E Homework Solution

CSE347 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

You must 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 not acceptable -- we need the text to be machine-readable in order to apply Blackboard's plagiarism detection tools. 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 11:59 PM 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

  • Step 1: Save your documents in final form. You must turn in your homework documents as PDFs, which you should be able to create directly from within your word processor or editor. TeXstudio and TeXShop create PDFs by default; alternatively, use pdflatex or dvipdf to build PDFs from LaTeX documents. No other format is acceptable for turning in homework.

    You can name your documents whatever you want, but I recommend that you limit the characters in your names (other than the file extension, if any) to English letters, numbers, spaces, dashes, and underscores to avoid tickling any unexpected bugs in Blackboard.

  • Step 2: Go to the turn-in folder. Log into Blackboard (https://blackboard.wustl.edu/) and select the correct course and semester from the left-hand menu. Now select "Homework Submission" from the course's left-hand menu. You should see a list of one or more homework folders, like this:

    Click the folder corresponding to the homework you want to submit. You'll see an icon and link for submitting a solution to each individual problem:

  • Step 3: Upload your first document. Click on the first problem whose solution you wish to submit. You'll see a submission form that looks something like this:

    Click the "Browse My Computer" button and pick the file you wish to submit. Your selection will appear under the heading "Attached files":

    If you've selected the wrong file, click "Do not attach" and try again.

    Do not do any of the following:

    • use the "Write Submission" button or the comments box to enter homework solutions;
    • select files via the "Browse Content Collection" button;
    • upload any format other than PDF.
    If you do any of the above, Blackboard might claim that your submission succeeded, but we will not be able to grade your homework!

    You can optionally write a note to the instructor and graders in the "Add Comments" box. This would be a great place to note any sources of help you got for the problem, consistent with the course collaboration policy.

  • Step 4: Preview your document as a draft prior to submission (optional, but recommended). If you select "Save Draft" at this point, you will see a view of your document identical to what the graders will see:

    Check carefully to make sure the document appears as you expect, then select "Continue" to return to the submission form. If you saw an error in your document, click the "Mark for removal" option next to the attached document to get rid of it, attach a corrected version, and preview again.

    Note that merely uploading a document as a draft in Blackboard does not make it visible to the instructor or graders and does not constitute turning it in. You can still upload newer versions of your document at any time after saving and before submission, using the above procedure. To save time turning in solutions at the last minute, you may wish to save your solution to each problem as a draft in Blackboard as you complete it, but wait until the due date to actually submit in case you need to make changes.

    Nota bene: if you click "OK" instead of "Continue" at the document preview screen, the document will remain saved as a draft but will not be submitted. You must return to the problem in Blackboard and hit "Continue", then complete your submission.

  • Step 5: Submit your document.Your solution is not turned in and will not be visible to the instructor or graders until you click the "Submit" button. This will not be done automatically, even if you've uploaded drafts -- you must hit "Submit" for each solution to turn it in. Once you submit a solution, you should again see the graders' view of your document, this time with the message beginning with "Success!"

    Click "OK" to return to the list of problem submission links for the current homework. You should receive an email from Blackboard documenting your successful submission.

    if you see a blank page instead of your document in the viewing window, you forgot to upload the document before hitting "Submit." Back up, upload your document, and try again.

    If you want to upload a revised version of your problem after submitting it, return to the problem submission page in Blackboard. You should see the previously submitted version. Click the "Start New" button on the right-hand side of the page and proceed as above to upload the new version, which will replace the old one.

  • Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 for the remaining problems.

Getting Your Homework Back

The TAs will grade each of your homework solutions in Blackboard. As each problem's solution is graded, a grade will be posted to the corresponding column in the course grade book.

To see your graded solutions, select "My Grades" from the course's left-hand menu in Blackboard, and select "Graded" to see only graded work. For each solution, you'll see the points awarded and the time it was entered. To see the graders' comments, click on the problem name, which will take you to an online view of the marked-up document:

You can then examine the notes and comments on the document, each of which is tagged with the name of the instructor or TA who wrote it. You can download the marked-up version of the document for your records as a PDF by selecting the down-arrow icon at the upper left of the document view. If you wish to dispute the grading of a particular problem, all TAs and the instructor can see your marked-up homework in Blackboard; you don't need to print it out or send us a PDF.

We will retain your marked-up homework documents in Blackboard until the end of the semester.

Last update: 8/24/2017

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