CSE 351: The Hardware/Software Interface

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Course Policies


The course consists of the following elements:

  1. Lectures: Attendance and participation is expected.
  2. Online Assignments (Homework): There are 5 homework assignments, due roughly every other week, that will be mostly problems from the text. Homework is done online via Canvas. Students may receive slightly different problems on homework.
  3. Programming Assignments (Labs): There are 6 total labs, due roughly every other week. All the undergraduate lab machines (and the VM) will have access to the necessary tools. We will use these assignments to reinforce key concepts and will strive to have them be as practical as possible.
  4. Reading: We will assign readings from the the course textbook that correspond to lecture topics.
  5. Exams: There will be a midterm and a final — see the Exams Page for more information.

We will try to ensure that the workload is typical for a four-credit course, namely, nine to twelve hours per week outside of the lectures. If we do not succeed, please let us know in whichever way you feel the most comfortable (person-to-person, e-mail, anonymous feedback) and explain which parts of the course are causing you to spend too much time non-productively.

We have structured the course so that spending a few hours per day will maximize your efficiency. You will work this way in the real world — you cannot cram a three-month design assignment into the last night — so you may as well work this way now. Plus, you will understand the material better. If you leave the homework for the day before it is due you will not have time to ask questions when the software misbehaves.


You should expect and demand to be treated by your classmates and the course staff with respect. You belong here, and we are here to help you learn and enjoy a challenging course. If any incident occurs that challenges this commitment to a supportive and inclusive environment, please let the instructor know so the issue can be addressed.


We will compute your course grade as follows:*

We will keep track of any extra credit items you attempt on labs and homeworks. You won't see these affecting your grades for individual homeworks and labs, but they will be accumulated over the course and will be used to bump up borderline grades at the end of the quarter.

The bottom line is that these will only have a small effect on your overall grade (possibly none if you are not on a borderline) and you want to be sure you have completed the non-extra credit portions of the lab/homework in perfect form before attempting any extra credit. They are meant to be fun extensions to the assignments, so if you complete some extra credit it *may* positively impact your overall grade.

*We do not expect to deviate from this, but reserve the right to make small changes, such as an additional piece of work that contributes slightly toward your grade.

Assignment Policies

Late-Day Policy (for Labs only):

Collaboration and Cheating:

In general, we encourage collaboration, but there is a line between collaboration and cheating. We can learn a lot from working with each other and it can make the course more fun, but we also want to ensure that every student can get the maximum benefit from the material this course has to offer and earn a fair grade. Keep in mind that the overall goal is for YOU to learn the material so you will be prepared for the exams and for job interviews, etc. in the future. Cheating turns the assignments into an exercise that is a silly waste of both your time and ours; save us both by not doing it.

Permitted collaboration:

Cheating consists of sharing code or solutions to assignments by either copying, retyping, looking at, or supplying a copy of a file. Examples include:

Cheating is a very serious offense. If you are caught cheating, you can expect a failing grade and initiation of a cheating case in the University system. Cheating is an insult to the instructor and course staff, to the department and major program, and most importantly, to you and your fellow students. If you feel that you are having a problem with the material, or don't have time to finish an assignment, or have any number of other reasons to cheat, then talk with the instructor. Just don't cheat.

If you are in doubt about what might constitute cheating, send the instructor an email describing the situation and we will be happy to clarify it for you. For more information, you may consult the department's Academic Misconduct Policy.

Re-grade Policy:

Looking over your graded work to learn from your mistakes is invaluable. It is also entirely possible for graders to make mistakes, so if we misunderstood your work, you can let us know.