CSE370 Workload and Grading


The course consists of the following elements:

  1. Lectures: There will be 30 lectures. Attendance and participation at all of them is strongly encouraged and expected.  We will be using Classroom Presenter 3.0 in most of all of the lectures.  This software, which runs on TabletPC platforms, was developed by Prof. Richard Anderson.  It enables the distribution of classroom activities and enables the instructor to review student submissions in lecture.  Tablet computers will be available for distribution at the start of each class.  Students can expect to share a tablet with a neighbor.
  2. Laboratory Assignments: There will be a total of nine (9) laboratory assignments. Although you'll be able to use the lab all week, attendance at one of the scheduled times is very important as that is when the TAs will be available. We will work hard to ensure that the physical prototyping portion of the laboratory assignments can be completed within the three hour sessions (assuming that you come prepared). Laboratory assignments will be closely synchronized to the lectures and are intended to give you a taste of working with real digital hardware. We will use them to reinforce key concepts. You should attend the session for which you are registered. With permission of the TA, you can attend the other section in case of unusual circumstances.
  3. Reading: We will cover most of the Contemporary Logic Design (2nd edition) text. Readings will be part of each weekly assignment.  Given the interactive lecture style we will be using, it is imperative that you do the readings on time.  There will not be time to cover all the material in the textbook.  Bi-weekly quizzes will help gauge your compliance with this request.
  4. Assignments: Ten (10) problem sets involving digital logic analysis and design, to be solved with the use of computer-aided design tools. The last two assignments will span a single larger project.  These assignments will be targetted to reinforce readings.
  5. In-class Quizzes: Five in-class quizzes, scheduled bi-weekly. Together these take on the role of a mid-term exam. Each quiz will be approximately 10-15 minutes.
  6. Final exam: A two-hour exam during finals week.

We would like to keep track of how much time you spend on this course.  For this purpose we have created a spreadsheet you can use to inform us of how your time was distributed.  Please fill out the spreadsheet weekly and e-mail it to the instructor when requested to do so.  This will be much appreciated.  We strive to ensure that the workload is typical for a four-credit course, namely, approximately 10-12 hours per week. We are using the spreadsheet to attempt to keep track of this in a systematic way.  If we do not succeed in keeping the workload reasonable, please let us know in whichever way you feel the most comfortable (person-to-person, e-mail, feedback form) as soon as possible 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 an hour or two 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, then you will not have time to study for the quizzes, and you will not have time to ask questions when (not if) the software misbehaves.

Software tools frequently consume more time then they should. We have designed the assignments to get you up to speed gradually (over the period of a few weeks), but undoubtedly there will be some start-up cost (as with any new tool). Essentially, you are learning a new language, a compiler, and getting familiar with a process. Every tool imposes a certain model. Your frustration can be high until you assimilate that model and learn to use it effectively. Be sure to use the tutorials, and do not spend countless hours making no progress. Ask for help. Remember that these tools are written by engineers for engineers and will not necessarily conform to expectations you may have of consumer-oriented tools such as Word.

Your assignments must be neat and legible. We will not spend time trying to decipher messy work. We urge you to use the graphical and word processing tools that are readily available to you in all the labs in the department. Please make good use of the schematic diagram editor in the tools you'll be using to make neat circuit diagrams to include in your assignments.

We will post solutions for the assignments and quizzes in a timely fashion. Please find the time to review these before the quizzes and the final exam.


We will compute your course grade as follows (approximately):

  • 15%: weekly assignments
  • 30%: laboratory assignments
  • 15%: bi-weekly quizzes
  • 30%: final exam
  • 10%: class and lab participation (contribution to discussion)

The numbers above are only guidelines, the instructor reserves the right to adjust the precise weights that will be used.  Grading is not based on a “curve”.  In other words, you should simply do your best work and do not be concerned with the work of others.


The weekly assignments are due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date (we'll try to keep the due date on a Wednesday as much as practical). Assignments handed in during or immediately after class will incur a 10% penalty. We will not accept assignments after we have left the classroom.

Assignment problems will sometimes be graded on a random basis. To get full credit for an assignment, you must, of course, turn-in solutions for each assigned problem. Only a subset of the problems will actually be graded in detail. You will not know in advance which problems this will be - so make sure to do all of them.

Please review the assignment solutions carefully before questioning a grade with either the instructor or the teaching assistants.


There will be 5 short (10-15) minute quizzes every other week instead of a single mid-term.  Of the five grades, the lowest will be dropped before computing final grades.  There will be no makeup for missed quizzes. If you miss a quiz, you will receive a score of zero so please plan your schedule carefully as it will end up being your one and only dropped quiz grade. We do not have the resources to be able to give make-up quizzes. Please review the quiz solutions carefully before questioning a grade with either the instructor or the teaching assistants.

Comments to: cse370-webmaster@cs.washington.edu