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Curriculum Changes for 2020-21 (July 17, 2020)

From: Ameet B Soni
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2020
Subject: Curriculum Changes for 2020-21

Dear Students,

This email outlines the major changes to the course offerings for 2020-21. Please refer to my email Swarthmore Computer Science's 2020-21 Planning for an additional explanation as well as for instructions for submitting questions.   In addition, all Seniors should have received an email Important Announcements for Senior Computer Science Students.  Please contact me if you are a senior major/minor and did not receive that email.

  1.    CPSC 31 is canceled for Fall 2020. It will only be offered in the Spring 2021 semester.
  2.    CPSC 35 is canceled for Spring 2021. It will only be offered in the Fall 2020 semester.
  3.    All courses and labs taught by the Computer Science department will be taught remotely. There will be no hybrid options. There may be opportunities for in-person interaction at the discretion of the individual faculty and staff.
  4.    We are adding two upper-level courses for Fall 2020. CPSC 63 Artificial Intelligence will be taught by Prof. Ben Mitchell and CPSC 43 Networks will be taught by Prof. Vasanta Chaganti.
  5.    Prof. Spencer Caplan will be replacing Prof. Richard Wicentowski in teaching CPSC 65 Natural Language Processing.
  6.    Computer Science will not be offering any J-term courses.
  7.    To better support our students, course sizes will be smaller for Fall 2020 and any remotely taught courses in Spring 2021.
  8.    We will post a sketch of Spring 2021 courses as soon as possible. Our staffing will be reduced in the Spring, so we will not be able to offer as many upper-level courses in the Spring as we are offering this Fall.

At this time, we still cannot perform lotteries for our courses. We must wait until the final schedule is posted by the Registrar (July 28 or earlier). Lotteries will be completed between August 3-August 5. We will be in contact with you to affirm that you are still interested in taking thosecourses after any time changes have been announced. Failure to respond to our requests may result in an increased odds of being lotteried out of CS classes.

We understand that this information may be concerning to many of you. It is impossible to explain all of the reasoning behind these decisions by email. We have discussed as an entire department all of our competing needs, and we know that these changes will cause difficulties for many of you. Please reach out to your course advisor for assistance in trying to understand how to adapt your course plan around these changes. We will also be responding to Frequently Asked Questions here. I hope to be able to host virtual office hours as well, and will announce them as soon as I can schedule them.

Ameet Soni
Chair and Associate Professor
Computer Science
Swarthmore College