Posted by: atri | September 2, 2010

Demystifying Group Leader Scribe

(Updated on Sep 4. Also making this post sticky till Sep 7.)

The blog post slots are filling up very quickly but there the rate of group leader scribes is much slower. Also having talked to some of you on this issue, it looks like there still a fair bit of confusion over this aspect of the course. Below are some comments that hopefully will make it clearer. As always, please use the comments section if you have a question.

  • First note every student has to sign up for a group leader scribe for exactly one lecture during the semester. This means the following for group leaders: on the day a member in a group has signed up as a group scribe leader, then he/she will be the group leader. On days when no member has signed up as a group leader scribe, anyone can be the group leader (and you do not have to let me know who the group leader is on those days are).
  • When you sign up for a group leader scribe, you have to make sure that no other member from your group has signed up for that date. This might need some coordination. (Maybe this is why not many of you have signed up for your group leader scribe lecture so far.)
  • I do not have a strict guideline for what needs to be in the email that you send me for the day you were the group leader scribe. I do not envision it to be more than two paragraphs. You should summarize what your group discussed on that day.
  • If you did not understand something in class or could not figure something out, please do put it in. This kind of feedback is the probably the main thing I am looking for in the group leader scribe’s email. However, please avoid non-specific sentences like “We did not understand much in the lecture.” Please be specific about which parts of the lecture were hard to follow.

Update (Sep 4): Previously the syllabus said that each group has to have (exactly) six members. I meant at most six members. The syllabus has been updated to reflect this. However, you are strongly encouraged to have 3 or 6 members so that you can easily divide your group into collaboration group(s) for the homeworks.



  1. Hi everyone,

    This is my first time posting on blog. Sorry If I made any mistake.
    Well, I understood that We have to post a kind of lacture notes on the blog on the day we choose. I think, this is a great idea. So we could have advantage of more understanding of a each lacture.
    Now my question is what are the duties of group leader? so do we have to sign up for group leader scribe?

  2. Hi Sejal,

    Thanks for you comment and question.

    Yes, you do have to sign up for the lecture when you want to be a group leader scribe. The process is the same as with the blog post: email me your top 5 choices. (However, you’ll have to make sure that no other member from your group has signed up for a group leader scribe for the same lecture.)

    A group leader is essentially the spokesperson for the group. Whenever I ask a question and ask the groups to discuss by default the group leader will answer. However, any group member is free to answer. Sometimes I will ask the group leader to come up to the board and finish an exercise or proof etc. (Again in this case the group members can help– from their desk.)

    The general idea for a group leader is that if a group is silent I can point to the group leader and ask him/her to respond 🙂

    Thus, in general a group leader does not have to do much except the lecture he/she has signed up as the group leader scribe in which case he/she will have send me a summary for their discussion (as mentioned in the post above).

    Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any follow-up question(s).

  3. I have a question about group composition. The syllabus states that every group should have six members. I thought Dr. Rudra mentioned in class that the groups could be smaller. Is that true? If groups can be smaller, then our group of four is all set. If they have to be exactly 6 then I guess we’re recruiting. Anyone looking for a group?

    • Hi Nick,

      You are correct, the group size is at most 6. I updated both this post and the syllabus to reflect this. Note however, if you have 4 folks in your group then it would be hard have two complete collaboration groups for the homeworks.

      Thanks for pointing out the error in the syllabus.

      Also anyone should feel free to use this comment space to “recruit” new group members and/or ask if a group is looking for new members.

  4. Hi everyone, I haven’t been to class yet because of a health issue, but I need a group. I should be in class starting next week. If anyone has room in their group I would like to join, please contact me by email.

    Thanks =)

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