CS173: Discrete Structures Excuses and Special Circumstances


All excuses, requests for special accommodations, etc must be submitted promptly. The meaning of "prompt" depends on the nature of your special situation. If you know about a conflict ahead of time, you should speak to us ahead of time. But, if you are seriously ill or injured, it might reasonably take some days before you are in a position to contact us.

If you wait for an extended period of time, with no compelling reason for the delay, we may give you nothing or less than you might have gotten with a prompt request.

Special circumstances

If you need special accommodations such as extra time on exams, tell us what you need right away and bring us your note from DRES as soon as possible. The first examlet is early in the third week of classes, so we will need to make arrangements quickly.

In most cases, it is best to take your exams at DRES, because you get more scheduling flexibility and quiet conditions. However, they need about a week's lead time to set this up, so get started early. Try to book a time that is as close as possible to when the rest of the class is taking the examlet, but still interacts reasonably with the rest of your obligations. It's ok if you take your examlet at a different time, or even a different day.

If you have a disability that might cause you to need extra time, but aren't yet officially certified by DRES, speak to them now. This includes not only physical disabilities but also problems that impair your ability to concentrate such as ADHD and test anxiety.

If you have some other sort of disability or special circumstances which might impact your participation in the class, please tell us. We can't give you extra time without DRES approval, but there may be other ways we can help.

Grading mistakes

We try to grade with perfect accuracy. But, of course, we are only human. Mistakes happen and need to be corrected.

If you have a question or complaint about the way a homework or exam problem was graded, or your moodle grades don't match what's written on your exam, contact any one of the course staff to get it straightened out. If it's purely clerical (e.g. misadded points), any of us can normally fix it. If it's a matter of judgement (e.g. why was this mistake worth 2 points?), it's best to start with the person who actually graded the problem. If this isn't feasible, speak to the TA who leads your discussion and/or your instructor.

Grading queries must be submitted promptly. Normally, we expect you to start the process within a week from when the work was returned.

Missed or botched examlets

If you have a conflict with an examlet, or are too sick to reasonably take it, please contact us. Similarly, contact us if you had a major problem while taking an examlet, e.g. you turned out to be sicker than you thought. Depending on the circumstances, we may offer a makeup examlet, excuse you from the examlet (basing that part of your grade on the other examlets), or simply make a note of the issue. When we compute your final course average and letter grade, we'll make the appropriate adjustments to the grading formulas.

If you miss an examlet without a good excuse, e.g. you didn't wake up on time, you get a zero. As detailed on the assigned work page, you will have an opportunity at the final exam to repair one bad examlet score.

Missed discussion

If you must miss your assigned discussion, e.g. due to illness or a conflicting obligation, you have three options. You may attend a different discussion. In this case, you must make inform both TAs involved, so they can ensure you receive proper credit. Alternatively, you may arrange with your TA to makeup the problems, i.e. do them on your own and turn them into the TA. This must be done promptly. Finally, one missed discussion will be ignored when computing final course grades.

Acts of God

We occasionally have outages in campus networks, power, or CS departmental servers. Weather sometimes disrupts operations and occasionally even shuts campus. We will extend deadlines or make other arrangements when there are long or awkwardly timed outages. The details depend on the exact circumstances. However, we expect that you will download critical documents (e.g. homeworks, exam study materials) in a timely manner and that you realize that support is very limited at night. For example, we will not be sympathetic if it becomes clear that you didn't even download the homework until right before the deadline.

If you live in an outlying area, please keep us informed about issues that may be affecting outlying areas but not central Champaign-Urbana. For example, wind often closes the rural roads even after Urbana streets are plowed and safe.

If a weather or other emergency makes travel hazardous, do not travel. This counts as a good excuse for missing in-person activities such as exams and discussions.

Excuses and extensions on homework

For homework, many minor problems are covered by the fact that we drop the lowest 1-2 items from each category. If you have a problem that is out of the ordinary, please contact us about appropriate arrangements. This would include, for example, serious or prolonged illness or injury, family emergencies, and so forth. We expect to hear about such issues promptly and to receive delayed work as soon as reasonably possible. Depending on the circumstances, we may ask you to provide documentation (e.g. a doctor's note).

If the work is done but you are unable to submit in the intended way, it is often helpful to get us a copy of your work in some other way (e.g. a scan of your handwritten version) to establish that it's done while we work out whether and how you can submit it in the right format (e.g. typed into moodle).