CSC 173, Fall 2006

Grading Policy

Tentative plans call for six programming assignments and a similar number of written homework assignments.

There will also be a midterm exam and a final.

Numeric course grades will be calculated as follows:

The programming assignments will be graded according to the following criteria (of roughly equal importance):

All assignments will be handed in electronically. In general, you will need to put every assignment in a separate Unix directory containing both your source code and your write-up.

We will strive to return assignments and homework within one week of the due date. Grades will be returned to you via e-mail to your CS department account. If you do not want to read this account on a regular basis, be sure to forward it to an account that you do read regularly. (To forward mail under Unix, put your preferred e-mail address all by itself in a file named .forward in your home directory on the CSUG lab machines.) If you have any questions about your grades, see one of the TAs within one week of receiving your grade.

Write-up (README) files

For all assignments, you MUST include a text-only file called README, in which you will cover AT LEAST the following:

  1. Your name and the project number
  2. A list of all files in the directory and a short description of each.
  3. HOW TO COMPILE your program.
  4. HOW TO USE (execute) your program.
  5. A short description of the structure of your program and the algorithms that you used.
  6. In case you have not completed the project, you should mention in significant detail:
    • what you have and have not done,
    • why you did not manage to complete your project (e.g., greatest difficulties)
    This will allow us to give you partial credit for the things you have completed.
  7. Document any bugs of your program that you know of. Run-time errors will cost you fewer points if you document them and you show that you know their cause. Also describe what you would have done to correct them, if you had more time to work on your project.
  8. A clear description of any extensions or special features of your project. This will be used for assigning extra credit.
Note: The last three items need not be contained in the README itself. Instead, they can be included in a ps, pdf file contained in the directory. Do not submit a MS Word document. Be sure to explain anything you did that is likely to be different from what other students may have done, and justify any design decisions for which the rationale isn't immediately clear. Your write-up should be coherently written, using full sentences and paragraphs, basically like a research report. This writeup is important! It will have a major effect on your grade. Once again, write-up files must be in plain ASCII or PDF format, and must be named README.txt or README.pdf, correspondingly.

Extra Credit

There will be opportunities for extra credit on the assignments and exams. Extra credit will be considered after making the first cut at letter grades for the course. If you're near the top of your bracket, or the amount of extra work you've done is particularly large, you can expect it to push you up a grade.

Late Assignments and Absences from Exams/Quizzes

Late assignments will have 10% of the maximum score for the assignment deducted for each 24-hour period after the due date that the assignment is late, with a limit of 5 days. Late homeworks will NOT be accepted. Examinations will be given at alternate times only with appropriately documented medical excuses. There is no make up for quizzes.

A suggestion: if you are not going to have the project completed on time, take the time to work on your writeup (as described above). It is possible that you will get significant (up to 50%, or possibly more) credit even if your program does not work. Trust me, 50% is much better than 0%.

A better suggestion: don't wait until the last minute to start/complete your assignments. If you do, you will not be able to ask questions of the instructor or TAs. If you do, it is possible that the lab machines will crash and you will not be able to complete the assignment (note: machine failure does not automatically guarantee an extension).

Academic Honesty

Student conduct is governed by the College Academic Honesty Policy, the Undergraduate Laboratory Policies of the Computer Science Department, and the Acceptable Use Policy of Academic Technology Services.

The following are additional details specific to CSC 173.

Exams in CSC 173 must be strictly individual work.

Collaboration on homework and programming assignments is encouraged at the level of ideas. Feel free to ask each other questions, brainstorm on algorithms, or work together at a blackboard. Be careful, however, about copying the actual code for programming assignments, or copying the wording for written assignments. Copying code or written text is NOT permitted. This sort of collaboration at the level of artifacts is permitted if explicitly acknowledged, but usually self-defeating. Specifically, you will get zero points for any portion of an artifact that you did not transform from concept into substance by yourself. If you neglect to label, clearly and prominently, any code or writing that isn't your own, that's academic dishonesty.

Back to the course home page

Last Change: 25 August 2006