3035/GZ01: Administrivia

Class Staff Office Hours


Teaching Assistant: We provide office hours each week to reserve time specifically to answer student questions. To reach the class staff's offices on the 7th floor during office hours, use the telephone outside the 7th floor hallway to call the staff member's extension (above); the staff member will come to let you in. If you need to speak to a member of the class staff outside office hours, please make an appointment by email in advance--please do not call the class staff outside office hours without an appointment.

Academic Honesty

All courseworks in 3035/GZ01, whether programming or problem set, are individual courseworks. Every line of code or prose you submit must have been written by you alone, and must not be a reproduction of the work of others--whether from the work of students in the class from this year or prior years, from the Internet, or elsewhere.

Students are permitted to discuss with one another the definition of a problem posed in the coursework and the general outline of an approach to a solution, but not the details or code for a solution. Students are strictly prohibited from showing their solutions to any problem (in code or prose) to a student from this year or in future years. In accordance with academic practice, students must cite all sources used; thus, if you discuss a problem with another student, you must state in your solution that you did so, and what the discussion entailed.

Students are free to read reference materials found on the Internet (and any other reference materials), and may of course use any code the instructors have provided.

Copying of solutions (code or prose) from student to student is a serious infraction; it will result in automatic awarding of zero marks to all students involved, and is viewed by the UCL administration as cheating under the regulations concerning Examination Irregularities (normally resulting in exclusion from all further examinations at UCL). The course staff use extremely accurate plagiarism detection software to compare code submitted by all students; this software sees through attempted obfuscations such as renaming of variables and reformatting, and compares the actual parse trees of the code, to produce color-coded comparisons of code for all pairs of students in the class. You have been warned--you will be caught and UCL's rules enforced if you cheat.

If you have any questions about the academic honesty rules above, you are encouraged to consult an instructor.


The final mark for 3035/GZ01 consists of the following components:

There are two programming courseworks, each weighted equally at 8%, and two problem set courseworks, each weighted equally at 8%.

The mid-term and final exams are both closed-book. The mid-term will be given in lecture, and will cover material taught up through that point. The final will encompass all material covered in the entire class.

Late Work Policy

N.B. that the late coursework policy for GZ01 differs from that for other classes in the CS department!

Start the courseworks early! They are intended to be challenging, and require many hours of effort (debugging distributed systems is hard). If you do not begin a coursework immediately after it is handed out, you will likely run out of time to complete it before the deadline. If you have questions for the instructor about a coursework, the only way you can get such assistance in time is by starting the coursework early.

Late coursework submissions will suffer a penalty of 10% for each 24-hour period (or fraction thereof) that the coursework is late. That is, if the stated deadline is noon on the 15th of November, 10% will be deducted if that coursework is turned in anytime later than noon on the 15th of November through noon on the 16th of November. (The 10% penalty is the same for 10 minutes late and 23 hours late.) After 12 noon on the 16th, 20% will be deducted. Note that all days, including weekends, count after the deadline.

Programming courseworks are submitted electronically, and can thus be submitted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Problem set courseworks, on the other hand, are turned in on paper at the CS Department 5th floor reception desk, and therefore can only be turned in during business hours between Monday and Friday. Nevertheless, the lateness penalty remains 10% for each 24-hour period or fraction thereof for all courseworks--each weekend day counts as 24 hours, even for problem set courseworks that must be turned in on paper, despite the department's closure over the weekend.

The class staff understand that some bugs in code can be time-consuming to track down, and that there are some periods during term when students may face multiple deadlines. To make allowances for such cases, each student in 3035/GZ01 is given a budget of 4 late days to use as he or she wishes over the term. A student may elect to use some of his or her remaining late days when submitting a coursework by indicating clearly the number of late days he or she wishes to use. One late day cancels up to one day of lateness, e.g., a submission within 24 hours after the deadline in which the student elects to use one late day will not be penalized. Late days may only be used in whole-day units (no fractional days).

A coursework submitted more than net two days late after any late days have been used (e.g., submitted five days past the deadline using two late days means 5 - 2 = 3 net days late) will receive zero marks, but will still be marked and returned. Consider this rule carefully. One consequence is that problem set courseworks (which must, recall from above, be turned in on paper during business hours Monday to Friday) can easily consume many late days--if a problem set coursework due on Thursday isn't turned in by the end of business hours on Friday, the next opportunity is Monday, at which time it is four days late, and you will need to use at least two late days to avoid receiving zero marks.

Late days are yours to use as you see fit--use them wisely! Because you have already been given late days to account for any snags you encounter during the term, no extensions will be given on coursework unless unforeseen severely extenuating circumstances arise; students are urged to make an appointment by email to see an instructor immediately in such cases.