- Weekly programming assignments (labs and homeworks).
- One in-class midterm exam and a final in the final exam period.
- Final Programming Project with in-class presentation.
For the final grade, you have the option to choose one out of
the 10 or so homeworks - presumably the one with the lowest grade - which
will be dropped from the final average computation. However, you
can only choose to drop a homework for which you did the work. If
you miss a homework you get 0 points on it (and that will
count towards the final average).
- Labs, homeworks and class participation 50%.
- Exams 30%.
- Final Project 20%.
This is a
While I think programming is one of the most interesting, challenging and
rewarding intellectual activities, it is almost impossible to learn it without
a lot of practice. This takes time, especially in the "dreaded" process of
debugging. If you get easily frustrated by the amount of time spent
debugging, you should see me very soon - before this becomes a problem.
General Grading Guidelines
- The program has to compile. Do not submit code that does not compile, as
that will receive a minimal grade of D (if after looking at it I see that
at least it resembles a possible solution to the problem - else it will be an
- It is better to submit a program that works, even if it has not implemented
all the required features. Keep intermediate versions of your programs in
separate directories, and if you do not have time for last minute debugging,
submit the last version that (at least partially) worked.
- The way you document your program affects your grade: be generous with
- A small percentage of the grade comes from design, but most of it reflects
functionality: if your program does what it was supposed to do. By a good
design, I mean both a nice user-interface (when this is asked for),
as well as good and elegant programming style.
- Throughout the semester, interspread with the technical aspects of
programming and theory (data structures), I will teach you simple
software engineering principles, which convey scientific discipline
to the art of programming. Class attendence, participation in discussions
regarding possible solutions, self-study discipline, good organizational skills
are your key to mastering programming and avoiding lengthy debugging sessions.
Your final grade will also have to reflect and reward these qualities, and the
work on the final project will be the best indicator.
- Throughout the semester, I will occasionally add optional enhancements to
your homework assignments. Doing them will help you accumulate
EXTRA CREDIT points, which I will use for your final
grade as follows:
- In case you are on the borderline between two grades
- To make up for exceptional situations when your performance
was low (illness or other documented cases like this).
- To differentiate EXCEPTIONAL (A level) performance from VERY
GOOD one (A- level).
- To summarize: A and A- level work means
quality programs which run, do what
they are supposed to do, are well
designed and documented and submitted in time.
- According to the College's policy of reducing grade
inflation and making B the average grade at Smith
College, you should expect your final grade to be in the A
group only if you are in the top 35-40% of the class.
- Reminder: we are under the Honor code.
While I encourage you to:
I also have to remind you that:
- Talk to your class mates about the lab and homework
- Organize study groups
- Consult other books or the internet for inspiration and clarifications
- Ask the TAs to help you find bugs in your code
- All the work that you submit should be yours: it is against
the honor code to have somebody else do the
assignment for you (including tutors)
or to copy it from somewhere else (including
books or the internet).
Lab, Homework and Lateness Policy
Labwork is designed to be completed during the scheduled lab
time. If for some reason you are left behind or want to redo the
work later at your own pace, you have to submit everything by
midnight the same day. The lab work counts as a small portion of
your homework grade for the week. You will not receive feedback
on the lab, but you will receive your graded homework back with
comments every week. You should see me right away if you think
there has been a mistake in the way the grading was done. You
should ask questions about the lab during the lab. You should
start working on your homework early, and use the
Tuesday class to clarify the statement of the
homework by asking questions in class.
All homework is assigned on Thursdays and is due on Wednesday by
midnight (i.e. before we start a new topic and a new lab on Thursday).
accepted, except for special, documented
circumstances. You should
submit, by the midnight deadline, the homework solution reflecting your work
on it up to that point.
The final project is due before the last class.