CS 261: Data Structures


Class attendance -- recommended
Most of the information required for completing projects and other assignments will be presented in class, so regular attendance of classes is recommended. If you miss a class, you are still responsible for learning the material covered during that class. Do not expect a private tutorial if you skip lectures and/or recitations. You are encouraged to ask questions in class, as this can often benefit the entire group.

Recitation attendance -- mandatory
You are required to attend the recitations in the time slot you registered. You will be paired with another student. During the recitations, the teams will be solving worksheets, and reviewing solutions of another team. You will get credit for both solving and reviewing the worksheets.

The exams will cover class material, additional readings (e.g., worksheets), and homework assignments.

Office Hours
The GTA's and instructor's office hours are aimed at providing additional clarifications and guidelines -- not for doing your homework. GTAs will not look for syntax errors and help you compile your C code. It is important that you are able to ask concrete detailed questions, so that the GTA and the instructor could help you. You will not benefit from asking general vague questions, such as, e.g., "I do not understand trees, or complexity is not clear to me".

Conduct in class
You are expected to respect your classmates and me. Please be on time, turn off all cell phones, and refrain from eating.

Programming Assignments

Each assignment will involve programming in C.
  • The programming assignments will require you to submit only your .c and .h files (your source code). We do not want your .o (object ) files. Respect the case-sensitive naming convention of each required file.

  • If the homework requires drawing any diagrams, you may hand-draw them, and scan them, to include with your online submission.

  • All submitted programs will be compiled and graded by TA's on a server that runs Unix. Make sure that your homework submission compiles and runs on Unix by testing it on the School's server. Unix tutorial notes are available on the class web page. You will NOT get any partial credit if your code does not compile on Unix.

  • Your homework report (e.g., programs, electronic text files, diagrams, etc.) is to be submitted via the TEACH website on the due date. We will grade only homework submitted via the TEACH web site. There is no reason to try to get credit for homework reports on your personal computers, USB drives, or sent by e-mail, even when they have good time stamps, i.e., when you can prove that they have been done before the deadline.

  • Late homework will be accepted without penalty only with a prior approval by the instructor or in the case of emergency. The approval must be issued at least 1 day before the deadline. The number of points for a late homework will be penalized by 5% for each subsequent hour after the deadline (e.g., a submission late 2 hours and 23 minutes after the deadline will be penalized by 10%).

  • From experience, students often accidentally submit wrong files to the TEACH web site, and do not discover this mistake before the deadline. Make sure this mistake does not happen to you. 

  • If you are having trouble with an assignment, you are encouraged to discuss it with other students, GTAs, the instructor, or anyone else who may help. Having said that, note that homework is not a group effort, but an individual work of each student.  Violation of this rule will be considered a form of cheating. It is common that GTAs discover virtually identical homework shared by a number of students, since the students "worked on it together." This will not be tolerated.

There will be three mid-term exams and the final exam. The exams are closed book.

Makeup policy for the exams
If you cannot take an exam at the scheduled date/time, contact the instructor in advance to arrange for an alternate date/time. Excusable reasons include illness and family emergency.

When the student is unable to contact the instructor, the student or family members may contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 541-737-8748 for assistance. The Office of Dean of Students will provide notification of the absence to the student's instructors and the college head advisor. Students are reminded that providing false or misleading information to obtain an excused absence is a violation of student conduct regulations and may result in university student conduct action. See OAR 576-015-0020(6) at website.

Students who miss a midterm, or final exam without an excused absence will not be given a makeup exam.

Contesting a Grade
Your graded exam papers and homework will be distributed back to you during recitations. If you miss the recitation, contact the GTAs about getting your exam / project.

Grading Distribution
30% --  Homework (max 100 points)
10% --  Worksheets (max 100 points)
10% --  Midterm Exam 1 (max 100 points)
10% --  Midterm Exam 2 (max 100 points)
10% --  Midterm Exam 3 (max 100 points)
35% --  Final Exam (max 100 points)

Total score formula: MIN(100, 0.3*HW + 0.1*WS + 0.1*(EX1+EX2+EX3) +0.35*FE)

Note that the above formula allows you to get some bonus points toward the final grade.

Grading Policy

Total score
Final Grade

Academic Honesty
Honesty is absolutely essential in order for learning to take place.  It will form the foundation of your professional integrity in your career.  In homework and programming assignments, it is often difficult for a grader to distinguish between legitimate help and plagiarism.  Therefore, you might be able to get a good score without really understanding what you have handed in.

Each student is expected to practice honorable behavior inside and outside the classroom. Details about academic dishonesty and subsequent disciplinary actions can be found at the official website of Student Conduct & Community Standards at the Oregon State University.

Examples of cheating include (but are not limited to):
- Bringing forbidden material or devices to an examination
- Working on an exam before or after the official time allowed
- Requesting a re-grade of answers or work that has been altered after the initial grading
- Submitting a homework that is not your own work
- Using code from the Internet (unless explicitly allowed by the instructor)
- Giving your code to other students

At the professor's discretion, cheating on an assignment, or examination will result in a failing grade for the entire course, or a reduced grade, or a zero score for the particular assignment, or exam. All occurrences of academic dishonesty will be reported to the department head. If there is any question as to whether a certain action might be construed as cheating, please contact the professor before you engage in any such action.

Accommodations for students with disabilities are determined and approved by Disability Access Services (DAS). If you, as a student, believe you are eligible for accommodations but have not obtained approval please contact DAS immediately at 541-737-4098 or at http://ds.oregonstate.edu. DAS notifies students and faculty members of approved academic accommodations and coordinates implementation of those accommodations. While not required, students and faculty members are encouraged to discuss details of the implementation of individual accommodations.

Religious Holidays
Oregon State University strives to respect all religious practices. If you have religious holidays that are in conflict with any of the requirements of this class, please contact the instructor immediately so that alternative arrangements can be made.