Spring 2020 Registration Announcements

Please see this important note about permission numbers.

CORRECTION: CS 385-001 (HCI) ***is*** a Writing-Intensive Course - Posted November 19, 2019

Our CS 385-001 (Human-Computer Interaction) elective was inadvertently omitted from the University's list of writing-intensive courses for spring. This has been corrected. CS 385-001 (this section ONLY) *is* a writing-intensive course, meaning that a grade of C- or better will satisfy your graduate writing requirement, and you will not have to take the WEPT.

** SUPER IMPORTANT ** Your Big Spring 2020 CS Registration Email - Posted November 18, 2019

Dear CS students,

This is a long email, but you need to read this email in its entirety. You are responsible for its contents. If you miss out on a class because you ignored this information, we will of course try to help you, but we won't prioritize you above other students.

The tl;dr (but DO read the whole thing anyway):

  1. Waitlists are your friends. Read that section carefully if the classes you need are filling up.
  2. If MySSU says you are missing a prerequisite for a course, read the section about permission numbers before contacting the department.
  3. If you are trying to repeat CS 115, 215, or 315, there's information you need to know. Please see the "Repeat Policy" section.

Two important links that I'll refer to throughout this email:

Contents of this email

  1. Enrollment appointments
  2. Advising
  3. GE
  4. Prerequisites and grades
  5. Full courses and waitlisting
  6. Who needs permission numbers?
  7. Repeat policy on CS 115-215-315
  8. Electives for next semester

1. Enrollment Appointments

Registration began today (Nov. 18) and will be open until December 31, when it closes for grade and financial aid processing. Registration will then resume on January 15. If you log into MySSU and click on "Student Center", you should see your registration appointment time listed on the right. Most CS and GE classes will fill, so you should plan to register at the beginning of your appointment in order to have the best chance of getting the courses you need. For more information, see the registrar's link: http://registrar.sonoma.edu/how-register.

2. Advising

Your CS advisor (Dr. Gill, Gondree, Kooshesh, Leal, Ravikumar, Rivoire, or Watts) should also be visible in your Student Center. If you don't have an assigned CS advisor, feel free to see any of us until your advisor is assigned. See the directory here or the posted office hours outside Darwin 116: https://www.cs.sonoma.edu/faculty-staff/

If you want to meet with me, please use my appointment link to sign up directly; you can get it by appending "/meet/" to my website URL in the faculty/staff directory. The link is also posted outside the CS office (Darwin 116), in the syllabi of the classes I teach on Canvas, or available from Dena Peacock (contact info above).

Other advising resources include Dr. Megan D'Errico in MESA (Darwin 100A/Darwin lobby) for lower-division CS and other science students, and the Advising Center in Schulz for anything that's not CS-specific.

3. General Education (GE)

Just a heads up: over the past two years, SSU and almost every other CSU campus have been in the process of implementing new systemwide GE requirements. Students who joined SSU at different times will have slightly different GE requirements; the authoritative source on what you personally need is your Academic Requirements Report (http://registrar.sonoma.edu/how-to/view-your-academic-requirements-report).

If you came here relatively recently, your upper-division GE requirements will be broken out into B (Science), C (Arts & Humanities), and D (Social Science) categories. If your ARR indicates that you specifically need to take an upper-division B (science) course, please put that off as long as you can; we are filing paperwork to have CS 454 meet that requirement.

4. Prerequisites and Grades

A grade of C- or better is required for any course that is a prerequisite to a CS course. MySSU enforces prerequisite courses, but it doesn’t enforce this C- minimum grade. As a result, MySSU may allow you to enroll in a course even when you haven’t fulfilled its C- grade prerequisite, but you will not be allowed to remain in that course. We identify these cases before the semester begins, and we administratively drop students who are in violation of this policy.

After grades are posted, we will check to make sure that all students have passed the prerequisites for next semester's courses. If your Academic Requirements Report in MySSU does not show a green check mark for each of your relevant prerequisite courses at that time, I will contact you before registration reopens. You should be prepared to prove that you have met all prerequisites (for example, at a JC) at the beginning of the semester. Otherwise, you will be administratively dropped from the course during the add/drop period.

5. Full Courses and Waitlisting

The bad news: CS courses fill quickly. The good news: our waitlists move almost as quickly. If you can't get into a critical CS course, you are strongly encouraged to add yourself to the waitlist for as many sections as possible. Especially for courses that have MATH 161, CS 115, CS 215, or CS 315 as a prerequisite, spots are very likely to open up after this semester's grades are posted and students who don't meet the prerequisites drop these courses.

If you are waitlisted, however, you need to be sure that you will actually be able to move into a spot that opens up. Even if there is an open spot, you won’t get it if it would leave you with too many units or with a time conflict. We have seen students advance from #6 on the waitlist into an open spot because students #1-#5 had one of these issues that prevented them from claiming it. The waitlist SWAP feature is your friend here; see http://registrar.sonoma.edu/how-to/waitlist-class

In any event, if you want a course and can't get it, you need to be on the waitlist. This is our only mechanism for keeping track of who needs a given course.

6. Who Needs Permission Numbers?

As mentioned above, MySSU enforces prerequisites for CS classes. This is a potential problem for you if:

  1. You took the prerequisite at another university, and we had to fill out paperwork to make it count toward your SSU CS major.
  2. You passed the prerequisite on the third or later attempt.
  3. You took the prerequisite at both SSU and another institution.
  4. You got a D or F in CS 115, 215, or 315 in a prior semester, and you want to retake that course. (See the "Repeat Policy" section below for more, though.)
  5. You haven't taken the prerequisite yet, but you're planning to over the break.

If you're in categories 1, 2, 3, or 4, we should have auto-generated permission numbers for all the classes you're eligible to take. Please use the link below to confirm that you have permission numbers for these classes, and let me know as soon as possible if you think any are missing. If you're in category 5, please contact your advisor and have them request permission numbers from me. Those should be available using the same link in about 2 business days.

Instructions for obtaining permission numbers are here:
You should obtain these permission numbers BEFORE you register and use them when you add the course to your shopping cart. Otherwise, you may "burn" your permission number and need to contact us for a new one.

7. Repeat Policy for CS 115-215-315

Seats in CS 115, 215, and 315 can be scarce, and we want to prioritize first-time students, followed by former students who have had at least a semester to consider their options and reflect on their study strategies, followed by currently enrolled students who think they won't pass and will need to re-enroll next semester.

If you got a grade below C- in 115, 215, or 315 in a past semester and need to repeat it, see the section about permission numbers. You will need one.

If you are currently enrolled in CS 115, 215, or 315, you will not be allowed to re-enroll in the same course until the morning of Tuesday, December 3 (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving).

If you got a C- or better in CS 115, 215, or 315 and just want to repeat for some reason, see a CS faculty advisor. We will not give you this permission until at least December 3, though, to allow students who really need the course to enroll.

Regardless of the above, if you are trying to take one of these courses for the fourth or greater time, make an appointment with me. Depending on the circumstances, you may not be able to do this at SSU.

8. Electives for Next Semester

Our 3-unit elective offerings don't follow any consistent pattern. They're driven by faculty and student interest; faculty availability, which varies with changes in enrollment and personnel; and the availability of outside experts to teach hot topics. The rule is: if you're interested in, and eligible to take, one of next semester's electives, jump on it!! There is no guarantee it will be offered again in your time here.

CS 385 and CS 386 are "Special Topics" courses. They're a chance for us to offer timely classes on hot topics without having to first go through a multi-year curricular approval process. You can take these courses multiple times, as long as the topic is different each time. Each section of CS 385/386 is a completely different class, so you want to be sure you enroll in the right one.

For electives other than 385/386, see https://www.cs.sonoma.edu/curriculum/courses.html for descriptions.

We are offering three 3-unit CS electives next semester:

  • Human-Computer Interaction (CS 385-001), taught by Dr. Anamary Leal
    Prerequisite: C- or better in CS 215
  • Artificial Intelligence (CS 480), taught by Dr. B. Ravikumar
    Prerequisite: C- or better in CS 315
  • TBD (CS 385-002), taught by an outside expert
    Prerequisite: C- or better in CS 315
    I'll send an updated description when I have it. Usually, these courses are relevant, exciting...and challenging, and less structured than courses taught by regular faculty. You are signing up for an adventure.

We are also offering a 1-unit elective:

  • Computer Science Colloquium (CS 390), organized by Dr. B. Ravikumar.
    Prerequisite: None, although the more CS background you have, the more fun it will be.
    You can repeat CS 390 up to 2 times for the minor and 3 times for the major.

Finally, CS 495/496/497 are not "courses" in the usual sense; they cover independent study, individual senior research projects, and internships, all by arrangement with a faculty member. Please visit https://www.cs.sonoma.edu/curriculum/courses.html to learn more.