Dr. Carl Burch
450-1377 (office); 548-0036 (home)
T 2:40-3:30, RF 10:10-11:00, R 3:40-4:30
drop-ins, appointments always welcome
This course address the issue of large-scale computation. By the end of this course, you should be able to:
I have written a set of notes in the form of a textbook. It can be found at www.toves.org/books/data/.
If you haven't already, you might consider acquiring a good Java reference book. This will be useful for both this course and future courses. I recommend Peter van der Linden's Just Java 2 (Sun Microsystems Press, 2004). Written for working programmers, it isn't priced like a textbook ($36).
There are a total of 1,000 points over the semester. Letter grades will be assigned with cutoffs at 900 for an A, 800 for B, 700 for C, and 600 for D.
I reserve the right to make adjustments in the entire grading scheme or in particular cases.
While I do not have a specific goal about the assigned grades,
the grades I assign tend to average around 3.0. Note that I do not
Several points are designated for
I do monitor your class attendance. If your attendance is excellent (missing one or fewer classes each half-semester), you will receive at least 60% of these attendance/participation points. If you feel your absence should be excused, please warn me about the absence a day in advance. Whether I excuse your absence is my call.
The remaining 40% of these points are for participation, including both questions during class and responses to questions during class. I may give more than full credit in unusual circumstances. Take this as an invitation: I value your active participation in class, and I expect you to show evidence of being fully tuned in during class sessions.
Normally, an assignment will be posted on the course Web page each Friday, and it will be due the following Friday. For each 24-hour period after the time due, I will deduct up to 10% of the points possible.
Until otherwise specified, feel free to work with one other student on each problem; in this case, you should jointly submit a single solution. But you should not work with the same student on more than 8 assignments. I reserve the right to change this policy, individually or collectively, at any time.
You may also ask occassional questions of classmates when you need help. Under no circumstances should I receive two copies of identical or near-identical solutions.
You will receive an account on our Linux laboratory computers. (Note our Linux network policies.) If your program solutions don't work on these computers, then your program has failed. If you prefer, you may complete your assignments on your own computer; and it's unlikely that you'll run into compatibility problems with the Linux computers.
There will an individual programming project to be completed during the latter half of the course. There will be some constraints on the nature of this project, but you will have a lot of latitude in its design.
Throughout the final half of the course, you will be
responsible for periodic progress reports (one-on-one meetings
with me), culminating in demonstration of your program at the
The scheduled days for quizzes and exams, listed below, will likely not change.
Quizzes will typically be 25 minutes in length, and exams usually 50 minutes, but that's not a guarantee.
If you miss a test, you must receive advance permission from me to receive more than a 0. (Dire medical emergencies usually constitute an exception.) If you are excused from the test, I will either double your lowest quiz or exam score or administer a make-up, at my discretion. Let me know well in advance — 24 hours for exams and quizzes, and two weeks for the final. I would like to remind you that, when e-mail is impossible, telephones exist also. Do not skip a test without my prior approval!
Note that I may require you to document your reason for absence. Travel arrangements and work schedules are not adequate reasons to miss a test.
You must properly attribute any work or ideas you use in assignments for this course which are quoted or derived from others. Plagiarism includes not only copying the ideas and the written and spoken words of others, but also copying or otherwise appropriating their computer files as well. Interfering with the work of others is also a serious academic offense. I will abide by the catalog's Academic Honesty policy in referring cases to the college's Committee on Academic Integrity.
Discussing or viewing others' solutions to assignments is officially out of bounds, as is discussing or showing your own solution to others. In practice, I realize, you may help other students; this presents a problem only when the solution you submit is substantially similar to another student's. A strong correlation between your solution and a classmate's solution constitutes evidence of cheating.
Feel free to stop by my office any time you want to talk about
something related to the class. I do have
If you're not in the building, feel free to telephone my office. And if I'm not in my office, you can send e-mail. But please try to contact me directly before e-mail: E-mail is much less efficient.
Most Hendrix students intuitively know the appropriate bounds for behavior in class. But: Cellphone use is prohibited during class, even if calls are received outside the classroom, and even if it is only text-messaging. Use of laptops is restricted to activities directly related to what is currently being discussed; I reserve the right to prohibit them if I feel this policy is being abused.
Any inappropriate use of electronic devices (or of reading materials) is worse than an absence, since it distracts other students. It will count accordingly in the attendance/participation policy; you could potentially receive a negative score.
On tests, no electronic devices other than a simple watch are permitted.
It is the policy of Hendrix College to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law. Any student who needs accommodation in relation to a recognized disability should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course. In order to receive accommodations, students with disabilities are required to contact Julie Brown in Academic Support Services at 505-2954.