If you have any questions or concerns, please ask in lecture, during office hours, or on Piazza.
Quizzes are graded automatically by Moodle, and you are allowed unlimited number of attempts at the quiz. Quizzes are meant entirely for review and self-study; they will not count toward your final course grade.
Homeworks are graded by the entire course staff, directly within Gradescope. To keep grading consistent, each numbered problem is graded by two graders, under the supervision of one of the TAs, using a common detailed rubric developed within Gradescope. All numbered homework problems are worth the same amount. Under normal circumstances, all homework should be graded within two weeks of submission.
Exams are graded by the instructors and graduate TAs. Graded exams will be returned in lab sections. Under normal circumstances, all exams should graded and returned within two weeks.
Quiz solutions will be posted immediately after the quiz deadline. Homework and exam solutions will be posted at most a day after the corresponding submission deadline. Homework and exam solutions will include the rubrics used by the graders.
Please check that your grades are tabulated and recorded correctly. If you notice a mistake, please bring your graded work to one of the instructors or TAs; we will correct it immediately, no matter how long after the work has been returned.
Please double-check the posted solutions for correctness. If any posted solution contains a serious error, all students will receive a perfect score for that problem as extra credit. Yes, really.
If you do not understand your grade on a homework or exam problem, please discuss your grade with one of the instructors or TAs during office hours. After that discussion, if you still believe that your work has been graded incorrectly, please request a regrade.
All regrade requests must be submitted in writing at most two weeks after the graded work is returned. Except for arithmetic/recording mistakes, no grades will be changed in the student's presence, and late regrade requests will be ignored. Homework regrades can be requested within Gradescope. To request an exam regrade, give your exam to one of the TAs.
All regrade requests must include a brief written justification for the request. Good justifications include the following:
Regrade requests with poor or missing justifications will be denied. For exam regrade requests, write your explanation on a new scheet of paper and staple it to the front of your exam.
- My answer agrees with the posted solution, but I still lost points.
- I lost 4 points for an incorrect time analysis, but the rubric says that's only worth 2 points.
- You took off points for missing the base case, but it's right here.
- My answer is correct, even though it does not match the posted solution.
- There is no explanation for my grade.
- The official solution is incorrect; here's a counterexample.
- We can only grade what you actually submitted. You cannot get a higher grade by explaining what you meant, either in person or in writing; your original submission must stand on its own.
If you submit a regrade request, we will regrade the submitted problem from scratch. The TAs will regrade homework problems; Alexandra and Jeff will regrade exam problems. Your grade may go down.
We will readily admit, apologize for, and correct our mistakes if you have been graded unfairly. However, please remember that "unfairly" means your grade is inconsistent with the published grading rubric, or that you were graded more harshly than other students, not just that you think the rubric itself is too harsh. Please also keep in mind that each homework point is worth approximately 0.1% of your final course grade.
Final course grades
We will determine final course grades as follows.
(What do you expect from an algorithms course?)
- Compute raw totals from homework and exam scores.
Course work is weighted as follows.
Homework is worth 28%:
Each submitted homework problem is worth 1.16% of your raw total, up to a
maximum of 28%.
If you submit more than 24 homework problems, we keep only your top 24 problem scores. (We expect to assign and grade 11 homework sets, each with three problems, so if you submit everything, this is equivalent to dropping three
complete homework sets.)
If you submit less than 16 homework problems you are likely to
fail unless there is an overriding excuse.
Exams are worth 72%:
There will be two midterm exams, each worth 21% of your raw total, and a cumulative final exam worth 30% of your raw total.
- Forgiven midterm exams will be treated as if they did not exist; the other exams will have more weight in the final grade calculation.
- We will not drop zero grades that result from cheating offenses.
- Remove outliers at both ends of the curve.
- Anyone with a raw total over 93% automatically gets an A+. This rule typically applies to the top 2–3% of the class.
- We reserve the right to give any student meeting at least one of the following conditions an automatic F:
This rule typically applies to the bottom 2-3% of the class. These are not the only ways to fail!
- Raw total below 33%
- Raw exam average below 25%
- Submitted less than half of the homework
- Determine letter-grade cutoffs from the raw totals. Outliers are excluded from the cutoff computation to avoid unfairly skewing the curve. The mean is a borderline B–/C+, and each standard deviation is worth one full letter grade. For example, the B+/B cutoff is 2/3 standard deviations above the mean, and the D/D– cutoff is 5/3 standard deviations below the mean.
- Compute final letter grades (for non-outliers).
- Adjust grades upwards at the instructor's whim.