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Policies

Needless to say, the course adopts the University of Toronto and the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering course policies.

Late assignments, missed activities and requests for re-marks

Deadlines for course assignments must be adhered to. Extra time to work on an assignment is not fair to others in the class who have not had the same opportunity.

A submission counts as late, if the posted deadline is missed. The penalty for a late submission is 5% of the mark allocated to the submission per day after the deadline. Every day started will accrue 5% up to five days, after which the mark for the milestone will be 0.

If you do have an excuse for a late submission or missed exam etc., you must submit a Term Work Petition with supporting documentation to a course instructor within a week of returning to class (in case of a medical situation, the supporting documentation consists of a doctor's note (a copy of this note will suffice)). If you know in advance that you will miss a deadline or mandatory course activity, such as an exam, you must submit the petition before the date of the activity. In addition, you must apply to a course instructor before the deadline or activity to determine if there is a possibility for you to make up the work, or if an extension can be granted. Note, a petition does not excuse you from work. For all mandatory activities in this course, such as the midterm and final exam, we ask that a team still performs these activities, even if part of the team is incapacitated. Based on the petition submitted, we will decide how the situation is handled for the individual who missed the mandatory activity. Unless an extension is granted or an activity is to be repeated, decisions on how a case is handled are deferred to the end of the semester. Term Work Petition forms may be obtained from the Registrar's Office.

Re-marking of milestones

We discourage re-mark requests outright.

You have the opportunity to revise your document based on the feedback and comments received for the following milestone submissions. Design documents are meant to iteratively mature throughout the course. Our objectives are that you learn by reacting to feedback and by revising your design documents.

If you feel your code requires re-marking due to an error on the part of the marking of your code, keep in mind that a re-mark request may result in your mark to go up or to go down.

Frivolous re-mark requests will be penalized by an automatic deduction of 10% of the assignment mark for each team member based on the re-assessed mark of the assignment. A re-mark request is declared frivolous, if the presence or absence of the problem documented in the letter that accompanies the request cannot be confirmed.

The code submission will be evaluated on the lab machines and must run in the environment of those machines. For example, a submission that runs under Windows XP at home, but does not also run in the lab environment is counted as an incorrect submission (a re-mark request for this submission would be frivolous.)

A frivolous re-mark request is also one where you claim in your request that something worked in the submission, while when re-evaluating it on our end, we confirm that the marking was correct and the claimed feature does indeed not work. Please note that it is very easy for you to simply evaluate your submission yourself before or after the submission deadline or the release of the marks, which is why this request is considered frivolous.

We understand that code may have bugs and do not require that a submission must pass 100% of our test cases to be evaluated with a perfect mark for this portion of the assignment.

We also employ a mark retrieve scheme in Assignments 3 and 4. The scheme offers you the possibility to retrieve marks lost in a prior assignment and to aim for bonus marks. Bonus marks may be allocated for early submissions and for the implementation of extra functionality.

For example, the mark retrieve scheme in Milestone 3 may look as follows. If your Milestone 3 submission builds successfully and passes 90% of the test cases we apply, the coding portion of your Milestone 2 mark will be increased to 40%. If your Milestone 2 coding mark was already more than 40%, your mark will not be changed.

For example, the mark bonus scheme for Assignment 2 may look as follows. A 2% bonus mark may be allocated for early submissions. Your submission would qualifies as early if you were to submit 7 full days before the advertised code submission deadline. However, you may not submit prior to submitting the design document. We want you to think, design, and plan before you code. Also, your submission must build successfully and at least 90% of our test cases must pass. Whether or not such bonus schemes are in effect is detailed on each milestone description page.

Please verify the exact wording of these schemes on the assignment handout. Only what is specified on the assignment handouts counts.

Our objectives are to have you implement the full scope of the specified milestones, to get you to work early, and to challenge you by specifying optional features that exercise more advanced concepts.

We also offer a testsubmit script to allow you to test your submissions before actually submitting. The detailed instructions for using the script are documented on the handouts. The output of the script must be included in each code submission. This is required for Milestones 2 to 4.

If after considering the above, a team still wishes to submit a re-mark request, the following steps must be followed:

  1. Write a formal and typed letter exactly documenting the reason for the re-mark request (the exact problem needs to be documented and explained); a hand-written note or a printed email message does not pass as a formal and typed letter.
  2. The letter needs to include the team-ID, the student numbers, and names.
  3. If the request is about a code submission, proceed as follows:
    1. The letter must be accompanied with the output of the testsubmit script.
    2. The letter and supporting documentation must be handed to the Design Instructor in class or must be delivered to the instructor's mailbox (for location details, please refer to Blackboard, under Contacs.)
    3. The letter must also be emailed to the Design Instructor with email-subject line "[ECE 297 Petition] Milestone X" (for email address, please refer to Blackboard, under Contacs.)
  4. If the request is about a design document, proceed as follows:
    1. The letter and supporting documentation must be handed to the Communication Instructor in class or must be delivered to the instructor's mailbox (for details, please refer to Blackboard, under Contacs.)
  5. The request may lead to marks going up or down and frivolous requests as specified above may be penalized.
  6. Re-mark requests for course deliverables will only be accepted until five working days after the release of the mark the re-mark request is about.

Requests that do not follow these instructions wont be processed.

Petitions will be processed within three weeks of submission.

The midterm software demonstration

The midterm is an oral exam. There is no written record that will be returned to students.

It is the students' responsibility to enusre that his or her account is in good standing (i.e., is not suspended) and that the code to be demonstrated is in a working condition at the start of the midterm software demonstration. Each student will have to perform the software demonstration tasks individually using his or her account (i.e., sharing of accounts is not allowed.)

The following rules were reviewed in lecture:

  • Each student must run the demo from his or her own account; running the demo from someone else’s account is not allowed
  • It is the student's responsibility that his or her account is properly working, i.e., is not suspended, sufficient disk space is available, etc.
  • The software demo is to be started from scratch at the beginning of the software demonstration phase of the midterm exam.
  • The software demo should provide meaningful output, especially, for erroneous cases, e.g., retrieving tables that do not exist, keys that do not exist, etc.; a segmentation fault is not a meaningful output.

Any disputes about the midterm procedure or the marking must be brought to the attention of the course instructors within five days of the midterm software demonstration taking place or the release of the marks, respectively.

A petition to signal a dispute is submitted as follows:

  1. Write a formal and typed letter exactly documenting the reason for the dispute (the exact problem needs to be explained in detail); a hand-written note or a printed email message does not pass as a formal and typed letter.
  2. The letter needs to include the team-ID, the student numbers, and names. The name of the student submitting the petition must be highlighted.
  3. To submit the letter, the following steps must be taken:
    1. The letter and supporting documentation must be handed to the Communication or Design Instructor in class or must be delivered to the instructors' mailboxes (for location details, please refer to Blackboard, under Contacs.)
    2. The letter must also be emailed to the Communication and Design Instructor with email-subject line "[ECE 297 Midterm Petition]" (for email address, please refer to Blackboard, under Contacs.)

Petitions will be processed within three to four weeks of submission.

Sharing work within your team

The comments written on a team document by course staff belong to the entire team. It is not acceptable for a member of the team to refuse to share these comments. Also, it is the responsibility of each team member to make available to their team-mates the written work they have prepared for the shared project. This includes meeting minutes, drafts of reports, etc. Withholding work that pertains to the team project, or TA feedback, from your team-mates is considered academic dishonesty and demonstrates poor team skills.

Individual contribution

All students in this course are expected to participate equally in the work of the team. Moreoever, every student is required to attain an understanding of the course material, whether or not that student worked directly on a particular aspect of the code or document. Moreover, all students are expected to do some coding and some writing, though it is understood that tasks will be assigned according to people's strengths.

Cheating and plagiarism

When working in a team, as with all professional communication, reports must bear the complete first and last names and student numbers of all the people who contributed to them, and acknowledge their contribution. It is considered plagiarism to submit a paper solely under your own name (i.e. take credit for it) if the content was written all or in part by someone else.

On Page 87 of the current Calendar for Applied Science and Engineering, the following description of cheating is given.

It shall be an offense for a student knowingly:

  1. to forge or in any other way alter or falsify any document or evidence required for admission to the University, or to utter, circulate or make use of any such forged, altered or falsified document, whether the record be in print or electronic form;
  2. to use or possess an unauthorized aid or aids or obtain unauthorized assistance in any academic examination or session test or in connection with any other form of academic work;
  3. to impersonate another person, or to have another person personate, at any academic examination or session test or in connection with any other form of academic work;
  4. to represent as one's own any idea or expression of an idea or work of another in any academic examination or session test or in connection with any other form of academic work, i.e., to commit plagiarism;
  5. to submit, without the knowledge and approval of the instructor to whom it is submitted, any academic work for which credit has previously been obtained or is being sought in another course or program of study in the University or elsewhere;
  6. to submit any academic work containing a purported statement of fact or reference to a source which has been concocted.

The University takes cheating of any kind very seriously. Possible penalties include a negative mark on an assignment, zero in the course, annotations on your transcript, or even expulsion from the University.

In this course you will be submitting your assignments through Turnitin.com, a software package designed to detect plagiarism. It is licensed by the University of Toronto, and students agree that by taking this course all required papers will be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. The terms that apply to the University's use of the Turnitin.com service are described on the Turnitin.com web site.

Giving another team access to documents that your own team has created constitutes academic misconduct.

  1. Because you are enabling plagiarism to occur;
  2. Because you, individually, do not have sole ownership of the intellectual property (ideas and words) contained in the team document.


It is unethical and illegal to give away intellectual property that does not belong to you without the permission of the owner, in this case the whole team.