FSEM 092 Code Making and Code Breaking Fall 2009

FSEM 092 Course Policies

Email/Web Policy

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.


Since active participation in class is an important part of the course, you are expected to attend and be on time for all class sessions. Late arrivals may be marked as absent. More than two absences (for any reason) will lower your class participation grade; more than two unexcused absences will result in an additional deduction of 1/3 of a letter grade (e.g. from B to B-) per absence from your final grade.

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.

Late Policy

Some assignments will not be accepted late; if this is the case, it will be announced when the assignment is handed out.

For other assignments, late work will be penalized by 5% if turned in by midnight on the due date and 10% per day or part of day thereafter up to five days late. The maximum penalty for work turned in more than five days late is 50% off. 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.

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 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.

Arrangements for extensions 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 / Plagiarism

The HWS Principle of Academic Integrity governs all of the work completed in this course. Specifically:

  • Anything that you turn in with your name on it must be your own work. (For group assignments, it must be the work of the group members whose names are on the assignment.) This means that the assignment must contain your ideas and must be the result of your effort. While you are allowed to discuss the course material with other students (and it can be quite beneficial to do so), it is never acceptable to see or be in possession of another student's work before you have handed in your own for that assignment. It is also not acceptable to turn in an assignment which consists largely of quotes or paraphrases of the work of others even if those quotes and paraphrases are properly cited.

  • The words and ideas of others must be acknowledged, including ideas generated in discussions with the Writing Colleague and with other students. (i.e. citing things isn't limited to written sources) The CTL website has a page on avoiding plagiarism at http://www.hws.edu/academics/ctl/writes_plagiarism.aspx - read it!

The full Principle of Academic Integrity is reproduced below for your reference - make sure you read the whole thing.

There are no exceptions to this policy; ignorance of the policy, ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it, 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 unsure what constitutes plagiarism or are having trouble with the material, come to the instructor! It is never advantageous to "borrow" someone else's solution.

For a first offense, you have the option of taking a 0 on the assignment or of redoing it correctly for a grade (minus a 50% deduction). A second offense is grounds for failure in the course. Plagiarism cases may also be referred to the Committee on Standards.

From the HWS Catalogue: (available online at http://www.hws.edu/catalogue/policies.aspx)

Principle of Academic Integrity

The faculty of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, recognizing the responsibility of the individual student for his or her own education, assumes honesty and integrity in all academic work at the Colleges. This assumption is the foundation of all intellectual efforts and lies at the heart of this community. In matriculating at the Colleges, each student accepts the responsibility to carry out all academic work with complete honesty and integrity and supports the application of this principle to others.

Categories covered by this principle include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Examinations: Giving or receiving assistance during an examination or quiz violates this principle.
  • Papers: The adoption or reproduction of ideas, words, or statements of another person as one's own, without due acknowledgment, is considered plagiarism and violates this principle.
  • Library Use: Failure to sign for materials taken from the library and similar abuses of library privileges infringe upon the rights of other students to fair and equal access and violate this principle.
  • Reports and Laboratory Exercises: Giving or receiving unauthorized assistance and the fabrication of data or research results violate this principle.
  • Computer Use: Any deliberate attempt to prevent other users access to computer services, deprive them of resources, or degrade system performance violates this principle. The use of programs or files of another computer user or the use of another person's account number or password without permission also violates this principle.

Academic dishonesty is determined in every case by the evidence presented and not by intent. Questions of intent and circumstances under which an infraction occurred may be considered in determining a penalty.

Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)

Hobart and William Smith Colleges encourages students to seek the academic collaboration and resources that will enable them to do their best work. Students who would like to enhance their study skills, writing skills, or other academic skills may visit the CTL web site at http://www.hws.edu/academics/ctl/ or contact the CTL at x3351.

Disability Accommodations

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 silver@hws.edu or x3351.

Valid HTML 4.01!