|CPSC 327||Data Structures and Algorithms||Spring 2015|
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.
On this page:
You are expected to regularly check your HWS email and the course web page (especially the syllabus page). 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 or early departures may be marked as absent. In addition, an absence may be recorded - even if you are physically present - if you are not paying attention or are not working on the designated task for significant portions of the class.
While not explicitly factored into the final grade, attendance can affect your grade in two ways. First, class meetings are important for discussion of key points, and not all material covered in class is in the book. A large number of absences often negatively affects one's grade because of missed material. In addition, the number of unexcused absences is taken into account when considering borderline final grades. If a major emergency means that you will miss multiple days of class, see me as soon as possible.
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.
|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 program or solutions if you are unable to hand it otherwise, but please try to avoid doing this on a regular basis.) 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 homeworks cannot be made up, but scores from a small number of problems will be dropped when computing final grades.
Exams can only be made up if the absence is excused, and additionally require documentation from an appropriate person (dean, doctor, etc) to validate the excuse.
Exams and homeworks will not be accepted late. Turn in what you have, even if it is incomplete. A small number of homework problem scores will be dropped when computing final grades.
Programming assignments 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 Thursday will be penalized 30% if it is turned in on Sunday) Programming assignments turned in more than five days late will have a maximum deduction of 50% - so it is best to get your assignment in on time, but late is better than never.
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 / 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 also not grounds for an extension.
Rescheduling of the final project due date will only be allowed as outlined (for final exams) in the Colleges' Handbook of Community Standards.
Arrangements for rescheduled exams or 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.
The HWS Principle of Academic Integrity governs all of the work completed in this course. Specifically:
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. This includes both computer files and paper copies. Decompiling or reverse-engineering someone else's code (including provided code) is also prohibited. All of this should be obvious: using someone else's program or solution "as a guide" to completing your own is plagiarism.
It is OK to use other materials (such as reference books or websites) as technical references to learn about an aspect of Java, an algorithm, or a data structure. However, there are two conditions: looking for and/or copying a solution is not acceptable (even if you make some modifications), and you must identify the source (e.g. the website URL) in your solution or program. See "Plagiarism in Programs and on Problem Sets" below for more information on the difference between a reference and a solution.
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 relying too much on collaboration on assignments.
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.
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 in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). You will be required 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 x3351.