There will be five homeworks during the quarter to be done individually that will each count for 6% of your course grade (4% if you are a graduate student taking CMSC 33250). We encourage you to discuss the problems in general terms with other students in the class. However, the answers you turn in must be your own original work. Please document any material discussions you had with others about this assignment (e.g., "Note: I discussed this exercise with Jane Smith""). Solutions should be submitted electronically via Phoenixforge in plain text format.

  1. Homework 1
    Due Monday, October 6 at 6pm
  2. Homework 2
    Due Wednesday, October 15 at 6pm
  3. Homework 3
    Due Monday, November 10 at 6pm
  4. Homework 4
    Due Wednesday, November 19 at 6pm
  5. Homework 5
    Due Friday, December 5 at 6pm


There will be five projects during the quarter that will each count for 9% of your course grade. The first three projects must be done individually, whereas you will work on Projects 4 and 5 in teams of two or three. You must work with the same team members for both projects. For these group assignments, must not collaborate outside your team, and the work you submit must be entirely your team's. Solutions should be submitted electronically via Phoenixforge.

  1. Project 1
    Due Monday, October 20 at 6pm
  2. Project 2
    Due Wednesday, October 29 at 6pm
  3. Project 3
    Due Friday, November 7 at 6pm
  4. Project 4
    Due Friday, November 21 at 6pm
  5. Project 5
    Due Friday, December 5 at 6pm

Paper Responses

Graduate students taking CMSC 33250 must also submit a response to the paper that is assigned as reading each week and that is due the following Wednesday. (These readings are optional for undergraduates taking CMSC 23200.) Paper responses will count for a total of 10% of your course grade.

Paper response should be short (~400 words) and have the following structure:

  1. In the first paragraph:
    1. State the problem that the paper tries to solve; and
    2. Summarize the main contributions.
  2. In one or more additional paragraphs:
    1. Evaluate the paper's strengths and weaknesses;
    2. Discuss something you would have done differently if you had written the paper; and
    3. Suggest one or more interesting open problems on related topics.

Late Policy: You will have a budget of four late days (24- hour periods) over the course of the quarter that you can use to turn assignments in late without penalty and without needing to ask for an extension. You cannot consume partial late days. Once your late days are used up, extensions will only be granted in extraordinary circumstances.

To use some of your late days, post a private message on Piazza to the 'late_chips' folder with your name, CNetID, the assignment, and the number of late chips you are requesting. You must request late chips for an assignment before you hand it in.

We recommend that you start on assignments and get your questions answered early. Although the course staff will work hard to respond to questions in a timely fashion, we cannot guarantee that questions asked within a few hours of the due date will be answered in time.

Collaboration: The University of Chicago is a community of scholars, and students must understand and internalize the ethics of this community. The University has a two-paragraph policy on Academic Honesty and Plagiarism, which you should read and understand. Do not expect to pass this class if you cannot comply this policy.

Student interactions are an important and useful means to master course material. We recommend that you discuss the material in this class with other students. So what is the boundary between acceptable collaboration and academic misconduct? First, while it is acceptable to discuss homework problems in general terms, it is not acceptable to turn in someone else's work as your own. When the time comes to write down your answer, you should write it down yourself from your own understanding (or your team's, if it is a group project). Moreover, you should cite any material discussions or written sources, e.g., "Note: I discussed this exercise with Jane Smith". You may feel there is a slippery slope from sanctioned discussions to cheating, but a basic principle holds: present only your ideas as yours and attribute all others.

The University's policy says less than it should regarding the culpability of those who know of misconduct by others, but do not report it. If one student "helps" another by giving them a copy of their assignment, only to have that other student copy it and turn it in, both students are culpable. If you have any questions about what is or is not proper academic conduct, please ask an instructor. (This description of Academic Honesty is derived from those of Stuart Kurtz and John Reppy).