Your grade in CMPSCI 250 will be based on the following:

**Midterm Exams (40%):**There will be two midterm exams each counting 20% of your grade, on Tuesday 28 February and Tuesday 3 April, each 7-9 p.m. in rooms yet to be chosen by the University. I will write an exam intended to be finished in an hour, and give you two hours to finish it. (Over the years students have accused me of overestimating what they ought to be able to finish in an hour.) The exams from last spring and from earlier semesters may be used as practice exams.**Final Exam (25%):**This will be during the May final exam period as scheduled by the University, and will be cumulative, though with greater emphasis on the last third of the course. You will have two hours. This exam will count for 25% of your final grade,**except**that I will count it for 50%, and reduce the weights of all other components proportionally, if this is to your advantage. Last spring's 250 final (with solution here) may be used as a practice exam.**Homework (25%):**There will be nine homework assignments during the term. Together they will count for 25% of your final grade, with the best six counting for 3.5% each and the seventh and eighth best counting for 2% each. Late homework will in general not be accepted -- I'll deal with valid excuses by giving "excused" grades on particular assignments.**Discussions (10%):**Attendance at the Friday discussion sections is required and this portion of the course grade will be based on your attendance and participation. Participation will be measured by group responses to in-class writing assignments, usually based on "Excursion" sections of the text. You will be divided randomly into groups of two or three and each group will hand in a response to the assignment. These will be graded "check" (B) or "check-plus" (A), and the best twelve of your fourteen will count for 10% of your total grade.

All work submitted must be your own **in presentation**. How much
outside help is allowed depends on the course component.

- The exams are
closed-book and no outside help is allowed.
**Any**cheating on an exam is grounds for an F in the course. - With homework the rule is a bit harder to specify.
You
**may**discuss homework with other students, in fact I encourage this as a learning experience. But again, the writeup must be your work. Copying is not allowed, and collaboration so close that it**looks like**copying is not allowed. (In general, if I get two identical homeworks we will accept neither of them (i.e., both get F's) and I will report this action to the Academic Honesty Board.)A good practice is to divide your work into an "ideas phase" where you collaborate and a "writeup phase" where you work alone -- enter the writeup phase with notes, but not written solutions.

- If you make use of a printed or on-line source for the homework, other than specific course materials such as the textbook or web site, please mention it in your writeup. Of course copying a solution to a problem from the web is cheating, and this is easier for us to detect than you might think.

Last modified 11 January 2012