There are approximately five weekly meetings, depending on your interests: The PL reading group (590n), the SE reading group (590p), the PLSE seminar (591a or 591s), and a student-led underground reading group, which is not a formal course. There are also group lunches.
Active participants are always welcome no matter your research area. Undergraduates and BS/MS students are explicitly welcome.
The reading groups meet each week to discuss a technical paper published by someone not from UW. Sometimes they have a theme, and sometimes they just choose papers from recent or upcoming conferences.
The PLSE colloquium features external speakers approximately every week. The PL and SE reading groups frequently choose to read papers by upcoming colloquium speakers.
The group lunches are typically a research talk by one person. You should expect to speak once a quarter, presenting your latest research results for comment and critique. Sometimes the talks are practice talks. There are also sometimes brainstorming meetings.
You can register for a seminar for 1, 2, or 3 credits. The main reason for the flexibility is so that your schedule for the quarter has the correct number of credits that Elise wants you to take (I think it’s exactly 15, but you should get confirmation from her). The secondary reason is that in some seminars, people who present a paper register for 2 or 3 credits, and people who just attend each week without ever presenting register for 1 credit. Our seminars discourage passive listening, though, and oftentimes students present in pairs so that presenting a paper should not be an intimidating prospect.