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Final grades will be comprised of

Final grades will be computed using the following grading scale, but we may make adjustments if curving/rescaling is needed.

F = <63.49, D = 64-66, D+ = 67-69; C- = 70-73, C = 74-76, C+ = 77-79; B- = 80-83, B = 84-86, B+ = 87-89; A- = 90-93, A = >93.49

General policies

Communication: Please use a Piazza private post to contact instruction staff. For sensitive issues, you can contact just us, the professors (Prof. Thompson and/or Prof. O'Connor). Please put "CS490A" in your email subject line, otherwise we are more likely to miss your email.

Attendance: There is no attendance requirement. Don't come to lecture if you feel sick or have health risk issues. In-class exercises can be made up electronically. Lectures will be recorded. If you are healthy, we encourage attendance for reasons of educational experience, but it is not necessary in terms of grades.

COVID-19 policies: Everyone must comply with the official UMass COVID policies, including the Aug 20 Provost email and the Face Covering FAQ. This includes:

Finally, the professors have family health situations requiring additional social distance when possible. For example, let's have after-class discussion outside the building.

Late policies:

Collaboration and Academic Honesty

Collaboration policy:

Some examples of the collaboration policy:

For written assignments, all your writing must be original or properly paraphrased, with citations as appropriate.

We follow the university’s Academic Honesty Policy and Procedures. If you are not aware, note that academic honesty is significantly more important than completely finishing assignments or being late. We will report and sanction instances of dishonesty with no leniency. If you have questions about a particular situation, please ask. Since students are expected to be familiar with this policy and the commonly accepted standards of academic integrity, ignorance of such standards is not normally sufficient evidence of lack of intent.


The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to providing an equal educational opportunity for all students. If you have a documented physical, psychological, or learning disability on file with Disability Services (DS), you may be eligible for reasonable academic accommodations to help you succeed in this course. If you have a documented disability that requires an accommodation, please notify us within the first two weeks of the semester so that we may make appropriate arrangements.