|CPSC 371||Visualization and Data Mining||Spring 2007|
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, the course web page, and the course wiki. 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; showing up late will count as an absence.
Unexcused vs. excused absences: "Unexcused" does not mean "didn't provide an excuse", but rather "didn't provide a sufficiently good reason". Things like being too busy, oversleeping, or leaving early for vacations are not good reasons. Absences due to things such as 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 are considered excused absences.
Late online discussion comments and reading response answers will not be accepted, as some flexibility is already built into these requirements. In the case of reading response questions, some of the lowest individual question scores will be dropped. In the case of discussion comments, a shortage in one week can be made up for by extra in another week.
Late assignments (homeworks and project parts other than the final submission) will be penalized 5% if turned in by midnight on the due date and 10% per day thereafter, including weekend days and holidays. In cases where there are multiple problems or parts in an assignment, completed parts may be turned in on time and late penalties will be assessed on only the parts that are late. Percentages apply to the total points possible on the assignment or part of assignment, not the number of points you earned (i.e. a project worth 100 points will have 20 points deducted for being two days late).
Late practicums will only be accepted as outlined under "Make-Up Policy/Extensions" below. The same goes for the final deadline for the project.
End-of-semester SuperDeadline: No work will be accepted after 7pm on Monday 5/7. This is earlier than the end of the timeslot in which the final exam is scheduled, but is necessary due to the deadline for senior grades.
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.
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.
Extensions on assignments will only be allowed in compelling circumstances (e.g. an emergency which prevents you from handing it in on time or a series of excused absences covering a significant portion of time before the due date). In particular, note that leaving early for a vacation is generally not a compelling reason, nor is being busy or having a bunch of assignments due at the same time. Extensions will not generally be granted on reading response questions or discussion comments, since some flexibility is already built into those requirements.
In all cases, arrangements must be made in advance for non-emergencies. Plan ahead!
The Principle of Academic Integrity (see the HWS Catalog, p. 29) governs the work completed in this course. The following outlines specifically how this principle applies.
The purpose of reading response questions is for you, individually, to think about what you are reading. These are to be completed solely by the student whose name is on the paper, though you may ask the instructor for clarifications. Discussion comments are also intended to be your own thoughts.
The purpose of the practicums is to determine what you individually know and can do. Like reading response questions, they are to be completed solely by the student whose name is on the paper. The only person you may discuss the assignment with is the instructor, and you may use only those materials authorized in the instructions.
Homeworks and the project are intended to be learning experiences. Because it can be very productive to work with one's peers to solve a problem, you may discuss these assignments with other students unless otherwise instructed. However, be careful not to rely too much on working with others, as you may find yourself at a disadvantage when it comes to exams. If you do work with others, be sure to:
Note that using any part of someone else's written solution or program as inspiration or a guide as you work on your own solution (even if you rewrite parts) violates the third point, and is not acceptable. Decompiling or reverse-engineering provided code counts as using someone else's solution, and is also prohibited.
You are welcome to use other materials (such as reference books or websites) as technical references or to get a different perspective on a topic when studying the course material or working on homeworks or the project. If these materials are used when working on an assignment, the same rules apply as if you were getting help from another person. (When acknowledging the source, provide a URL or author/title/page reference.) 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.
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. This means that giving someone a copy of your solution incurs the same penalty as the person who used your solution.
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. 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!
|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 solutions to the same problem or programs which solve the
same task 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)||
Hobart and William Smith Colleges encourage you to seek the academic collaboration available to you to demonstrate your best work. Students who would like to enhance their study skills, writing skills, or have any academic inquiries can contact the CTL. If you are a student with an identified disability and you would like to receive accommodations, please provide me with the necessary documentation from the CTL at the start of the semester (students with disabilities have to register at the Center), so that I can best accommodate your needs. CTL staff encourages each of you to stop by Harris Hall to learn what is available to you at this academic resource. Please contact the CTL at 781-3351 to make an appointment or stop by Harris Hall (on South Main, next to Merritt Hall) to meet with Center Staff.
|Extra Time on Exams or Other Accommodations||
If there's something about the course that would serve you better (e.g. course material in other formats), let me know!
If you need extra time on exams or other accommodations, see the section on CTL above. You must provide me with documentation in advance in order to receive accommodations.
If you have questions or feel that you need extra help with the course material, your first stop should be office hours - just show up during regular office hours, or schedule an appointment if you cannot make those times. You may also request a CTL tutor, but note the following from the CTL Tutoring Guide:
"The CTL tutoring program is designed to supplement academic support services offered by the instructor and teaching assistants of the department in which the course is offered. An integrated approach, with the instructor, teaching assistants, and CTL working together, has been shown to be the most effective way to insure that tutoring is successful. Therefore, a CTL tutor will be assigned only after a student has met regularly with his or her instructor, attended review sessions, and taken advantage of departmental tutoring offered in conjunction with the course. If, at this point, the instructor and student determine that additional help is warranted, the student should contact Sam Vann at The Center for Teaching and Learning to pick up a CTL tutoring form."