CPSC 343 Database Theory and Practice Fall 2004

CPSC 343 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/343/f04/). 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.


On-time attendance is expected at every class, and attendance will be taken regularly. Being late may get counted as an absence. More than one unexcused absence will result in a lowering of your final grade. Note that "unexcused" does not mean "didn't provide an excuse", but rather "didn't provide a sufficiently good reason". Things like being too busy or oversleeping are not good reasons.

Late/Make-Up Policy

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

Late homeworks, lab assignments, and project assignments will be penalized 10% per day, including weekend days and holidays. 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 time of the final exam.

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 (including take-home exams) are to be completed solely by the student whose name is on the paper. You are not allowed to use any materials not explicitly authorized by the instructor, and the only person you may consult about the exam while it is going on is the instructor. You may not discuss theh exam in any way with any other student, including "harmless" comments such as whether you are finding it hard or easy.

Homeworks 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 homeworks. 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, and
  • copying part or all of someone else's solution (including electronic files) is expressly prohibited, even if you contributed to that solution.

The last two points mean it is not acceptable for a group of students to work out a solution and for everyone to then copy down the answer for themselves. It is acceptable for a group to discuss an approach for solving a problem (e.g. to work out some pseudocode for a program) and then for each individual to separately refine that approach into the solution (e.g. to implement the pseudocode). There is a fine line between what is and isn't acceptable here - if you have doubts, ask first! The 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.

The project must be principally the work of the individual or group receiving credit for the assignment. You may discuss ideas with other students and to give/receive debugging help. As with homeworks, any help received must be acknowledged in writing by naming who helped and explaining how they helped.

For both homework and the project, you may use any of the course resources (the text, class handouts, your notes, and anything on the course website from this semester). Use of other reference materials (e.g. books in the lab, websites) is generally acceptable as long as you are getting ideas and examples and not taking large chunks of code. Provide a bibliographic reference for any websites you use, or books other than reference books in the lab.

Facilitating academic dishonesty by allowing someone to copy your work is also considered a violation of the policy. You should never loan a disk or printout to another student or allow another student to use your network account.

These policies are taken very seriously. If you are in doubt about what is allowed, ask before getting into a questionable situation. Having to deal with academic dishonesty is time-consuming and annoying, so don't go there!

Extra Time on Exams

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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