Grading Policies


Grades are calculated in two ways:

Method 1:

Percentage Component
40% (5x10%, dropping the lowest one) Homework
20% Project
20% Midterm Exam
20% Final Exam
5% (up to) Participation

Method 2:

Percentage Component
40% (5x10%, dropping the lowest one) Homework
20% Project
40% Final Exam
5% (up to) Participation

For 3-credit students: $$\text{Grade} = \max\left(\text{Method 1}, \text{Method 2}\right)$$

For 4-credit students: $$\text{Grade} = \text{Method 1}$$

Late Policy

WE DO NOT ACCEPT LATE HOMEWORK. The lowest homework grade will be dropped.

General Rules


There will be five homework assignments. The homeworks will consist of a combination of machine problems and written exercises to be submitted on the course relate website. All homeworks are due at Midnight CT on the specified day.

Submitted solutions to the machine problems must be written in Python 3, using only standard libraries (numpy / scipy). We will sometimes block libraries as required.

Solutions to the written problems must be submitted as LaTeX typeset PDF’s. Each question must begin on a new page. You may use WYSIWYG latex editors such as LyX if you are unfamiliar with LaTeX.


You get exactly one submission per homework set. In particular, this means that:

Academic integrity

Feel free to discuss the assignment with each other in general terms, and to search the Web for general guidance (not for complete solutions). All solutions should be written up individually. If you make substantial use of some information from outside sources, be sure to acknowledge the sources in your solution. In particular, please acknowledge all other students you worked with on the homework/projects.

We will follow the departmental honor code policy.

If we notice that your work has considerable overlap with someone else's (and we *do* check), the both of you should be ready to have an unpleasant conversation and face penalites as provided by campus rules regarding academic honesty.


All students will participate in a predictive modelling competition hosted by Kaggle. Details will be provided in subsequent weeks. You are free to use any methods you like, however, you will be required to submit your source code for the final submission. The course project will be introduced in class, including further details on the use of computing resources.

The Project Grade will be based on predictive performance as compared to four baselines (i.e. A : 100%, B : 85%, C : 70%, D : 55% of the grade). Beyond this, additional performance gives you bragging rights! Your grade will be based on the final submission due Dec 21, Midnight


Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Products have provided cloud computing resources for the project. Details will be provided in class.


Midterm: Oct 15 during class time, Final: Dec 14 1:30pm - 4:30pm (likely to be shorter)

Conflict exams

Since exams are taken in class conflict exams will generally not be provided.


Please let Sanmi » know as soon as you can if you need special accommodations (extra time etc.) on exams. Thanks!

Additional Participation Credit (up to 5%)

This may be earned by participating in lecture & online discussions, scribing lectures and by reporting mistakes in the lecture notes. Note that it is possible to earn 105% grade.

Scribing Lecture: All students are encouraged to scribe at most one lecture for participation credit. You will be awarded the credit only if your notes are of a reasonable standard (as determined by course staff). Otherwise, you will be given an opportunity to improve and correct your notes.

We require one set of notes from the scribe team. The scribe team should take detailed notes during the lecture, then convert their notes into LaTeX format of 5-8 pages long. Scribe notes must be submitted within 1 week after the lecture. Please submit your scribe notes on Relate

Student responsibilities

Please read and understand the UIUC student code (link opens PDF).

In particular, make sure to read and understand Paragraph §1‑402. The rules there along with the rules in this tutorial form the foundation for making sure you and everyone else in the class receive a fair, transparent grade.