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Lab guidelines and policy

An important advice

Please take the assignments seriously from the first day and work hard on completing each assignment well in advance of their respective deadlines as the TA's may require you to do more work to pass the assignments (and it sometimes may be many groups that want to present their assignment solutions for the TAs).

For most students, the assignments can take much more time than is allocated during the lab sessions, especially for later assignments. It is therefore important that you read all the instructions carefully and start working on the assignments right away. It should also be noted that it is YOUR responsibility to complete the assignments.

Managing lab reports

The lab report is part of the examination procedure in the course and must be treated with the same carefulness during the course as the written examination at the end of the course.

  • Each lab submission must be put in an IDA lab wrapper before handed in.
  • You can only hand in your lab report either in person to the lab assistant during lab hours (or during his/her office hours) or you can put the lab report in a brown internal mail wrapper and leave it in the mail room at IDA (accessible through the pigeon hole opposite Café Java).
  • You can only fetch your lab report in person from your lab assistant during lab hours or during his/her office hours.
  • You must fill in all of the fields on the IDA lab wrapper.
  • If you get comments on your lab report and must resubmit it (Swe. komplettera), you must reuse the old IDA lab wrapper with the lab assistant's comments on it and also add the resubmission date to the wrapper (see field at the top of the front page). This is important because otherwise your lab assistant will not know that you are resubmitting the same lab. In other words: You should only use four new lab wrappers during the course, one for each lab assignment.
  • You will typically get feedback on your lab report within a week. You should strive to resubmit your corrections within a week from receiving the feedback, if any.
  • You must fetch your lab reports when they have been graded. They are your way of proving to the lab assistant that you have indeed passed a lab assignment, if you later realize that your grade has not correctly been stored in webreg, Ladok or both. The lab assistant is not obliged to store any of the lab reports when the course has finished and after the reports have been graded.

Working guidelines

  • Carefully read and understand the available information (book, lectures, and source code) before you start to implement. This will help you save both time and energy!!
  • Make small incremental changes (updates) to your code and compile it immediately to see that your changes work.
  • You are expected to have made substantial progress on your assignment before going to the supervised laboratory sessions. The sessions are primarily for asking questions about the assignments, and for demonstrating your solutions when you have completed them.
  • The lab assistant is there to guide you but not to solve the problems for you. You are expected to do the best to find an answer to a problem on your own; often the lab assistant's answer will be an indication of a new avenue of research instead of an answer to the question directly.
  • It is your task to convince the lab assistant that you have solved and also understood what you have done in the assignments. You do this by demonstrating the running program with representative test cases, using a minimum number of, but still essential, traces, and showing the documentation of the code to the lab assistant. Be ready to answer any questions on your solution that the lab assistant may have.
  • In addition to demonstrating the running code to your lab assistant, you must also turn in a hard copy of both the trace from the demonstration and the code of your programs in the labs
  • The results of each lab (1-4) in the lab series are registered in the webreg system by the lab assistant.
  • The course instructor makes the final judgement of passing your labs after the lab reports have been handed in and graded.

Coding guidelines

  • You must not use global variables if they are not well motivated
  • You should modularize your code.
  • Follow common/standard programming practice; e.g., use proper variable names, indentation, comments, etc.
  • Use proper comments (in English) to explain changes in the code. When applicable, use coloured text or lines to indicate changes made to any provided coding framework.
  • At the top of all papers and documents, including source files, make sure to put your group's name, the names and e-mail addresses of the group members.
  • When you hand in code on paper, print your code on A4 paper, either single-sided with up to two columns per page (not double-sided) OR double-sided A4 with one page of code per side. No other formats, thanks!!

Ethical guidelines (lab policy)

  • Deadlines: Deadlines should be held. Assignments handed in after their respective deadlines will not be accepted. They may, however, be handed in again next year if the assignments are the same that year.
  • Cheating: You are expected to do the programming assignments by yourself. Copying others solutions will not be tolerated, even if you make cosmetic changes to the lab. If we suspect that this, or any other form of cheating, has happened we are obliged to report it to the diciplinary board of the university. The board will then investigate and determine a suitable punishment. Punishments range from a warning to several months of exclusion from studies at the university (allowing no participation in courses or exams during that time).
  • Other: Be prepared to be asked questions by your lab assistant about detailed and specific code and your justification for selecting a specific solution.

If you have problems meeting a deadline it is much better to talk to the instructor about it than to cheat.

Central IDA rules

Rules for examination of computer lab assignments at IDA

You are expected to do lab assignments in group or individually, as instructed for a course. However, examination is always based on individual performance.

It is not allowed to hand in solutions copied from other students, or from elsewhere, even if you make changes to the solutions. If there is suspicion of such, or any other form of cheating, teachers are obliged to report it to the University Disciplinary Board.

Be prepared to answer questions about details in specific code and its connection to theory. You may also be asked to explain why you have chosen a specific solution. This applies to all group members.

If you foresee problems meeting a deadline, contact your teacher. You can then get some help and maybe the deadline can be set to a later date. It is always better to discuss problems, instead of, e.g., to cheat.

Any kind of academic dishonesty, such as cheating, e.g. plagiarism or use of unauthorized assistance, and failure to comply with university examination rules, may result in the filing of a complaint to the University Disciplinary Board. The potential penalties include suspension, warning.

Policy for handing in computer lab assignments at IDA

For all IDA courses having computer lab assignments there will be one deadline during or at the end of the course. If you fail to make the deadline, you must retake the, possibly new, lab course the next time the course is given.

If a course deviates from this policy, information will be given on the course web pages.

Page responsible: Niklas Carlsson
Last updated: 2013-08-28