Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science

Diderot for SCS Courses

During these challenging times, we all want better tools for teaching and learning. Over the past several years, we have been developing Diderot with this goal in mind. Thanks to the feedback and the trust of our early adopters, Diderot has come a long way and has proved helpful to instructors and students.

We are now opening Diderot to broader use. Any faculty member in SCS can try and use Diderot. 

See below for more details, and contact Umut Acar for more information.

What is in it for my students and me?

Diderot unifies many services including LMS features, "Piazza-like" Q & A , etc. It will likely increase overall efficiency and student engagement. At the very minimum, you get the features of Canvas + Piazza in one platform. But there is more to it. 

What is new?

  • Diderot used to be mainly LaTeX + Markdown based. It now has an online editor that helps with content creation and editing.
  • Diderot now has a cloud-based Autograder that comes with manual grading with notes + rubrics. The autograder is compatible with Autolab---you can reuse your Autolab scripts. The autograder is containerized so you can easily update your configuration as needed.
  • Dan Barrett can help you set up the autograder.
  • Diderot now has a gradebook that allows you to gather grades for polls, assignments, etc.
  • Diderot has out-of-the-box analytics that helps you keep the pulse of your class.

How can I start or try?

  • Diderot is available on
  • If you used Diderot before as an instructor, then you can simply create your own course (press on your profile on the top right, select "create course"). If you do not have an instructor account, then
    please respond to this email and I will sign you up.
  • The Learning curve used to be a bit steep but not anymore. It will take you just a few minutes to get rolling.
  • You can set up your course in about five minutes and start uploading PDFs, create your schedule, invite your students, etc. 

Here are some videos to help you get started:

Upcoming features

  • We have been developing support for auto- and manual-gradeable assessments. We will bring these features online as we go through the semester. Many features are ready but some are still being tested andrefined.
  • Diderot has timed and untimed quizzes/exams with multiple choice questions. These are automatically gradeable.
  • More complex exams may be graded with python + javascript scripts (running on the cloud).
  • Rubric based manual grading for all assessments. We have a beta of this currently running. We are working on finishing it on time for the first exam.
  • (This is beta) We are also working on a lightweight integration with Zoom and YouTube that allows you to upload your Zoom recordings from the zoom-cloud to YouTube by transferring the recording through the cloud for you (without using your computer/internet connection).