CS 231: Algorithmic Problem Solving


Course policies


Plagiarism is representing the work of others as your own. Plagiarism on exams includes using unauthorized aids or communicating in any way with others during an examination. Plagiarism on assignments includes copying another student's solution and submitting it as your own, allowing another student to copy your solution, collaborating excessively with another student, or obtaining solutions from any other source. The standard penalty for plagiarism is a grade of 0% for that piece of work, and a deduction of 5% from the final course grade.

All academic offenses are reported to the Math Faculty Integrity Officer and are recorded in the student's file. Subsequent academic offenses in the same course or in other courses will lead to more severe penalties, up to and including suspension and expulsion.

We encourage you to discuss general course concepts with classmates and course personnel. However, the solution that you submit must be your own work, written in your own words. It is not acceptable to work on an assignment with somebody else and write it up individually. When discussing course matters, do not take notes, and do not look at another person's partial solutions, or show them yours. If you have trouble understanding how to solve assignment problems, do not consult books other than the textbook, or any Web sources, unless explicitly authorized to do so.

Assignment policies

Please see the Assignments page for assignment policies.

Assessment policies and missed examinations

Students must pass the final assessment in order to pass the course.

If you are unable to write a quiz due to illness or a major family emergency (such as death or serious injury to a member of your immediate family), you must provide the documentation to the Instructional Support Coordinator as soon as possible and no later than the last day of class. There will be no makeup quiz; the weight of the quiz will be transferred to the final assessment.

If you are unable to write the final assessment due to illness or a major family emergency (such as death or serious injury to a member of your immediate family), you must provide the documentation to the Math Undergraduate Office (MC 4022) as soon as possible and no later than the first day of the following term. There will be no makeup final assessment; you will receive an incomplete (INC) and must write the final exam in a subsequent term.

University policies

Academic Integrity

In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the University of Waterloo community are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. Check the Office of Academic Integrity's website for more information.

All members of the UW community are expected to hold to the highest standard of academic integrity in their studies, teaching, and research. This site explains why academic integrity is important and how students can avoid academic misconduct. It also identifies resources available on campus for students and faculty to help achieve academic integrity in — and out of — the classroom.

Intellectual Property

Students should be aware that this course contains the intellectual property of their instructor, TA, and/or the University of Waterloo. Intellectual property includes items such as:

  • Lecture content, spoken and written (and any audio/video recording thereof)
  • Lecture handouts, presentations, and other materials prepared for the course (e.g., PowerPoint slides)
  • Questions or solution sets from various types of assessments (e.g., assignments, quizzes, tests, final exams)
  • Work protected by copyright (e.g., any work authored by the instructor or TA or used by the instructor or TA with permission of the copyright owner).

Course materials and the intellectual property contained therein, are used to enhance a student’s educational experience. However, sharing this intellectual property without the intellectual property owner’s permission is a violation of intellectual property rights. For this reason, it is necessary to ask the instructor, TA and/or the University of Waterloo for permission before uploading and sharing the intellectual property of others online (e.g., to an online repository).

Permission from an instructor, TA or the University is also necessary before sharing the intellectual property of others from completed courses with students taking the same/similar courses in subsequent terms/years. In many cases, instructors might be happy to allow distribution of certain materials. However, doing so without expressed permission is considered a violation of intellectual property rights.


A student who believes that a decision affecting some aspect of his/her university life has been unfair or unreasonable may have grounds for initiating a grievance. Read Policy 70 — Student Petitions and Grievances, Section 4. When in doubt please be certain to contact the department's administrative assistant who will provide further assistance.


A student is expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid committing academic offenses, and to take responsibility for his/her actions. A student who is unsure whether an action constitutes an offense, or who needs help in learning how to avoid offenses (e.g., plagiarism, cheating) or about "rules" for group work/collaboration should seek guidance from the course professor, academic advisor, or the Undergraduate Associate Dean. For information on categories of offenses and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71 — Student Discipline. For typical penalties, check Guidelines for the Assessment of Penalties.

Avoiding Academic Offenses

Most students are unaware of the line between acceptable and unacceptable academic behaviour, especially when discussing assignments with classmates and using the work of other students. For information on commonly misunderstood academic offenses and how to avoid them, students should refer to the Faculty of Mathematics Cheating and Student Academic Discipline Policy.


A decision made or a penalty imposed under Policy 70, Student Petitions and Grievances (other than a petition) or Policy 71, Student Discipline may be appealed if there is a ground. A student who believes he/she has a ground for an appeal should refer to Policy 72 — Student Appeals.

Note for Students with Disabilities

The AccessAbility office is located in Needles Hall, Room 1401, collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum. If you require academic accommodations to lessen the impact of your disability, please register with AccessAbility Services at the beginning of each academic term.