Homeworks & Grading for 05-830, Advanced User Interface Software, Spring, 2017

List of Homeworks

Homework 1: Evaluate the Usability of a User Interface Tool or Toolkit, 10% of grade. Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017 - Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Due at 1:30pm (just before class)

In homeworks 2 - 5, you will be creating a user interface toolkit (or "framework") from scratch. Each homework builds on the previous.

Homework 2: Implement a Retained Object System, 18% of grade. Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 - Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, 1:30pm

Homework 3: Design and Implement an Input Model for your Retained Object System, 18% of grade. Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 - Thursday, Mar. 9, 2017, 1:30pm

Homework 4: Implement a Constraint System for your Retained Object System, 18% of grade. Thursday, Mar. 9, 2017 - Tuesday, Apr. 4, 2017, 1:30pm

Homework 5: Build an interesting UI or some widgets with your toolkit, 18% of grade. Tuesday, Apr. 4, 2017 - Thursday, May 4, 2017, 1:30pm

In-Class Presentations. Topic selection due Tuesday, Mar. 28, 2017. Readings due 1 week before presentation. Slides due 1 day before presentation; final presentation due various times, listed on the class's schedule page.


Individual components of the grading will be weighted approximately as follows (this is tentative and subject to change). Note that there is no final.

Assignment Percent of Final Grade
Homework 1 10%
Homework 2 18%
Homework 3 18%
Homework 4 18%
Homework 5 18%
In-Class Participation and Presentations 18%

No cheating. No copying other people's work. All homeworks are individual. The official disciplinary policy is below.

Late Policy

Assignments are due before the beginning of class (1:30pm) on the specified day. A penalty of 10 points out of 100 (one letter grade) will be immediately applied after the beginning of class. An additional 10 points will be subtracted for each additional class period late. For the final assignment, the penalties will increase every day (since I have to get the final grade submitted).


It is the policy of this class not to give incompletes.  Note that the course load is designed to be relatively uniform during the term, since there is no big project at the end.

Disciplinary Action for Cheating or Plagiarism

(The HCII faculty have been asked to include the following in the course syllabus.)

While there is a university-wide disciplinary committee which handles serious disciplinary matters referred to it, the responsibility for establishing disciplinary guidelines rests with each department. Since the primary affiliation of this course is with the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII), we will follow the set of rules established by that department. The following are the rules to be applied uniformly by the HCII

First, cheating in any form is not permitted as an ethical or professional behavior and will not be tolerated. Cheating includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

Should any student be found guilty of cheating on a quiz, exam, homework or project, at minimum a zero grade will be recorded and then averaged in with the other grades (should there be any) for the term. Depending on the circumstances, and at the discretion of the instructor and the Department Head, the student may be failed in the course and may be expelled from the University. In any case, the University will be notified of any case of cheating or plagiarism. A repeated occurrence of cheating will be treated as an automatic failure (R grade) and expulsion from the University.

A subtler form of cheating arises in the form of plagiarism, which is defined as "passing off as one's own the ideas or works of another." Making use of reference material and failing to note (either at all or properly) the original source constitutes plagiarism. When two or more people work together on an individual project and each then turns in his/her individual report as though no collaboration was involved, this also is plagiarism. Simply rewriting another's words or thoughts, or rearranging another's materials, is in every sense plagiarism - unless the student properly and completely references such material, each and every time it is used and to the full extent of usage. Should a case of plagiarism arise, the initial responsibility for judging the seriousness of the offense will rest with the instructor. If the instructor feels that the student was simply sloppy in referencing the material used and plagiarized, a judgment of sloppy professionalism rather than cheating will be made. The grade for the paper, project or thesis will be lowered by at least one grade point. On the other hand, if the instructor feels that the student plagiarized flagrantly, and intentionally meant to mislead the instructor into thinking that the work was the student's own original work, the grade for the report, project or thesis will be recorded as zero.

It should be emphasized that any group collaboration that involves individual take-home projects, papers or theses should be carried out only with considerable discretion. That is, students are encouraged to discuss and collaborate among themselves on the various principles which are exposited in class or covered in the reading material, etc.; but any group discussion or collaboration which involves any specifics of take-home projects, papers or theses should be avoided - unless the ideas or efforts of others are properly noted. Put differently, when individual work and thinking is called for, group thinking and/or work is entirely inappropriate and is a form of plagiarism. In any case of cheating or plagiarism, the student may request a review of the instructor's decision by the department head, who will then make the final decision for the department. The student, of course, can appeal any faculty decision to the University Committee on Discipline. In a case of flagrant cheating by a graduate student on a thesis, the matter will be forwarded to the Disciplinary Committee for stronger action.

Take care of yourself

Do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle this semester by eating well, exercising, avoiding drugs and alcohol, getting enough sleep and taking some time to relax. This will help you achieve your goals and cope with stress.

All of us benefit from support during times of struggle. You are not alone. There are many helpful resources available on campus and an important part of the college experience is learning how to ask for help. Asking for support sooner rather than later is often helpful.

If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings like anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) is here to help: call 412-268-2922 and visit their website at http://www.cmu.edu/counseling/. Consider reaching out to a friend, faculty or family member you trust for help getting connected to the support that can help.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal or in danger of self-harm, call someone immediately, day or night:

If you have questions about this or your coursework, please let me know.

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