CS Department - 2020-21 Announcement Archive

Please check this page -- and your email -- for updates from the Computer Science department. 


Friday, August 21 2020

Dear CS Undergrads,

The CS Department welcomes you back to campus during this most unusual semester. Here are some housekeeping items before classes begin on Monday:


ase review your schedule carefully, and ensure you understand where you are supposed to be and when. Course modalities, classroom assignments, and meeting times have been more volatile this summer than in a usual year, with some changes happening as recently as earlier this week.


As you know, the CS Department is experiencing record demand for instruction in many of its courses.

Starting Monday, we expect to see some “churn” in the waitlists as students finalize their course registrations, and as we release a handful of additional seats in a few of our most in-demand courses.

At this time, I would also ask that all students who are “shopping” for courses by enrolling in an extra course drop any seat in a course you are just “shopping” by Monday, August 24.  

Too many students who engage in this practice hold on to an extra seat for two or three weeks, thereby denying other students on the waitlist a chance to accept the open spot. We ask that you be considerate of others: open seats can only really be reassigned during the first week of classes.

In any case, all students should watch their email/text messages carefully. Once a seat is offered and you fail to respond within the 24-hour offer period, that seat is gone and will be filled by another student. There are no second chances.

We realize that these measures will not satisfy every student on the waitlist.  And while most students who expect to graduate in December 2020 have already been accommodated, there are some -- especially those who may be repeating a class -- who will experience difficulties. If you are one of these students, please make an appointment to discuss your situation with your advisor.


Advising assignments will be updated for fall 2020 by Monday. To verify who your assigned advisor is, log in to MyUI à Click on Student Information tab à Click on program of Study & Advisors link. Faculty have been directed to work from home except when teaching an in-person course, so plan to connect with your advisor via phone or email this semester.

Some of you are assigned to Emma Kirk and Irene Maundu, the professional academic advisors for computer science and informatics students. Both Irene and Emma are working remotely for the duration of this semester. Each will have appointment availability and drop-in hours utilizing Zoom and phone. You can also see your professional advisor’s drop-in schedule or set up an appointment using MyUI à Click on Student Information tab à Click on My Appointments à Select your advisor’s name from the drop down list. Emma can be reached at 319-335-0793 or emma-kirk@uiowa.edu and Irene can be reached at 319-335-4904 irene-maundu@uiowa.edu.

Your advisor is available to help answer questions; plan for upcoming semesters; and identify support resources for academics, career and professional development and other university services. Do not hesitate to reach out.


  1. The Computer Science and Math offices in 14 MacLean Hall will be operating with reduced office hours. Many issues can be resolved via phone and/or email (cs-info@list.uiowa.edu; 319-335-0713); please utilize these first, before coming to the office. We are open for walk-in traffic for issues that must be addressed in person by appointment, and at the following times:

  • 1-3pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
  • 2-4pm Wednesday, Thursday

               The doors will be locked outside of these hours; please do not pound on the door. Call or email.

  1. As part of pandemic mitigation efforts, traffic flow patterns have been established for all buildings on campus.
    • Enter MacLean Hall through the Northeast door (closer to the Old Capitol) and exit through the Southeast Door (closer to Washington Street).
    • The North stairwell is for traffic going up and the South stairwell is for traffic going down.
    • Please stay to the right in main hallways.
    • Foot openers have been installed on restroom doors. Please avoid congregating in restrooms.
    • The elevator should be reserved for those who have physical limitations that preclude the stairs.
    • Thank you for doing your best to follow directional signage.
  2. Face coverings are required in all University buildings. If you happen to forget your own, disposable masks will be available at the entrance. Please utilize cleaning supplies in classrooms to sanitize your desk/workspace before and after class.

Best wishes for a safe, healthy, and productive semester.