CSE 370 Workload and Grading


The course consists of the following elements:
  1. Lectures: There will be 27 classes and one mid-term exam.
  2. Reading: We will be covering a large part of the Katz text. Readings from the text will be assigned along with the homework each Friday for the next week. I will assume that you have read the assigned reading and will not cover in class things that are easily understood from the text.
  3. Assignments: There will be a homework assignment handed out each Friday, due the following Friday. Part of this homework will include a project that will be done over the last half of the quarter.
  4. Exams: There will be a 50 minute mid-term exam and a final exam.
We will try to ensure that the workload is typical for a three-credit course: Namely, six hours per week outside of the lectures. If we do not succeed, please let us know.

We have intentionally 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 Thursday night, you will not have time to ask questions when (not if) the software misbehaves. We will be much more receptive to questions asked during the middle of the week than to those asked on Thursday evening.

Software tools frequently consume more time then they should. The assignments should 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). You will be 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. Be sure to ask for help, use the tutorials, and do not spend countless hours making no progress. Ask us for help during the week. It is a good idea to be conservative when using a new tool. That is, do what you know works and if you have trouble, try small examples to understand exactly what is happening.

You are expected to turn in legible and easily understood assignments. It is your job to make your assignments easy to grade. We will spend a constant amount of time grading each problem. If we can't understand your solution in that time, you will not get credit. Thus, you need to make good use of the figures, e.g. block diagrams and schematics, and make sure you explain any design that is tricky. Just because your design works does not mean that you will receive full credit. We will post solutions for the assignments and quizzes in a timely fashion.


We will compute your course grade as follows:


Weekly homework assignments will be handed out each Friday and due the next Friday. Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date. Assignments handed in during or immediately after class will incur a 10% penalty. We will not accept assignments after we have left the classroom.

If you miss an assignment as a result of unavoidable circumstances, send the instructor a one-line email asking for an extension, the reason for your request, and the date you anticipate handing in the asignment. You know which circumstances are avoidable and which are unavoidable.

If you have a reasonable, but avoidable, reason for requesting an extension, send email to the instructor at least 24 hours before the assignment is due, citing a reason for the extension as above. Assume the extension is granted, unless the instructor responds to the contrary. Avoidable extension requests made after the assignment is due will generally be rejected.


Homework: Unless specifically stated otherwise, you are encouraged to discuss solutions to the homework with other students. However, you must (1) spend at least 15 minutes on each and every problem alone, before discussing it with others, and (2) write up each and every problem in your own writing, using your own words, and understand the solution fully. You may also apply the Gilligan's Island approach - work together on a problem as much as you want, but watch a full episode of Gilligan's Island before writing down the solution or entering the program on your own.

Exams: No collaboration or discussion is permitted. If you have a question during an exam, ask the instructor or the TA.


Copying someone else's homework is cheating as is copying the homework from another source (prior year's notes, etc.). The exam problems will be very similar to the homework problems; if you truly understand the homework, then the exams will be easy. If you have copied the homework... The role of the homework is to get you to the place where you understand the material.

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. Basically, cheating is an insult to the instructor, to the department and major program, and most importantly, to you. 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.

To avoid creating situations where copying can arise, never e-mail or post your solution files. You can post general questions about interpretation and tool use but limit your comments to these categories. If in doubt about what might constitute cheating, send the instructor e-mail describing the situation.

Comments to: cse370-webmaster@cs.washington.edu (Last Update: 01/05/98)