Robin Hillyard M.A. (Oxon), Ph.D. (Cantab)

Associate Teaching Professor

Multidisciplinary Graduate Engineering

College of Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115

Office: Dana Research Center 507 (see #57 in SW corner of small campus map)

Phone: 617-373-3972

E-mail me:



I normally set up a Slack workspace for each class that I teach. I will send you the URL and/or invitation to join during the first week. When you join, please update your profile to include your full name and, if appropriate, which section you are in (important). Slack is appropriate for most communication between us and has the benefit of allowing the TAs in on the conversation. Normal questions about assignments, projects, exams, etc. should be asked in the #assignments channel. Anything really general should be asked in the #general channel. Only use our private, direct channel if there's something that you really want to ask confidentially. If I react with a thumbs down, it means I want you to ask the question again in a public channel.


Email is for more formal communication. It is less immediate and therefore not suitable for anything urgent. I do get a lot of email so if I don't respond within a few days, it's OK to follow up with another request. You must use a subject line something like the following: INFO6205-03: subject as appropriate. This applies also if you email me after the semester is over.

Asking questions before or after class

Please understand that I don't know everyone's name and I can't always remember every conversation. That's why I will often ask you to send me email (or use Slack) to remind me of the conversation.

Office Hours

I encourage you to come and see me in office hours if you need to discuss something. Please see my schedule (below) for office hours. You can always just drop in during those posted times but it does make sense to give me heads up using Slack (just tell me when you wish to arrive). This saves you a trip if I'm busy with another student or if I'm out of my office for any reason. However, you can see me in my office at any other time, provided that you arrange it with my (via Slack) in advance.


Fall 2020

I am teaching three classes:

Big Data System Engineering with Scala
Program Structure and Algorithms (02)
Program Structure and Algorithms (06)
My weekly schedule Spring 2020

Top Hat

I have used TopHat in my classes to increase and encourage class participation. I will be using TopHat during the Fall 2020 INFO6205 classes.

Academic Integrity

This topic is extremely important. Standards of academic integrity have dropped due to the many ways that you can find the answers to questions on the internet. I do my best to make this hard, but your ingenuity makes it a challenge for me and the T/As. But, I put it to you that you are spending quite a bit of money on a class and, if you're going to learn from it, you must do the assignments and quizzes yourself! The project is for you to collaborate. But only with your teammates!

Collaboration during an exam is the most serious of all offenses and, if I catch you, you will recieve an F grade for the class. Yes, I do know the devastation that this can inflict on your career, especially if you were about to graduate and start your practical training. Make sure that you really have weighed the risk/reward of any such action before the exam. Once the exam is over and I discover the cheating, no amount of pleading will get me to change my mind. Be warned!

Please be sure to take a look at Northeastern's policy on Academic Integrity.

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Last updated: Oct 26th 2020

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