FAQ

In this page, we compiled a list of frequently-answered questions. Please check this page before asking the instructor and the TF your questions. If the question you ask is on this page, the instructor or TF may reply to you a message containing only a link to the corresponding question.


Homework questions

Who can help me with my homework?
How to take screenshots?
How do I save the Word file in the correct format?
How do I know my homework grades?
What do I do if there is a grading error with my homework?

Quiz questions

How should I prepare for quizzes?
What do I do if I think that I was not given proper credit for a quiz?

Websubmit questions

What if the websubmit does not let me log in?
What if the websubmit system rejects a file when I try to upload it?
How can I submit an updated version of my work?

Remote working questions

How do I access my Z drive from home?
What do I do if my password keeps getting rejected when I try to log in csa2?


Who can help me with my homework?

Your first point of contact should be your teaching fellow.
Send an email to Vinita or Likai with your question(s), and you will get a prompt response. You can also visit tutoring hours, at the undergraduate CS lab (EMA 302).

How to take screenshots?

On Windows:
press PrintScreen key

On Macintosh:
command-shift-4 --> this gives you cross-hairs to select an area to copy
command-shift-4, then space --> this will then take a picture of the "current" window,

you can then drag (or paste) these pictures into a word document.

How do I save the Word file in the correct format?

  1. Click on the MS Office logo at the very top of the MS Word.
  2. Go down to "Save as" but click on the arrow.
  3. In that particular menu, at the bottom of the menu, there should be "Word Options."
  4. Click "Word Options."
  5. Go to the "Save" tab on the left.
  6. At the top of the "Save" tab, there should be "Save files in this format:"
  7. Drop down to "Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)" and click.
  8. Click "OK"

How do I know my homework grades?

Homework grades are available on websubmit.
Log in, and you will see a link for "check my grades."

What do I do if there is a grading error with my homework?

Your first point of contact should be your teaching fellow, who is empowered to review and re-grade homeworks.
Send an email to Vinita or Likai which includes your BU username, which homework you are asking about, your question(s), and you will get a response within 3 days. Homework re-grades are NOT an emergency, and we will get to all of them well before the end of the course.

Requests for review or re-grading of homeworks must be submitted no later than 2 weeks after the homework has been returned, and no later than the last class day of the semester.

How should I prepare for quizzes?

The most effective strategy is active recall. Reading the book, notes and examples alone will give you a false sense of familiarity. Instead, you must actively digest the class material, and practice your recall of it in question and answer form.

After each class meeting, review the class notes and examples, and especially points that I spend time elaborating upon. For each of these "main points" -- there are probably about 4-6 of these per class meeting -- you should write out a challenging question about the point, and prepare the answer.

By actively preparing questions that you know you can answer, you will be surprised how many of those show up on the quiz/exam.

What do I do if I think that I was not given proper credit for a quiz?

Requests for review or re-grading of quizzes should be brought to your teaching fellow's or instructor's in office hours or submitted by email, no later than 2 weeks after the quiz has been returned, and no later than the last class day of the semester.

What if the websubmit does not let me log in?

If you had an authentication problem (e.g. login screen did not accept username/password), then it is an issue with your university username/id -- and it might get fixed by just closing and restarting the browser.

If the problem was either that you never made it to the authentication screen, or else that you authenticated and then had an error, please let me know more specifically what happened -- maybe by taking a screenshot of it and emailing it to me.

What if the websubmit system rejects a file when I try to upload it?

There is a file-size limit for submissions -- 500KB.

The most likely cause of this is that your file is too big, and this generally happens because your screen shots are huge (too high a resolution). Think about the number of pixels... Try editing your screen shot (e.g. in Microsoft Paint or ColorSync Utility on mac) to reduce its quality/number of pixels/size.

How can I submit an updated version of my work?

Just resubmit your file. Websubmit always keeps the latest copy (and archives the older versions), so you can submit many times, and we'll grade that latest submission only.

How do I access my Z drive from home?

You can use FTP (file transfer protocol) to access your home directory. You'll need a secure version of FTP to connect to csa.bu.edu or csa2.bu.edu.

On Windows:
I recommend this standalone version http://winscp.net/download/winscp407.exe (if you want multi-language, you'll need the installation version which can be found at http://winscp.net/eng/download.php)

Running winscp is a bit like putty, you enter a host (csa or csa2) and use your account to log in.

  • After you log in, you'll see your local drive on the left, and your home directory on the right.
  • Simply drag the files from right to left if you want to download, or from left to right if you want to upload.

It's also possible to mount your home directory as Z drive on your laptop, but it requires additional setup and I don't know how to do it. If you're interested, please ask the tech people at the computing lab.


On Macintosh:
You should download a program called Fetch, which is a File Transfer Protocol client. Go to the http://fetchsoftworks.com/ website, and "buy" the free academic license.

To connect to the "Z:/" drive, open Fetch and connect to the hostname csa2.bu.edu using the SFTP protocol. After you connect, it looks a lot like a Finder window. You can drag and drop from your desktop/local directory to the remote directory (Z drive) or subdirectories.

What do I do if my password keeps getting rejected when I try to log in csa2?

You need to use the CS UNIX account password you created at the CS lab, and not your regular BU Kerberos password that you use for everything else. If you do not remember the password, you can go to the lab staff and ask them to reset it for you.


Created by: Aaron Stevens, azs@bu.edu
http://www.cs.bu.edu/courses/cs101/
Last update: 4 January 2011