COS-461 Assignments

Collaboration Policy

Programming, like composition, is an individual creative process. Individuals must reach their own understanding of the problem and discover a path to its solution. During this time, discussions with friends are encouraged. However, when the time comes to write the code that solves the problem, such discussions are no longer appropriate; the program must be your own work.

Do not, under any circumstances, copy another person's program. This includes relevant Linux source. Writing code for use by another or using another's code in any form is academic fraud and will be dealt with harshly. You are also responsible for ensuring that the code you write for the assignments is not readable by others.

Computing Facilities

The assignments will be implemented on the Linux machines in Friend 010. You can SSH to the machines from other computers in the Computer Science department, e.g., first ssh to, then connect to, where XX < 24.

Note that the lab machines use your OIT password, not your CS password. Please contact us if you have any trouble accessing your account.

If you are having trouble accessing your account in the Friend 010 lab, see these instructions:

Make certain that your home directory on the lab machines is not world-readable/executable, i.e., other students could see your files. To do this, execute:

          chmod 700 ~

from the command line.

Programming Tools

Please use splint (in /usr/bin/splint on the Friend machines) on your C code to check the style of your program, and modify your code to avoid unnecessary splint violations. You can put the .splintrc configuration file in your home directory to use the splint configuration from the COS 217 course.

Please use valgrind (in /usr/bin/valgrind on the Friend machines) to check for memory leaks and other memory bugs. To use valgrind, just prefix your command line with valgrind --leak-check=yes" (or whatever other valgrind options you wish to use). You should compile your prgrams with the -g option to include debugging information so that error messages include exact line numbers. See the Valgrind Quick Start Guide for details.

We will run splint and valgrind as part of grading your assignments.

You may use whatever editor you want to write your programs, but take care to make sure your programs have proper indentation. Using emacs is a simple way to ensure proper spacing. You can place the .emacs configuration file in your home directory to use the emacs configuration from the COS 217 course. You may choose to run emacs in "no window" mode (i.e., "emacs -nw", good when using a low-bandwidth connection when away from campus) or using X windows (taking care to use ssh -Y when you connect to the Friend lab PCs from a Mac, or setting the "Connection | SSH | X11 | X11 Forwarding | Enable X11 forwarding" box if using Putty on a Windows machine).

Programming Assignments

All assignments are due at 11:59pm of their assigned days.

Assignment Submission

We will use DropBox to submit assignments. A couple of points to note:

Late Submission

You should submit your work on an assignment (electronically) before its due time. All assignments will be due at 11:55pm on their selected days. If you submit your work late, we will give you credit for it on this scale:

We will grant extensions only in the case of illness (with a doctor's note) or extraordinary circumstances. If illness or an extraordinary circumstance will cause you to submit an assignment late, then you should discuss the matter with your instructor as soon as possible. Please plan your work on the assignments so that travel, religious holidays, etc. do not cause you to submit it late. Note that heavy workload is not an extraordinary circumstance.

That said, you are allowed one "free" late day during the semester (that can be applied to one of assignments 1 through 4).

Note that reasonable work must be done for all submitted assignments in order to achieve a passing grade, so even if it is more than 7 days late, you should still submit the assignment by Dean's Date.

The final assignment is due on the Dean's Date, and we are not permitted to accept work after that date. Thus you may not turn in the final assignment late.

Coding Style

All of the code you turn in for this course should have good style. Make sure that your code has proper indentation, descriptive comments, and a comment header at the beginning of each file, which includes your name, userid, and a description of the file. In addition, your code should never leak memory and should always check the return value of function calls.

Last updated: Sun Apr 29 16:25:29 -0400 2012