T-Th 9:05
T-Th 11:15
in Olin 155

CS 1110: Introduction to Computing Using Python

Fall 2014


Academic Integrity

Respect academic integrity! Cheating may seem an easy way out, but in the long run, it really hurts you more than anyone else. You end up not learning what you should learn, and it does something to your character, to your self-image. Cheating is not worth it. Please review these notes on integrity.

Course Grade Computation

We calculate your raw numerical score based on core points for assignments and exams, which is used in calculating final grades. The final grade is not based solely on this numerical score. Other items enter in, such as what the instructor and your TA know about your work in the course, special problems you have had (such as illnesses), and whether your performance gets better or worse as the course progresses.

Below is a list of the percentage of the total score that is allocated to each component of the course. These percentages may change as the semester moves on, depending on how many assignments we actually have.

Final 30%
Prelims 30%
Prelim 1 15%
Prelim 2 15%
Assignments 38%
Assignment 1 4%
Assignment 2 4%
Assignment 3 4%
Assignment 4 6%
Assignment 5 4%
Assignment 6 8%
Assignment 7 8%
Class Participation 2%

Everyone is expected to do every lab, though labs do not count in the total score. Instead, you simply get credit for doing them. Up to two labs may be missed; any more unexcused absences we reserve the right to reduce your course grade (e.g. B goes to B-).

Students Taking the Course S/U

To receive an S, you need to receive a C- or above on the first prelim and receive an average of C- or above on the assignments using the same weighting scheme as above. Missing more than two labs or having unsatisfactory iClicker participation may result in moving from an S to a U.

The major difference for S/U students is that they exempt form the second prelim and final exam. These exams are harder than the first and focus more on computer science concepts over programming. Hence this is our implementation of the principle that the S/U option is to "allow students to explore unfamiliar subjects or take advanced courses in subjects relatively new to them without being under pressure to compete with better-prepared students for high grades".

Students Taking the Course for a Letter Grade

We do not announce the grade boundaries at the start of the semester. As the exams and and assignments change of the years, we often find that we need to adjust the grades to match the difficulty. Over the years the A cut-off has fluctuated between 91 and 88, while the B cut-off has fluctuated between 80 and 75. But more importantly, our cut-offs are never hard boundaries. We take a lot of things into consideration when assigning grades: improvement over time, the difference between assignment and exam grades, and so on.

With that said, we promise to communicate how you are doing after ever single assignment and exam. Your performance evaluation in this class should never be a surprise.

A typical distribution for final grades is 35% A, 35% B, 25% C, and 5% D or F. However, that is only a typical (average) distribution, and it is not what we expect. Anyone who does A work will get an A, and you are all capable of doing that. We would like that!


You will note that 2% of the course is participation. That grade comes from the iClickers and from the online surveys (1% for each). Your iClicker grade will be determined by how often you answered a clicker question. We only grade whether or not you used your iClicker, not whether or not the answer was correct (not all questions have a correct answer). You will be graded on a 3 point scale where 3 points is full credit. To get full credit, you must answer 75% of the questions in the class. You lose one point for each 25% below that. So, if you answer more than half, you get 2 points, and 1 point for answering 25%.

The online surveys will be posted on the CS Course Management System (CMS) periodically throughout the semester. Survey 0 is active the first week of class. These are intended to capture information about the course and the assignments because it is the first year that we are offering Python. They will be graded on a 3 point scale in much the same way as the iClicker. You must complete all the surveys, though some questions on the survey are optional.


If you feel that the graders have incorrectly graded an exam or hand-written assignment, you may request a regrade. You may do it one of two ways; ether

Submit a regrade request online using the Course Management System (if possible).


Fill out a regrade request form in the Consulting room.

Before submitting a regrade request, you should be aware of the CS 1110 policies.

  • We photocopy a random number of exams after grading to catch changes.
  • You must submit your request within one week after we return your graded work.
  • We regrade the entire submission from scratch.
  • Your grade may go up or down depending on the grading mistakes made.

You can retrieve the regraded material in the consulting room about 1 week after you submit your request.

Posted Grades

You can always see your grades online, on the CS Course Management System (CMS)

Exams and Exam Conflicts

The times for the prelims and final are given on this page. You must take every exam! CS 1110 does not offer alternative tests. If you have a legitimate conflict, contact course admin Jessica Depew <jd648@cornell.edu> two weeks before the exam.

Course Material Authors: D. Gries, L. Lee, S. Marschner, & W. White (over the years)