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Ground Rules


In addition to the 3 weekly lecture hours, you are expected to allocate time for studying the course material and completing the assignments. A good rule of thumb is to estimate 3 hours of study for each hour that you spend in the classroom. This is only an average, of course. Some students may need extra time while others will do fine with less.


You are expected to seek help if you have questions about the material or are stuck on an assignment or project. In particular, if you have problems with a programming project, you need to get help way before the due date, so that you have enough time to complete the project. Also, make sure you understand the requirements before starting the coding phase.

You can get help from the teaching assistant for your course or, in some cases, the lab assistant on duty. You can also get help from me during my office hours or by scheduling an appointment in case you are unable to come during office hours.


You are expected to read the relevant chapters in the text before the class meets, even if no specific reading was assigned.


Assignments include programming projects and other written assignments. You are expected to submit assignments on or before the due date. This is to ensure consistent grading and fairness to those students who submit on time.

Assignments are due by midnight on the due date. Assignments submitted after that time are considered late. Exceptions can be made only in case of documented emergencies.

Penalties for late submission are as follows:
  • 1 to 7 days late -> 25% off PER DAY
  • more than 7 days late -> 100% off
No late submissions will be accepted during the last two weeks of classes (not counting finals week).

IMPORTANT: It is your responsibility to ensure that your submission is complete and satisfies the stated submission requirements. For example, there must not be any missing source files, and you must adhere to the correct directory structure.

Written Tests

During the Test

Unless specified otherwise, written tests (exams and quizzes) are open book and open notes. For fairness, no computers, PDAs, or wireless communication devices may be used during exams. Specifically, only books, handwritten notes, or printed notes may be used during exams and quizzes (materials are subject to inspection/approval).

The following rules apply during the test:
  • Spread-out seating: Before the test, you must to choose a seat that leaves at least one empty seat both to your left and right. Exceptions are granted only if the classroom is too full to apply this rule.
  • No sharing of materials: No materials, including but not limited to books, handwritten notes, printed notes, and program code, must be shared among students. If you do not have copies of certain materials in your possession, then you must take the test without access to those materials. Sharing materials during the test is considered as a form of cheating.
  • No talking: No talking at all is permitted during tests. If you have any question, you must address it to your instructor. Talking during the test is considered as a form of cheating.

Missed Tests

You may take a make-up exam or quiz only in case of an extreme medical or personal emergency. For medical emergencies, a note from your doctor or from the student health center is required. The note must state that you are unable to take the exam at the specified time. If an emergency arises, you need to email or call me preferably before the exam, but definitely within 24 hours of the exam.

If you are out of town when an exam is scheduled, you must to inform me in advance and take the exam early or make other suitable arrangements.

This emergency policy also applies to the submission of assignments.

Early Finals

Requests to take a final quiz or exam early will not be granted. If you must travel before the official date of the final quiz or exam, your only option is to request an incomplete in the course ahead of time and take the test upon your return.


Your final grade is based on the various components of the course work. For the final course grade, typical cutoff points are the following:
  • 94% -> A
  • 90% -> A-
  • 87% -> B+
  • 84% -> B
  • 80% -> B-
  • 77% -> C+
  • 74% -> C
  • 70% -> C-
  • 67% -> D+
  • 60% -> D
  • below -> F
Specific cutoff points may vary depending on the difficulty of the course work and/or the performance of the class.

Grade Disputes

If you wish to dispute your grade, you may do so only in writing (by email to me) within five (5) calendar days from the date and time the graded assignment or exam in question was made available to you. Your message must contain the following:
  • A sufficiently detailed explanation of the presumed grading error.
  • The grade you expect as a result of correcting the presumed error.

Academic Integrity

You are expected to be familiar with Loyola's policy on academic integrity. Any violation of the policies described here may result in a combination of the following actions:
  • Substantial penalty or zero on the test or assignment.
  • Failing grade in the course.
  • Notification of CS department.
  • Notification of Dean's office.


  • You are encouraged to work with other students in the class and listserv on the assignments. Useful forms of collaboration include discussing design alternatives, general discussions of algorithms and data structures, possible sources of reusable code, and help with debugging, compiling, editors and environments, etc.
  • You are also encouraged to practice code reuse, with the stipulation that any reused code submitted as part of your assignment must be clearly and explicitly attributed. Code that can be reused includes that found in the textbooks, code from previous work you have done (in this class or others), and code from other books or Internet sites.
  • You may not reuse code written by another student in this class.
  • The easiest way to attribute any code that you reuse is with a comment. You must give enough information so that the instructor can find the code independently. For example:
        // the following code is from p. 317 of the Jia textbook
        class Advice extends ...

        // the following code is from my undergrad CS1 project, Oct 2002

        // The following code was downloaded from ftp://sparky.rh.edu/pub/...
  • Collaboration and discussion does not mean that the assignments may be done jointly; each assignment you submit must be 100 percent your work. You must be especially careful when discussing another student's code (perhaps to help with finding a bug).
  • At no time should you copy any part of another student's work (either on paper or electronically), or permit someone else to copy any part of your work. For example, work done on campus or other computers should not be made available so that another student could unknowingly copy any part of your work.
  • Do not write any code for the other student, even just to fix a typographical error. Do not look at another student's code and write nearly identical code yourself. Do not "paraphrase" code from another source and fail to attribute it in a comment.
  • If at any time you are not sure what constitutes appropriate collaboration or code reuse, it is your responsibility to clarify it with the instructor.