Administrative Introduction

Who are you?

I'm Colin King. About me:

  • Graduated in the spring, now a graduate student, pursuing a MS in CS
  • Experience on the infrastructure team at Nextdoor, working heavily with AWS
  • Worked on the Google Cloud team on App Engine Search
  • Worked on a number of hackathon projects on top of different cloud platforms.

I'll be the instructor for this class. If you ever have questions, you can reach me at [email protected].

What are STICs?

STICs are "Student Initiated Courses", a brand new experimental program started by Ishaan and Sashank, who taught a web development class last year. It's inspired by DeCal from Berkeley, if any of you happen to be familiar with it.

The goal of the STICs program is to enable students who are particularly passionate about some area to create a curriculum and teach it as an official UMD course. Any undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to teach. In fact, there are 7 being taught this semester on everything from advocacy in environmental politics to product design and the history of Hip Hop.

If you have any questions, check out the website or come ask me.

For almost all of these STICs, they are taught by first-time teachers (myself included) and the content is brand-new and untested. Therefore, feedback is very important. There will be an anonymous feedback form to complete at the end of lecture, and I'd like to invite as open and honest feedback as possible, since it will help me improve this course for you all as we go.

Who is the faculty advisor?

Dr. Neil Spring will the faculty advisor for this class. That means he is responsible for final grading decisions and resolving conflict, along with providing oversight on this course. If you have any questions that you aren't comfortable raising with me, then you are more than welcome to reach out to Dr. Spring at [email protected]. His information is available on the course site.

What is CMSC389L?

Let's take a look through the syllabus. Note that the next codelab will walk through the process of getting set-up on AWS, so don't worry about that.

Where can I find information?

We will be using GitHub as a central repository of information for this course. We will store lecture content, codelabs, and projects here. We'll be using GitBooks on top of GitHub. See

We will be using Piazza for Q&A and for announcements. There will be announcements there when codelabs, projects, or course notes are available on the course site.

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