cs470 - Fall 2011
Before you get started
This class requires you to do a LOT of work between homeworks (5), labs (7) -- of which a few are quite difficult, reading assignments, a class presentation, and two exams.
Grading is quite strict as well, in that failure to get a passing grade in, say, any of the labs will earn you a failing grade in this class. Put it another way, you cannot get around all the work by just skipping assignments.
Other books: not required but very helpful if you want to dive deeper
The following grading scale will be used to determine your grade in this class:
Class participation will help settle borderline grades. While class attendance is not taken, your instructor believes that regular class attendance is important and expects students to actively participate in class. Questions and comments are always welcome.
All work that you turn in must be submitted on the Blackboard before midnight (Central Time) the day the work is due.
I understand that from time to time you'll get overwhelmed with work, or that you may have personal problems that will make you less productive than you'd like. That's why each student in this class has a credit of five (5) days for late work.
You can use this credit as you see fit, for good reason or no reason at all, all at once or in pieces -- though there is no fractional credit. The only thing we ask for is that, in your Blackboard submission (in the COMMENT field) you indicate how much of your credit you want to use.
After you've used your "late work credit", or if you don't want to use it, there is a 5% per calendar day penalty for late work.
Your teacher will try to accomodate you in those cases that are beyond your control, such as medical and personal emergencies, as described below. In any event, you'll be using your "late work credit" first, before any additional accomodations can be made.
Incomplete (I) Grades
Yes, you can get an incomplete in this class even if you're not dealing with a personal emergency. Here are the conditions:
All the work you submit must be individual, including, but not limited to, those cases when your instructor has approved pair-programming for you; in these cases the only thing that may be identical with somebody else's is code.
Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. IIT has a strict academic honesty policy; here are the top points:
You can read the entire policy in the Student Handbook.
You should read the academic honesty policy until you fully understand it. A good way to test whether you understand it is to try to explain it to somebody else.
There are multiple ways you can receive extra credit in this class, here are some:
Exams are open-book(s), open-notes. You may bring with you any notes you want, however you may not share them with anybody else during the exam.
During the exam the use of communication devices such as phones, laptops, etc. is not allowed. You may bring with you a calculator.
A number of simulators will be used for your labs, such as SPIM (a MIPS32 simulator), dinero (a Trace-Driven Uniprocessor Cache Simulator), and CAMERA (a memory tutorial software package that you can download here).
Your textbook comes with better SPIM documentation than the one in the original SPIM distribution. You can find the documentation on the companion CD, under the Tutorials. For your convenience the same documentation is also available below:
You are required to install the SPIM on your own computer and become familiar with using it. You can download the software and get additional information about the simulator from the official SPIM web page.
Each lab is structured in three parts, pre-lab -- this is work you do at home to become familiar with the topic, in-lab -- work you during the lab session when you can get help from the TA -- and post-lab, work which you do on your own, have to turn in and will be graded for.
The instructor for this class reserves the right to change this schedule.
The purpose of this section is for students to do some independent research work and present their findings to the class.
No later than 9/20/11, each student must choose a topic for the class presentation. Your topic must be approved by your instructor.
Submit your request via email to your class instructor. Topic requests will be honored on a FIFO basis.
As a general rule, the sooner you submit the request, the more time you'll have to prepare it.
A draft of the presentation is due on 10/25/11; a penalty of 10% will be assigned if you fail to submit your draft presentation or if you submit it late. There are two purposes to this:
Should you fail to deliver a draft of your presentation by the due date, you'll get penalized 10% in your final grade for the presentation.
The draft presentation must be substantive, i.e. it should show you've spent enough time researching the presentation topic in order to have a good idea about what needs to go in and what needs to stay out. If the draft presentation is deemed to not be substantive by your instructor, then you'll get a 10% penalty on your presentation.
Your presentation must include notes for each slide, which notes include the detail related to each slide; if you prefer, you can produce a separate document that includes the detail of your presentation. If the notes you provide for your presentation are deemed to not be substantive by your instructor, then you'll get a 10% penalty on your presentation.
Allocate significant time to survey the computer architecture topic you have selected. Do not wait until a few days before the presentation is due, chances are that if you do so, then you'll run out of time and will end up with a very poor mark in this section.
Presentations will be limited to 20' and will be followed by Q&A up to a total of 30'. Grading will consider both the content and the way the presentation is made to the class. Your class peers will participate in the grading process and their opinion accounts for 40% of your mark, unless you are one of the students who submits the topic late and/or you cannot be physically present in class for a live presentation.
If you are a student whose presentation hasn't been selected for one of the live presentations sessions or a student who takes the class remotely and cannot attend a live presentation, then you will have to record your presentation as if you were giving it in front of your peers and turn in a .mpeg movie together with all the other deliverables for the class presentation. Your presentation is due on the first day of student presentations as outlined in the Class Schedule.
In the movie we'll want to see:
The presentation must be very well rehearsed; failure to properly prepare for the presentation will result in an extremely poor mark on the presentation.
The following grading sheets will be used for your class presentation.
The first person you should contact for any questions related to assignments is your TA.
Please be descriptive in the subject line when you email your TA or instructor such that processing doesn't get delayed. At the very minimum you should indicate the class and the term, followed by a brief description of what is it that you want to communicate.
Examples of good subject lines for your email:
Your instructor reserves the right to change this schedule.
For more important dates and detail go to the IIT site.
Unless otherwise stated all papers you turn in will be TYPED. No handwritten work is accepted.
Each page will have a header as follows:
Each page will also have a footer:
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