One of the finest universities north of Prospect in Fort Collins

Jack Applin


Send email to Jack Applin

Here are my preferences for email. Click on the button, below, to actually send mail.

No Pictures

  • Do not take a picture of your screen, either with a phone, or a screen capture.
  • If you want to show me part of your code, or an error message, then copy & paste that text, so that I can quote the relevant portions of your code back to you in my answer.
    • If you don’t know how to copy & paste, learn now. Are you really planning on being a professional Computer Scientist who doesn’t know how to copy & paste?


  • Call me “Mr. Applin” or “Jack”. I’m neither a “Professor” nor a “Doctor”, so avoid those. Plain “Applin” only works if you’re my wrestling coach. “Hey” is for horses.

Identify yourself

  • Sign your email with your first & last names. I’m not good at associating faces in class with names, much less email addresses. Your first name is probably not unique.
  • Tell me what class you’re in (I teach more than one class).
  • Tell me your CSUID, if you’re asking about something that may require looking things up in CSU databases.

Be specific

  • If you’re asking for an extension, ask for something specific. Don’t just say “May I have an extension on HW2?”. Instead, say “May I have an extension on HW2 until 10:00ᴘᴍ Tuesday?”.
  • If you’re asking for an override, explain why. What requirement is it that you don’t meet, and why don’t you think that it should apply to you?

Ask a question

  • If you say “I don’t know how to do the homework”, I will be tempted to simply agree.
    • What, specifically, are you having trouble with?
  • Similarly, throwing your program at me and declaring that “this doesn’t work”, will tempt me to just agree.
    • What part is failing?
    • What did you expect it to do?

I’m a programmer, not an advisor

  • I don’t have the power to grant overrides, or late add/drop. You should contact an advisor for those; they’ll contact me if they require my permission.
  • I don’t know:
    • which classes are required for your major
    • what grade is required in my class for your major
  • I’ll tell you what I know, but I’m not the right person to ask.

Don’t whine

  • “I’ve been working in the lab for nine hours!” only tells me that you have poor judgment. Get to the point.

Don’t give orders

  • Telling me to “Respond ASAP” will not make me respond faster. In fact …

Keep it simple

  • If your email is a list of seven questions, then I won’t respond to it until I’ve considered all seven questions. That may take some time.

Don’t expect an immediate response

  • I am not a 24/7 email consulting service; I am paid to teach classes and hold office hours.
  • If I choose to answer email, it’s on my own time.
  • I don’t keep the same hours that you do.