Your grade in COMPSCI 501 will be based on the following:

**Midterm Exam:**There will be one midterm exam counting 20% of your final grade, during the class period on Monday 3 April, with extended time to 5:30-7:30 pm. Exact format will be determined soon. There are past midterms, with solutions, from my prior offerings of the course, here for Spring 2021 and at similar pages on the websites for my offerings in Spring 2008 through Spring 2017.**Final Exam:**This will during the final exam period as scheduled by the University, and will be cumulative. You will have two hours. This exam will count for 30% of your final grade. Again, the final from Spring 2023, together with the earlier final exams, all with solutions, are on my web site and should be useful as practice.**Homework:**There will be six homework assignments during the term. Together they will count for 30% of your final grade. The questions will mostly be taken from the textbook. Late homework will in general not be accepted -- we'll deal with valid excuses by giving "excused" grades on particular assignments. Note: The best five of the six homeworks will each count for 6% of the grade -- the lowest mark will not count at all.**Discussion Writings:**Each of the ten discussion meetings will have a writing assignment, for which each group will submit a solution. These will be coarsely graded, typically A, B, or F, and these grades will total 20% of your total grade. Because we have a large class with in-class discussions, we will assign groups that will persist for later sessions.- Any sincere attempt to solve the problem will get at least a B. Often actually solving the problem is enough for an A. (Often there will be a series of problems and we'll decide after the fact how far you need to have gotten for the A.) (Attendence at discussions is thus "required", in that missing a discussion without a major excuse (medical, family emergency, etc.) incurs a grade penalty.) (We are still using COVID rules for medical excused absences -- if you feel that you coming to a particular class session would be unsafe for you or for others, in your sole judgement, you should ask to have it excused.) (Also note that it is your responsibility to apply for an excused absence on the Moodle form, so we don't have to search elsewhere for your request.)

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

- The exams this term are closed book, and
no outside help is allowed.
**Any**cheating on an exam, such as communicating with another student, soliciting help on a public website, or unattributed use of an online source is grounds for an F in the course. - For discussion assignments, almost anything goes as a source of information, including the instructor, grader, and your classmates, but you must still write up the solution in your own words so direct copying is not allowed.
- 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 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 27 January 2024