|CPSC 327||Data Structures and Algorithms||Spring 2011|
You are expected to be familiar with the course policies stated below. Ignorance of a policy is not an excuse for violating a policy or being surprised when it is applied to you, and will not exempt you from its penalties.
You are expected to regularly check your HWS email and the course web page (especially the syllabus page). 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.
You are expected to attend and be on time for all class meetings. Late arrivals may be marked as absent. Attendance is not explicitly factored into your final grade, but note that a large number of absences often negatively affects your grade because of missed material. In addition, the number of unexcused absences is taken into account when considering borderline final grades.
Excused absences include absences due to sports competitions, official Colleges activities such as musical performances or debate competitions, academically-related events such as attending a conference, religious observances, serious illness, or personal or family emergencies. A reason must be provided in order for such an absence to be counted as an excused absence.
Missing class for other reasons - such as being too busy, oversleeping, or leaving early for a vacation - is considered to be an unexcused absence.
|Missing Class / Make-Up Policy||
Students are responsible for acquiring any notes, handouts, assignments, and other material missed as the result of an absence, whether excused or unexcused. This should be done promptly to avoid falling behind.
Every effort should be made to hand assignments in on time, even if you are absent from class that day. (You may email your assignment or put it under my office door if you miss class.) Arrangements for extensions must be made in advance (see "Extensions" below). In the case of a last-minute emergency, the assignment will be accepted late without penalty only if arrangements are made as soon as possible to get the assignment handed in.
Missed thinking problems cannot be made up, but one or more of the lowest grades will be dropped when computing final grades.
Making up an exam also requires documentation from an appropriate person (dean, doctor, etc) to validate the reason for the absence.
Exams are due at the time stated. Late exams will only be accepted as outlined under "Missing Class / Make-Up Policy" (above) and "Extensions / Rescheduling Exams" (below).
Thinking problems will not be accepted late, since they will often be discussed in class on the due date. However, a few "freebies" will be allowed without affecting your grade.
Homework and projects will not be accepted more than five days after they are due. (e.g. an assignment due Friday will not be accepted after the following Wednesday) Late work will be penalized 5% if turned in by midnight on the due date and 10% per day or part of day thereafter. (e.g. an assignment due Friday will be penalized 30% if it is turned in on Monday) Deductions are calculated as a percentage of the total points possible on the assignment, not the number of points you earned. This policy is intended to discourage habitually late handins and to prevent one late assignment from taking away time needed to work on the next, while still recognizing that sometimes there are circumstances where one just needs a bit more time.
No work will be accepted after the end of the timeslot in which the final exam is scheduled.
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.
|Extensions / Rescheduling Exams||
Extensions will generally only be granted for the kinds of things that count as excused absences, and only if a significant portion of the time allocated for the assignment is affected. Note that leaving early for a vacation, being busy, or having a bunch of assignments due at the same time are not considered reasons for extensions. Save often and make backups of your files - computer failures do occur and are not grounds for an extension.
Rescheduling of the final exam will only be allowed as outlined in the Colleges' Handbook of Community Standards.
Arrangements for extensions and rescheduled exams must be made sufficiently in advance of the date in question - waiting until the day before a team trip which has been scheduled for weeks is not "advance arrangements". In addition, it is the student's responsibility to ensure that there are actual arrangements in place - simply sending an email notification about an upcoming absence does not constitute "arrangements".
Extensions will not be granted retroactively - if a last-minute emergency prevents you from handing an assignment in on time, the make-up policy applies (see "Missing Class / Make-Up Policy" above). Note that the "extension" in this case will only be for long enough to get the already-completed assignment handed in; if you need more time to complete the assignment, it will be considered late.
|Academic Integrity / Collaboration||
The HWS Principle of Academic Integrity governs all of the work completed in this course. Specifically:
You are generally allowed to discuss the course material and assignments with other students and to use other materials (such as reference books or websites) as technical references, but anything you turn in for a grade must be your work - your ideas and your effort. In addition, you must:
For team or group assignments, the policy applies to the group: work submitted must be the ideas and effort of the group, and discussions with or help from people or sources outside the group must be acknowledged.
Exams are to be completed solely by the student whose name is on the paper. The only person you may discuss the exam with is the instructor, and you may use only those materials authorized in the instructions.
Be careful when using other materials for help on assignments - it is OK to look for examples of concepts, but not to look for solutions to assignments. See "Plagiarism in Programs and on Problem Sets" below for more information.
Also be careful of collaborating too much with others - it is worth reiterating that what you turn in must be your own work. (You also do yourself a disservice if you rely too much on others, and it is then more likely that you don't fully understand the material.)
Copying part or all of someone else's solution is expressly prohibited, and it is never acceptable to be in possession of someone else's program or solution before you have handed in your own. Decompiling or reverse-engineering someone else's code (including provided code) is also prohibited.
Failure to acknowledge help received will generally result in a warning the first time, and point deductions for subsequent offenses. Submitting work which is unreasonably similar to another person's work and/or not being able to explain any part of your solution will result in a minimum penalty of a 0 on the assignment. A second such offense is grounds for failure in the course. Plagiarism offenses may also be referred to the Committee on Standards.
There are no exceptions to this policy; 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. If you are having trouble with the course material, come to the instructor! - it is never advantageous to "borrow" someone else's solution, and the time spent trying to disguise this "borrowing" is far better spent getting help.
From the HWS Catalogue: (available online at http://www.hws.edu/catalogue/policies.aspx)
|Plagiarism in Programs and on Problem Sets||
As with papers, verbatim copying of programs and problem solutions constitutes plagiarism. Also as with papers, plagiarism is not limited to verbatim copying - copying the significant ideas and structure of someone else's program/problem solution also constitutes plagiarism.
But aren't all programs which solve the same task/solutions to the same
problem pretty much the same, so won't my program/solution look like everyone
else's even if I worked by myself?
Programming/problem solving techniques are often explained via examples -
what's the difference between using an example and "copying the
significant ideas and structure"?
OK, then, so I can't use any examples because that constitutes
Using "examples" (as defined above) is generally OK but using "solutions" is not.
There's a fuzzy middle ground here, and I'm still not sure exactly
what is OK and what isn't.
|Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)||
At Hobart and William Smith Colleges, we encourage students to seek the academic collaboration and resources that will enable them to do their best work. The CTL offers a variety of resources that can help students achieve academic success, including Teaching Fellows (for course content help in the departments of Anthropology/Sociology, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Geoscience, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Spanish & Hispanic Studies), Writing Colleagues (for help on papers), Study Mentors (for help with study skills and time management), Group Study Tables (for content help in specific courses), and more.
The resources most useful for this class include the instructor and CTL's Study Mentors. For more information on CTL's resources, visit the CTL webpage at http://www.hws.edu/academics/ctl/index.aspx, or visit the CTL Blackboard site.
If you are a student with a disability for which you may need accommodations, you should self-identify and register for services with the Coordinator of Disability Services at the Center of Teaching and Learning (CTL), and provide documentation of your disability. Disability related accommodations and services generally will not be provided until the registration and documentation process is complete. The guidelines for documenting disabilities can be found at the following website: http://www.hws.edu/disabilities
Please direct questions about this process or Disability Services at HWS to David Silver, Coordinator of Disability Services, at email@example.com or x3351.