CSE 401 Winter 2014


Robert R. Henry


The instructor for the class is Robert R. Henry.  You may see emails from me at either:

TA: Nat

One of the TAs for the class is Nat Mote, nmote@cs.washington.edu.

TA: Swet

One of the TAs for the class is Svet Kolev, swetko@cs.washington.edu.

Office Hours

Based on the Catalyst survey held the first few days of class, here are the office hours, at least for now.  I (the instructor) is open for negotiation.  I’m usually available by email. I use 24-hour times (aka “Military time” or “European Railway Time”):

Please (please!) come to the instructor’s office hours at least once.  Even though you may not have anything related to CS401 to talk about, I don’t bite, and I am happy to talk about anything, and I would like to talk with every student personally before the end of the quarter.

Work Flow, Assignments, Exams, etc.

Course Grade Weightings (Not identical to CSE401 Autumn 2011)

Extra Credit policies (Identical to CSE401 Autumn 2011)

Extra credit may be available on some assignments. It is designed to have little (but some) impact on your grade if you do it. Not doing extra-credit work will not lower your grade - regardless of how many other students attempt it. Extra credit is designed to be challenging and an opportunity for people with available time or interest to explore further. Therefore, you can expect any extra-credit work to count for much less than it should based on how difficult it is or how much time you spend on it. You should not attempt any extra-credit work until the basic part of the assignment is done. The graders will ignore extra-credit work unless the required work is "almost perfect" otherwise.

Late Policies (Identical to CSE401 Autumn 2011)

Work is due at the time given on the assignment. It is exceedingly unlikely that skipping class to finish homework is in your interest. For the entire quarter, you may have four “late days”. You are strongly advised to save them for emergencies. You may not use more than two for the same assignment. On group projects you may only use late days if all members of the group have them available, and all members of the group will be charged for each late day used. They must be used in 24-hour (integer) chunks. Assignments submitted after all late days have been used will not be accepted for credit (even if some members of a group, but not all, have late days available). This policy may not be the same as in other classes. You are responsible for understanding it if you choose to submit late work.

That said, the instructor and TAs are reasonable people, and our goal is for everyone to learn about compilers, not to punish you. If a true, unforeseen emergency arises that your late days will not cover, the instructor may have a little flexibility. But if we suspect any abuse of this flexibility, it will be revoked.

Incompletes are never given simply because assignments were not done on time.


The textbook for the class is called “Engineering a Compiler”, by Keith Cooper and Linda Torczon.  It is well written, pragmatic, relatively cheap, and written by practitioners and generally nice people.

Class and Section

I tend to speak quickly, and may use idiomatic English that you may not understand.  I apologize in advance. Please interrupt me to ask me to slow down!


We will communicate assignments, instructions, last minute changes and useful information either verbally in class, verbally in section, or in email.  We will use either the course email list as maintained by the UW campus wide services, or by the email lists maintained by the department.  Hopefully none of them will end up in your spam folder!

Here’s the course web page: https://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/cse401/14wi/

Staff email

You may contact the staff (Instructor and TAs) at this email address: Cse401-staff@cs.washington.edu.  Our QOS (quality of service) agreement is: We will endeavour to get back to you within the day.

Class email

This moderated UW email list goes out to all members of the class Cse401a_wi14@u.washington.edu

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