E-Homework Guide

(adapted from the CSE 241 E-Homework Guide prepared by Jeremy Buhler)

This guide describes how to format your homework for electronic submission, how to actually submit it through Blackboard, and how to retrieve it after grading.


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. Also, 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 the use of LaTeX to prepare your solutions. LaTeX is the de facto standard method of typesetting published work in compter science, and it is especially well suited to typesetting mathematics. If you are unfamiliar with LaTeX, you can obtain the necessary software, including an editor here. You can use this example document to help you get started. The LaTeX Wikibook may also help as a reference that explains the various features of LaTeX in much more detail.

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 TAs 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. The LaTeX Wikibook includes instructions on how to include these images in your document, including how to crop them. You may find the TikZ package convenient for drawing figures of graphs, as in this example. 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 a LaTeX template as a starting point for each solution.

How To Turn In Your Homework

Two 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 us 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 documents after the displayed due date and time, Blackboard will mark them late. The policy for late homework submission is described on the course homepage; if any of your files are submitted after the deadline, the entire assignment will be considered "late." Please leave yourself sufficient time to upload, check, and submit all your solutions!

Submission Procedure

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:

graded homework

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.

CSE 347
Last update: 1/17/2017