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CS885 Fall 2021 - Reinforcement Learning

Instructor: Pascal Poupart (ppoupart [at] uwaterloo [dot] ca)

Piazza: piazza.com/uwaterloo.ca/fall2021/cs885

Online interactive sessions via LEARN Bongo: Mondays & Wednesdays noon - 12:50 pm (an external link for the online discussions will be posted in Piazza and accessible by all students, even if you cannot enroll yet)

Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 11 am - noon. Book a 15-minute one-on-one meeting with Pascal via Calendly. The online meeting will be done with LEARN Bongo. Pascal will send you a Bongo link before the meeting.

Teaching Assistants:

Course format: The course will follow a "flipped" format. This means that there are no lectures and no meetings on campus. Lectures are pre-recorded and made available in the form of slides and videos available on this website. In the schedule, you are expected to watch and understand the videos assigned each week by that week. Two synchronous online interactive sessions are scheduled each week for discussions. Pascal will not be lecturing in those sessions. Instead Pascal will hold QA (question-answer) sessions about the material of the course in the first half of the term and discussion sessions about a set of papers in the second half of the course.

Slides and Videos: Checkout the schedule. Each week you are expected to watch and understand the videos scheduled in that week. For the first week, you must watch the videos scheduled for Sept 6-11. Since Pascal taught the same course in 2018 and 2020, we will re-use some of the video-lectures recorded in 2018 and 2020. The fundamental concepts have not changed in the last three years. However, the schedule has been updated to include new advances that became important in the last year. Pascal will pre-record and post new videos for some of the topics that do not already have a video-lecture from 2018 or 2020.

Online interactive sessions (Mondays and Wednesdays noon - 12:50 pm Eastern time): The first online session will be on Wednesday September 8. In the first half of the course, Pascal will conduct QA (question-answer) sessions about the material assigned each week in that week. In the second half of the course, the online interactive sessions will be used to discuss a set of papers. Each online session will be recorded and posted in LEARN. We will use the Bongo virtual classroom system in LEARN to hold the online sessions. If you cannot enroll in the course yet, you can still participate in the online sessions: an external link for each online session will be posted in Piazza.