A number of background articles have been placed on reserve at PCL. They are listed in reading.bib. These are not required, but should be fun and useful reading on the side.
All the class-related information (e.g. the class schedule, email archive, homework assignments and other handouts) can be accessed through the web pages under http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/risto/cs381k. Some of these files reside in the class directory /u/risto/public/cs381k. You can either access them directly from the cs machines or follow the links from the web pages (note that you have to run the browser in cs.utexas.edu host to access files in that directory).