There will be several routes of communication for this course:

  • The main mode of electronic communication between students and staff, as well as amongst students, is through Piazza. It is intended for general questions about the course, clarifications about assignments, student questions to each other, discussions about material, and so on. We strongly encourage students to participate in discussion, ask, and answer questions through this site. The course staff will monitor discussions closely.
  • If you need to contact the course staff privately, you should email [email protected]. You may of course contact the professors or GSIs directly, but the staff list will produce the fastest response.


  • CS 61A or 61B: Prior computer programming experience is expected (see below)
  • CS 70 or Math 55: Facility with basic concepts of propositional logic and probability are expected (see below)

CS61A AND CS61B AND CS70 is the recommended background.

Course programming assignments will be in Python. We do not assume that students have previous experience with the language, but we do expect you to learn the basics very rapidly. Project 0 is designed to teach you the basics of Python, but if you want to get a head start here is a good tutorial: ACM Python Tutorial


Extensions for projects and homeworks are generally granted only if

  1. you have submitted a DSP letter, or
  2. you have a medical or family-related emergency.

Make an extension request here. If you do not hear back promptly, send Head TA Mesut an email.


This class includes six programming projects and seven homework assignments (with each homework assignment having an electronic, a written, and a self-grade component).

Late Policy

Written homeworks cannot be turned in late, you have to use your homework drops. Projects, electronic homeworks and self-grades (only if the corresponding written component was turned in on time) lose 20% of their total point value per day turned in late. However, projects also have slip days which can be used to delay the onset of the late policy. See the Homework Drop Policy.


Project 0 is to be completed alone. Projects 1 through 5 can be completed alone or in teams of two. If done in a team of two, the person who submits needs to tag the other team member on Gradescope. However, it is important that the submission reflects the understanding of both team members. Homework is to be submitted individually, but may be discussed in groups. If discussed in a group, acknowledge your collaborators in the submission per standard academic practice.

Project Slip Days

Programming projects must be turned in electronically by the listed due date and time. You will have a total of 2 slip days to be used across ALL projects to extend a deadline. Note that slip days are counted by the granularity of days, rounded up to the nearest day. For example, if you have yet to use your two slip days: for a project due at 4pm on Friday, any submission from Friday 4pm to Saturday 4pm will use up one slip day, any submission from Saturday 4pm to Sunday 4pm will use up two slip days, and any submissions after Sunday 4pm will begin being penalized by the late policy. Slip days will be applied to your grades at the end of the semester in a manner which maximizes your project grades.

Project Grading

Projects will by default be graded automatically for correctness, though we will review projects individually as necessary to ensure that they receive the credit they deserve. Projects can be submitted as often as you like; we strongly encourage you to keep working until you get a full score.


Electronic component of HW: Electronic homework (hosted on Gradescope) is meant to reinforce and give practice with concepts covered in class. They will be automatically graded for correctness, and you can submit as many times as you like up to the deadline; again we encourage you to work until you have fully solved the homework.

Written component of HW: Written homework (submitted into Gradescope) is meant to make you think beyond strict repetition of what is covered in class and is a sample of the kind of assessment material you will see on exams. In addition, the following homework will contain a retrospective self-assessment in which you compare your solution to the staff solution. You can earn full credits for each question when you:

  • Turned in the corresponding written homework on time, and
  • Gave a correct answer or otherwise made a correction explaining what you have learned in your self-grade.

You are welcome to discuss any stage of the written homework process with others provided you acknowledge your collaborators.

Note: Homeworks have no slip days.

Homework Drop Policy

You will each be allowed to drop your lowest written homework and your lowest electronic homework. These may be distributed throughout the semester, and do not have to all be from the same homework. (When calculating final grades, this will happen automatically, we’ll just use your highest scoring submissions.)

Note that this policy is also meant to deal with cases like internet issues while submitting, forgetting about the deadline, emergency situations, joining the class late, etc.


Submissions should acknowledge all collaborators and sources consulted. All code and written responses should be original. We trust you all to submit your own work, but to protect the integrity of the course from anyone who doesn’t want to play by the rules, we will actively be checking for code plagiarism (both from current classmates and previous semesters). We are not lenient about cheating; we sympathize with Kris Pister’s policy.


The first midterm exam will be held from 12:30pm to 2pm on Monday, July 15. You are permitted to bring one double-sided, US Letter-sized, handwritten sheet of notes.

The second midterm exam will be held from 12:30pm to 2pm on Wednesday, July 31. You are permitted to bring one double-sided, US Letter-sized, handwritten sheet of notes.

The final exam will be held from 5pm to 8pm at VLSB 2050 on Wednesday, August 14. You are permitted to bring two double-sided, US Letter-sized, handwritten sheet of notes.


Overall grades will be determined from:

  • Programming Assignments (25%)
  • Homework Assignments (15%)
  • Midterm (15%)
  • Midterm (15%)
  • Final exam (30%)

Grades are on the following fixed scale: (Refer to Notations for Intervals if you are not familiar with the notations below.)

| Grade |  Overall Percentage  |
| ----- | -------------------- |
| A     |       [85, 100]      |
| A-    |       [80, 85)       |
| B+    |       [75, 80)       |
| B     |       [70, 75)       |
| B-    |       [65, 70)       |
| C+    |       [60, 65)       |
| C     |       [55, 60)       |
| C-    |       [50, 55)       |
| D+    |       [45, 50)       |
| D     |       [40, 45)       |
| D-    |       [35, 40)       |
| F     |       [0 , 35)       |

The instructors may adjust grades upward based on class participation, extra credit, etc. The grade of A+ will be awarded at the instructors’ discretion based on exceptional performance.

Regrade Policy: If you believe an error has been made in the grading of one of your exams or assignments, you may resubmit it for a regrade. Regrades for cases where we misapplied a rubric in an individual case are much more likely to be successful than regrades that argue about relative point values within the rubric, as the rubric is applied to the entire class. Because we will examine your entire submission in detail, your grade can go up or down as a result of a regrade request.


Here are the policies that govern admission into classes, and here are some answers to frequently asked questions about admission. The course staff does not control enrollment!.