Communicating Electronically

Electronic Communication in CS135

CS135 uses the web, newsgroups (Piazza) and email extensively for communication. We do not use LEARN. The kind of information conveyed with each varies:

  • The web site (which you are now reading) contains handouts, code, assignments, and other important information. It is actively managed and should be considered the primary source for up-to-date information.
  • Piazza is a forum optimized for asking questions and giving answers. We also use it for rapid dissemination of course-related announcements.
  • Email (@uwaterloo.ca and @edu.uwaterloo.ca) is used for private communication between students and course staff. Your @edu.uwaterloo.ca email is also used by many other people within the University of Waterloo to communicate with you about important matters.

It is important that you be able to use all three of these resources easily.

Email

Every UW student has an email address of the form userid@edu.uwaterloo.ca or userid@uwaterloo.ca1. For example, jsmith@edu.uwaterloo.ca.

It is very important that you receive and read the email sent to this forwarding address regularly.

You may have already received information about UW email and may have taken steps to set it up. If so, please consider your past decisions in light of the advice provided here. You probably already have an email address that you use regularly to communicate with friends and perhaps parents. The goal is to make it easy to use all of your email accounts, including your new UWaterloo account.

There are three main options to consider:

  1. Ignore the problem and try to remember to check each account individually. In practise, this likely won’t happen and we strongly advise you to not use this ‘solution.’
  2. Pick one account to be your main account and forward the email from all other accounts to your main account. Issues to consider:
    • You will likely send email from your main account. Most UW instructors (including CS135) expect that you send email from your UW account so your identity can be easily verified.
    • If you forward your UW email to an external provider such as Gmail or Hotmail, it will sometimes be marked as spam. If you forward UW email, you must locate the spam settings on the destination account and “whitelist” email from uwaterloo.ca.
  3. Use an email client (program) on your computer or phone (or both!) to read the mail from all of your accounts. They can be set up to consolidate all of your mail into a single mailbox or to keep each account separate. It can be configured to send email from various accounts so that UWaterloo email is sent from your UWaterloo account.

Recommendation: We think that option #3 is the best way to go.


  1. Why two different email address formats? For a long time UW used the userid@uwaterloo.ca format. Several years ago the decision was made to split out undergraduate students and have them use a different domain, @edu.uwaterloo.ca. That has proved logistically challenging (as many of us predicted). It was recently announced that we’d be going back to the old way – but we don’t know when. [return]