Course support

Most of you will need help at some point and we want to make sure you can identify when that is without getting too frustrated and feel comfortable seeking help.

Lectures and labs

If you have a question during lecture or lab, feel free to ask it! There are likely other students with the same question, so by asking you will create a learning opportunity for everyone.

Office hours

The teaching team is here to help you be successful in the course. You are encouraged to attend office hours during the times posted on the home page to ask questions about the course content and assignments. A lot of questions are most effectively answered in-person, so office hours are a valuable resource. I encourage each and every one of you to take advantage of this resource! Make a pledge to stop by office hours at least once during the first three weeks of class. If you truly have no questions to ask, just stop by and say hi and introduce yourself. You can find a list of everyone’s office hours here.

Discussion forum

Have a question that can’t wait for office hours? Prefer to write out your question in detail rather than asking in person? The online discussion forum is the best venue for these! We will use Conversations as the online discussion forum. There is a chance another student has already asked a similar question, so please check the other posts on Ed Discussion before adding a new question. If you know the answer to a question that is posted, I encourage you to respond!


Please refrain from emailing any course content questions (those should go Conversations), and only use email for questions about personal matters that may not be appropriate for the public course forum (e.g., illness, accommodations, etc.). For such matters, you may email Dr. Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel at

If there is a question that’s not appropriate for the public forum, you are welcome to email me directly. If you email me, please include “STA 210” in the subject line. Barring extenuating circumstances, I will respond to STA 210 emails within 48 hours Monday - Friday. Response time may be slower for emails sent Friday evening - Sunday.

Academic support

There are times you may need help with the class that is beyond what can be provided by the teaching team. In those instances, I encourage you to visit the Academic Resource Center. The Academic Resource Center (ARC) offers free services to all students during their undergraduate careers at Duke. Services include Learning Consultations, Peer Tutoring and Study Groups, ADHD/LD Coaching, Outreach Workshops, and more. Because learning is a process unique to every individual, they work with each student to discover and develop their own academic strategy for success at Duke. ARC services are available free to any Duke undergraduate student, in any year, studying in any discipline. Contact the ARC to schedule an appointment. Undergraduates in any year, studying any discipline can benefit! Contact, 919-684-5917.

Mental health and wellness

Student mental health and wellness is of primary importance at Duke, and the university offers resources to support students in managing daily stress and self-care. Duke offers several resources for students to seek assistance on coursework and to nurture daily habits that support overall well-being, some of which are listed below:

If your mental health concerns and/or stressful events negatively affect your daily emotional state, academic performance, or ability to participate in your daily activities, many resources are available to help you through difficult times. Duke encourages all students to access these resources.

  • DukeReach. Provides comprehensive outreach services to identify and support students in managing all aspects of well-being. If you have concerns about a student’s behavior or health visit the website for resources and assistance.

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). CAPS helps Duke Students enhance strengths and develop abilities to successfully live, grow and learn in their personal and academic lives. CAPS recognizes that we are living in unprecedented times and that the changes, challenges and stressors brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted everyone, often in ways that are tax our well-being. CAPS offers many services to Duke undergraduate students, including brief individual and group counseling, couples counseling and more. CAPS staff also provides outreach to student groups, particularly programs supportive of at-risk populations, on a wide range of issues impacting them in various aspects of campus life. CAPS provides services to students via Telehealth. To initiate services, you can contact their front desk at 919-660-1000.

  • Blue Devils Care. A convenient and cost-effective way for Duke students to receive 24/7 mental health support through TalkNow and scheduled counseling.

  • Two-Click Support. Duke Student Government and DukeReach partnership that connects students to help in just two clicks.

  • WellTrack. Sign up for WellTrack at

Technology accommodations

Students with demonstrated high financial need who have limited access to computers may request assistance in the form of loaner laptops. For technology assistance requests, please go here. Please note that supplies are limited.

Note that we will be using Duke’s computational resources in this course. These resources are freely available to you. As long as your computer can connect to the internet and open a browser window, you can perform the necessary computing for this course. All software we use is open-source and/or freely available.

Course materials costs

There are no costs associated with this course. All readings will come from freely available, open resources (open-source textbooks, journal articles, etc.).

Assistance with Zoom or Sakai

For technical help with Sakai or Zoom, contact the Duke OIT Service Desk at You can also access the self-service help documentation for Zoom here and for Sakai here.

Note that we will be making minimal use of Sakai in this course (primarily for announcements and grade book). All assignment submission and discussion will take place on GitHub instead.

Zoom will be used for online office hours as well as as a backup option should we need to hold the course online instead of in person.