Student repositories

For every lab, we will create a repository (repo) for each student. For example, if your CWL is goatcabin then for DSCI 521 lab 1 there will be a repository called DSCI_521_lab1_goatcabin. At the start of the program each of you will be given a “home” repository in GitHub, which will help you find the various repositories.

NOTE: please do not confuse your personal lab-specific repository with the general course repository, which will be named something like DSCI_521_platforms-dsci_students. That repo is public to all students and is where you can access lectures, due dates, readings, etc.


We anticipate that you will clone your lab-specific repository and do your work from within there. When you push something back to then you have submitted the assignment. You can push changes as many times as you want before the deadline; only the final version will be graded.


The lab deadlines are given on the course repo and/or MDS calendar. These are hard deadlines. In particular, when the deadline passes you will lose write access to the repository.


In addition to the lab-specific repos, you will each have a private repository that will serve as an inbox for all your lab and quiz grades for a particular course. These repositories will be named like DSCI_511_grades_goatcabin. When a TA pushes your grades, it will show up as an Issue in your grades repo. If you have notifications enabled and are watching your grades repository, you will be notified whenever this happens.

Who can see my repos?

Lab repo

Before the assignment deadline, your lab-specific repo is only visible to you and the instructional staff for that particular course: the instructor(s), TA(s), and the teaching fellows. After the assignment deadline, your submission may be exposed to other students.

Grades repo

Each grades repo will be visible only to yourself and the instructional staff for that particular course.

General privacy notes

  • in addition to the users listed above, all repositories owned by the MDS organization are visible to the organization owners.

  • although only the final version will be graded, all of your commits will be viewable, so don’t commit something private (like your email password) to your lab repo. Committing something and then removing it with another commit doesn’t remove it from the git history! It is theoretically possible to pull all traces of something out of the git history, but it’s not fun and uses more advanced git features.

  • is run on Canadian servers, so all your data will be kept within Canada.