This is a large course, and there are several ways to get in touch with the course staff depending on your need.
Collaboration is an encouraged part of the course, but only within boundaries that will ensure your learning and maintain academic integrity. In particular:
Homework assignments can be completed in groups of size 2 (that is, you can work with a partner). This is voluntary – you can work by yourself if you choose, and you can work with whomever you like. You can switch partners between assignments, but once you begin working with a partner for a particular assignment you may not change for that same assignment.
Apart from your homework partner or case study group, you may discuss ideas and study with other students in small groups of up to 5. You may not, however, write or share solutions. As a rule of thumb, if you find yourselves sharing written text, taking pictures of solutions on boards, or looking over someone’s shoulder at a laptop, you have moved beyond the bounds of acceptable collaboration across groups. The same goes for the internet – you are welcome to use it as a resource, but you may not search for or use solutions from the internet.
Appropriate uses of LLMs (such as ChatGPT) include editing, requesting examples, and asking questions to aid your understanding. Inappropriate uses of LLMs include asking to solve problems and presenting the solutions (with or without your editing) as your own work. Any time you use an LLM, you should attribute and describe how you used it.
We will typically have one or more in-class exercises that are graded for completion, not for correctness. You must be in-class to complete these exercises. You can miss up to 6 lectures (and the corresponding exercises) without any penalty to your grade (that is, we drop 6 lectures worth from the grade). These 6 drops cover all absences, excused and unexcused. We do not track excuses for lecture.
In-person attendance and active participation in your recitation section is required. You can miss up to 3 recitations without any penalty from your grade (that is, we drop 3 recitation grades). These 3 drops cover all absences, excused and unexcused. We do not track excuses for recitation, and your recitation facilitators cannot provide excuses.
Most of the time, you must attend the recitation section to which you are assigned. However, if you have one or two times during the semester when you have a conflict, you must inform both sets of TAs in advance and they will be able to transfer your attendance credit.
There will be ten homework assignments. Of the ten units in total, the best eight units will be considered for the final grade. These two drops are intended to cover illness, emergencies, or any other personal circumstances that may prevent you from being able to complete homework assignments.
There will be one case study, a collaborative project involving open-ended algorithm modeling, design, implementation, and experimentation on real-world data. Groups can be of up to 4 students chosen from within your recitation sections.
All exams will be written and in-person. They are closed book and closed note. You may not use any electronic devices of any kind, nor may you communicate with other students in any way about the exams.
25% of your course grade comes from Exams Part 1, and another 25% comes from Exams Part 2, covering the first and second half of the course material respectively.
There are two exams scheduled during the semester: A midterm exam (MID) and a lateterm exam (LATE), plus a final exam (FINAL) during the registrar scheduled final exam period. The final exam will be in two parts (FINAL-1 and FINAL-2) corresponding to the MID and LATE exams respectively. Your exams grades will be calculated as:
The final exam thus serves as the makeup (without penalty) if you need to miss an exam during the term for any reason, as well as an opportunity to improve your score if you are unhappy with your scores prior. The final exam cannot hurt your exams score."
The course will us relative grading and the final letter grades will depend on overall class performance. But, in choosing the final cutoffs, the following absolute course grade minimums will be ensured (that is, we may lower the cutoffs, but they will not be raised from this).
60% and higher: D- or higher
70% and higher: C- or higher
80% and higher: B- or higher
90% and higher: A- or higher