Your grade in CMPSCI 601 will be based on the following:

**Midterm Exams:**There will be one midterm exam, during the lecture class period on Wednesday 10 March, the last class before spring break (see the syllabus) and this will count for 20% of the course grade. I will post a practice exam and solution about a week before the actual exam. You can get some idea about the sort of exams I write from prior offerings of CMPSCI 601 listed on my personal web page, but the content of this course is somewhat different so the prior exams are only an imperfect guide.**Final Exam:**This will be during the May final exam period as scheduled by the University, will be cumulative, and will count for 30% of your total grade. You will have two hours. Again, I will post a practice exam and solution about a week before the final.**Homework:**There will be eight homework assignments during the term. Together they will count for 40% 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 six of the six homeworks will each count for 6% of the grade -- the seventh best will count for 4% and the lowest mark will not count at all.**Best Component:**The final 10% of your grade will be taken to be the best of the three components above, calculated after the final exam.

**Overall Grading Standards:** For most of you, the most important
grade distinction is between the B+ required to use the course for Ph.D.
candidacy and lower grades. A B is the minimal acceptable performance for a
graduate student, and a C is the minimal acceptable performance for an
undergraduate. A grade of A might be characterized as "everything I could
expect of a normal graduate student", where an "abnormal" student might be one
with extensive prior work in the field or truly unusual ability.

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 in-class assignments, almost anything goes as a source of information, including the instructor, TA, 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 16 January 2010