Online Semester Survival Guide

TA Resources

The computer science department has a bunch of awesome teaching assistants (TAs) that are available to help with lower division classes like CS 101, CS 149, CS 159, CS 227, etc. They also run weekly review sessions for several of these courses. For the online semester, they are using Microsoft Teams to organize TA hours and connect with students. You can find information on when the TAs are available and how to connect with them at the TA Hours/Review Sessions page.

How else can I get help reviewing and debugging my code virtually?

Since we are now online, it can be difficult to find someone to talk through your code with. A common practice for programmers that has been used for decades is Duck Debugging. This is a great way to work through bugs by yourself and at your own speed. If permitted by your instructor, it is also still possible to review your work with classmates through Zoom personal rooms. Every student has access to their own personal room on the zoom account associated with their @dukes.jmu.edu email. These rooms are a great way to continue working in groups and getting feedback from your peers.

Accessing Campus Computing Resources

Many of the computing services used in CS classes, like Autolab, require that your computer either be on the campus network or connected through a VPN. For students who are not currently living on campus, the best thing to do is to run Pulse Secure VPN to connect your computer to the campus network. The library has detailed text-based instructions for installing Pulse Secure VPN on Windows and Mac. JMU IT also has a External page of instructions that includes screenshots. For Linux and ChromeOS users, we have compiled our own instructions.

How do I access the student server (“stu”) from home to do my coursework?

Many classes require the use of the gcc compiler for compiling C programs, which are available on the CS lab machines on campus. To access stu and the lab machines virtually at home, follow the guide written here. Don't want to use vim or nano to edit your program files? Mount your remote directory from stu onto your local machine and then open into the editor of your choice on your local machine by using our guide here.