Rice University logo
Top blue bar image Comp327: Introduction to Computer Security
Blog and homepage for Rice's Comp327

Grading Policies


Grading is pretty simple:

  • Class projects: 90% (weighted scoring based on how long the assignment is — a three week assignment will count 1.5 times as much as a two week assignment)
  • Class participation: 10%

We will assign you a partner for each project (allowing a group of three if we end up with an odd number of students). We’ll rotate partners often, so you will work with a variety of different members of your class.  We will provide a shared Subversion repository, with appropriate access controls, for you to do your work and submit your assignments.  There will be no exams or tests.

Grading metrics on individual projects will vary from one to another.  Some projects will require writing academic-style papers while others will require writing code, making it impossible to create a one-size-all description here. We’re looking for your to be concise and insightful.

Class participation matters. If you’re the sort of person who just sits there and doesn’t ask questions, your grade will suffer. If you’re the sort of person who shows up late, if ever, your grade will suffer even more.

Specific due times: Unless otherwise specified, if an assignment says “due January 10”, that means “due at 11:59pm US Central time, on January 10.”

Late Policy

Due to the tight scheduling of this class, there is truly no room for slack. When one project is due, the next one is around the corner and is dependent on the previous one. As such, late work is simply not accepted. Period. Of course, disasters occur and can be worked around. We are willing to make custom arrangements if you talk to us in advance of a deadline. If you see a looming time conflict, you must notify us in advance and we’ll see what we can do.

The Flaking Partner Policy

We often receive complaints that somebody cannot find their partner, or that their partner continues to promise things that are never delivered. To address this concern, the policy is you flake, you fail. Simply put, if you disappear or are generally not pulling your own weight at any time during the semester, you get an F in the course right then. End of story. If you don’t completely flake, but are under-responsive, we reserve the right to design an appropriate (but still fair) way of redistributing points.

Of course, disasters happen that may pull you away from campus. You are responsible for notifying your partner(s) and the course staff if a major time conflict arises in your life. In the real world, you don’t just disappear from your job for a week. You tell people you have to go. The same thing applies here. Likewise, if you feel you’re going to need to drop this class, then do it between projects, not in the middle of one. Dropping the course in the middle of a project may be allowed by the university, but it’s extremely rude to your partner(s). Be polite.

One useful bit of advice: work together with your partner.  We don’t mandate pair programming, but it really works. You’ll be more than twice as effective as you might if you split the work up and did it separately. Also, you’ll avoid the sort of rude surprises that often arise when partners have different expectations.