Frequently Asked Questions


The course is listed as full (for undergrads). Can I still get in, or wait list, or …

This has come up before. Aaron Thompson had the following to offer:

With the course currently filled, you unfortunately will not be able to register for it until a seat does become available. We also do not do waitlists for our courses. As we approach the beginning of […] term, if a seat remains available on the graduate side of the course, we can move a seat over for undergraduates, but we typically will not do that until at least one week before the term begins.

My suggestion is to just keep monitoring the registration system for fellow students to drop as they make changes in their schedules and try to register at that time.

This is an online course, and I will be abroad this term. Can I take it?

Generally, this is not a good idea. While content is indeed on-line, a large part of the course is on-campus. Office hours, project group work and of course the CBTF-administered exams / quizzes. So it is best to think of the course as a regular course best taken during a term in which one is present on campus.


How can I receive additional help outside of talking with the course staff?

If you wish to hire a private tutor to assist you with the course content, please see the Department of Statistics tutoring page. This page provides the ability to submit a request for assistance from registered tutors.


Can I send you email to ask to have my grade adjusted for no apparent reason?

Please don’t.

Unless an error or omission can be demonstrated for the grade, it should be considered final.

Technical Issues

GitHub tells me the webpage cannot be found

Please make sure you are logged into GitHub. In addition, please make sure that you have paired your GitHub username with us, i.e. the course admins. Pairing is not instanteanous. The process is automatically triggered each evening during the first two weeks.

For additional assistance, please see the GitHub page not found guide, also courtesy of STAT385.

Files at are not accessible

Two requirements have to be met:

  • First, you need to have an Illinois account with so go here if you do not:
  • Second, access has to be with your Illinois (NetId) account, not another account.

Please see TechServices if you still have issues.


GitHub makes me write my username and password on every commit.

Yes, a known issue. See the good writeup in Happy Git With R, Section 10 ‘Cache credentials for HTTPS;. One of the methods mentioned there for Linux works perfectly well for us in RStudio Cloud. The shell command

git config --global credential.helper "cache --timeout=10000000"

or, equally, from R as this command:

system("git config --global credential.helper \"cache --timeout=10000000\"")

will set a timeout of that many seconds – or about sixteen weeks which should get you through the term. The other method is fancier and more powerful: register ssh keys. But that is beyond our scope here.