CPSC 120 Principles of Computer Science Spring 2010

CPSC 120 Assessment

Assignments and Evaluation

Readings: Readings are an important component of this course, as they provide a starting point for the material that will be covered in class. Readings are to be done before the class period for which they are assigned.

Labs: Lab sessions will be held on Fridays in the Gulick 208 computer lab. Lab assignments will be posted on the syllabus page prior to each lab session; the completed exercises are due by the start of the following week's lab. You will generally not be able to complete all of the lab exercises during the lab period, thus it is important that you read the lab handout before lab so that you can maximize your efficiency during lab. Anything you don't complete during lab will have to be finished on your own as homework.

Projects: There will be three projects in addition to the weekly labs. The projects will require somewhat larger and more sophisticated programs than the labs, and will integrate several concepts.

Exams: There will be two midterm exams and a final exam. The dates and times of these exams are noted on the syllabus - be sure to consult this schedule before making travel arrangements! More details about each exam will be announced prior to the exam.

Attendance: You are expected to attend and be on time for all class meetings (including labs). Late arrivals may be marked as absent. Because of the emphasis on in-class activities and participation, more than three absences (for any reason) will lower your participation grade by 10% per additional absence.

Participation: You are not expected to volunteer for everything, but you should be actively engaged in class - this means that you are paying attention and contribute meaningfully to the class on a regular basis. You should also be actively contributing to group work, not sitting back and letting your teammate do everything. Disruptive behavior (such as walking in and out during class, ringing cell phones, or disturbing others) will count against your participation grade.

Grades: Grades in this course will be computed as follows:

  • Labs: 40% (approx. 3% each)
  • Projects: 25% (approx. 8% each)
  • Exams: 25% (midterms 7.5% each, final 10%)
  • Attendance/participation: 10%

Talks: The Math/CS Department sponsors a number of colloquium talks from alumni and visitors during the semester. These talks are a great way to find out about a variety of topics in the fields of mathematics and computer science. You can earn extra credit for attending talks relevant to this course - this includes computer-science-themed math/CS colloquium talks, as well as any other talk given on campus that is relevant to this course. To get credit for attending a talk, you must be present at the talk and must submit a three-paragraph writeup of the talk: one paragraph summarizing the talk, one paragraph discussing what you learned from the talk, and one paragraph explaining why the talk is relevant to this course. Writeups are due within one week of the talk. Writeups which are clearly written, substantive, contain the three paragraphs listed, and make a strong case for the relevance of the talk to the course will earn up to 5% of the participation grade per talk. A maximum of four talks will be counted for extra credit.

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