Dear class,

With the coronavirus pandemic UH is moving all classes to being online-only. This will last for the entire semester.

Below you will find detailed information about the changes this class will go through. Please read through thoroughly. But first I want to make some general comments.

This will be a disruption to your learning environment. Let me be open. I have never ran a course in this way before, and there certainly will be unanticipated hurdles to overcome. Additionally, a global pandemic is far from ideal circumstances in which to learn. With that in mind, my number one goal now is to ensure that these changes to this class do not impact your graduation plans/schedule. With high probability you will not learn as much as you would have without this disruption. Nevertheless I want to minimize the effect this has on your larger educational goals.

It is important that you keep yourself, your families, and those around you safe in the midst of this pandemic. If at any time this interferes with your work in this class—whether that be because you have to care for dependents, move to mainland to be with family, or whatever else—then please get in contact with me as soon as possible so we can work together to determine what accommodations are possible.

Summary Of Changes

The biggest change is to lecture. Instead of three in-person lectures per week we will have three blectures (= “web lecture”, think blog = “web log”) per week. These will be Monday/Wednesday/Friday. Each blecture will include a reading component with supplemental video. One of the challenges of online courses is encouraging participation. With this in mind, a portion of your grade will be for blecture participation. See below for details.

Exams will be take-home. Details will be announced when we get closer to the date of the second midterm.

Homework will as much as possible be kept the same. Rather than turn in the written homework in class you will be asked to send it via email, by 11:59pm Fridays. WeBWorK homework will be kept the same.

The group projects are canceled. You will get credit for the work you have done so far, and the remaining portion of its share of your overall grade will instead go to blecture participation.

Instead of in-person office hours I will do virtual office hours.


The main source of communication for the class will be the Laulima site. You can find it by going through That is where blectures will be posted, and where you can find the forums for the class. I will continue to use the main class website to post written homework, and WeBWorK homework will remain the same.

Email will be the primary means to communicate directly and/or privately with me. Due to the anticipated influx of email, I ask you to take some steps to make it easier for me to manage my inbox, and not have your messages get lost in the stream. All emails to me should be addressed to For emails submitting homework or blecture work you should send to both me and my TA Minh, at

For written homework your subject line should begin “Week N homework” (where N of course is the week number). And you should name the file you attach for your homework according to the following schema: lastname_weekN_homework.fileextension. For example: williams_week10_homework.pdf

For blecture work your subject line should begin “MM/DD blecture” (where MM/DD is the month/day of the blecture). You should put your answers to the questions directly in the body of the email, rather than as an attachment.

Grading changes

The new grading schema for the class is as follows:

  • 20% Final exam

  • 20% Midterm 1

  • 20% Midterm 2

  • 5% Group project [aborted due to coronavirus]

  • 15% Blecture participation

  • 10% Written homework

  • 10% Online homework

The only change is that I reduced the group projects’ share of the grade from 20% to 5%. The 5% for your group projects represents the work you already put into them. The remaining 15% has been shifted over to participation in blectures.


Blectures will be posted in the Blectures section of the Laulima forum for the site. Each blecture consists of an assigned reading augmented with video. You must participate in the blectures for a portion of your overall grade in the class. This comes in two pieces. The first is worth two thirds of the blecture grade (10% of your overall grade). Each blecture will also ask you to answer a few questions about the material. You must turn in your answers by 11:59pm of the day of the blecture. The second is worth one third of the blecture grade (5% of your overall grade). You must participate in the class discussion, making at least two posts—asking questions or answering classmates’ questions—per week in the Laulima forums.

Laulima Forums

In addition to being where blectures will be posted, the Laulima forums for the class also contain a space to discuss material with your classmates.

Virtual Office Hours

Virtual office hours will be held via zoom thrice a week at 11:30–12:00 Monday/Wednesday/Friday. See the Laulima site for information on how to access.

Written Homework

As much as possible written homework will be the same as before. Rather than turn it in in-class you should email it to me and my TA Minh. See the Communication section for info about how you should email it. The deadline will be 11:59pm on Fridays.

WebWorK Homework

WebWorK homework will be done as usual. It will continue to be due Sundays at 11:59pm.


Exams during the online-only period will be take-home exams. I will discuss the specifics with you as we get closer to the date of the second midterm.