CS4414: Exams

We will have one prelim and one final. The prelim will be in person at 7:30pm-9:30 on October 14.  The final will be a take-home (online) and will be available during a 3-day period starting December 9 (our last class is December 7).  This is in addition to our assigned programming problems, which you will do on your own at home.  Exams make up 50% of your grade and assignments make up the other 50%.  Exams often ask about material covered in class that the professor spoke about, but might not be equally detailed on the slides themselves, so skipping class puts you at a significant disadvantage.

The in-person prelim will be at 7:30pm on October 14.  Cornell has assigned us two rooms:  Malott Hall 228 (our main lecture hall) and Malott Hall 251.  Malott 228 will be the main room used -- we plan to use Malott 251 for people with SDS accommodations.

If you have a conflict with the specified time, your other professor MUST agree to let you start the other exam late or early.  Then you will have half an hour, and then you would take the second exam.   Ideally, please try to start the other exam early -- this is easier for us, because some of the Malott 251 people will be staying a bit later in any case.  So, for example, you could take your Algo exam at 6:00, finish at 8:00, then show up by 8:30 to take the CS4414 exam.  Notice that you would not be able to talk to people who already finished either exam because the timing will have them still working on their version when you start late.

For the online final, we will post the exam on CMS a few days after the last lecture.  Then you will have 72 hours in which to download the exam, do it, and upload a typed PDF with your solution.  We time you and from when you download to when you upload is limited to a 3 hour period, maximum.  Note that the exam is actually a 90 minute exam, so this window is ample in size.  We will provide a time window during which, if you like, you can do the exam with a Zoom connection to be able to ask questions from the TAs or professor.  People worried that they might be confused by a question should be sure to take the final during that window of time.

All 4414 exams are cummulative.  The final will include material up to the last lecture.

All submitted work must be your own, but this does not mean you can't study with friends and even discuss labs or exam questions with friends.  CS4414 is about learning the material, and if you learn by interacting with TAs or with friends, this is fine.  However, there are limits: If your friend supplies you with the answer to a question or code for a lab, that violates academic integrity both for you and for your friend, and you could both face serious penalties, up to a possible F in the course.  So, there is a big difference between talking to a friend to understand an exam question, versus having your friend tell you the answer to the exam question.  The former is fine; the second violates the academic integrity policy.

In systems programming, we often base our solutions on templates or demo programs available from open source download sites.  This is standard practice and in many situations, it wouldn't even be possible to replicate those templates by hand if you wanted to.  As such, this pattern of work is allowed in CS4414, provided that you document the source of any materials that you used.  However, there is a big difference between preexisting materials and materials created just for you.  Asking any third party for the solution to a problem you are supposed to solve on your own, even some anonymous hacker on a web site for developer help, is a violation of the  academic integrity policy.