CMPSCI 291b: Reasoning About Uncertainty
David Mix Barrington
Course Requirements and Grading
Your grade in CMPSCI 291b will be based on the following:
- Midterm Exam:
There will be one midterm exam counting 20% of your grade, on Friday
14 March (the day before spring break), using both the lecture and
discussion period. I will write an exam intended
to be finished in an hour, and give you from 9:00-11:00 to finish it.
(Over the years my students have accused me of overestimating what they
ought to be able to finish in an hour.) As this course has never been taught
before, there are no prior exams of mine on the web. But I will post a
practice exam (with solution)
for the midterm, similar in length and content, about a week
before the real exam.
- Final Exam:This will be during the December final exam period
as scheduled by the University, and will be cumulative. 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. Again, I will post a practice
exam about a week before the actual final.
- Homework: There will be four homework assignments during the term.
Together they will count for 35% of your final grade (the worst of the four
will count 5%, the others 10%). Late homework will in general not be
accepted -- we'll deal with valid excuses by giving "excused" grades on
- Class Participation: This will be subjectively judged by me and
will constitute the remaining 25% of your grade. I will keep track of
attendance at both lectures and discussions, and this will be a factor in
the participation grade.
Programming Projects: Each section of the course will have a
programming project which we will all carry out as a group. I will not grade
individuals' code, but your level of contribution to writing and editing our
code will be part of your participation grade. Also, exam and homework
questions may refer to the body of code that we have constructed.
Academic Honesty Policy
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.
- For work on the programming projects, almost anything goes
as a source of information, including the instructor, TA, and your classmates,
but anything you present as your own work must actually be yours.
- With homework the situation is in between and the rule
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 I will accept neither of them (i.e., both get F's)
and will give you a stern warning
that could lead to formal action the next time.) 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
- 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 23 January 2008