COS424: Interacting with Data

Spring 2008

Preparing scribe notes

Because there is no perfect textbook for this course, students will be asked to take turns preparing "scribe notes" for posting on the course web site.  Each class, one student will be the designated "scribe", taking careful notes during class, writing them up, and sending them to that lecture's instructor for posting on the web.

Here is how to be a scribe:

  1. During class, take careful notes.

  2. Prepare your notes into a document that is written out in complete prose sentences that would be understandable even by a student who might have missed class, not merely a transcription of the telegraphic notes that you jotted down during class.  Feel free to contact the instructor if you have any questions about anything covered.  Prepare the notes into a latex document (including figures, if appropriate) using this latex template.  If you are new to latex, you can look at the raw latex that was used to generate the scribe notes for lecture #1. Also, there is on-line documentation and other information at

  3. Email both the latex and the pdf (or postscript) of your scribe notes, as well as any figures included in your latex file, preferably within 2 days (not counting weekends) after the class for which you were scribe.

  4. We will immediately post scribe notes on the website, marked at the top as a "draft" to indicate that they have not been reviewed by the instructor. Once they have been reviewed, in most cases, you will be asked to make revisions to your notes.

  5. Once completed, send everything back and your notes will be posted on the web site (no longer marked as a draft).

Given the current enrollment, it is likely that not everyone will get an opportunity to scribe.  Therefore, students who do volunteer to scribe will receive substantial extra credit.  Scribe notes will not be graded.

You can sign up to reserve a date to be the scribe by contacting a professor or TA. Or, you can wait and volunteer at the beginning of class on a day when no one has signed up.