This is not the current offering of the course. You may want the next offering at, or scroll down for the winter 2022 material.

Policies and grading for the course


Some of these policies are provisional due to the first 2 weeks of class being remote. Check this page in week 2 (around January 12th) for updates regarding week 3 and beyond.


We will announce important events in the course through Piazza. You must have a Piazza account and be able to receive notifications through Piazza or check it daily.

You can join our Piazza course here:

Course Components

There are several components to the course:

  • Lab sessions
  • Lecture sessions & weekly quizzes
  • Lab reports/portfolio posts
  • Skill demonstrations


The course’s lab component is the main part of the course, which meets for 2 hours on Wednesdays or Thursdays. In each lab you’ll switch between working on your own, working in pairs, and participating in group discussions about your approach, lessons learned, programming problems, and so on.

The lab sessions and groups will be led by TAs and tutors, who will note your participation in these discussions for credit.

Lecture Sessions & Weekly Quizzes

Lecture sessions are on Monday and Wednesday. You can attend any of the three lecture sessions on each day. In the first two weeks they will be held via Zoom. In following weeks they will be held in the normally scheduled lecture halls, and recorded via Zoom. Lecture attendance is optional.

Each week there will be an online, untimed, multiple-tries quiz due on Wednesday morning (including week 1). The purpose of this quiz is to make sure everyone has checked in on the concepts we will be using in lab on Wednesday and Thursday.

The lecture setup is roughly that on Monday we will introduce the topics and any reading about the quiz material, then Wednesday we will review the quiz in class and take additional questions.

Lab Reports/Portfolio Posts

Every two weeks, you will write a lab report on work from the previous two weeks, due on Fridays. This will take the form of a blog post on a personal site you will create in the second week of the course. At the end of the quarter this means you’ll have a personal web site with 5 posts detailing what you learned. Some lab reports can be completed with a partner; individual assignments will indicate which ones.

For each post, our staff will review it and either give full credit or give feedback; you must respond to the feedback to receive full credit on your post. We’ll post specific final deadlines for this feedback

Skill Demonstrations

Twice during the quarter (week 5 and week 9) you you will record a screencast of yourself demonstrating some of the skills you learned. This takes the place of in-person midterm exams. We will grade these screencasts and give feedback on if they correctly demonstrated what we were looking for.

Then, in place of the final exam, you can re-do one or both of these demonstrations if you missed credit on them to make up the missed credit. The final exam may not be exacly the same tasks, but will be similar.


Each component of the course has a minimum achievement level to get an A, B, or C in the course. You must reach that achievement level in all of the categories to get an A, B, or C. Pluses and minuses will be given around the boundaries of these categories at the instructor’s discretion.

  • A achievement:
    • 8 or more lab participation
    • All quizzes complete and correct, no more than 3 late
    • All 5 lab reports complete with full credit/feedback addressed
    • Full score on both skill demonstrations (either initially or with the final make-up)
  • B achievement:
    • 7 or more lab participation
    • 9/10 quizzes complete and correct, no more than 5 late
    • All 5 lab reports submitted, 4 with full credit/feedback addressed
    • Full score on both skill demonstrations (either initially or with the final make-up)
  • C achievement:
    • 6 or more lab participation
    • 8/10 quizzes complete and correct, submitted at any time
    • At least 4 lab reports submitted, 3 with full credit/feedback addressed
    • Full score on one skill demonstrations, both submitted (either initially or with the final make-up)

You can download a copy of the form below here if you need a copy to fill out.