CS 242 Fall 2010 : Policies

This page last changed on Aug 16, 2010 by cemeyer2.


  • While this is a 200 level course, we do assume that you have taken a course equivalent to CS 125 and CS 225. This course will be programming intensive: you should expect to spend about 3-6 hours (or more) each week on programming. At a minimum, you should be able to program in C/C++ and/or Java. Some assignments may require you to learn the basics of a new language such as PHP or Python.


  • Lectures are held on Mondays at 3:00 p.m. in Siebel Center 1404.


  • There will be an assignment roughly every week.
  • New assignments sometimes depend on previous assignments so you should make sure all your previous assignments are working.
  • New assignments are posted to the class website and will be announced in the newsgroup. Please read the new assignment and pay attention to the grading rubric.
  • Sometimes we require that you use a particular tool for accomplishing the assignment. Refrain from using complex libraries or frameworks that most students are not familiar with unless you get prior permission from your TA.
  • Some assignments will require working in groups and usually the TAs will assign you to groups. Unless otherwise stated, all work is individual.
  • Ask questions on the newsgroup whenever you are unsure about something.
  • In this class, you are allowed to use code snippets from various resources (web, books, etc). If you use any code snippet, you need to include the source as part of your code comments. Also, once we have discussed issues such as unit testing and version control, it is your responsibility to incorporate them into the future assignments.
  • The course is not about ‘getting the job done’ but rather to improve style and organization which is addressed in discussion sections.


  • There may be from time to time quizzes given in lecture covering material that was previously covered in lecture. The only way to receive credit for quizzes is to attend lecture the day that they are given.

Discussion sections

  • You may miss one discussion section for whatever reason without being penalized. Missing class because you have a job interview is not a good reason. Before discussion section, it is your responsibility to post your source code for the other students in your discussion section. This is a HARD deadline and you must post your source code by deadline. For instance, if we say post your source code by 8 p.m. you must do so or you will be penalized. For each hour that you are late, you will have 5 points deducted from your total possible score. Each student in discussion section will be responsible for reading another student’s code before coming to discussion section. You should come prepared with specific questions to ask about the other student’s code. You will be graded on the questions that you ask.


  • We will be using SC 0403 for our discussion section. SC 0403 is the room in the basement under the lecture hall. There are no computers attached to the screens in our room, so please bring a laptop or make other arrangements with other members of your section or your moderator. If you bring a laptop, make sure you bring any necessary adapters (the screens have VGA connections). If you used the CSIL linux machines to complete your assignment, you can always use SSH to show us your program. In the worst case scenario, you can always use Remote Desktop to connect to your own PC and run the program.
  • Always make sure that you can easily retrieve a plain text version of your source code (netfiles, dcshome, usb pen drive, etc); at least, even if we have to use Notepad.exe, we can still read your source code.

Final project

  • There will be a final project for this class. You may work individually or in pairs if approved by your moderator. You will be given roughly 4 weeks for the final project. During these 4 weeks, you will present your progress in discussion section. More information on the final project will be posted later. In the past, students have worked on applications such as address book applications, web content management frameworks, cheat detection programs, android and iphone apps, and various open source projects.


  • Our textbook is Code Complete 2 by Steve McConnell. See here for more details. The book is recommended and will not be necessary to complete assignments. But, this is a required textbook (currently) for CS427/428/429, so if you plan on taking any of these courses in the future, it may be a good investment now to purchase this book.


  • Please check the newsgroup frequently as important announcements will be posted there. Also, whenever possible, please help your classmates by answering their questions.
  • Most questions on the newsgroup will be answered within 24 hours.


  • Grades and other feedback for discussion sections can be found by logging in here.
  • Appeals for re-grades should be made within a week of the graded assignment. Appeals must be sent by e-mail to your respective section TA.
  • Your lowest assignment grade for the semester will be dropped, excluding the any of the final project weeks.
  • All grades are normalized across moderators, so that if your moderator grades “tougher” than others, you will not be penalized.

Office hours


  • You may give suggestions on future assignments by talking to the lecturer or the TAs.
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