Late Submission Policy

Here is our course policy on late work, as well as some of our underlying rationale.

This class moves quickly. If you fall behind on a project, you you are likely to fall behind on the next assignment. It is difficult to recover from this domino effect. Late work also makes extra work for the staff since we try to get things graded as soon as possible. In general, we want to discourage late work without being overly harsh.

Late projects will incur a penalty of 10% for each day it is late. Furthermore, no projects will be accepted more than 3 days late.

Flex days (see below) do not extend these deadlines. Even with the application of flex days, no projects will be accepted after 9:00:00pm on Friday. Flex days only offset the penalty.

The reason for the 3-day limit is two-fold. First, you have the next project to work on. After three days, you should punt and turn in whatever you have accomplished for partial credit and move on to the next project. Second, late submissions greatly complicate grading. We don't want to hold up grading for the rest of the class.

Note: Homework assignments and Project 0 must be submitted on time. There are no late directories for these assignments and flex days do not apply.

Self-granted extensions (a.k.a. flex days)

We recognize that juggling this course and all your other responsibilities can get tricky. We give you a little flexibility in deadlines via flex days. We designed our policy to empower you to make your own choices and while trying to protect your interests and keep things fair for all students.

Flex days are self-granted extensions. Unexpected things come up — you get sick, the network slows down, you accidentally delete a critical file, etc. In other classes, you would ask the instructor for an extension. (You can always ask, your request might not be granted.) To save this step, we have given you the privilege to grant yourself a total of 3 flex days of without prior approval. Each flex day offsets one day of late penalty . We give you flex days to cover real problems: illness, disk crashes, bike accidents, and so on. We don't intend them to cover ski trips and planning oversights, but truthfully, you can use them as you choose and we don't check up on you. We think this is a generous allowance. Be fair here — few of you would ask an instructor for that much leniency in other classes.

Flex days will be automatically applied in your grade report spreadsheet. The spreadsheet will count the number of days of late penalties you have accrued and give you back the points for up to 3 late days. Since the projects are equally weighted and since each late day deducts the same number of points, it does not matter which project you apply the flex days to. For example, if you are habitually late (not recommended) and you were late for 3 days on Project 1, 1 day on Project 2, and 3 days on Project 3, then your final grade is the same if you applied 3 flex days to Project 1, 1 flex day to each project, or 2 flex days to Project 1 and 1 flex day to Project 3.

More legalistic minutiae on flex days (because we are programmers):

Instructor-granted extensions

Your first recourse for handling a crisis is to invoke your own power to grant yourself a flex day. If you have already exhausted all your flex days on legitimate causes and are in further need, you can request extra accommodation via an instructor-granted extension. These are rarely granted except under extenuating circumstances, and never granted until your own flex days have been used. Your situation over the entire semester must be unexpected and different enough from other students' that it will be fair to give you something beyond what everyone else gets. Remember that most students take the policy at face value and work things out one way or another: staying up late, ignoring their other classes, missing events they wanted to attend, working when sick or turning in unpolished programs when they are out of time, or taking late penalties as a last resort.

All of these students need to be considered when giving someone a special out. Ask yourself how they would feel if they knew that you were given an extension — would it seem fair to them? If so, we will work with you to make special arrangements.

This policy is not intended to be unforgiving, just fair to all students. Most students schedule as best they can and often make heroic efforts to avoid late penalties, it would be unfair to dole out extensions to those who used their flex days less carefully.

Handing in late work

If you are within three days of the project deadline, simply follow the late submission instructions in the Project Submission page. (I.e., copy your files to proj?-late1, proj?-late2 or proj?-late3.) Flex days are automatically applied. If you have an instructor-granted extension, your instructor has to remove the late penalty from your grade manually.

If you have an instructor-granted extension AND you are submitting beyond three days of the project deadline, then copy your files in the exception directory and ask your instructor to email Prof. Chang stating that you have an instructor-granted extension.