Project 1 Updates and Help

by Mike Gleicher on October 30, 2014

Remember: Project 1 is due on Wednesday, November 5th.

The project is designed to give people freedom and flexibility to do really cool stuff. This makes the description a little long, and I am gathering (from whispers I hear) a little confusing to some. Please ask for clarifications if you need them! We will try to be extra vigilant about responding to project related emails and Piazza questions (until the blackout, below). Please do not post your buggy code to Piazza (or send it to us by email). If you want us to look at code, you need to come to a lab session or office hours – and even then, it’s easier for us to help with conceptual questions. Debugging takes time, and we need to help everybody.

Lab sessions: because of scheduling and the use of the labs by 302, help sessions are challenging. Adam will be in the Windows lab (unclear which one) from 3-5 on Friday – I will try to come for part of it. Adam will hold his office hours in the Windows lab on Monday, and can extend them if people have questions. I will also stop by the lab in between other things to check in with people.

Office Hours: Adam will hold his office hours 2:30 Monday in the lab so he can help people in a more hands on way. My office hours Tuesday (2pm) and Wednesday can go a little long if there are lots of questions (update: I need to end my office hours promptly on Wednesday because of a faculty meeting – but I will be there 11-just before noon). Adam also has office hours Wednesday afternoon for last minute issues.

Blackout:  In fairness to people who do not wait to the last minute, there will be a “project questions blackout” beginning at the end of Adam’s office hours on Wednesday afternoon. We will not respond to (project related) email or Piazza questions submitted after 3:30pm on Wednesday until after Monday. So, you can turn your project in late, we just won’t help you do so.

What if there’s a handin problem?  If you have a problem submitting your assignment via moodle (it breaks down at the last minute, or something), DO NOT EMAIL YOUR ASSIGNMENT TO US. Place your ZIP file in your AFS home directory (U:/public/) with an easily identifiable name and send email to Adam giving the whole path. Do not email files to us.

Late Policy: The late policy for projects  is non-specific. For this project, there will be a grace period. If you turn your project in on Friday, there will be no penalty on this project. If you turn your project in on or by Monday 10 November, there will be no penalty for this project providing that you turned in Assignments 7 and 8 on time. Note: even though there is no penalty for being late, we will note your lateness, and reserve the right to penalize chronic lateness when figuring out final grades. Also, remember there is a project help blackout from Wednesday 3:30 until the time the grace period ends.

How we will do grading: We will not require live demos for this project. This means its very important that you follow the instructions and we can build and run your program and see its features. We may schedule optional demo sessions so that people can show off stuff in person – but only for cases where it is less clear what’s there.

Grading Scale: There are no precise pre-defined point values. But roughly, to get a B, you need to have a solid implementation of the basic features. To get an AB you should have the main advanced features (arc length parameterization, rail ties, multiple cars). To get an A you need to add bells and whistles. But if you don’t have the simpler stuff solid, the bells and whistles don’t count as much.

Is there a curve? I hope so. It’s be a pretty boring roller coaster without it. Oh, you meant a grading curve. Yes, we curve grades in this class in the positive direction only: if everyone does great, I have no problem saying “I have a smart class everyone gets an A” (yes, this happened to me!). If no one gets an A, well, it must be that my standards are too high, so I’ll adjust them.

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