CS 257: Extra Credit, Grading Policies, How to do well, Etc

Don't Cheat

Duh. Anyone caught cheating will enjoy the torment of the damned.

Extra Credit

As part of the federally mandated gradepoint redistribution program, extra credit will count for more the fewer non-extra-credit points you have. Extra credit can come from extra credit quiz and exam questions and from extra credit problem set problems. Or arrange with the instructors to write up lecture notes in web-readable format. (If you tend to choke on tests and want to prove that you actually understand the material, lecture notes are your ticket.)

Doing well

The most important advice is: Don't fall behind! Do your problem sets early, especially ones that look long and hard.

If you get a problem wrong on a quiz, figure out why and debug your brain! Problems will reappear, especially ones that many people miss. The instructors are happy to help you; it's not just our job, but also our pleasure.

In programming, as in everything else, to be in error is to be reborn.
-Alan J. Perlis

To help motivated you to keep up, there will be occasional pop quizzes. If you're going to miss a lecture, you may volunteer to pretest any possible pop quiz.

Obey the mandatory office hour policy: if you are below the low water mark on a quiz or problem set, you must attend office hours as soon as possible. If you do not, points will be taken off your grade.

To provide rapid feedback, answers are posted on the web shortly after the due date. So turn things in on time.


Programmers are not to be measured by their ingenuity and their logic but by the completeness of their case analysis.
-Alan J. Perlis
There will be a bunch of quizzes, a series of problem sets, two major programming projects, a midterm, and a final exam. Your grade will be determined by this program:
;;; LACK OF WARRANTY: this code may be modified at any
;;;  time at the sole discression of the instructors.

  (define final-grade
    (lambda (midterm final-exam
             quiz-list problem-set-list
             project1 final-project

	    (+ (* 1/4 (max midterm final-part1))
	       (* 1/4 final-part2)
	       (* 1/8 (mean (cdr (cdr (sort quizzes <)))))
	       (* 1/8 (average problem-sets))
	       (* 1/16 project1)
	       (* 3/16 final-project)
	       (- missed-mandatory-office-hours)))))

  (define grant-extra-credit
    (lambda (extra-credit other)
      (+ other (* (/ (- 110 other) 100)
It is very unlikely that anyone will be interested in the official CS257 late policy.

Quizzes and tests are cumulative. (That means material on earlier quizzes or tests may be repeated on later ones.)

Quizzes and tests will depend on knowledge you get from programming assignments. Doing the programming assignments on time is the best way to be ready to take the short quizzes and tests which may follow very shortly thereafter.

Another trick to get Scheme into your fingers is to work exercises from The Little Schemer and other supplementary texts. This is especially important if you feel like you manage to plod your way through the assignments, but you just ``don't get it.'' It's like playing the piano: you can improve by practicing some other fun pieces.

Sometimes quizzes and exams from years past are helpful in studying. In the past Jim Hollan taught this course, and it would be nice to be able to peruse his materials for a different perspective; BUT, he is no longer a professor at this university (he is now a prof. at UCSD) so all his material has been deleted!!! On the bright side, here are some past semester's web pages (taught by professors that ARE still here, at least one of which you should recognize) for you to review at your leisure: Fall 1997, Spring 1998, and Fall 1998.

Barak Pearlmutter <bap@cs.unm.edu>