For the fall of 2020, there will be no in-person meetings for 6.826.
We will have live (synchronous) lectures, TR1-2:30. Live lectures give an opportunity to ask questions about the lecture material, to provide a forcing function to engage with the lecture material, and to provide some sense of community among the students. We encourage students to attend these live lectures when possible. For many lectures, we plan to spend part of the lecture breaking up into small groups of about 3 students each, to discuss the paper material, and then we will re-convene as a whole class to discuss what each group came up with.
We will record the live lectures and post them for asynchronous viewing, for students that were unable to join the live lecture. If you cannot make any of the live lectures, please get in touch with us to discuss your situation; we would prefer that students participate in live lectures.
The live Zoom lecture URL is posted in Piazza (not posted here to prevent "Zoom-bombing"); use the link in the top toolbar of this web page to access the Piazza site.
Grades in 6.826 will be based on class participation in the form of lecture participation, reading questions, and paper summaries (40%); and labs (60%). You must submit all the labs to obtain a passing grade.
Labs are due on Fridays at 5pm. Beginning with Lab 1, run make prepare-submit to generate a file lab[1-4]-handin.tar.gz that you can submit on the submission website.
You have a total of 72 late hours to use throughout the semester, which you can divide up among the lab assignments however you like; you don't have to ask or tell us. Each day late in excess of 72 hours will incur a full letter grade penalty on the lab exercise component of your overall grade. These late hours are intended for cases where you fall behind due to illness, job interviews, MIT athletic events, deadlines in other classes, etc. For extensions under extenuating circumstances (e.g., you are sick for a week), we require a letter from one of the student deans.
This class will have two kinds of paper reading assignments.
The first is the reading questions for each paper. These are intended to make you think about the lecture topic. These homework submissions are due before the start of lecture (i.e., 1pm) on the specified due dates. We do not grade your answers for correctness, but merely check-off that you put reasonable effort into them.
The second is the paper summaries. We require every student to pick a few papers they will summarize, over the course of the semester. For each such paper, you must write a summary of the paper, roughly 5 paragraphs: what the paper is about; what the benefits of the proposed ideas are; what are the limitations; how does this paper relate to other material you have seen in this class; and what was the lecture discussion about? Your paper choices must be distributed across different topic categories (file systems; distributed systems; security; etc). More details on this assignment are TBD.
The reading question "homeworks" are intended to make you think about the lecture topic. These homework submissions are due before the start of lecture (i.e., 1pm) on the specified due dates. We do not grade your answers for correctness, but merely check-off that you put reasonable effort into them.
You are welcome to discuss the homework and labs with other students, but all of your written work and code must be your own and must carefully acknowledge all contributions of ideas by others, whether from classmates or from sources you have read. We encourage interactions on Piazza.
We will try to help students find groups in which they can work together on lab assignments even though the class is online.
Do not post your lab or homework solutions on publicly accessible web sites (such as GitHub) or file spaces (such as your Athena Public directory).
Staff mailing list
email@example.com, but we would prefer that you use Piazza whenever possible.
We will organize online office hours for help with the lab assignments. See Piazza for the Zoom URL for all of these office hours.
Monday, 5:00-6:00pm (Tej)
Wednesday, 4:00-5:00pm (Tej)
Thursday, 4:30-6:30pm (Stella)
You are also welcome to schedule an appointment with the TAs outside of office hours at any time, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or using a private Piazza question.