Preparing scribe notes

Because there is no perfect textbook covering all of the material 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 me 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.  You should write the notes yourself in your own words.  It is okay to refer to the readings for this class, or, if you must, to the scribe notes from previous years; however, directly copying from these or any other sources is a form of plagiarism and should be avoided.  Do not include administrative information (such as due dates for homeworks) in your scribe notes.  Feel free to contact me 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 (and here is a figure called generic-ml.pdf that gets included by that file).  Information about latex is available, for instance, here and here.  Small latex tip: variables representing vectors, such as x, should be typeset in bold (for instance, using $\mathbf{x}$), not as variables with an arrow on top; the individual elements of such a vector are written in italics, for instance, xi (produced using $x_i$).

  3. Email me both the latex and the pdf of your scribe notes, as well as any figures included in your latex file.  Because other students will be relying on your notes, please make every effort to get them to me as promptly as possible, preferably within two days after the class for which you were scribe.

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

  5. Once completed, send everything back to me and I will post it on the web site. (If there still remain just a few minor corrections, in some cases, I might make small changes myself before posting a final, slightly revised version.)
I will not grade the scribe notes, but will give you credit for doing them (about equal to having completed perfectly one additional problem set).

You can sign up to reserve a date to be the scribe by catching me after class or by sending me email.  Or, you can wait and volunteer at the beginning of class on a day when no one has signed up.