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Homework Submission and Grading Policies


Uploading: You will usually submit your assignments by uploading your .java source code to Tamarin, the automated grader for this course.

Tamarin requires that your filename have the following format: [your UH username, with the first letter capitalized] + [A##, where ## is the two-digit assignment number] + [.java]. Thus, if I were going to submit Assignment 2, my filename would need to be (Occasionally, you might submit other types of files--such as .txt--instead of .java.)

Tamarin also requires a password, which you should have sent to me as part of Assignment 0a.

If for some reason the entire Tamarin site is down or inaccessible AND it's less than 24 hours before the assignment is due, email me your assignment instead (following the rules below for emailing) so that it is not late. I will then upload the file for you when things are working again. On the other hand, if you just get an error message while uploading, read the message. If it is complaining about something you can't fix, then email me the error along with your assignment. Tamarin error codes in the 400s are (usually) due to things you can fix on your end--incorrect file names, mistyped passwords, etc.

Emailing: If you ever have to email me your homework, email it to Send me the source code only (not the compiled .class files). Attach the .java file to the email.

Optional added protections: send from your account, also paste the code into the body of the email, and CC yourself to be sure the message goes through the system correctly.

Late Policy

Homeworks are due by 12pm (noon) on the date due (usually Monday or Tuesday).

Late: You may submit late homework for up to 48 hours after the due date. Late assignment scores will be reduced by 1 point. (Note that, since most assignments are worth about 5 points, you will get less than a B on most late work. While this is better than a 0, don't make a habit of being late!)

After 48 hours, you have until 21 days (3 weeks) after the original due date to turn in any assignment very late. Very late assignment scores will be reduced by 2 points.

Resubmission: You may resubmit an uploaded homework until I verify your Tamarin grade, which usually happens after the late period. However, each resubmission will incur a cumulative -0.1 point penalty. Tamarin and I will consider only the grade of your last submission for an assignment. It is also your last submission that determines any late penalties.

Emergency points: You start the semester with 1 emergency point. You can earn additional emergency points by coming to lab. I will randomly take attendance, granting 0.5 points each time you are present (or if you have a documented reason for missing lab that day).

Emergency points are meant to offset late and very late penalties, thereby granting you some flexibility during the term for unexpected events, such as computer trouble, illness, family issues, hangover, etc. Use them wisely!

At the end of the semester, each unspent emergency point will each give you +1 point extra credit.


You should do your best to debug your own code. However, if you're still stuck after half an hour of working on it, you can email me about it. Your email should include:

  • A brief explanation of what you are trying to do
  • The complete error message or other output you are getting
  • Your .java source code as an attachment to the email
  • Your best guess as to what is wrong.

A relevant subject line is helpful too.

Development Platform

The official version of Java for this course (ie, the one used by Tamarin to do the grading) is currently 1.5.0_16. The following Java features exist in Java 1.6 but not in 1.5:

  • isEmpty() method of the String class.
  • copyOf methods of the java.util.Arrays class.

You may use the IDE of your choice when writing your code. I will show you how to use Notepad and the command line to begin with; later in the term, we may cover other options.

Tamarin cannot handle submitted code that is in a package. So please don't use a package declaration in your code. (Some IDEs will try to convince you to do this.)

No Collaboration

Unless stated otherwise, you are expected to write your own code for each assignment. See Examples of Cheating for more information.

If you plagiarize code from the web or another student, you will receive an F for the course. If you collaborate too closely, you will be warned and forced to split the grade for that assignment. A second collaboration offense will result in an F for the course.

Lab Attendance

Regular lab attendance is expected, and I will assume that you have seen the material I present in lab. Attendance also earns you emergency points/extra credit (see above).

~ztomasze Index : TA Details: ICS111: Grading Policies
Last Edited: 12 Jan 2011
©2003 by Z. Tomaszewski.