The spirit of this policy is that actions which shortcut the learning process are forbidden while actions which promote learning are encouraged. Studying lecture materials together, for example, provides an additional avenue for learning and is encouraged. But using a solution you did not develop yourself is prohibited because it avoids the learning process entirely. It is your responsibility to know what is permissible and what is not. If you have any questions or doubts, please contact your instructor.
Academic honesty is required in all your work. Under no circumstances may you hand in work done with or by someone else under your own name. Discussing ideas and approaches to problems with others on a general level is encouraged, but you should never share your solutions with anyone else nor allow others to share solutions with you. You may not examine solutions belonging to someone else, nor may you let anyone else look at or make a copy of your solutions. This includes, but is not limited to, obtaining solutions from students who previously took the course or solutions that can be found online. You may not share information about your solution in such a manner that a student could reconstruct your solution in a meaningful way (such as by dictation, providing a detailed outline, or discussing specific aspects of the solution). You may not share your solutions even after the due date of the assignment.
In your solutions, you are permitted to include material which was distributed in class, material which is found in the course textbook, and material developed by or with an assigned partner. In these cases, you should always include detailed comments indicating on which parts of the assignment you received help and what your sources were.
When working on tests, exams, or similar assessments, you are not permitted to communicate with anyone about the exam during the entire examination period (even if you have already submitted your work). You are not permitted to use any resources to complete the exam other than those explicitly permitted by course policy. (For instance, you may not look at the course website during the exam unless explicitly permitted by the instructor when the exam is distributed.)
Failure to abide by these rules constitutes academic dishonesty and will lead to a hearing of the College Judiciary Committee. According to the Faculty Handbook:
Because plagiarism is considered to be so serious a transgression, it is the opinion of the faculty that for the first offense, failure in the course and, as appropriate, suspension for a semester or deprivation of the degree in that year is suitable; for a second offense, the penalty should normally be expulsion.
This policy applies to all course work, including but not limited to code, written solutions (e.g. proofs, analyses, reports, etc.), exams, and so on. This is not meant to be an enumeration of all possible violations; students are responsible for seeking clarification if there is any doubt about the level of permissible communication.
Coursework and Grades
The work in this course is divided into the following categories with the following weight on the final grade:
- Assignments (72%)
- Final Exam (25%)
- Attendance/Participation (3%)
Assignment work in this course comes in two varieties: written theoretical exercises (similar to a computer science theory or mathematics course) and programming assignments (to concretely demonstrate the theory). Students may work on most assignments in pairs or individually at their option; this choice does not affect the grading process. Assignments are due on Monday nights unless explicitly marked otherwise; see the course schedule for more information.
Teams for assignments will be formed on Teammaker.
To assist with cases of minor illnesses, athletic conflicts, or other short-term time limitations, all students start the course with two “late assignment days” to be used at the student’s discretion, with no questions asked. To use extra time, students must email the professor after completing the assignment. Students are not required to inform anyone ahead of time, although early notification is encouraged when possible. Late days will be counted at the granularity of full days; that is, to receive credit for an assignment submitted an hour after the deadline, a full late day must be used. If students are working in a pair, both students must use a late day to turn in the assignment late.
This course includes a written final exam, the content of which will be most similar to the theoretical portions of the written assignments. The final exam will occur at a date and time set by Swarthmore College. Please see the Swarthmore Academic Calendar for information about when this exam time will be set.
Attendance and Participation
Participation is necessary in this course. This is especially true in lab sessions, which provide an opportunity to practice with the course material in an open setting where students can learn from their peers. This portion of the grade is effectively guaranteed as long as a student:
- attends lecture and lab sessions,
- submits all assignments and tests, and
- makes an effort to learn the material.
Students who are routinely absent from lecture or otherwise do not interact meaningfully with the course will not receive full credit here. This is an easy way to improve your grade; don’t miss out!
Exceptions to Late Policy
If you feel that you need an extension on an assignment or that you are unable to attend class for two or more meetings due to a medical condition (e.g., extended illness, concussion, hospitalization) or other emergency, you must contact the dean’s office and your instructors. Faculty will coordinate with the deans to determine and provide the appropriate accommodations. Note that for illnesses, the College’s medical excuse policy states that you must be seen and diagnosed by the Worth Health Center if you would like them to contact your class dean with corroborating medical information.
If you believe you need accommodations for a disability or a chronic medical condition, please contact Student Disability Services via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment to discuss your needs. As appropriate, the office will issue students with documented disabilities or medical conditions a formal Accommodations Letter. Since accommodations require early planning and are not retroactive, please contact Student Disability Services as soon as possible. For details about the accommodations process, visit the Student Disability Service Website. You are also welcome to contact your instructor privately to discuss your academic needs. However, all disability-related accommodations must be arranged, in advance, through Student Disability Services.