CS 311 - Database Systems - Policies


Grades will be calculated based on the following distribution:

The distribution might be adjusted based on the progression of the course.

Quizzes will be announced a few days in advance. They are meant to take 15-20 minutes, and will cover material taught up to the date of their announcement. Some may be take-home, the others will be in-class.

The final project will have several stages which will be graded. Final projects will be done in a group that I will form, with some input from students. There will be two presentations, one a project proposal, and one a final project presentation. In addition, a writeup is required. More details will be forthcoming on this.


Regular class attendance and participation is expected. Please talk to me if regular class attendance is going to be a problem. Since we only have 50 minutes, class will start promptly at the scheduled start time. If you are going to be habitually tardy due to circumstances beyond your control, please let me know.

Homework Assignments

There will be a number of assignments made in this class. I expect every student to attempt each assignment and turn in the results. You are encouraged to complete every assignment as this is one of the most effective ways to learn the material.

All assignments will be turned in electronically, in a PDF file. Since there will be math involved, specially in the early assignments, I highly encourage you to learn how to use LaTeX. I will distribute the .tex files that I use to generate assignments, which should give you a good start to all the formulas that you need. You may use other word processors if you desire, as long as you submit a PDF in the end. There are links to a LaTeX distribution in the resources page, along with some GUI editors that may simplify your life.

You have 4 automatic extensions given to you during the semester which you can use for the homework assignments. Please note, this is 4 extensions for the entire semester, not for each assignment. After these, the late penalty will apply. You are responsible for keeping track of the number of extensions that you have used, I will not be keeping track for you. If you exceed these days, no further extensions will be provided, so please plan ahead. Nothing may be submitted past the last day of the semester, December 11th.

Late submissions of homework assignments will be penalized up to 10% per day. Extra credit will not be accepted after the initial deadline.

Accommodations for students with disabilities

If you have a disability that might impact your performance in this course, or requires special accommodation, please contact me as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Support is available through Student Academic Services, specifically Jane Boomer. You will need to contact them to get your disability documented before accommodations can be made.

There is also support available through the Quantitative Skills Center, CLEAR. They have drop-in hours where you can ask for assistance on programming assignments from other students who have experience.

Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

I have very low tolerance for academic dishonesty, and will vigorously pursue available remedies for any incidents. All work in this class is to be performed according to the Oberlin Honor Code. Specifically I expect that:

  1. Quizzes and exams will be closed book, closed notes, and no communication between students. This includes discussing the same to students who are taking the quiz at another time.
  2. Discussion of assignments is expected and encouraged, however all work and code on assignments should be your own without outside assistance. Any assignments that allow you to collaborate in a group will be explicitly labeled as such.
  3. If clickers are used in the class, then you may not use another student's clicker to attempt to get them attendance points.
  4. Sources should be cited including the textbook and other web sites when you use them in your work.
  5. You are not permitted to share your source code with other students, including future ones.
  6. You are not permitted to use other students solutions as your own (even those from a prior semester), nor answer keys, nor instructor versions.

Illustrative examples:

  1. Confirming that we had an exam/quiz is OK, telling another student in the class who has not taken it that it was easy/hard, what topics, etc. is NOT OK.
  2. On a project or homework, discussing what needs to be done and how it can be done is OK, having a student (other than a TA) go over your code is NOT OK, discussing what might be wrong and how to tell is OK (and encouraged).
  3. Unless otherwise specified in the assignment, you decide to use an insertion sort and copy the version from your Java textbook is OK as long as you give appropriate credit. E.g.,
        /* based on insertion sort from Weiss 3rd Ed, p. 306 */

All assignments must include the following signed statement:

"I have adhered to the Honor Code in this assignment."

Electronic submissions should include the honor statement in either the README file or header comments and must include your name.

Grader and Tutors

Contact me if you are interested in a Student Academic Services approved tutor.

The CSMC might hold walk-in tutoring sessions as well.