Fall 1997
Ileana Streinu

Course Requirements



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).
A lab counts 20% of the current homework grade. A missed lab counts 0.

Warning! This is a Programming Intensive Course.

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

  1. The program has to compile. Do not submit code that does not compile, as that will receive a minimal grade of C- (if after looking at it I see that at least it resembles a possible solution to the problem -else it will be an E).
  2. 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.
  3. The way you document your program affects your grade: be generous with pertinent comments!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. To summarize: A level work means quality programs which run, do what they are supposed to do, are well designed and documented and submitted in time.

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.

All homework is assigned on Thursdays and is due on Monday by midnight (before the new lab on Tuesday).

Late homeworks are not and cannot be accepted during the first 7 weeks of the semester, due to the public nature of the Java applets. Do not modify your applets after the deadline: you will be receiving a serious penalty if the time stamp on your files is later than the submission deadline.

For C++ assignments, you will have three free late days, after which a penalty will be applied to your homework.

The final project is due before the last class (Th April 29, 9:00am). No late submissions are accepted.
Last modified January 23, 1999.