Each week, you will have one homework assignment (done in pairs), one online quiz, and one lab. There will be two exams (dates listed on the lectures and assignments page).
Assignments and quizzes will be linked to the lecture and assignments page as they become available. Assignments will be due on Tuesdays at 11:59pm. Quizzes will be due Sundays at 11:59pm. Late assignments will not be accepted (full policy below).
We will be computing course grades based on your progress on the course learning outcomes. Each assignment, quiz, and exam question will earn you points towards some of these outcomes. There are three categories of outcomes: factual knowledge, basic skills, and conceptual abilities. The expectations for various grades are
You must achieve a baseline of performance on the outcomes from quizzes and exams to pass the course. If you do, we will factor in points earned from your homeworks (done in pairs).
The current points metric is a spreadsheet showing the points available on each metric across the course so far, target number of points for showing command of a metric so far, and an estimated conversion of points to grades. The target and the grade estimates are based on points available on the assignments that we have graded so far (those numbers will update weekly).
Overall course grades will weigh individual portions (quizzes+exams) roughly equally with homework portions. Your final course grade will depend on your distribution of outcome performance across the three categories of outcomes, as outlined above.
We expect you to keep up with the myWPI discussion board. You are responsible for knowing about all announcements and assignment clarifications (we assume you will check the board daily). You can subscribe to the forums to get messages sent to your email.
We expect you to spend roughly 12-15 hours a week on this course outside of lectures. A few students will handle the course in less time, but most of you will need a minimum of 12 hours a week to keep up with lectures and the assignments. If you're not spending this much time and not doing well, you need to spend more time practicing the course material. If you're spending much more time than this and still not doing well, come see us so we can figure out why.
We expect you to come to office hours (prof's or the TA/SA's). As you work through an open-ended assignment, you'll encounter two kinds of questions: technical questions (how do I do X?) and process questions (how do I approach X?). We can answer easy technical questions on the discussion board. Deeper technical questions and process questions don't have simple answers, and we need to work on those questions in person. If you ask such a question on the discussion board, we will ask you to come in to office hours.
We expect you to treat your classmates and the course staff with respect. Respect your homework partner by responding to her/his email, showing up to meetings or canceling them in advance, and doing whatever work you agree to do for the pair. Be courteous on the discussion board (constructive criticism is encouraged, but no name calling, etc). If an assignment is unclear to you, ask us for a clarification rather than assume we're purposefully trying to make your life miserable.
Of course, if you are having a problem with your homework partner or a member of the course staff, please let Professor Fisler know. If your problem is with Professor Fisler, talk to the CS dept head, Professor Wills.
Make-up exams will only be allowed in the event of a documented emergency or religious observance. The two exam dates are listed on the syllabus. You are responsible for avoiding conflicts with the exams. Do not plan to leave campus for the term before the final exam.
In general, late assignments are not accepted. If an emergency arises or you know in advance about a conflict, contact Professor Fisler to arrange an extension (the TAs/SAs cannot give extensions). One pair member forgetting to turn in an assignment will not be considered an acceptable excuse for an extension.
Collaboration is prohibited on exams and quizzes. Collaboration is encouraged on homework assignments and labs. You may discuss problems across pairs, but each pair is responsible for writing up their own solution from scratch.
Violations of the collaboration policy on any assignment or exam will result in an NR for the course and a referral to the Student Life Office, in accordance with WPI's academic honesty policy. Exceptions to this rule are possible only if you admit your violation to Professor Fisler before we detect the violation (this gives you a chance to pass the course if, for example, you cheated in desparation the night an assignment was due, then felt guilty about it in the morning). If we detect the violation before you admit to it, no exception to the NR policy will occur. Egregious violations (such as breaking into another student's account to copy a solution) may still earn an NR even if you admit to them. You can safely assume that we will not begin grading an assignment before noon on the calendar day after the assignment is due.
As examples, each of the following scenarios would constitute cheating (this list is not exhaustive!):
In constrast, the following scenarios would not constitute cheating:
If you are unsure whether an activity would constitute cheating, ask one of the staff.
Students requiring accommodation due to disabilities must speak with Professor Fisler at the start of the term (and at least one week before the due date in question) to work out appropriate arrangements. Such arrangements require documentation from the Office of Disability Services (ODS). Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class should contact the ODS (West St. House, 157 West St, (508) 831-4908) to initiate the necessary paperwork.
Students requiring accommodation for religious observance must make alternate arrangements with Professor Fisler at least a week before the date in question.
In the event of a medical or family emergency, contact Professor Fisler to work out appropriate accommodations.