Compsci 182s, Spring 2011, About

The course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:05-11:20 in either Classroom 5 (Section 1) or Seminar 1 (Section 2). On some days the two sections may meet together in Classroom 5.


image *Professor Owen Astrachan
  • office: D241, LSRC
  • email: ola at
  • phone: 660-6522
  • office hours: Tuesday 2:30-3:30, Wednesday 3-4, whenever my door is open.
image *Professor Shivnath Babu
  • office: D338, LSRC
  • email: shivnath at
  • phone: 660-6579
  • office hours: After class or by appointment

Reading and Writing

This course carries a Curriculum W-designation. You'll write papers, revise them based on comments, and resubmit the revisions. You'll also write (online) short commentaries based on readings for many classes. You'll write summaries and reactions to papers.

You should prepare for each class by reading the articles and readings given on the syllabus. You should be prepared to discuss what you read, ask questions about what you don't understand, and to lead discussions during the semester.

This course also carries a (R)esearch designation. There is a term project that can be done in groups, which should be a 10-20 page/person research paper. The final project should have a technical, analytical component to it. This can involve programming/implementations, but it doesn't have to. Instead you can read and analyze technical/professional papers.


Grading is done on an absolute, but adjustable scale. This means that there is no curve. Anyone earning 90% or more of the total number of points available will receive a grade in the A range (A- to A+); 80% = B, 70% = C, 60% = D. This scale may go down, but it will not go up.

What is an A in Compsci 182s?

To receive a grade in the A range you must exceed expectations. This means you must do everything required very well or you must do more than is required and do this well. In other words, to earn an A you must do more than merely meet expectations, you must exceed them.

In order to earn an A+ you must exceed expectations in general and do a wonderful project.

What You Turn In

You'll read and think a fair amount in this course, or at least you'll be asked to do so. Different things you turn in for credit count differently toward your final grade. The percentages toward your final grade for each kind of work you turn in are given in the table below.

What you do Percentage of Final Grade
written assignments
Argumentative Paper 8%
Technical/Ethics Resources 8%
Case Study 8%
out-of- and in-class work
Class Participation 10%
Class Leadership 5%
Reading Quizzes/Surveys 5%
Goodness Points 6%
one-time artifacts
Midterm 10%
Technical Projects 10%
Final Project 25%
Total 100%

Readings and Groups

Written work, and most work in general, will be graded on a the following four/4 point scale:

You'll turn in papers and rewrites four times (two papers, two rewrites). You turn in a paper when it's your group's turn.

Late Policy

You'll submit your work online. In general work will be due on Thursday at midnight. You'll likely use either the web or Blackboard to submit work. If you write a synopsis we expect you to submit a .pdf file. We will not grade work submitted in any other format. We don't care about midnight vs. 2 am vs. 4 am, but after the sun rises your paper is late.

Please use the Trinity Illness Forms on the web as necessary, and understand its limits. Papers turned in before class on the Monday after they're due will receive a 1 point deduction. Papers will not be accepted after the Monday class.

Class Attendance Policy

You should come to class. If you don't attend you'll miss getting information first-hand, meeting your old and new friends, participating in discussion.

For each class, each student's participation will be graded on a scale of 0-2.

Any missed class will result in a 0 for that day barring an official Short-Term Illness Notification. Also, being sufficiently late to lecture can significantly increase your chances for a score of "1" or below. So attend class and participate! We have 28 meetings. Full credit for participation is based on 45 points.


Any work in this course that does not include an explicit policy about working with others is assumed to be work you do on your own. Occasionally you'll be given work to do with explicit permission to collaborate. Without such permission your work is your own.