Course Syllabus

CS591 CS Colloquium
Course Homepage


Nancy Amato
Nancy's office Hours: usually 2-3pm on Fridays . Check the department calendar for schedule and link each week.

Lawrence Rauchwerger
Lawrence's office Hours: By appointment



  • IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: All the information needed for students taking CS591CS CS Colloquium is provided on this webpage - please be sure to familiarize yourself with the contents here.
  • For the Fall 2023 semester, speakers will often have the option to present in person (in Urbana or in Chicago) or via zoom, and students will have the option to attend in person or via zoom. If more people are present than there are seats available, then students should plan to join via zoom - so you are advised to arrive in advance of the seminar if you wish to join in person.
  • For talks on Mondays & Wednesdays at 3:30pm, there will be refreshments served, with nicer receptions for distinguished lectures. You are encouraged to attend those.

Course Goals: The purpose of the course is to expose you to a broad range of current research topics in computer science and related fields through attending research seminars offered in the computer science department. All graduate students are encouraged to regularly attend seminars, not only during the semester(s) during which they are registered. It is useful for you to attend even when the topic seems unrelated to your research - indeed, seminars provide the best way for you to round out your knowledge by exposing you to current research in areas that are not directly related to your own research.

Course Content and Schedule: This course consists of department-wide seminars that are presented in the CS Department. The standard times for department-wide seminars are Mondays and Wednesday afternoons at 3:30-4:30pm, though talks are also scheduled at other times (see below). There are typically at least 25 such talks scheduled during the fall and spring semesters.

A list of upcoming talks can be found on the Computer Science Speakers Calendar. Additionally, the seminars for the next week are listed in weekly digest that is sent to all CS students and faculty at midnight (12am) each Saturday. You should also watch your email for late breaking seminar announcements and updates.

Mechanics and Grading: To receive credit for this course you must attend and satisfactorily complete a report for at least 14 eligible research seminars during the semester.  The reports should be submitted by the last day of the final exam period, or Friday December 15, 2023.

Eligible Seminars: Any department-wide talk in the CS Department is an eligible seminar for this course. Automatically eligible talks for CS 591 CS credit include the types of talks that are listed below. Also, seminars organized by one of the CS Research Areas are eligible if they are advertised in the Computer Science Speakers Calendar . If you are have a question about other talks, please check with an Instructor.

Seminar Reports: For each seminar you attend and want to receive credit for CS591 CS Colloquium, you need to complete a report.The reports can be accessed from the course's Canvas page.

Ideally, the report should be completed within one week of the presentation so that you have the details fresh in your mind; however, if you miss the one week deadline, you still can submit a report. Also, many talks will be recorded -- and in that case, after the video is available, the link to the video will replace the zoom link for the talk in the calendar item for the talk. Normally, the video for the talk is published within about a week of the talk.

The report form asks you to provide the following information for the seminar:

  • Your name.
  • Confirmation that you are not getting credit for any other course for attending this talk (no double dipping).
  • Talk info: Date of talk, Speaker's name, institution, talk title.
  • A brief summary of the talk (1 paragraph).
  • Your thoughts (1 paragraph). A brief discussion of what you thought about the seminar: is the work interesting? important? what questions did you have? what follow on work do you think would be interesting?



Syllabus Statements

CS CARES and CS Values and Code of Conduct

All members of the Illinois Computer Science department - faculty, staff, and students - are expected to adhere to the CS Values and Code of Conduct. The CS CARES Committee is available to serve as a resource to help people who are concerned about or experience a potential violation of the Code. If you experience such issues, please contact the CS CARES Committee. The Instructor(s) of this course are also available for issues related to this class.

Statement on Anti-Racism and Inclusivity

The intent of this section is to raise student and instructor awareness of the ongoing threat of bias and racism and of the need to take personal responsibility in creating an inclusive learning environment.

The Grainger College of Engineering is committed to the creation of an anti-racist, inclusive community that welcomes diversity along a number of dimensions, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity and national origins, gender and gender identity, sexuality, disability status, class, age, or religious beliefs. The College recognizes that we are learning together in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, that Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous voices and contributions have largely either been excluded from, or not recognized in, science and engineering, and that both overt racism and micro-aggressions threaten the well-being of our students and our university community.

The effectiveness of this course is dependent upon each of us to create a safe and encouraging learning environment that allows for the open exchange of ideas while also ensuring equitable opportunities and respect for all of us. Everyone is expected to help establish and maintain an environment where students, staff, and faculty can contribute without fear of personal ridicule, or intolerant or offensive language. If you witness or experience racism, discrimination, micro-aggressions, or other offensive behavior, you are encouraged to bring this to the attention of the course director if you feel comfortable. You can also report these behaviors to the Bias Assessment and Response Team (BART) ( Based on your report, BART members will follow up and reach out to students to make sure they have the support they need to be healthy and safe. If the reported behavior also violates university policy, staff in the Office for Student Conflict Resolution may respond as well and will take appropriate action.

Statement on Mental Health

Diminished mental health, including significant stress, mood changes, excessive worry, substance/alcohol abuse, or problems with eating and/or sleeping can interfere with optimal academic performance, social development, and emotional wellbeing. The University of Illinois offers a variety of confidential services including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, psychiatric services, and specialized screenings at no additional cost. If you or someone you know experiences any of the above mental health concerns, it is strongly encouraged to contact or visit any of the University's resources provided below. Getting help is a smart and courageous thing to do -- for yourself and for those who care about you.

  • Counseling Center: 217-333-3704, 610 East John Street Champaign, IL 61820
  • McKinley Health Center:217-333-2700, 1109 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801
  • Additional resources available on the CS Student Resources Page

Sexual Misconduct Reporting Obligation

The University of Illinois is committed to combating sexual misconduct. Faculty and staff members are required to report any instances of sexual misconduct to the University’s Title IX and Disability Office. In turn, an individual with the Title IX and Disability Office will provide information about rights and options, including accommodations, support services, the campus disciplinary process, and law enforcement options.

A list of the designated University employees who, as counselors, confidential advisors, and medical professionals, do not have this reporting responsibility and can maintain confidentiality, can be found here:

Other information about resources and reporting is available here:

Disability-Related Accommodations

To obtain disability-related academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids, students with disabilities must contact the course instructor and the Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) as soon as possible. To contact DRES, you may visit 1207 S. Oak St., Champaign, call 333-4603, e-mail or go to If you are concerned you have a disability-related condition that is impacting your academic progress, there are academic screening appointments available that can help diagnosis a previously undiagnosed disability. You may access these by visiting the DRES website and selecting "Request an Academic Screening" at the bottom of the page.

Religious Observances

Illinois law requires the University to reasonably accommodate its students' religious beliefs, observances, and practices in regard to admissions, class attendance, and the scheduling of examinations and work requirements. You should examine this syllabus at the beginning of the semester for potential conflicts between course deadlines and any of your religious observances. If a conflict exists, you should notify your instructor of the conflict and follow the procedure at to request appropriate accommodations. This should be done in the first two weeks of classes.

Academic Integrity

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Student Code should also be considered as a part of this syllabus. Students should pay particular attention to Article 1, Part 4: Academic Integrity. Read the Code at the following URL:

Academic dishonesty may result in a failing grade. Every student is expected to review and abide by the Academic Integrity Policy: Ignorance is not an excuse for any academic dishonesty. It is your responsibility to read this policy to avoid any misunderstanding. Do not hesitate to ask the instructor(s) if you are ever in doubt about what constitutes plagiarism, cheating, or any other breach of academic integrity.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Any student who has suppressed their directory information pursuant to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) should self-identify to the instructor to ensure protection of the privacy of their attendance in this course. See for more information on FERPA.


Course Summary:

Date Details Due