Course Information

This page explains the courses' policies and grading.

Grading

The course will be graded on a traditional 60-70-80-90 system as shown below.

Grade Scale:

90 - 100 = A
80 - 89 = B
70 - 79 = C
60 - 69 = D
0 - 59 = F

Important: In addition to the total overall class percentage for determining your grade, you must have a passing average (>60 average) on the 3 exams and the final exam all combined together, not each one individually, in order to pass the course as well. We implement this policy as a check-and-balance with respect to the HWs and our allowance of collaboration on them. Note that this does not mean that you have the option of only using the four exams to determine your grade. All the categories above will be used in the grade calculation, but in addition, you must have a passing grade on just the four exams in order to pass the course. For (non-CS/CM) students who are taking the course P/F, you must earn 60% to earn a P (and on the exams too).

You have one week from the time we post your exam or homework grade to file a challenge to the grading. After that time, the grade will stand. The grade doesn't need to be resolved in 1 week, but you must notify someone with specific issues about a question on the exam or a homework for the grade to be eligible to be changed.

All grades will be determined by work done throughout the semester. Students will never be allowed to do "extra work or projects" after the term to boost their grade. Please do not appeal at the end of a term for special consideration. All students will be treated equally and fairly.

Course Grade Percentages:
Programming Exercises     6 @ 1%     6%
Program Homeworks     7 @ 2%     14%
Exam 1         14%
Exam 2         18%
Exam 3         18%
Final Exam         26%
Attendance & Participation         4%

Exam Policy

The exams will be conducted during lecture periods as indicated on the class schedule. The exams will cover concepts, as well as aspects of coding. Material from lecture and from the assigned sections of the book will be covered in each exam. It is also expected that you will be familiar with the material and concepts from any programming homework that is due prior to an exam. One of the best ways to do well in this class is to thoroughly complete all the HWs and learn all the ideas that are embodied in them. This is not a course about memorization; it is about problem-solving.

This semester when the class is delivered in a remote delivery style, our exams will be implemented through Canvas quiz format. We may use a video proctoring technology such as HonorLock, so all students should have camera and microphone capabilities on their computers.

All students are expected to be present for the exams. Forgetting about the exam and simply missing it are not proper excuses and will receive a zero score.

Programming Exercises and Homeworks

During the course of the semester, there typically will be one or two programming assignments per week on the weeks without exams. These assignments will be distributed via Canvas. They will be due at 8 pm, with a grace period until midnight.

During the first portion of the semester, we will call the assignments programming exercises. These will typically be a little shorter, and we'll likely have two per week, due on Monday and Thursday nights. They'll be designed to give you more practice developing basic programming skills. Later in the semester, the assignments are longer and we call them homeworks. You will have approximately one week to work on these longer assignments. They will be due on Thursday nights.

We recommend that you start on the programming assignments early. Do not leave them until the night they are due. If you are stuck on a portion of the program for longer than the recommended time, you should definitely see your TA to get a stronger understanding of the concepts involved prior to putting continued effort into the assignment.

Note that an assignment turned in at one minute after midnight is not one minute late. It is four hours and one minute late. And no smart student would ever ask to have a program considered that is over four hours late.

You should also read the submission/collaboration policy below to learn about our policies in that regard. For all assignments, you will submit all the source files (.java) that you created to Canvas/Gradescope. Make sure to practice safe-submission and retrieve your submission after you submit it to make sure all the files you thought you turned in were there.

After receipt of a homework grade, you have one week to inquire about the grade and check into any potential grading problems with your homework.

Class Attendance

All students are required and expected to attend class, that is, to listen to class live during its scheduled time. In the remote offering of the class this term, we will record all the lectures and make them available afterwards in addition. We highly encourage you to attend live class, however, as there will be interactive exercises and pop quizzes during that time. Furthermore, you can ask questions live then too. The attendance portion of the grade will be determined by the pop quizzes given from time to time, where we will just check participation on the quiz, not actually grade it.

HW/PE Submission and Collaboration Policy

We have chosen to focus the assessment of students' knowledge of course concepts and skills primarily on in-class exams rather than homework assignments. Homework assignments are opportunities for learning and discovery; they are not significant instruments of evaluation. That is, the weights of weekly HW assignments on your final grade is intentionally low. (In fact, homework assignments are a component in the final grade largely to motivate students to work on the assignments.)

The weekly programming HWs and exercises are opportunities for each student to learn object-oriented programming and Java well. Thus, what you submit for these assignments should be your own work, and they should be code that you have written. We do expect that you understand and can explain the homework solution that you submit.

Students should be aware of the approved sources of assistance, help, and collaboration in our course. You can definitely use resources provided for everyone, including the instructor, teaching assistants, the textbook, recitations, and Piazza. In particular, you should take advantage of our TA helpdesk/office hours to get personalized assistance on HW assignments. It also is permissible, and actually recommended, that you post questions about course concepts and HW assignments to Piazza. Please refrain from posting code in public (readable by all) messages there, however. If you post code, make it a private message to the instructor and TAs.

We also seek to create a culture where you can interact with and learn from other students in class as well. Interaction between students at a conceptual, high-level is permitted. You can discuss course concepts and HW assignments broadly, that is, at a conceptual level to increase your understanding. If you find yourself dropping to a level where specific Java code is being discussed, that is going too far. Those discussions should be reserved for the instructor and TAs.

In addition to what is allowable, it is important for you to understand what is not permitted in our class. Sharing code, either an entire program or even just a portion of a program, between students is not allowed. Taking/Receiving assignments from other classmates, being given a homework solution, or downloading completed assignments from websites are considered plagiarism and are not allowed. These are activities that are simply meant to earn a score, not understand our course material. Similarly, you should not give (email, IM, etc) or even show a copy of your code, or a portion of your code to another student. In this course, giving code is considered just as bad as receiving code, so you must not succumb to other student's requests to see your program(s). If you are caught doing any of the prohibited activities above, you will be dealt with according to the GT Academic Honor Code and the incident will be submitted to the Office of Student Integrity.

Excused Absences

From time to time, circumstances such as an excused school absence (athletics, competition, conference, etc.), an illness/sickness, a family emergency, or other such circumstances may prevent a student from completing an exam, quiz, or assigned work. In the event of one of these circumstances, the student is responsible for contacting the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students as soon as possible to report the issue, conflict, or emergency, providing dated documentation and requesting assistance in notifying their instructors. (See http://www.catalog.gatech.edu/rules/4/). You should NOT go to your instructor first with such documentation. Instead, documentation such as medical forms will be handled confidentially within the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students and their office will inform a decision as to whether communication with instructional faculty is appropriate.

If this can all be done beforehand then you should get written confirmation of the approved absence from the Registrar's office and notify the instructor prior to the day(s) of the absence. Clearly, some circumstances such as medical emergencies do not allow for that, so they can be handled after the fact.

If a student is going to miss an exam and this can be coordinated with the instructor ahead of time, then it may be possible to schedule an alternative make-up exam. We will try to do so in the 1-2 days following the exam. If that can't be worked out or isn't possibe, alternatively, we will instead substitute the student's score/percentage on the final exam for the missed exam's score/percentage. Note that this does not mean that anyone can substitute the final exam grade for another exam's grade or simply decide not to take an exam. The policy only applies for legitimate excused absences that cannot be made up in the two school days following the exam.

Academic Integrity

Georgia Tech aims to cultivate a community based on trust, academic integrity, and honor. Students are expected to act according to the highest ethical standards. For information on Georgia Tech's Academic Honor Code, please visit http://www.catalog.gatech.edu/policies/honor-code/. Unless otherwise noted (for example, the HW collaboration policy described above), all work should be strictly your own. Any student suspected of cheating or plagiarizing on a quiz, exam, or assignment will be reported to the Office of Student Integrity, who will investigate the incident and identify the appropriate penalty for violations. If you have any questions about these policies, just ask your instructor.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

If you are a student with learning needs that require special accommodation, contact the Office of Disability Services at (404) 894-2563 or http://disabilityservices.gatech.edu/, as soon as possible, to make an appointment to discuss your special needs and to obtain an accommodations letter. Please also e-mail me as soon as possible in order to set up a time to discuss your learning needs.

Student Resources

General list of resources for students at Georgia Tech.

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