Statement of Academic honesty
At this point in your academic careers, I feel that it would be impolite to harp on cheating, so I won't. You are all adults, more or less, and are expected to follow the university's code of academic conduct (you know, the honor code). Furthermore, at least some of you are researchers-in-training, and I expect that you understand proper attribution and the importance of intellectual honesty.
For those of you whose grade depends upon a group project, I not only permit collaboration, I require it. Most importantly, each member of a group is expected to participate fully in the development and execution of that group's project. Your final project grade will depend not only on the group's performance but on evidence of your individual contribution.
Finally, unauthorized use of any previous semester course materials, such as tests, quizzes, homework, projects, and any other coursework, is prohibited in this course. In particular, you are not allowed to use old exams. Using these materials will be considered a direct violation of academic policy and will be dealt with according to the GT Academic Honor Code. Furthermore, I do not allow copies of my exams out in the ether (so there should not be any out there for you to use anyway). My policy on that is strict. If you violate the policy in any shape, form or fashion you will be dealt with according to the GT Academic Honor Code. I also have several... friends... from Texas who will help me personally deal with you.
Readings and Lectures
My research area is machine learning, and I'm deeply into the area. Given that and my enormous lung capacity, and my tendency to get distracted, it turns out that I can ramble on about the material for days on end; however, that rather misses the point.
Lectures are meant to summarize the readings and stress the important points. You are expected to come to class having already critically read any assigned material. Your active participation in class is crucial in making the course successful. I completely expect to be interrupted throughout a lecture with questions and maybe even your deep insights into the material. This is less about my teaching than about your learning. My role is merely to assist you in the process of learning more about the area.
Your final grade is divided into four components: assignments, a group project, a midterm and a final exam.
Assignments. There will be three or four graded assignments. They will be about programming and analysis. Generally, they are designed to give you deeper insight into the material and to prepare you for the exams. The programming will be in service of allowing you to run and discuss experiments, do analysis, and so on.
Midterm. There will be a written, closed-book midterm roughly halfway through the term. The exam will be in class.
Final Exam. There will be a written, closed-book final exam at whatever time is scheduled for our class' final exam.
7641. There is a semester-long group project. The word around campus is that this is both a useful and fun exercise. At the end of the term, you will be required to produce a NIPS-style conference paper, and to give a short presentation. Along the way, your group will turn in a very short proposal and a somewhat longer progress report. The desiderata for the project will be discussed in class.
4641. You will not be required to do the semester-long project; however, you will act as peer reviewers. This is a task you will take quite seriously. You will read at least two papers that are generated by the students in 7641 and critique them, providing pointers to missing related work, explanations of strengths and weaknesses, and other evaluation. Don't worry: this will be blind reviewing.
All graded assignments are due by the time and date indicated. I will not accept late assignments or make up exams. You will get zero credit for any late assignment. The only exceptions will require: a note from an appropriate authority and immediate notification of the problem when it arises. Naturally, your excuse must be acceptable. If a meteor landed on your bed and destroyed your assignment, I need a signed note from the meteor. You should also treat assigned readings as, well, assignments that are due at the beginning of each class.
Although class participation is not explictly graded, I will use your class participation to determine whether your grade can be lifted in case you are right on the edge of two grades. Participation means attending classes, participating in class discussions, asking relevant questions, volunteering to provide answers to questions, and providing constructive criticism and creative suggestions that improve the course.
* It is not possible to pass this class without doing a decent class project, even if you are only taking the class P/F. Anyone auditing the class should speak to me about what I require of auditors. The same is true for reviewers. If you don't turn in reviews that earn passing grades you cannot pass the class.