CS 199 STR: CS Stars Seminar
Course Homepage

Nancy Amato

Teaching Assistants:
Sara Aghajanzadeh
Kathleen Isenegger
Max Fowler

Course Goals

This course is designed for CS STARS recipients as one part group meeting and planning time and one part research and mentorship learning and coaching. Research topics will include researcher hygiene, the hows and whats of doing research, and how best to prepare research for presentation and publication. Mentorship and leadership content will include team building and similar effective leadership and mentoring topics. Equity and justice will be covered in conjunction with department E&J sponsor talks and may be augmented with follow up course meetings. Additionally, STARS will use class time to discuss and plan to implement community building efforts and other opportunities within UIUC CS.

Mechanics and Grading

Course time is split between learning opportunities and hands on planning of events related to the ambassadorial and mentorship components of CS STARS. Attendance is mandatory unless extentuating circumstances arise, which should be communicated to the instructor and course staff. 

Course Content and Schedule

The standard class meeting time will be Wednesdays from 5:00 - 6:00 PM in Siebel 2405, unless they are coinciding with a different sponsored talk in a different room. The course schedule below will be filled out as the semester progresses with relevant details. The course syllabus is available here


Date Topic Speaker Description Work for next time Course Material
5:00 pm Wed Aug 25, 2021 Syllabus and Kickoff Day   Introduce the ideas behind the CS STARS program. Get to know your fellow STARS and the CS STARS team! Start brainstorming about future research and community building opportunities for CS!    
5:00 pm Wed Sep 1, 2021 Authentic Leadership   Brainstorm about what makes an authentic leader. Think about your personal leadership story and how it will link to research, mentoring, and teaching going forward. Read The Story of My Life: Developing Authentic Leaders by Courtney Calinog Here
5:00 pm Wed Sep 8, 2021 Breaking down a research paper   We'll break down Courtney Calinog's paper in class and discuss both the paper's takeaways and the paper's presentation. Being able to learn from and critique research papers is a crucial skill for early research!    
5:00 pm Wed Sep 15, 2021 Equity and Justice Day - "That Ain't Right: AI Mistakes and Black Lives" Chad Jenkins This talk will explore the causes of systemic inequality in AI, the impact of this inequity within the field of AI and across society today, and offer thoughts for the next wave of AI inference systems for robotics that could provide introspectability and accountability. Ideas explored build upon the “Before we put $100 billion into AI…" opinion.

More details, as well as a zoom link for digital attendees, on the Speakers calendar link: here
5:00 pm Wed Sep 22, 2021 No class! - Go to Reflections/Projections

Keynote speaker -
Dr. Sivakumar

We did not want to conflict with an ongoing, major CS community event. Instead, please attend Reflections/Projections if you are able! And keep
track of anything you learn from R/P that you would like us to start implementing in other programs and as a department! 


Some event planning documents to look over, to be provided later this week  
5:00 pm Wed Sep 29, 2021 Outreach, Admissions, Community Building Tasks Heather Zike & CJ Coleman Meeting with Heather Zike, Undergraduate Program Coordinator, and CJ Coleman, Director of External Relations, to loop into existing outreach efforts and make plans for our community and outreach impacts.    
5:00 pm Wed Oct 6, 2021 Mentor-Mentee Relationship Strategies
Idea/Activity Planning
  Today's class is split half between strategies for getting the most out of your time with research mentors and on community outreach event planning. Mentor-mentee content covers from the first meeting through keeping future meetings productive while recognizing the responsibilities of both parties involved. Event discussions will include how to divide our resources to best meet community outreach goals.    
5:00 PM Wed Oct 13, 2021 How is research going + what is research?   Part of class will be spent discussing research progress and part of class will be spent discussing how to make the most out of your research opportunities this year!    
5:00 PM Wed Oct 19, 2021 E&J Day Jeff Forbes Jeff Forbes' E&J Day talk on "Exploring the National Science Foundation’s Work in Broadening Participation in Computing"

Details and link for online attendees here