CPSC 124 Introduction to Programming Spring 2005

CPSC 124 Course Policies

Email/Web Policy

You are expected to regularly check your HWS email and the course web page (http://math.hws.edu/~bridgeman/courses/124/s05/). If you have Blackboard set to send your mail to an account other than your HWS account, you are expected to check that account as well. Announcements, assignments, handouts, and other information relevant to the class as a whole will be posted on the course web page. Email will be used in the case of a particularly time-sensitive announcement (e.g. an announcement about a homework which is due in the next class meeting) or for matters which are only relevant to a few people in the class.


Lab: On-time lab attendance is required, and counts for part of your grade on each lab assignment. Being in lab is your best opportunity for asking questions and getting help on the assignment.

Lecture: On-time attendance is expected in lecture, and attendance will be taken regularly. Showing up late will count as absence. More than three absences for any reason will lower your final grade.

Late/Make-Up Policy

Students are expected, whenever possible, to arrange for making up work in advance of an absence.

Quizzes cannot be made up. To accomodate absences, the three lowest quiz scores will be dropped.

Labs are due at the start of the lab period on the due date, and labs turned in after that time are late. Lab sessions are to be used for starting the new lab, not finishing up the old one.

Late labs and programming assignments will be penalized 5% if turned in by midnight on the due date and 10% per day thereafter, including weekend days and holidays. The course material is cumulative and it is difficult to catch up if you get very far behind, so make a point of not turning work in late. Note that computer labs may not be available at all hours or over college holidays, so be sure to take this into account if you are relying on those facilities. Furthermore, labs tend to get very busy right before deadlines, especially at the end of the semester. "I couldn't get my work done because I couldn't find a computer!" is not a valid excuse.

No work will be accepted after the start of the timeslot in which the final exam is scheduled.

Rescheduling or making up of exams will only be allowed for compelling circumstances. Arrangements must be made in advance for non-emergencies. Making up a missed exam will only be allowed with documentation from an appropriate person (dean, doctor, etc). In particular, note that the final exam will not be given early without a compelling reason (and having travel arrangements which require you to leave early is not generally a compelling reason).

Collaboration Policy

The Principle of Academic Integrity (see the HWS Catalogue, p. 29) governs the work completed in this course. The following outlines specifically how this principle applies.

Exams and quizzes are to be completed solely by the student whose name is on the paper. Unless otherwise specified, these are closed book/notes, which includes any materials not provided as part of the exam/quiz.

For all programming assignments (labs, individual assignments, and the final project):

  • You may consult the book, your notes, any course materials provided in class or on the course website, and reference books found in the lab. Use of other materials (including websites) is not allowed.
  • All help received - subject to the assignment-specific limitations outlined below - must be fully understood (i.e. you could explain it to someone else) and acknowledged in writing (state who helped you and how they helped).
  • It is never acceptable to be in possession of another student's program, either hardcopy or electronic. You should avoid leaving your work whether another student can find it (i.e. don't forget to pick up printouts) and should never loan a printout to another student or allow another student to use your network account.

Assignment-specific guidelines:

Individual programming assignments are, as the name implies, individual assignments. You are encouraged to ask the instructor for help, hints, and advice or just to discuss your strategy.

  • You may receive (only) debugging help from the tutors. Anything beyond help finding bugs should be referred to the instructor. All help received must be fully understood and documented as outlined above.
  • You may not work with other students, including discussing ideas, offering debugging help, or looking at their programs.

The final project is to be completed by the individual or group submitting the project for credit. The collaboration policy is similar to that for individual programming assignments.

Labs are intended to be learning experiences. Because it can be very productive to work with one's peers to solve a problem, you may work with other students on lab assignments. However, such collaboration is subject to the following rules:

  • any help received, either from another student or from a TA, must be acknowledged in writing in your lab - name who helped you, and explain how they helped,
  • you must fully understand any help you receive and be able to explain the solution to someone else,
  • solutions must be written up independently in your own words, and
  • copying part or all of someone else's solution (including electronic files) is expressly prohibited, even if you contributed to that solution.

To be absolutely clear on the policy for labs: You may work in a group to discuss an approach for solving a problem (e.g. to work out some pseudocode for a program) and it is acceptable to give or receive debugging help - in both cases, you must acknowledge the help (in writing). You may not write actual code in a group (so turn that pseudocode into code on your own, away from the group), and it is never acceptable for one student to be in possession of another student's program (electronically or on paper).

These rules are for your own good - it is easy to think you understand the solution when the group works it out, only to realize there was a detail you didn't get when you have to produce the solution yourself on an exam.

Facilitating academic dishonesty by providing unauthorized help or allowing someone to copy your work is also considered a violation of the policy even if you didn't gain anything from the collaboration.

If you have any questions about what is allowed collaboration, ask before you get into a questionable situation.

There are no exceptions to this policy and violations will result in a minimum penalty of a 0 on the assignment (and may be referred to the Committee on Standards). Ignorance of the policy and desperation ("It was the night before it was due and there wasn't anyone else to ask!") are specifically not excuses for violating the policy. Having to deal with academic dishonesty is time-consuming and annoying, so don't go there!

Extra Time on Exams or Other Accomodations

If you need extra time on exams or other special accomodations due to a learning disability, you must contact the Center for Teaching and Learning (which will send me an official notice). Make sure you do this well in advance of needing it!

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