In spring semesters, students can take this course S/U. S/U students do all the same work and take all the exams that letter-grade students do; your S/U grade is computed by converting a C- or above to an S, and a D+ or below to a U.
To determine your final course grade, at the end of the semester, we first calculate your raw numerical score based on points earned on assignments and exams, according to the following weights:
Then, we make preliminary score-to-grade conversions. We do not use the same absolute cutoffs across different assignments/exams for grade-levels, so as to adjust for the difficulty of the exams and assignments each semester. Also, because you are not in competition with each other, student course grades are not dependent on how other students do. We do not report medians or means: as a wise former course-staff member said, "Reporting the median is guaranteed to make at least half the class feel bad". We believe that you are all capable of A work.
Then, we consult your lab check-in rates. Up to four labs may be dropped; more than that, and we reserve the right to reduce your course grade by the equivalent of a "level" (e.g., from B to B-).
Next, we reserve the right to make adjustments if other considerations enter in, such as if your performance gets better or worse as the course progresses; you faced special problems such as illness; we have insight from interacting with you as to how much you learned in the class apart from what you demonstrated on the homeworks and exams; and so on.
We typically do not give out any A+s. We aim to make our assignments and exams challenging but accomplishable by students, and we do not believe the distinction between A and A+ is useful in this setting.
If you feel that the graders have incorrectly graded an assignment, you may request a regrade. Each assessed piece of work will specify whether regrade requests should be made via (CMS) — see CMS regrade-request instructions — or Gradescope. Communication regarding regrade requests will be done only in writing via email/CMS/Gradescope: given the number of staff members involved in handling regrade requests, we need records of all discussions.
We want to give grades that accurately represent our assessment of your understanding of CS 1110 material. Hence, if you are given a lower score than you should have been, you should absolutely bring it to our attention via the mechanisms just described. However, we must explicitly mention an additional consequence of the importance of grade accuracy: if we notice that you have been assigned more points than you should have been, we are duty-bound to correct such scores downward to the correct value.
The two prelims and the final are in-person* exams. The fine print about "in-person" exams:
Makeup exams may be requested by students with conflicts, although we reserve the right to deny makeups for non-legitimate conflicts or for students who fail to follow our directions. (This has, unfortunately, happened in the past.) Requests stemming from University-imposed conflicts are certainly considered legitimate.
Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis, and we make individual arrangements for students, rather than scheduling a single makeup time slot. Hence, for example, for a student who has a conflicting exam with another course, the arrangement may end up being that the student takes the CS 1110 exam at the regular time and the other course's makeup: Cornell tradition is that the larger course usually supplies the makeup.
To handle the process of working with many individual constraints and sometimes arranging individual exams, roughly three weeks before each exam, we will release an "assignment" on CMS for students to request a makeup. Unless otherwise specified, follow the directions in the make-up petition template. If asked for a weekly screenshot, here are acceptable and unacceptable screenshots.
Exams are never offered on an earlier date, so do not plan to leave campus in May prior to our Final Exam.
Notwithstanding the above, the instructor(s) have online access to SDS letters regarding accommodations for exams and other course matters, and will honor these accommodations.
Overlapping (aka time-conflicting) enrollment not permitted even if the "other" class allows it, and even if you are not in Ithaca. If you have a time conflict with CS 1110, instead, take a course from this list of alternatives to CS 1110 or enroll in CS 1110 during another semester (it is always offered in both Fall and Spring and usually in summer session).