Course Policies :: 67-311
This page contains information on policies specific to the 67-311 course and applicable only for the Fall 2014 semester. For general Information Systems program policies, please choose the Department Policies link below. This section contains material on:
Grades in this course are determined by student performance in four areas: course projects (3 phases, worth 30% total), two examinations (a midterm and a final exam, worth 45% overall), weekly labs beginning in week one (worth 15% total) and attendance, short in-class assignments, and quizzes (periodically; worth 10% total). Any grading curves, if deemed necessary, will be applied only to the final course score and not to individual assignments.
We will have small in-class assignments to do on a periodic basis. These assignments will not be announced in class before hand; since regular attendance is the norm, this should not be an issue. (FYI: attendance is taken until 5 minutes after class starts. After that time a student is considered absent. Students have two excused absences before any grade penalty is applied.) A major purpose of these in-class assignments is for both students and faculty to be certain that key concepts are understood and can be applied to basic problems. There will be no make-up for missed in-class assignments but you can be excused with prior permission.
Exams and the labs are designed to be completed by individuals without the assistance of classmates or other students. Course projects will be assigned to teams of students, but teams are expected to work independently. We have made a separate statement regarding the honesty and integrity policy for the IS program and require that students review this policy as soon as possible. The IS program consider academic integrity to be of great importance, we actively scan for cheating policy violations, and will take swift and appropriate measures against those who fail to abide by these standards.
Any questions or concerns about grading must be directed to the Head TA for resolution before it can be taken to the professor. An entire statement regarding regrading for IS courses in general can be found in the department policies section and will be implemented here. Do not labor under the mistaken impression that you somehow special and therefore are exempt from this policy! If (and only if) you have followed the policy and are unhappy with the way the Head TA has handled your matter, you are welcome to take your case to the faculty. The faculty will want the Head TA's input before making final decision (to be sure that we are fully informed when making the final decision), however, so any attempt to bypass the Head TA will be futile. If you attempt to do an endrun through the process, you will be sent back to discuss the matter with the Head TA. We also reserve the right to lower grades further if we believe the TAs have been too generous in the grading the assignment in question. (This has happened in the past so be forewarned.)
Being able to deliver work products on-time is important in the world of information systems, and for that reason we will be firm on the deadlines associated with class assignments. For electronically submitted assignments, any project turned in after 12:00pm on the day it is due will receive an automatic 20 percent penalty. Assignments more than 24 hours late will not be accepted without a special exemption from Professor Heimann.
To help students master the material covered in class, we will have a series of hands-on lab assignments for students to complete, starting in week 1. These hands-on lab assignment may be completed during a scheduled lab session with either TAs or Prof. H or independently over the course of the week. Optional lab sessions with faculty and/or TAs (not office hours -- only lab time) will be held on Wednesdays from 5:00-7:00pm in Prof. H's office and/or the IS Lab (Wean 5336; latter will be announced in advance). All labs are graded on a credit/half-credit/no credit basis, depending on whether students completed the lab entirely (full credit), completed at least half of the lab (half-credit) or completed less than half the lab assignment (no credit).
Below are listed four books assigned for this course (many are online), but I recognize that there are other books that teach the necessary concepts that could be used as a substitute. However, not getting any suitable references or delaying the purchase until much later in the semester represents a substantial risk and students should consider that decision carefully.
- Beginning Database Design by Gavin Powell
- SQL: The Complete Reference by J. Groff and P. Weinberg
- Practical PostgreSQL by J. Worsley and J. Drake
- PostgreSQL: Introduction and Concepts by Bruce Momjian
I expect students to read the relevant sections of their texts in a timely manner. You can and will be tested on the reading -- even the parts I don't explicitly cover in class.
Because laptops, tablets, and cellphones can be a distraction to students in class (yourself and those around you) we will follow a policy similar to the MISM program and ban the use of laptops and similar electronic devices by students during class. There will be times when you will need to do an exercise in class that requires a laptop -- you will be notified in advance if that is the case. Unless stated in class, please leave laptops in your book bags and turn all cellphones to silent mode prior to the start of class and leave them in your pockets or purses.
I maintain office hours that are run strictly on a first come, first served basis. However, I am available for appointments on other days and welcome students to stop in at other times without an appointment; if I am busy with something else at the moment then we will set up an appointment to talk at a more convenient time. Contact information is listed below:
- Professor Heimann
- Office: Porter 224A
- Phone: 8-8211
- Hours: Wed 3:30pm-5pm & Tuesdays 1pm-2:30pm
Below is our TA for this semester:
Our TA has been a top student in this class before and is happy to answer questions regarding course administration as well as assist students struggling with course content. Matt will hold office hours to help with labs in the IS Wing (along with Prof. H when not in 67-475 reviews) on Wednesdays from 4:30 - 6:00pm.
Instructor reserves the right to make modifications to materials in this syllabus during the term as circumstances warrant.