General Policies


We do not grade on a curve, nor do we have pre-set percentage cutoffs. The general grading rubric is:

The percentage cutoffs between these grades will vary from semester to semester, depending on the grades obtained by the students in a particular class.

Note that a C does not necessarily require you to take the course again; you should see your advisor about the implications of your grade.

There is no final exam in this course.

You will get three grades for each homework:

  1. Correctness (weight: 30%)
  2. Design (weight: 50%)
  3. Presentation (weight: 20%)

Correctness is graded numerically, on a scale from 0 to 15. The grades for Design and Presentation are awarded as letter grades. The interpretation of the letter grades is documented in the master rubric.

When computing the final grade, we will drop your lowest-scoring problem set. Your final score will then be computed as a weighted average of the non-dropped scores.

I reserve the right to amend this grading policy during the semester in order to award each student a grade that best reflects his or her performance and achievements in this course.

Pair Programming: For the first five weeks of the course, you will work individually. After that, you must work on all required problems in pairs. The course staff will assign you a partner. Every few weeks, you will get a new partner. We will attempt to arrange things so that your assigned partners will be at a level roughly similar to yours.

When you work in pairs, each of you is responsible for all the code you turn in. That means you may be called upon to present your partner's work at codewalk, so you must be intimately familiar with the work he or she contributed to the solution.

The best way to guarantee this is to use pair programming, in which the two of you work together at a single keyboard, one partner typing and the other watching, each fully engaged in the problem-solving process.

Being fully responsible for the entire codebase means that if your partner obtained the code illegally, you may be held responsible. You may be at particular risk for this if you get most of the problem done and then leave your partner "to finish writing the tests". (Note that this also means that you have violated the design recipe, which says that you should write the tests for a function before you start the next function.)

Cheating: Plagiarism, theft, and other unpleasant topics are discussed here.

Travel: If you have travel or other responsibilities that will make it impossible for you to get a particular assignment in on time, please see me IN ADVANCE, and we can make adjustments.

DO NOT ASK ME to schedule your last codewalk early. All students are expected to be available for codewalks as late as Friday, December 9, 2016. Please schedule your travel around your classwork, not vice versa.

Incompletes: The college rules state that an incomplete grade may be be available if the student would otherwise earn a satisfactory grade but is unable to do so because of extenuating and unforeseen circumstances. The student must have already completed a substantial portion of the course, with passing grades. An incomplete grade may not be used as a mechanism to avoid receiving an undesirable grade, nor may it be awarded to a student on academic warning or probationary status.

If you have travel or work conflicts, or medical or other problems that may potentially cause you difficulty in completing your work on time, please come see me as soon as possible. In general, I will be as accomodating as possible if you acquaint me with your problems in advance.

You should be aware, however, that no one has gotten an Incomplete in this course in a very long time.

Accomodations for Students with Disabilities If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic accommodations in this course and have not yet met with a Disability Specialist, please visit and follow the outlined procedure to request services.

If the Disability Resource Center has formally approved you for an academic accommodation in this class, please present the instructor with your "Professor Notification Letter" during the first week of the semester, so that we can address your specific needs as early as possible.

Sexual Violence and HarassmentTitle IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender are Civil Rights offenses subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, etc. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you can find the appropriate resources here: .

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Last modified: Sun Sep 18 08:05:07 Eastern Daylight Time 2016