15-122 Principles of Imperative Computation, Summer II 2017


This is a 10 unit course.

Tasks and Percentages

We are aiming to have homework and exams graded within one day of submission.

Evaluation Criteria

Your assignments and exams are evaluated on the basis of:

Late Policy

Aside from this, there will be no extensions on assignments in general. If you think you really really need an extension on a particular assignment, contact the instructors as soon as possible before the deadline. Please be aware that extensions are entirely discretionary and will be granted only in exceptional circumstances (e.g., due to severe illness or major personal/family emergencies, but not for competitions, club-related events or interviews). The instructors will most likely require confirmation from University Health Services or your academic advisor, as appropriate.

Grade Appeals

We make mistakes too!
We will make the utmost effort to be fair and consistent in our grading. Any TA is permitted to fix simple arithmetic errors (and, at their discretion, other blindingly obvious grading errors). For any other grading issues, you must request a regrade as follows:

Final Grades

This class is not curved. This is a rough guide to how course grades will be established, not a precise formula; we will fine-tune cutoffs and other details as we see fit after the end of the course.

This heuristic assumes that the makeup of a student’s grade is not wildly anomalous: exceptionally low overall scores on exams, programming assignments, or written assignments will be treated on a case-by-case basis. In particular, no student will get an A with an exam average below 80% (no matter how high his/her total score). Furthermore, students who are unable to demonstrate a basic proficiency with the C language in the last few programming assignments will receive a D in the class (this is because 15-122 is a prerequisite to 15-213, a very C-intensive course). For students very close to grade boundaries, instructors may, at their discretion, consider participation in lecture and recitation and exam performance when assigning the final grade.

Academic Integrity

You are expected to comply with the University Policy on Academic Integrity and Plagiarism (see also The Word and Understanding Academic Integrity).

The university policies and procedures on academic integrity will be applied rigorously. All students are required to fill out a form as part of their first assignment indicating that they understand and accept this policy.

The value of your degree depends on the academic integrity of yourself and your peers in each of your classes. It is expected that, unless otherwise instructed, the work you submit as your own is your own work and not someone else’s work or a collaboration between yourself and other(s).

You are allowed to discuss homework assignments with other students. However, in order to ensure that the work you submit is still your own, we insist that you adhere to a whiteboard policy regarding these discussions: you are not allowed to take any notes, files, pictures or other records away from the discussion, nor shall you memorize answers. For example, you may work on a homework at the whiteboard with another student, but then you must erase the whiteboard, go home, wait some time (4 hours is a safe heuristic) and write up your solution individually. We take your ability to recreate the solution independently as proof that you understand the work that you submit.

This policy is our attempt to balance the tension between the benefits of group work and the benefits of individual work. We ask that you obey the spirit of the policy, as well as the letter: ensure that all work you submit is your own and that you fully understand the solution. This is in your best interest: the exams constitute a significant part of your final grade, they will be timed, and they will draw heavily on the terminology, concepts, and techniques that are exercised in homework. It is unlikely that you will be able to do well on the exams if you do not take full advantage of the learning opportunity afforded by the homework assignments. Moreover, we will aggressively pursue violations.

Please read the University Policy on Academic Integrity carefully to understand the penalties associated with academic dishonesty at Carnegie Mellon. In this class, cheating/copying/plagiarism means copying all or part of a program or homework solution from another student or unauthorized source such as the Internet, having someone else do a homework or take an exam for you, knowingly giving such information to another student, reusing answers or solutions from previous editions of the course, or giving or receiving unauthorized information during an examination. In general, each solution you submit (quiz, written assignment, programming assignment, midterm or final exam) must be your own work. In the event that you use information written by another person in your solution, you must cite the source of this information (and receive prior permission if unsure whether this is permitted). It is considered cheating to compare complete or partial answers, discuss details of solutions, or sit near another person who is taking the same course and try to complete the assignment together. It is also considered cheating for a repeating student to reuse one's solutions from a previous semester, or any instructor-provided sample solution. It is a violation of this policy to hand in work for other students.

Your course instructor reserves the right to determine an appropriate penalty based on the violation of academic dishonesty that occurs. Penalties are severe: a typical violation of the university policy results in the student failing this course, but may go all the way to expulsion from Carnegie Mellon University. If you have any questions about this policy and any work you are doing in the course, please feel free to contact the instructors for help.

We will be using the Moss system to detect software plagiarism. Whenever a programming assignment is similar to a homework from a previous course edition, we will running MOSS on all submissions of that edition as well.

It is not considered cheating to clarify vague points in assignments, lectures, lecture notes, or to give help or receive help in using the computer systems, compilers, debuggers, profilers, or other facilities, but you must refrain from looking at other students' code while you are getting or receiving help for these tools. It is not cheating to review graded assignments or exams with students in the same class as you, but it is considered unauthorized assistance to share these materials between different iterations of the course. Do not post code from this course publicly (e.g., to Bitbucket or GitHub).


If you wish to request an accommodation due to a documented disability, please inform your instructor and contact Disability Resources as soon as possible (access@andrew.cmu.edu). Special accommodation for exams will be coordinated by the instructors, and must be requested for each exam separately a week in advance.

Getting Help

Take care of yourself.

Do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle this semester by eating well, exercising, avoiding drugs and alcohol, getting enough sleep and taking some time to relax. This will help you achieve your goals and cope with stress.

All of us benefit from support during times of struggle. You are not alone. There are many helpful resources available on campus and an important part of the college experience is learning how to ask for help. Asking for support sooner rather than later is often helpful.

If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings like anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) is here to help: call 412-268-2922 and visit their website. Consider reaching out to a friend, faculty or family member you trust for help getting connected to the support that can help.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal or in danger of self-harm, call someone immediately, day or night:
CaPS: 412-268-2922
Re:solve Crisis Network: 888-796-8226
If the situation is life threatening, call the police:
On campus (CMU Police): 412-268-2323
Off campus: 911

If you have questions about this or your coursework, please let me know.