ME132a TA-Instructor Meeting, Winter 2011

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This page is used for facilitating discussion between the instructors and TAs of ME/CS 132a (Winter 2010). Please note that the content of this page is open to the public.

Course Preparation

Course Organization

  • Homework
    • How many: 1 per week? 1 per module?
    • Due date: 1 week later? When will the first homework be assigned?
    • How to turn in: box in Steele? Thomas?
    • Office hours: once or twice per assignment?
    • Grading: when? how (percentage, late hw)?
  • Midterm/Final
    • Is there one?
    • Percentage?
  • Web page, mailing list
    • Where to set up the web page: Murray Wiki? IMSS? Andrea/Shuo's site?
    • Format: plain HTML? Wiki?
    • Upload: by TA (probably easier)? by instructors?
    • Access (incl. solutions, hw sets, lecture notes): outside Caltech OK? enrolled student only?
    • Mailing list: email IMSS to set up one?
  • Honor code
    • Collaboration policy: hw? lab? exams? (cf. CDS_101/110a,_Fall_2008)
    • Use of other materials: previous hw solns, other textbooks
  • Textbooks/references?
  • Prerequisites?


  • Which robots we are going to use (ER-1 from Joel's lab vs Pioneers from JPL)
    • ER-1: there is some maintenance to do. The unit I was using summer had a motor controller failure. We have bought the

replacement, but haven't installed yet (it is not a 5 minute thing, as the software driver has changed, so there will be a little tinkering required).

  • Software stack.
    • What interface/drivers do you want people to work with? (player, ROS, ...)
    • What would be the format for data files? (HDF, carmen, ...)
  • Labs organization
    • For example, the first lab assignment: Should I give them a charged robot with installed drivers, and let them write the software to collect the log? Or should I write all the software and let them collect the log? Is this done as a group (all the students together), as many small groups, or once for individual students?
  • Matlab vs. Python