CSC 2/458

Parallel and Distributed Systems

Spring 2017.

Grading and Assignments

There will be a few small programming projects and a large individual project.  Classes will be a mix of lectures and guest presentations.  Some of the guest presentations may be made by students (on a first-come, first served basis) as part of their individual project.  To enforce course policy, I will probably take attendance, and may give in-class quizes.  There may also be homework assignments.  I do not expect to give exams. 

The tentative grading scheme is as follows: 

Academic Honesty

Student conduct in CSC 2/458 is governed by the College Academic Honesty Policy, the Undergraduate Laboratory Policies of the Computer Science Department, and the University's Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology.  I helped to write two of these policies personally.  I believe in them strongly, and will enforce them aggressively. 

The following are details specific to CSC 2/458. 

Quizes and exams (if any) must be strictly individual work. 

Collaboration on programming assignments among team members is of course expected.  Collaboration on homeworks or assignments across teams is encouraged at the level of ideas.  Feel free to ask each other questions, brainstorm on algorithms, or work together at a whiteboard.  You may not claim work as your own, however, unless you transform the ideas into substance by yourself.  Among other things, this means that you must leave any brainstorming sessions with no written or electronic notes—only what you carry in your head. 

If you use the work of others (e.g., you download a function from the web at the last minute so that you can get the rest of your project working), then (1) either you must have the author’s explicit permission or the material must be publicly available, and (2) you must label what you copied, clearly and prominently, when you hand it in.  Note that you will get points only for the parts of your assignment that you wrote yourself.  Written (prose) assignments are similarly expected to follow the strictest standards of academic scholarship, including appropriate citation.  Do not use anyone else’s words without attribution.

To minimize the temptation to steal code, all students are expected to protect any directories or on-line repositories in which they do their work. 

For purposes of this class, academic dishonesty is defined as

Note that grades in CSC 2/458 are assigned on the basis of individual merit (there is no fixed curve), so there is no benefit—even a dishonest one—to be gained by sabotaging the work of others.

I work under the assumption that students are honest.  I will not go looking for exceptions.  If I discover one, however, I will come down on it very hard.  Over the past few years, I have submitted about a dozen cases to the College Board on Academic Honesty.  All resulted in major penalties for the students involved.


Last Change: 26 March 2017 / Michael Scott's email address