We will use a Google Group
for class related communications. The Google Group is basically
used as a mailing list.
(During the first 3 weeks of classes,
the instructor will check if there are new students
registered for the course and he will add new students
to the Google Group or send invitations to them.)
If you get an invitation from the Google Group, you have two
choices. (1) You can accept the invitation (do NOT
choose this option if you are using gmail from
Google Apps at USC
because it won't work); or (2) request membership from your Google
account (see below). After this is
done, you will get copies of all e-mails sent to the Google Group
and you will also be able to post to the Google Group.
The main difference between the two approaches is that,
if you go with option (1) you cannot visit/search the message
archive of the Google Group. This is because the Google Group
is a property of Google and you need to be a Google member to
view the message archive. When you logged into your Google
account and try to visit this group, it will say that you are
not a member of this group. This is because your USC e-mail
address is used for subscribing to this group and not your
Google e-mail address. So, if you want to visit the message
archive, you need to go with approach (2).
If you use gmail from Google Apps at USC,
then option (1) is not available to you. Your only option is to use
a separate gmail account for our class Google Group and follow the
procedure for (2) below.
If you don't ever want to login to the Google Group and search
the message archive and want to stay with approach (1), that's fine.
In this case, you should set your e-mail filter to label all
messages that has "usc-cs531-s16"
in the subject line (without the quotes) so you won't miss any
You should also save all these messages into a separate folder so
that you can easily search them.
You can also respond to postings to the Google Group or post a
message to the Google Group by sending e-mail to
<firstname.lastname@example.org> (this would only work
if you are sending e-mail from your USC e-mail address).
If you want to use your gmail address
for the Google Group, then you should first sign into Google and then visit
our Google Group web site
and click on Apply for Membership (not "Contact the owner"). Since your gmail address
may not tell the instructor who you really are, you MUST provide your
USC login ID (your account name on nunki.usc.edu) or your
USC e-mail address in the "additional comments to the manager" area so
that the instructor can verify that you are a registered student
for the class. If you go this route, you have to
wait for the instructor to approve your request before you can
get into the Google Group. If you do not provide any USC-specific
information in the "additional comments to the manager" area (even though your
Google account name is similar to your real name), your request
will be denied (and you will get an e-mail saying that your subscription was not approved).
There is a 3rd option (which is kind of an extension
to option (1)). If you do not have
a Google account to begin with and you want to use your USC e-mail
address to access the Google Group, you should first visit our
Google Group web site and
click on Sign in in the right top corner. On the next screen,
click on the big Create an account button then enter your
USC e-mail address as your current e-mail address. Then follow the
instructions there to finish creating your account.
In this group, you can ask course related and project related
questions. Please make sure to use this Google Group
to clarify any questions that you may have on the assignments
specifications and grading guidelines. Please refrain from
posting code etc., that can lead to any sort of plagiarism.
Posting more than 4 lines of code OR pseudo-code will be considered cheating!
If you post more than 4 lines of code OR pseudo-code,
first offense (in the entire semester) gets a warning.
Second offense, you will lose 50% of the corresponding assignment points and lose posting privileges
in the class Google Group for the rest of the semester.
I get the following question a lot:
I'm receiving all the messages that got posted to the class Google Group.
But when I go to the class Google Group on the web, I cannot see the
discussions or use the search function. What do I need to do?
You need to remember that if you want to see the discussions, you must
have done both of the following:
Please note that there is a difference between just Google
and a Google Group.
- logged into Google, and
- be a member of our class Google Group
Go to the class Google Group at:
Which message do you see?
Do you see (1): "You cannot view the group's content or
participate in the group because you are not currently a member", or
(2): "You must be signed in and a member of this group
to view its content"?
If you see the first message, it means that you have already signed into
Google (with your Google login e-mail address, whatever it may be);
you are just not a member of the Google Group. In this
case, you should click on the "Apply for
group membership" link and then enter your USC e-mail address in
the "additional comments to the manager" field to apply for membership.
If you see the 2nd message, it means that you are not signed into
Google (not our class Google Group, just Google).
In this case, you should sign in (i.e., click on
the "Sign in" link in the right top corner) first. If you don't
have a Google account, you can click on "Create an account" and
then enter your USC e-mail address as your account's e-mail
address and go from there.