.r", assuming your last name is Smith; please use your last name, not your first, since I keep everything alphabetically by last name. Including your name and the homework number or name will both save me time and avoid confusion as to whose work is whose. If you want the filename to include descriptive information as well, that's OK. For example, you could change "04 Ringing My Phone (Straight Outta Istanbul).m4a" to "Smith_04 Ringing My Phone (Straight Outta Istanbul).m4a. I'll probably realize that -- for best results -- I should remove "Smith" from the filename before adding it to an iTunes library, but feel free to warn me!
  2. Even if you create the file on a Mac, which doesn't need an extension, please add the standard one (.doc, .mp3, .r, etc.). I might be looking at your file on a PC; besides, the hidden information that tells a Mac what kind of file it is doesn't always get through to another computer.
  3. I don't yet have MS Office 2007; I've tried twice to download the compatibility widget from the MS website, but it failed both times, and I'd rather not devote any more time to it in the near future. So I'd appreciate it if you send me .doc, .rtf,, or even .txt files instead of .docx's; similarly, send .xls instead of .xlsx.
  4. If you're thinking of sending me a large file, five or seven others in the class probably are too. This could cause problems, e.g., exceeding my quota! Please don't send me a file of more than about 1200K as an attachment; instead, use slashtmp (or a similar service, but I think you'll like slashtmp), or give me a CDROM or DVD.

Handling Students With Very Different Backgrounds

In a class like ours with very different levels of technical background, it's a real problem to avoid overwhelming people with weak backgrounds without wasting the time of people with strong backgrounds. I know of only two ways to avoid both problems simultaneously:

  1. "Customize" some of the course.
  2. Let people work in teams.
We'll do both. For example, for our first programming assignment, I'll want more advanced programmers to do something considerably more complex than beginners. I may also customize classes occasionally, e.g., taking the last 15 min. of class to cover more advanced material than I could expect everyone to be able to follow; if I'm going to do that, I'll say so, and people can leave early if things are over their heads.

Miscellaneous Miscellany

If you'll need headphones in class, I'll try to say so on the Assignments page ahead of time, but I may just announce it at the beginning of class. You can check headphones out at the Music Library circulation desk.

To help me evaluate your preparation, I'll occasionally call on people to say something without their volunteering. Fair warning!

Comments to: donbyrd(at)indiana.edu
Copyright 2006-08, Donald Byrd

Music InformaticsSchool of InformaticsIndiana University