|CPSC 444||Artificial Intelligence||Spring 2013|
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. You may also be counted as absent if you are not paying attention for significant portions of the class, even if you are physically present.
Attendance is especially important in this course because there is no textbook to help you catch up on missed material. As a result, more than three absences (for any reason, excused or unexcused) will lower your final grade by 1% per additional absence. Contact me as soon as possible if a serious illness or other emergency results in a significant stretch of missed classes.
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. Any absence for which no reason is provided is automatically considered to be unexcused.
No distinction is made between excused and unexcused absences when computing the final grade; however, the number of unexcused absences is taken into account when considering borderline final grades.
|Missing Class / Make-Up Policy||
You 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. Making up a missed exam will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances, and only if the absence is excused.
Homeworks will generally only be accepted late as outlined under "Missing Class / Make-Up Policy". Some allowance will be made for a small number of missing exercises when computing final grades.
Projects will be accepted up to five days late. 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.
No work will be accepted after the end of the timeslot in which the final exam is scheduled. One consequence of this is that the final project will not be accepted 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.
|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 something 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:
The purpose of these rules is to make sure that you learn the material so you can solve the next problem instead of getting an answer that only addresses the current problem. Be careful of too much collaboration - 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, as it is then more likely that you don't fully understand the material - and it is better to discover this before the exam.
Also be careful when using other materials for help - it is OK to look for examples of concepts, but not to look for (or use) solutions. See "Plagiarism in Programs and on Problem Sets" below for more information on the distinction between examples and solutions.
For all assignments, 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 you to learn collaboratively and to seek the resources that will enable you to succeed. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is one of those resources: CTL programs and staff help you engage with your learning, accomplish the tasks before you, enhance your thinking and skills, and empower you to do your best. Resources at CTL are many: Study Mentors help you find your time and manage your responsibilities, Writing Fellows help you think well on paper, and professional staff help you assess academic needs.
I encourage you to explore these and other CTL resources designed to encourage your very best work. You can talk with me about these resources, visit the CTL office on the 2nd floor of the library to discuss options with the staff, or visit the CTL website. (learn more about CTL)
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 for 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-781-3351.