Getting Help

Office Hours

This course offers many office hours from different members of the course staff that are held at throughout the week at different times. Information for each office hour such as who is present, where is it located, and when it will occur can be found in the course staff portion of the syllabus.

GitHub Forum

For class discussion, we will use a GitHub repository and its issue system. This forum will be private and restricted to those in the course.

Discussion forums are helpful places to receive assistance if common discourse rules are followed. As this forum serves as an extension of the course, students are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. While writing on the discussion forum, please:

  • Be kind to others: Avoid using explicit, aggressive, or sarcastic language.
  • Provide a concise issue title that provides a clear indication of the contents of the post.
    • Phrase titles as “ggplot2 x-axis labeling incorrect” or “receiving an NA value as the final computation”
    • Avoid “plot error” or “what’s going wrong here?”
  • Format the body of the post so that the issue is shown at a glance.
  • Ideally provide a mcve – a minimally complete verifiable example so that your question can be reproduced.
  • Questions regarding code issues on homework must have contain modified code that is as general as possible.
    • Avoid putting code verbatim on the forum that can be used by other students to solve an exercise.
    • This will put you at risk for an academic integrity violation.
    • Consider visiting Office Hours for help!

At any time, content can be removed from the forum without warning by anyone on the course staff if it is found to be in violation of these rules.

Email

Before you start writing an e-mail to a member of the course staff please make sure your question is not:

  1. Already answered in this syllabus or course FAQ: the syllabus serves as the guiding document for the course and we are unlikely to shift from it.
  2. About exercises or homework: please ask the question on the discussion forum so that all students have access to the answer.
  3. A technical issue or code error
    • Try to Google the error verbatim (e.g. copy and paste it into Google).
    • Many error messages that you will encounter have likely been solved by others.
    • StackOverflow and similar forums can be helpful.

With these cases addressed, please ensure your e-mails meet the following criteria:

  1. The e-mail must be sent from an @illinois.edu account.
  2. The start of the subject line should contain the tag: [STAT 430].
  3. The tag must be followed by a space and a helpful brief description of the contents of the email such as
    • Good: “[STAT 430] I cannot load data file: error …”
    • Bad: “[STAT 430] Need help” or “[STAT 430] Code not working…”

We will try our best to respond within 24 hours. Homework questions sent the same day a homework is due will likely not receive a response before the homework is due. Plan accordingly.

Course Staff E-Mail: (to be created…) stat-430-dspm@illinois.edu

External Tutors

Please see the FAQ item on for hire tutors.