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 CSE 373: Data Structures & Algorithms, Autumn 2009
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Overall course grade

Grades will be computed approximately as follows (weights may be modified):

  • 50% Assignments (Written Exercises and Programming Projects)
  • 15% Midterm Exam 1
  • 15% Midterm Exam 2
  • 20% Midterm Exam 3

We will have approximately one assignment per week. If you find an error in our grading, please bring it to our attention within one week of that item being returned.

Late policy

Late work will be accepted but at a penalty of 25% off per 24 hours late. Note that ALL parts of the assignment must be received by the stated deadline. In the case of written assignments that are due at 2:30pm on Friday, you would need to create an electronic version and email it to us in order to submit by 2:30pm on Saturday to be considered 24hrs late.

  • Programming assignments will be turned in electronically (at a time announced for each assignment).
  • We may have a few written assignments that we will submit only on paper (not electronically). These are due promptly at the beginning of lecture. If you cannot attend lecture please arrange to turn in your homework earlier to the instructor or have a classmate turn it in for you during lecture.
Occasionally exceptional circumstances occur. If you contact the instructor well in advance of the deadline, we may be able to show more flexibility in some cases.

Re-grade Policy

If you have a question about an assignment or exam that was returned to you, please don't hesitate to ask a TA or the instructor about it during their office hours. Learning from our mistakes is often one of the most memorable ways of learning!

If after discussing your question with a TA or the instructor you feel that your work was misunderstood or otherwise should be looked at again to see if an appropriate grade was given we ask that you submit a written re-grade request as follows:

  • Along with the original paper version of the assignment you wish to have re-graded, you must also include a written summary (which can be neatly handwritten) describing why the work should be looked at again.
  • Submit it to the instructor or to a TA.
  • Re-grade requests should be submitted within a week of when the assignment was returned.
Note that when a written assignment, programming assignment, or test is re-graded, the entire work will be re-graded. This means that while it is possible to regain some points, it is also possible to lose points.

Grading guidelines for programming assignments

See also the "Programming Guidelines" at left. Approximate grade breakdown:
  • Program correctness, compilation -- 40% of total grade
  • Architecture/design, style, commenting, documentation -- 30%
  • Writeup/README -- 30%

The reason why "so few" points are allocated towards program correctness and error-free compilation is because students who have gotten past 143 are smart enough to know how to get their code to compile and run against the general input (although testing "boundary conditions" is a skill which students should aim for), so program correctness and error-free compilation is neither a fair nor discriminating measurement of project quality.

The two biggest discriminating factors among 373 students are program design (such as style and architecture) and analysis (the README/writeup), which is why these factors are weighed a little heavily. Also, 373 is a course about data structures and the tradeoffs made during algorithm/data structure design, so putting additional weight on program design, and questions about program analysis and weighing tradeoffs is more in keeping with the course goals.

Putting weight on the design and writeup aspects for projects is also useful because it doesn't penalize students who "have the right idea" but couldn't get their code to compile because of a last-minute code change.

Extra Credit: We will keep track of any extra features you implement (the Above and Beyond parts). You won't see these affecting your grades for individual projects, but they will be accumulated over all projects and used to bump up borderline grades at the end of the quarter.

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