UGS 302 Freshman Seminar

Mirrors on Ourselves: Attempts to Build Artificial People

Elaine Rich

Fall, 2013





TTh 2:00-3:30  

GDC 3.516  






Office Hours


Elaine Rich      

GDC 5.810                 

W 10:00 – 12:00


Amanda Lacey           

The Structure of the Class

Over the course of the semester, we will:

In this class it will be very important that everyone come to class prepared to participate in the discussions. On the Schedule of Topics page, you will find a schedule for the semester (which will evolve as the semester progresses). 

Required Reading

There’s just one actual book that you’ll need to get:


In addition, we will read many short articles and stories.  Many of them are available on the web.  I will hand out copies of any that are not.

Additional Books that You May Find Interesting and Possibly Useful for Your Term Paper


There will not be a final exam.


There will be two kinds of assignments:

All homework assignments must be typed.


Attendance and Class Participation


You need to come to class and participate.  Starting with the 4th class, there will a sign-in sheet at each class.  Assume there are n remaining classes.  Then 1/nth of the total attendance points will be deducted for each missed class.  If you must miss class for a legitimate reason, let me know as soon as possible.


Piazza is a free online gathering place where students can ask, answer, and explore 24/7.  Read more at   We will use Piazza for important class announcements.  In addition, you can use it to post questions and get answers both from other students and from the instructors.  Once registration has settled down, we will enroll everyone in the class Piazza forum.


We will use Canvas to record grades.  You can access it at  From the calendar, you can see when assignments are due.  But you should also check the schedule page on our class website for reading assignments.

Academic Integrity and the UT Student Honor Code

UT’s Student Honor Code states:  "As a student of The University of Texas at Austin, I shall abide by the core values of the University and uphold academic integrity."  You can watch an excellent video about the honor code here.

You should read carefully the class policy on academic integrity. Cheating of any form will not be tolerated and will result in a failing grade in the class.

Students with Disabilities

Any student with a documented disability (physical or cognitive) who requires academic accommodations should contact the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities at 471-6259 (voice) or 471-4641 (TTY for users who are deaf or hard of hearing) or as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations.

Religious Holidays 


By UT Austin policy, you must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, or an assignment in order to observe a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.

Additional Class Policies

You should read CS Department Code of Conduct.  The policies described there will be followed in this class.