Written homeworks (11 of them, equally weighted, 30% total), two midterms (20% each),
and a final exam (30%).
Absolutely no late homeworks will be accepted.
But we will drop the lowest of your 11 homework scores.
In case of truly extenuating circumstances (such as documented illness, injury, or emergency), let the instructor know as soon as possible and we might
decide to "forgive" your missed homework (i.e., ignore it and
give more weight to your other homeworks).
Extenuating circumstances do not include
registering late, travel for job interviews or conferences, forgetting the homework deadline, or just not finishing on time.
If you have submitted less than half of the
homework, you could automatically get an F.
Tentative letter-grade cutoffs:
The mean is the center of the B range, and each standard deviation is worth 3/4 of a letter grade. For example, the B+/A– cutoff is 2/3 standard deviations above the mean, and the B–/C+ cutoff is 2/3 standard deviations below the mean.
Outliers at both ends of the curve and graduate students are excluded from the cutoff computation, to avoid unfairly skewing the curve for undergraduates.
The instructor reserves the right to make small adjustments to this scheme.
All regrade requests must be submitted in writing at most two weeks after the graded work is returned. Homework regrades can be requested online within Gradescope; your must provide a brief written explanation of why you think your work should be regraded. To request an exam regrade, give your exam to the instructor. Note that as a result of closer scrutiny of your work, your grade may go up or down.
Homework: How to submit
- All homework solutions must be submitted electronically via Gradescope. Submit one PDF file for each numbered homework problem. Gradescope will not accept other file formats such as plain text, HTML, LaTeX source, or Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx).
You can replace your submission as often as you like before the deadline; only your last submission before the deadline will actually be graded. We strongly recommend submitting something well before the deadline, to avoid any last-second emergencies
(especially since late submissions are not accepted).
- You can register with Gradescope using any name and email address you like. If you are using an alias or a non-university email address on Gradescope, please tell us who you are via the
form on Moodle so we can give you credit for your homework. If you are not logging into Gradescope with your real name or university email address, do not include your real name or your university email address in your homework solutions.
- Each student must submit individual Homework 0 solutions.
Starting with Homework 1, homework solutions may be submitted by groups of at most three students. We strongly encourage (but will not require) every student to work in a group with at least one other student. Students are are responsible for forming their own homework groups.
- For group solutions, exactly one member of each group submits the solutions.
- Whoever submits any group solution must also submit the names of the other group members via Gradescope. Gradescope will then automatically apply the grade for that submission to all group members. If this information is not entered correctly, the other group members' grades will be delayed or possibly lost entirely.
- If you discover that your name was omitted from a group homework submission, please submit a regrade request.
As error-correction, each submitted homework solution should include the following information in large friendly letters at the top of the first page.
For group solutions, include the Gradescope name and email address of every group member.
- The homework number
- The problem number
- Your Gradescope name
- Your Gradescope email address
Homework: How to write
- Write everything in your own words, and properly cite every outside source you use.
The only sources that you are not required to cite are the official course materials from this semester and sources for prerequisite material (which we assume you already know by heart). List everyone you worked with on each homework problem. Please read our academic integrity policy carefully.
- Your solutions will be judged not only for correctness but also
for clarity and style:
- Write legibly and sensibly. If we can't decipher your solution, we can't give you credit. If you have sloppy handwriting (or even if you do not), we highly recommend using LaTeX. You will lose points for poor spelling, grammar, punctuation, arithmetic, algebra, logic, and so on.
- Be precise.
We can only grade what you actually write, not what you mean. We will not attempt to read your mind. If your answer is ambiguous, we will deliberately choose the interpretation that makes it wrong.
- Be concise. Most homework problems can be answered completely in one or two typeset pages.
- Aim for simplicity and readability. You may lose points if your solution is overly complicated and difficult to follow. Don't submit actual code; describe algorithms using clean, human-readable pseudocode. Often, supplementing your pseudocode with explanation (in English) of the intuition or the main ideas may help make your solution easier to understand.
- Don't regurgitate. Don't explain binary search; just write "binary search". Don't write the pseudocode for Dijkstra's algorithm; just write "Dijkstra's algorithm". If your answer is similar to something we've seen in class, just say so and (carefully!) describe your changes. You will lose points for vomiting.
- Don't submit your first draft. Revise, revise, revise. After you figure out the solution, then think about the right way to present it, and only then start writing what you plan to submit. Yes, even on exams; do your initial scratch work on the back of the page.
- Whenever a homework or exam problem asks you to describe an algorithm, to get
full credit you should give not only a pseudocode description of your algorithm, but also justification of correctness (i.e., a proof whenever
correctness is not obvious), and analysis of the running time. If we do not specify
what running time to shoot for, faster algorithms would be worth more points.
Parts of this web page are borrowed and modified from previous versions of CS 473.