The homework will consist of both programming exercises and written questions. This handout describes some general thoughts and techniques for doing homework, as well as what is required, how to submit it, how late homeworks are handled, and other administrative matters.
For written homework, you must turn in an ASCII, a PostScript, or a PDF version of your answers (you can use any text processor you like to generate these). If you submit PostScript, please be sure the file will print on our department printers (use ghostscript or gs to check this; if it displays the file properly, the file should print correctly). If your file is a postscript file, choose a name that ends in ".ps". If it is an ASCII file, please choose a name that ends in ".txt". If your file is a PDF file, choose a name that ends in ".pdf".
Please turn in both your written exercises and programs electronically. Suppose you want to turn in the files answers.ps and prog.c for homework 3. To do this, go to the directory containing both and type
When you are asked to analyze something, or explain something, please be complete, and show your work (including any commands you give, and their output, to show how you did the problem). Otherwise, even if you get the right answer, you will get ZERO (that's 0, zip, nada, nothing) points. Think your answer through and do a rough draft. Students (and professionals, actually) often overlook this, but it is vital. Write clearly and cogently. If the question asks for an opinion, state your opinion clearly, justify it, and don't ramble. Answers that start, "My opinion is yes ..." and conclude with " ... on the other hand it could equally well be no" won't get much credit.
Please do not leave assignments for the last minute. The assignments are non-trivial and will require significant design time before you start programming and debugging. When we decide on the due dates, we assume you will spend significant amounts of time on design as well as coding and debugging. If you choose not to do this, you will have difficulty finishing the assignments on time.
Please take the time to design your program carefully. More programming problems arise from improper design than anything else, and the few hours you spend on design will be amply repaid by shorter coding and debugging phases. So please think the design and interfaces through, and--as always--try to find the simplest way to do the assignment (within the limits given in the assignment, of course)!
We do not mind being asked for help; indeed, we welcome it because it helps us know what students are finding difficult or confusing, and sometimes a few words about the problem in class will clarify the assignment immensely. We do mind being asked for help before you have tried to think the problem through. The classic objectionable question (this really happened) occurred on a homework assignment in which the class was given a buggy program. The assignment said the program did not work, and the homework was to debug it and make it work. That particular class period discussed how to deal with bugs, and gave tips and techniques on how to debug programs. Within 10 minutes of the end of the class during which the assignment was given out, the instructor got this request for help: "The program doesn't run. What do I do now?"
When you come to us, or send us a note, asking for help, please show us whatever you have done to solve the problem, because the first question we will ask you is "What have you tried?" This isn't because we think you're wasting our time. It's because understanding how you have tried to solve the problem will help us figure out exactly what your difficulty is and what we can do to help you. Remember, we will do everything we can to avoid solving the problem for you. When we give you help, our goal is to help you solve the problem yourself.
This term, we are going to grade homework interactively. After you submit your program, you will need to make an appointment with one of the TAs to have it graded. We will pass around a sign-up sheet for this purpose. At the time of your appointment, you will meet with the TA. The TA will look at your answers, run your programs, and ask you questions about what you did. You will then be assigned a score. This way, you will get quick feedback on your assignment.
You can turn in your homework up to one class period late (unless the assignment says otherwise). If you turn it in late, we will grade it normally, and then deduct 20% as a late penalty. Requests for exceptions will be handled on a case-by-case basis; please do feel free to ask!
If you feel that there is an error in grading, please come see me or the TA and we'll look over it (and possibly talk with you about it). However, don't dally; any such request must be made within one week of when the grades were made available. After that, we won't change your grade.
With touser, subdirectory and files all specified, each file is copied to ~ touser/handin/ subdirectory/ fromuser, named with the original file's basename(1), and made owned by touser. The directory fromuser is made if it doesn't already exist and is named after the invoking user. Each file specified should have a basename(1) unique among any files already submitted by that user to subdirectory, unless overwriting is desired.
example1% handin cs101 Existing subdirectories (comments in parentheses): Asn1 (Due Mar 18) Asn2 (Due Mar 25) example2% handin cs101 Asn1 part1 part2 Submitting part1... ok Submitting part2... ok example3% handin cs101 Asn1 The following input files have been received: Thu Mar 17 14:50:49 1994 1599 bytes part1 Thu Mar 17 14:50:49 1994 3412 bytes part2SEE ALSO
handin is really just a front-end to the rcvhandin (8) program. The primary function of handin is to open the named files with the effective user ID of the invoking user and pass on their contents to the rcvhandin (8) program having the effective user ID of touser . This design provides a simple and portable means for implementing a file submission facility in even a non-homogeneous, network-file-system environment.
ECS 30-A, Introduction to Programming|
Spring Quarter 2002