Frequently Asked Questions

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How will the class meet during Fall 2020?

The class will meet for lectures remotely via Zoom MWF 10-11. The Zoom link(s) can be found on the 6.034 Canvas site. Lectures will be recorded and accessible via the 6.034 Canvas site sometime after class. Recitations will meet on Fridays and have their own Zoom links, also to be found on the Canvas site. Recitation meetings will not be recorded, but recordings for each of the recitation topics will be available. 6.844 will meet remotely via Zoom F11-12. The Zoom link can be found on the 6.844 Canvas site. Class meetings will be recorded and accessible via the 6.844 Canvas site sometime after class.

Quizzes will be administered via Zoom. See Grading and collaboration policy for more details about quizzes.

Should I take the subject this term?

  • 6.034 is not offered in the spring term.
  • In 2020, 6.034 will again feature Right-Now talks by prominent MIT faculty and staff describing their current research. These will complement the class lectures.

May I attend 6.034 as a listener?

A qualified yes: We welcome listeners to the 6.034 lectures, but unfortunately we don’t have enough staff to enable listeners to attend recitations. Recitations are intended to be small-group discussion sections, and the sections would become too large to be effective if listeners attended.

Should I buy a book?

No. All the reading material you need will be online at zero cost. See the Reference material page.

Am I expected to attend lectures, recitations, and the Right-Now talks?

Yes. We believe that the lectures, right-now talks, and recitations are all an important part of the MIT experience, and we work hard to make them interesting and useful.

Element Purpose
Lectures To introduce most of the material and provide the big picture.
Right-Now Talks To see what's happening in today's research projects in talks that complement the material presented in lectures.
Recitations To review lecture material in more technical detail, work through practice problems, and have additional opportunities to ask questions in a small venue.

Do I need to know how to program in Python?

The subject is not centered on programming, but most of the homework requires an understanding of programming and working out some small programs. The quizzes and final exam do not include questions that require any knowledge of Python programming.

Students who can program but are unfamiliar with Python will have to spend a couple of weekends to catch up; students with no programming experience are advised not to take the subject.

Do I have to take the final exam?

You need not take the final if you are happy with the grade you will get based on the quizzes. If you take the final, your grade may go up, but cannot go down.

What are the Spiritual/Right-Now (SRN) assignments?

These assignments will be related to topics in lectures and Right-Now talks that are not included on the quizzes. We're still working out details about these assignments, but one thing we do know: We will not be testing the SRN material via multiple choice questions on quizzes, as in previous terms.

How do I get my quiz back?

We used to give quizzes back during in-person recitations, but we'll figure out this term how to get them back to you virtually.

Can I collaborate with friends on the homework?

See grading policy.

What is the final grade distribution likely to be?

See grading policy.

What if I'm sick or have a conflict with a quiz?

See grading policy.

I'm a cross-registered student. How do I set up an MIT account?

See instructions here.

Note: We don't use Stellar, but the information about setting up an MIT account is relevant.

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