CSE584A E-Homework Guide

This guide describes how to format your homework for electronic submission, how to submit it through Blackboard, and how to retrieve it after grading. For advice on tools to compose homeworks electronically, see the accompanying composing tips document.


Formatting Standards for Homework

We prefer that you prepare your homework using a word processor, editor, or other software that can produce typeset results, including math. Scans or photographs of handwritten solutions are acceptable, but you will find that you'll spend less time copying and rewriting complex solutions if you typeset them from the beginning. If typesetting Please do not use plain text with "ASCII math" (i.e. simulated displayed formulas produced using creative spacing and underline/dash characters) or "ASCII art" in place of figures.

We strongly recommend using LaTeX to prepare your solutions, since it is the de facto standard method for typesetting published work in computer science, and it is especially well-suited to typesetting mathematics. However, other tools, such as Word and compatible WYSIWYG word processors, can also be used; see the composing tips for more information.

Please prepare each problem's solution as a separate document, since you will be uploading each solution separately to Blackboard for grading. You may put all the parts of one problem's solution (e.g. 1(a), 1(b), ...) in a single document. Each solution must have a header appearing at the top of each of its pages that includes your name and WUSTL Key ID (e.g. "jbuhler"), the homework number, and the problem number. Page numbers at the bottom of each page are optional but recommended.

Your homework should use a page size of 8.5x11 inches ("letter" size; A4 is also OK). Most text should be in a proportionally-spaced font with a size of at least 11 points. (However, you might find that a fixed-width font such as Courier is better for writing pseudocode with consistent indenting.) You should use black text on a white background everywhere except possibly in figures. Your figures may be in color if desired, but your grader might be red-green colorblind, so choose your palette appropriately.

Figures may be drawn using the tool of your choice, or even hand-drawn and scanned as images, so long as they are legible in your final submission. Vector graphics (i.e. those stored as a set of shapes and lines) are preferred to bitmapped images such as GIF, PNG, or JPEG, but either is acceptable. Place your figures, scaled appropriately, inline at the point where they are first referenced in your document, or use your editor's "float" facility (if any) to have them appear at the top or bottom of a page with suitable captions and corresponding references in the text. Please do not just put all figures at the end of the document.

Homework Templates

To help you follow these formatting standards, we have created this LaTeX template and this MS Word template (which can be converted by other editors, such as OpenOffice or Google Docs, to their native format) as a starting point for each solution.

How To Turn In Your Homework

Important Facts about Homework Submission

  1. You must upload and submit homeworks to Blackboard yourself. The instructor and TAs cannot do this for you. Do not send your homework by email or bring it in on a USB stick for us to upload on your behalf -- there is no way for us to do this in Blackboard.
  2. Homework is due at the beginning of class on the due date. If you submit your solution after the assigned due date and time, Blackboard will mark it late. If any of your solutions for a given homework are submitted after the deadline, the entire assignment will be considered as late as the last submitted solution. Please leave yourself sufficient time to upload, check, and submit all your solutions!
  3. You must both upload and submit your solution to each problem. These are separate steps. If you do not submit after uploading, the instructor and TAs will not be able to see or grade your homework.
  4. You may submit modified versions of a solution as often as desired, but only the last version submitted will be graded. If your last version is submitted after the turn-in deadline, it will be graded as late.

Submission Procedure

Getting Your Homework Back

Homework will be collected from Blackboard and dispatched to the graders, who will mark up each problem's PDF with comments and assign it a raw score from 6 (best) to 0 (worst). We will convert this score into a point value, which will be posted to your gradebook on Blackboard.

Unfortunately, there is no way for us to upload your marked-up PDFs with comments back into Blackboard after we grade them. Instead, the graded PDFs will be added to the GitHub repository where you checked in your code for the same homework.

Last update: 3/2/2018