Syllabus for CSE 6341

General Policies

We should all be respectful of everyone else's questions, comments, and, and opinions.

To avoid distracting yourself, your fellow students, and me, please do the following:

You are welcome to bring beverages such as water, coffee, and sodas to class. Food is okay if it's not messy or distracting.


CSE 3341/625 and 3321/625 (or similar material at another university). While the course is mainly for graduates, it's also recommended for undergraduates who did well in 3341/625 and 3321/625 and are interested in the foundations of programming languages.


The grader and I will give you feedback primarily in the form of graded assignments. You may of course request additional feedback.

You'll have the opportunity to give me anonymous written feedback a few weeks into the semester. The University requests formal course evaluations at the end of the semester. Feedback, concerns, and questions at all times are welcome and encouraged.

Discussing and Meeting

The best ways to ask questions and get help are to (1) post to the discussion board or (2) visit office hours. Note that on the discussion board, you can choose to ask questions that are anonymous to other students.

Whenever possible, please post a question to the discussion board rather than sending me e-mail, since many people may be interested in the discussion. You are also likely to get an answer sooner, since other students may answer the question before me—and other students may do a better job explaining concepts.

If you can't visit office hours, you can request an appointment by sending an e-mail with your available times for at least the next three weekdays.

To help me be efficient and effective by having uninterrupted blocks of time, please avoid visiting outside of office hours without an appointment, and please do not call me on the phone, except in very urgent circumstances.


There will be several written homeworks and one or two programming projects. You can submit homeworks in class or under my office door. You should submit the programming project(s) via the submit program on stdlinux.

To help preserve the grader's eyes and sanity, :) please make homeworks readable and understandable, and staple multiple sheets together. Solutions that are typed (preferably in LaTeX) will receive 10% extra credit (i.e., extra points not used to compute the class curve) at the grader's discretion. If the grader has trouble reading your work or understanding what you've done, your answers will get partial or no credit, even if it can finally be determined that they're correct.

Your homework solutions must be precise and detailed, in order to convince the grader that you've understood all the details.

You may discuss homeworks and the project at a very high level, but you must do the actual work alone. Assignments that show excessive similarities will be forwarded to the Committee on Academic Misconduct. See Academic Integrity below for more information.


There will be a midterm exam and a (comprehensive) final exam. You're allowed to bring a one-page cheat sheet (8.5"x11", double-sided) to the midterm and a two-page cheat sheet (8.5"x11", double-sided) to the final.


Grading will be on a curve, with the average around B+. Since grading is on a curve, the grader and I will deduct points liberally.

Regrade requests are handled by whoever did the grading. (The grader grades the homeworks and project, and I grade the exams.) We will happily give back points when we've made mistakes. However, to discourage frivolous regrade requests, we reserve the right to regrade the entire assignment, which could actually lower your grade. You may request a regrade for up to one week after an assignment or exam is handed back.

Added August 26, 2013: The goal is for your grade to be based on your performance on exams and assignments (and of course the goal of the exams and assignments is to measure how well you have mastered the material). I grade the exams with your names hidden, to avoid any bias. Participation isn't part of your grade, and I don't adjust the final grades based on it. Hopefully this knowledge will help you feel more comfortable asking questions in class and on the discussion board. In particular, (1) it's certainly okay to admit you don't know or understand something, and (2) there's no benefit from trying to "impress" me. :)

Late and Missed Assignments, Class, and Exams

A late homework loses 33% of max points for each late day (or fraction thereof) for up to two days late. A late project loses 20% of max points for each late day (or fraction thereof) for up to four days late.

For fairness, late homeworks and missed exams will not be excused, except in the most extreme circumstances. Let me know as early as possible.


Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. Please contact the Office for Disability Services at 614-292-3307 in room 150 Pomerene Hall to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.

Academic integrity

Representing someone else's work as your own is a seriously violation of academic integrity.

You may discuss homeworks and the project with other people at a very high level, but you must actually do each assignment by yourself.

Although you should avoid receiving significant, specific help from any source, if you do receive such help, you must explicitly acknowledge the source and nature of the help (i.e., add a written note on the assignment). If the help seems unreasonable, you might lose some or all points, but there won't be any academic integrity consequences, since you acknowledged the help you received.

I am obligated by University Rules to report any suspected violation to the Committee on Academic Misconduct (COAM). COAM decides whether a violation has occurred and, if so, what the penalty will be, which can include a failing grade and suspension or dismissal from the University.

Suggestions and Rules for maintaining academic integrity