Computer Sciences Department FAQ

Are you new to UW-Madison CS? Looking for an answer to a specific question? Or just curious about how things operate in the department? If so, read on!

CS Building Room Numbers

The most frequently asked questions – or so it seems:

1) How do the room numbers work in the Computer Sciences building? 2) There doesn’t seem to be a fifth floor! Where is it? 3)  Where are the undergrad and grad advisors’ offices?


1)  The CS building consists of two towers, numbered, interestingly, 2 and 3. The third tower is reached by the elevators that are up the ramp when you enter across from Union South, near room 1325. The third tower includes the Computer Systems Lab (IT support for the department), faculty and grad student offices, and some administrative offices. There is a stairwell just outside room 1325.

There is a Unit 1 in the building, which is where some DoIT offices, including DoIT HR, are housed.

The second tower is reached by the elevator near the Dayton St. entrance, near room 1240, across from room 1207. The student services team, including academic advisors and program coordinators, is on the 4th floor of the second tower. So are Center for High Throughput Computing (CHTC) offices and some CS administrative offices. The School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) offices are on the second floor of the second tower, as are Internet Scout offices. You can reach tower 2 via stairs near The Shelf (above the doors across from Union South). For added fun, you can also reach floors 3 and 4 of tower 2 via the stairs near room 1325.

There is a method to the madness: The first number in a room number tells you the floor the room is on, and the second number tells you which tower. So, for example, room 5367 is on the 5th floor of the third tower. Room 4233 is on the fourth floor of the second tower.

The CS receptionist is in room 5351 (fifth floor, third tower).

2) Tower 3 has a fifth floor, but tower 2 does not. So if you’re looking for a room on the fifth floor, it will be in tower 3.

3) The CS advisors are on the fourth floor of tower 2, so you’ll want to take the elevators near room 1240 to get there. (Or you can take the stairs next to room 1325 to get to the 4th floor, tower 2. Don’t exit the stairwell on the 4th floor of tower 3. Well, you can, but you won’t find any advisors there!)

CS events logistics

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How do I add an event to the CS website calendar? And/or the UW-Madison-wide calendar?

The Department of Computer Sciences use the UW-Madison-wide calendar to post our events. If you’re affiliated with the department, you can add your own event! Go to the calendar and click on “Submit an Event” in the upper-right-hand corner.

Please use the tag “Computer Sciences” if you want your event to show up on the Computer Sciences calendar – you can search for it in the “Search tags to add” field. Make sure you leave the box checked next to “Share your event with campus?” if you’d like your event to show up on the UW-Madison-wide calendar. If you need your event to appear on the calendar today, please email the CS Communications Coordinator.

If you are adding a lecture, please add the speaker’s name to the title of the talk.

The CS Department has a long description field (5,000 character) available to us. If you are part of the department and would like access to that longer field, email the CS Communications Coordinator.

Can I order cookies and coffee for my event?

Yes! Fill out the form at the bottom of this page:

Can I have a poster made for my event?

Yes! If a lecture, send this info to type of lecture (symposium, technical talk, computer science lecture, for example); speaker name, title, and affiliation (where they work or company they represent); lecture title; location, time, and date of lecture; two sentences of bio about the lecture, and if refreshments will be served. If you have added the event to the CS/UW websites and have a full description and bio included there, send us the link, so we can add a QR code to the poster.

If another type of event, email CS communications at the link above and tell us about your event!

We generally need this information two weeks before your event. The receptionist will print and hang posters around the CS building one week before the event. When you email us, let us know if you’d like a pdf of the poster – you are free to share it.

Can I use a department photographer?

Yes, for department events! Email to set this up.

Website questions

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I am faculty or staff. How can I appear in those sections of the website?

Email with your name, job title, and a photo. You can also send a bio or a URL if you have your own professional website.

Can I send in a photo, bio, or URL for my personal site?

Yes! See above.

Can I have a professional head shot taken at the university?

Yes. The Journalism School hosts a few headshot sessions each year. The cost as of 2022 is $15 for three different shots. Anyone is welcome — students, faculty, staff, and friends and family. You can reserve a spot or you’re free to walk up for photos. We will send out an email when these events are coming up. Or you can check with All of the money raised from the headshot event goes to produce Curb magazine, which has won several national awards in recent years.

UW-Madison Media Solutions also takes headshots (for a fee0. If you’re interested in this, you can either set it up directly with them ( or email for help.

I am a grad student. Why am I not in the list of grad students on the CS website?

If you are not showing up on the list of grad students on the CS site, you may have a FERPA hold – which means that we can’t publish your information. You can check on your status by emailing If you have checked with them, do not have a FERPA hold, and are not showing up on the grad student page, email, and we’ll try to help.

I see an error or something that's out of date? Whom can I contact?

Email Thanks for letting us know!

Publicity questions

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I would like to promote something (award, paper, event) on the CS website and/or social media. How do I do that?

You can start by emailing the Communications Coordinator. We can discuss the best way to promote whatever you want to promote!

I have a great idea for a feature article. What do I do?

Email – we will happily take suggestions!

Can I have my research group or lab featured on the website and/or in a story?

Building questions

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When is the CS building open?

The CS Building is open from 7am-1am daily – except holidays. You must have a Wiscard to use the tower 3 elevator after 6pm. The tower 2 elevator is always open. (If you have a building key, you can enter the building any time.)

How do I reserve a room?

If you are affiliated with the CS Department, go to the CS website homepage and click on MYCOMPSCI in the upper-right-hand corner, then click on Authenticated Services. Login with your NetID – you’ll see a list of rooms you can reserve.

If the room you want to reserve is not listed here, or you are not affiliated with the department, email the CS receptionist.

I need a key for my office/lab, or I lost or forgot my key.

Again, check with the CS receptionist. During business hours, you can go to the office, room 5351, to get or request a key.

Locked out after hours? See below.

I'm locked out of my office after hours. What do I do?

Call UWPD: (608) 264-COPS.

How does after-hours elevator access work?

You must have a Wiscard to use the tower 3 elevator after 6pm. The tower 2 elevator is always open.

How do room numbers work?

See the top of this page.


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Can I get a copier code for making copies?

Yes, if you are hired by the department. (Copiers are different from printers.) Email the CS receptionist or stop by room 5351 with questions.

Can I use printers in the CS Building? Or how do I use printers in the CS Building?

If you haven’t used printers in the CS Building, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and not expect to print out that assignment or test or form just before class without having tested it previously. Access to printers may be complicated – or it may be simple! But if possible, please try it out at some point before you actually need to print.

Anyone who is hired by the department can use department printers. (Printers are different from copiers.) If you have a computer that was supplied by the department, printing options should be automatically installed. If not, contact the Computer Systems Lab. If you have been hired by the department and are using a personal laptop, check with the Computer Systems Lab about access to CS printers.

IF YOU ARE A CS STUDENT, you can use computers and printers in room 1358 – but you must have a CS login to use them. CS students should automatically have a CS login. If you don’t have one or aren’t sure if you do, check with the Computer Systems Lab.

Copying is different from printing. See above.

I've seen people wearing CS jackets. How can I get one?

Check with your supervisor – or feel free email CS Communications and we can look into it for you.

Is there a lost and found?

Stop by the receptionist’s office, room 5351, or email if you’ve lost or found something in the building.

I'd like to order apparel for my lab/research group/class/team. How do I do that?

You can check with the Communications Coordinator. The department has contacts and vendors that we work with regularly.

How do I order SWAG and/or fliers?

Check with the Communications Coordinator. We may have things in the office you can take, or we may need to place an order, so try to give us a few weeks of notice if possible.

Have a question that’s not addressed here? Email us!