11-785 Introduction to Deep Learning
Fall 2020

Piazza Etiquette

For the first time, this course will be delivered in an online format, and to make everyone's lives easier, we have built a list of Piazza etiquette rules that need to be followed. While we understand it may be the first Deep Learning experience for many of you, please be mindful of the following points while asking questions on Piazza:

Exclusive Threads

Before releasing any HW/Quiz/Recitation/Project notes, we will create an exclusive thread dedicated to questions related to that assignment. Feel free to post your questions for any clarifications on that thread, but first check if someone else has asked a similar question. If they have, we are simply going to redirect you to that answer anyway. Also, make sure you follow up on the questions you post until you completely understand the concept or have cleared your doubts!

These exclusive threads will also be released for lectures, to help you ask meaningful questions efficiently and clarify theoretical concepts covered in class.

Individual Posts

Please refrain from creating individual posts for questions that can be addressed in the threads we create. Around 10k Piazza posts were created last semester, and we anticipate this number to only increase as we deliver the class in an online-only fashion. A structured Piazza page will help us get to your question as quickly as possible.

Private vs. Public Posts

Only make a post private if you have a problem that is specific to you. That is, you need to share your code to get help debugging or anything else extremely personalized. Although, make sure never to post your HW code publicly as it will only result in a penalty! Public posts will help everyone learn, but if there are too many public posts on Piazza, then Piazza will become useless and messy. So, be entirely sure that your question cannot be answered with a quick Google Search. Before asking your question, think about how you can frame it to benefit you and other students in the course.

Good and Bad Questions

With over ~360 registered students, we have a challenge at hand (giving swift and beneficial support)- one we hope to live up to! Good questions are the ones that are succinct yet have enough detail so that we can quickly address them. The questions should be described with an apt headline to help TAs and the Instructor perceive your doubt. Good questions will show us that you have thought about the problem you are asking, have a clear idea of the problem, and have tried to debug the problem on your own. Bad questions exist and will hurt our ability to answer you efficiently.


Please use the tags that Piazza automatically creates (e.g., Logistics, HW1, HW2, etc.) to categorize your questions. This will help us to manage Piazza efficiently.

Logistics Questions

We understand you will have a lot of questions about Logistics at the beginning of the semester. Please refer to the course website to all times and the pinned Piazza posts. We will do our best to maintain an updated "Table of Contents" post, which can be used to maneuver to publicly posted logistical issues.


This is the only post in the coming few days for which you are being notified in real-time (except the announcements about newly released Recitations). We will not be sending notifications about less critical posts. Make sure to change your Piazza settings to receive email digests (if you wish to) or regularly check Piazza for new posts.


Refrain from sending the Instructor and TAs email unless required. That said, we understand if you need an extension for your homework or need to talk to us for any conflicting schedule/issue/emergency that has bothered you or keeps you from performing efficiently. Our email ids can be found on the course website (that you should bookmark!).


Lastly, at any point, if you feel you are lagging behind your cohort and need help, please talk to the TAs/Bhiksha! To reiterate what I said earlier, we are here to help you and not penalize you for learning slowly. But we also want to ensure you stick to the established timeline (in some manner) so that you complete the course successfully! I have known the current group of TAs for a while now, and I can assure you everyone is extremely kind and has been through the struggle of completing the course in some way. No one better than us will understand what you experience! Times are difficult, and we want you to prioritize your health and family first :-)