Course Policies

Late Work

All Deliverables (Assignments, Projects, and Looking Outwards reports) must be handed in on time, unless you are given instructions otherwise. Generally, unless otherwise indicated, Deliverables will be due at 11:59pm Eastern on Saturdays.

Deliverables are due at a specified date and time. If you miss the deadline (by even one minute, according to Autolab’s clock), deliverables may be submitted up to 24 hours late with a 25% penalty. No deliverables will be accepted after the 24-hour late period, except in the case of medical or family emergencies or other pre-arranged university-required absences that are approved by the instructor.

Autolab Grace Days: As an exception to the previous rule, students will be provided with 6 “grace days,” which are basically free extensions to be used at your discretion for submissions using Autolab. Students may use up to 6 total grace days over the semester, though no more than 1 grace day on any particular deliverable. Note that you may not combine grace days with late days so, even with grace days, no deliverables will be accepted after the 24-hour late period. Thus: deliverables submitted more than 24 hours late will receive a grade of 0.

Special note on Looking Outwards and Open-Ended Projects: Starting with week 2, in addition to handing in your project and blog text in Autolab with your technical assignment(s), you will need to post your blog and your open-ended project in WordPress on this course website. This will be part of your score. WordPress does not monitor late postings. Assignments are flagged late only in Autolab. The submission for your blog text and project should be identical or nearly similar to the posts you make on WordPress for full credit (you can make minor edits when you post). As long as your WordPress posts are on the website when we begin grading, you will be ok. We recommend you make your posts on WordPress when you hand in your zip file to Autolab so that you don’t forget to do it later.

In rare cases, students legitimately need more time. In these cases, you will almost certainly need to make up work in multiple courses. You should ask your advisor to contact your professors and help you devise a reasonable plan to catch up. We will be very cooperative with you and your advisor, and you might be surprised how much support you will get. –it happens. On the other hand, if all your other courses are fine and you just happened to blow off deadlines in 15-104, and your advisor is not supporting you, we will not be pleased.


There are 3 exams scheduled for the course, which will take place on computers in the Tuesday labs. See the course Calendar for examination dates, and the Rubric and Grading policies document to understand the percentages by which Exams contribute to your grade.

Extended-Time Policy:
We gladly accommodate students with university-approved extended time (as approved by the Office of Disability Resources). Please be sure to discuss this with the course instructor, ideally 1 week before the exam.

Late Policy:
No late / make-up examinations will be administered, except in the case of medical or family emergencies or other university-required absences. For qualifying missed examinations, students should obtain instructor approval before missing the examination.

Class Participation

You should plan to attend every single lecture (since you’re paying for it). In order to motivate this, there will be at least 20 mini-quizzes that will be posted on Canvas immediately after lecture and will be open until the start of the next lecture. These will be announced in lecture. These quizzes will be based on the course material given in that lecture. It is important to attend lectures, ask questions and participate, in order to learn effectively and perform well.

Be Present

Please be present and engaged. You can exist for an hour or so without tweeting, facebooking, chatting, texting, instagramming, emailing, etc.

Be Prepared

For in-person recitations, bring the supplies you need to be productive. In recitation, you will work on some programming exercises and work together to solve some problems. There are Linux machines in the classroom, although you can use your own laptop if you wish. Bring your notes and sketchbook so you can reference what we have covered in class.

Data Loss

Students are responsible for the digital security of their work. Loss, theft, damage or corruption of laptops and/or external hard drives containing required work for the course is not an excuse for incomplete or missing work. Students are responsible for backing up and securely storing copies of their work throughout the semester. We recommend you keep important data in more than one location.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We must treat every individual with respect. We are diverse in many ways, and this diversity is fundamental to building and maintaining an equitable and inclusive campus community. Diversity can refer to multiple ways that we identify ourselves, including but not limited to race, color, national origin, language, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, ancestry, belief, veteran status, or genetic information. Each of these diverse identities, along with many others not mentioned here, shape the perspectives our students, faculty, and staff bring to our campus. We, at CMU, will work to promote diversity, equity and inclusion not only because diversity fuels excellence and innovation, but because we want to pursue justice. We acknowledge our imperfections while we also fully commit to the work, inside and outside of our classrooms, of building and sustaining a campus community that increasingly embraces these core values.

Each of us is responsible for creating a safer, more inclusive environment.

Unfortunately, incidents of bias or discrimination do occur, whether intentional or unintentional. They contribute to creating an unwelcoming environment for individuals and groups at the university. Therefore, the university encourages anyone who experiences or observes unfair or hostile treatment on the basis of identity to speak out for justice and support, within the moment of the incident or after the incident has passed. Anyone can share these experiences using the following resources:

  • Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion:, (412) 268-2150
  • Report-It online anonymous reporting platform: username: tartans password: plaid

All reports will be documented and deliberated to determine if there should be any following actions. Regardless of incident type, the university will use all shared experiences to transform our campus climate to be more equitable and just.

Disability Accommodations

If you have a disability for which you seek an accommodation, please contact CMU’s Office of Disability Resources (ODR). Staff there will review your disability documentation and work with you to determine appropriate accommodations. The ODR will then provide you with a letter outlining approved accommodations, if any. This letter must be presented to your faculty before any accommodations will be implemented; accommodations are not retroactive. You should contact the ODR as early in the semester as possible.

Masks and Food/Drink/Smoking/Vaping

In order to attend class meetings in person, all students are expected to abide by all behaviors indicated in A Tartan’s Responsibility, including any timely updates based on the current conditions.

In terms of specific classroom expectations, whenever the requirement to wear a facial covering is in effect on campus, students are expected to wear a facial covering throughout class. Note: the requirement to wear a facial covering is in effect for the start of the Fall 2021 semester. If you do not wear a facial covering to class, I will ask you to put one on (and if you don’t have one with you, I will direct you to a distribution location on campus, see

If you do not comply, you will be referred to the Office of Community Standards and Integrity for follow up, which could include student conduct action. Finally, please note that sanitizing wipes should be available in our classroom for those who wish to use them.

Please refrain from eating and drinking in class, since this will require you to remove your mask. If you need to eat or drink something quickly, please go to an outside area briefly and return back to class when you’re done, with your mask on. You can still get participation credit if you get enough work done.

Smoking/vaping is strictly prohibited in class. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised.