Your grade is composed of the following components:

Percentage Component
25% Class Assignments
25% Paper Presentation
10% Paper Reactions
40% Computational project


Your grade components will be added up with the percentage weights indicated and result in a single number. This number will determine your letter grade, according to the following scale:

Grade Point range
A [90, 100)
B [80, 90)
C [70, 80)
D [50, 70)


There will be occasional longer-form homework sets over the course of the semester, as announced in class.


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

Late homework

Homework submitted after the deadline will count for half of its original worth. This offer is good for up to one week after the original deadline. After that, no late work will be accepted.

Solutions to the homework sets will be posted after the due date. If you are submitting homework for the half-credit due date, feel free to use the posted solutions in writing up your own solution. You may however not directly copy the sample solution. What you submit must still be written by you, not just copied.

Paper Presentations and Reactions

Each student will be asked to read and present the content of a paper related to the class. These presentations are expected to last about 30 minutes, with five minutes afterwards allocated for questions. These presentations count for 25% of your grade.

As part of the first homework set, you will be asked to choose a paper and a preferred date. We will schedule these flexibly throughout the semester, likely in blocks of two presentations per class.

A list of suggested papers is given on the class web page, but do not feel limited by the selection there.

Paper Reactions

To ensure that you take something away from the paper presentations, you will be asked to come up with a list of three weaknesses and three strengths (each phrased as a sentence or two) of the work presented.

Full score for these will be awarded as long as your description is comprehensible and each strength and weakness you describe defensibly exists. As with homework, you may discuss these with your peers, but you must phrase them yourself.


About one month into the semester (see the class calendar for the exact date), you will be asked to submit a proposal for a somewhat more ambitious final computational project. Based on this proposal, I will help you iterate to arrive at a mutually agreeable project description, which, once agreed upon, will be come the basis for the grading of your project.

We will have a poster session during one of the last class periods where you will present your work. Additionally you will be asked to submit a roughly 5-6 page written report on your project. Your report and supporting materials (e.g. software) will be made available on the class web page for others to look at, if you agree.

The projects may or may not relate to the papers you present. I very much welcome projects that are related to your own research.

I will also make a list of stand-alone project ideas available.

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.

Note that the policies of the CS Department Honor Code also apply to this course.