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Grading Policy

I reserve the right to make minor modifications in the grading breakups. Any such changes will be announced in the class and posted on this web page.

The course will be organized as five different modules. Each module will be graded using a take home assignment, in class exams and a programming project. Grades will be determined as follows:

  • Module Exams (5 * 6 pts = 30 pts)
  • Final Exam: 10 pts

The module exams and final exams are in-class, open-book/open-notes, no external interactions.

  • Quiz: (5 * 2 pts = 10 pts)

There will be one surprise quiz per module. This is a closed-book/notes, no external interactions, individual work

  • Module Take home assignments (5 * 5 pts = 25 pts)

The take home assignments are assigned at the beginning of each module. These assignments are designed to help you prepare for the final exams and module exams. You may have to perform experiments to answer some of the questions.. Each assignment is due before the beginning of class on the due date. Late submissions will not be graded.

  • Module programming project (5 * 5 pts = 25 pts)

Thiese programming projects are a group effort. Each group will consist of (up to) two students, one of whom is preferably well versed in programming. These project will emphasize actual implementations of ideas that we learn in class. Each project is due before the beginning of class on the due date. The projects shall be turned in electronically. Late submissions will not be graded (late even by a second!!)

Re-evaluation Policy - The Football Penalty Principle

In general, I will only re-evaluate your homework/assignment/exams for arithmetic errors, omissions etc. only. If you disagree with any partial credits, the foot ball penalty principle applies. You have to give me your work, along with a written statement on why you think you deserve better grades on the work that you had turned in originally and how much extra grade that you think you are deserved. I will evaluate your appeal. If I agree with you, I will update your scores. On the other hand, if I disagree with you, I will take away the grades that you had asked for. For example, for a question that was worth 10 points, if I had given you 6 points and you think you deserve 8 points, after a re-evaluation, if I agree that you deserve extra credits; you could get upto 8 points. If I disagree with you, I will downgrade your grade to 4 points. In general, re-evaluations are not encouraged. Using experimental results to stake your claim can significantly increase your likely hood of a successful challenge.

Late Policy - The Reasonable Person Principle

This principle (which applies throughout this course) simply states that a reasonable request made in a reasonable fashion shall be reasonably handled by reasonable persons. The TAs and instructor are reasonable people, and we expect that everyone else involved in this class is as well. Asking to be a special case to turn stuff in late is not a reasonable request, barring extreme circumstances. In general, I do not accept late submissions (even if you are late by a second). For home work submissions, I will use on blah.nd.edu as the reference clock. Please contact me regarding unforeseen emergencies.

Academic Honesty - Collaboration vs. Cheating

Collaboration is a very good thing. Students are encouraged to work together and some programming projects will require a team effort with everyone expected to contribute.

On the other hand, cheating is considered a very serious offense. Please don't do it! Concern about cheating creates an unpleasant environment for everyone.

So how do you draw the line between collaboration and cheating? Here's a reasonable set of ground-rules. Failure to understand and follow these rules will constitute cheating, and will be dealt with as per university guidelines.

  • The Gilligan's Island Rule:

    This rule says that you are free to meet with fellow students(s) and discuss assignments with them. Writing on a board or shared piece of paper is acceptable during the meeting; however, you may not take any written (electronic or otherwise) record away from the meeting. This applies when the assignment is supposed to be an individual effort. After the meeting, engage in a half hour of mind-numbing activity (like watching an episode of Gilligan's Island), before starting to work on the assignment. This will assure that you are able to reconstruct what you learned from the meeting, by yourself, using your own brain.

  • The Freedom of Information Rule:

    To assure that all collaboration is on the level, you must always write the name(s) of your collaborators on your assignment. Failure to adequately acknowledge your contributors is at best a lapse of professional etiquette, and at worst it is plagiarism. Plagiarism is a form of cheating.

    In the same spirit, this course organization and policy rules were adopted from Prof. Carla Ellis and Prof. Amin Vahdat @ UCSD.

  • The No-Sponge Rule:

    In intra-team collaboration where the group, as a whole, produces a single "product", each member of the team must actively contribute. Members of the group have the responsibility (1) to not tolerate anyone who is putting forth no effort (being a sponge) and (2) to not let anyone who is making a good faith effort "fall through a crack" (to help weaker team members come up to speed so they can contribute). We want to know about dysfunctional group situations as early as possible. To encourage everyone to participate fully, we make sure that every student is given an opportunity to explain and justify their group's approach.

  • Surendar Chandra
    Last modified: Mon Dec 26 12:26:13 PST 2011