Staying Current

You are responsible for keeping track of all assignments and other material posted to the course's Web site and mailing list.


The course consists of several assignments and the large course project.

Your primary grade will come from the course project. While the assignments will not define your grade, your performance on them can alter your grade (in particular, not paying enough attention to them can cause you to lose a letter grade or more).

Most of your grade will come from the large course project. While you will be graded on the intermediate products of the project, the majority of your grade comes from (1) customer satisfaction and (2) demonstrable performance improvement for the end-user. One of your project activities must be to define reasonable metrics that demonstrate improvement. If you fail to define such metrics, that will count against you implicitly, because you will be unable to satisfy one of the two main sources of evaluation!

All members of a group will earn the same grade, barring exceptional circumstances (entirely at the discretion of the instructor).

Late Homework

We will not accept late assignments. The assignments will sometimes be timed to coincide with a lecture on a topic, so completing the assignment is crucial class preparation. After the class, the assignment will have much less value.

For the project, any failure to meet a deadline will be held against you. The more deadlines you miss, and the more serious the ones you miss, the greater this will affect your grade.


You may not discuss the assignment with anyone outside of the permitted group (by default, nobody else) with the sole exception of the course staff.

If you have questions, please send them to the email address If we think the question or answer are of general interest, we will respond on the newsgroup. Failure to follow this rule may be viewed as violation of the collaboration policy.

The project is, naturally, a group activity. Groups will communicate internally in ways defined by the group leadership. Groups may not communicate with one another except in clearly permitted ways (as defined by the course project requirements). In particular, groups can (and should!) communicate to establish interfaces and protocols. However, group members cannot discuss any ideas, hints or any other information across group boundaries that may lead to a solution of the problems facing a group. Each group must behave like a distinct corporation (guarding its trade secrets).


The course will end at the end of April. We will honor Reading Period. In particular, we expect you to complete the course project before Reading Period. This will give you time to prepare for finals in your other courses, but it also limits the time you have available, so plan carefully!

Academic Honesty

Brown University has an Academic Code that governs all our transactions. This Code includes a section on Respect for the Integrity of the Academic Process, which establishes its policy on cheating. I expect that you, as students and scholars, will abide by this faithfully and fully.

Because Brown does not operate on an honor code, we have no choice but to police you, even though this saps valuable time and weakens the spirit. Therefore, we will check for violations of the Code. If we believe you are in violation, we will prosecute as per the department's and Brown's regulations.

On Writing

We care about your ideas, but we care equally deeply about the quality of your writing. We care about spelling, capitalization, punctuation, sentence construction, paragraphs, and so on. Avoid passive speech except where appropriate. Extremely good ideas expressed very poorly will earn a very poor grade.