Students are required to follow all Penn State requirements related to safety, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, masking and distancing.

Penn State University requires everyone to wear a face mask in all university buildings, including classrooms, regardless of vaccination status. ALL STUDENTS MUST wear a mask appropriately (i.e., covering both your mouth and nose) while you are indoors on campus. This is to protect your health and safety as well as the health and safety of your classmates and the university community. Anyone joining class from Davey 538 (or any other shared indoor space on campus) is expected to comply at all times. Students who refuse to wear masks appropriately may face disciplinary action for Code of Conduct violations. If you feel you cannot wear a mask, then please join class from off campus.
Since the class is remote synchronous, the process for resolving any violations of the Code of Conduct will be triggered by a student reporting the violation to the instructor. In particular, if a student observes someone not wearing a mask properly in Davey 538 during class period, then they should report the violation to the instructor promptly. If a student refuses to comply, then the matter will be referred to Penn State’s Office of Student Conduct.

While some students may be comfortable working in close proximity with a partner on a lab assignment or class project, others may prefer to maintain more physical distance. Students are expected to respect others’ requests for physical distancing.


Students are expected to be civil and considerate during class, regardless of whether it is online or in person. In particular, we want to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable asking questions and sharing imperfect code. Students should refrain from any actions that distract their classmates, instructor or the class. It’s understandable the cell phones will often be used for two factor authentication, but they should be silenced and put away during class once you’ve authenticated. Taking notes on laptops or looking up information relevant to class discussion is encouraged. However, apps and windows unrelated to the class should be closed throughout class.

If you join class from Davey 538, then please bring headphones, so everyone won’t hear audio from your computer (especially during breakout sessions on Thursdays, but potentially also during group discussions if different computers have different audio lag).

The Eberly College of Science has a Code of Mutual Respect and Cooperation. This code embodies the values that we hope our faculty, staff, and students possess and will endorse to make The Eberly College of Science a place where every individual feels respected and valued, as well as challenged and rewarded.

All students are responsible for knowing and following all the rules and regulations for this course as set forth in the syllabus (including the details on the class web site) and what is announced in class. In case of any ambiguity, ask the instructor to clarify.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to present their own work for homework assignments and the class project. Students are be strongly encouraged to consult with each other as part of completing assignments (in addition to making use of pair coding, as described below). How does one reconcile these two? One good rule of thumb is that you (whether an individual or a pair coding team) want to ask for help in planning what to do or figuring out what could be causing a problem, but when it comes time to implement those ideas, you should write the code yourself. When you collaborate with a classmate to develop a plan, you should each implement it individually.

A second good rule of thumb is that you should not copy and paste text or code for a homework assignment. Any time you do (e.g., if you were to modify code from the Julia base or a package developed by a third party), you should clearly credit the source and indicate this via inline documentation in both the code which parts are you own and which were borrowed. That doesn’t mean that you’ll get credit for other people’s work, but it will mean you’ve been upfront about what was your contribution. If you’re ever unsure whether something is ok, you should ask and include an explanation of the contributions of others in your code and whatever you turn in.

Pair Coding

You are encouraged to engage in “pair coding” for the homework assignments and/or the class project. When pair coding, you can choose to either: 1) have each student be the “driver” for their own part of the assignment (probably best for class projects) or 2) swap between “driver” and “navigator” roles frequently within each question (probably best for homework). Any time you pair code, you should always indicate who you paired with for each task. You may not have one student be the driver for all of exercise 1, then swap and have another student be the driver for all of exercise 2, as that makes it likely that the “navigator” will not understand the solution as well as the “driver”. When you engage in pair coding, then you should clearly indicate which student you worked with, so you can both get credit.

Comparing work with others

Whether you complete assignments individually or in pairs, you are encouraged to compare your implementation’s code, accuracy and performance to that of your other classmates. Before you make changes after such a comparison, tag your repository with “precompare” (if for the whole assignment) or “precompare-N” (where N is the exercise number if you compare one exercise at a time within an assignment). In the pull request, add a few lines summarizing what changes you made and what you learned from the experience (e.g., how much of a difference the change made, if there are are drawbacks to the new approach).

Timeliness of assignments

Students should start all assignments well before the due date, so they can resolve any technical difficulties comfortably in advance of the deadline. Since assignments will typically be discussed in class on the day they are due, credit will be given based on what is submitted prior to class. In cases where turning in assignments on time is not practical due to illness, family emergency, or other university-approved excuse, assignments should still be completed and turned in, but those assignments may not be included when computing the course grade. If portions of the class project totalling more than 10% of course grade can not be completed before the course end date due to illness, family emergency, etc., then the student can elect to receive a “deferred grade” (DF) and to submit the remaining portions of the project no later than eight weeks after the course end date. Students electing this option should be familiar with the PSU DF policies.

Recordings of classes

In anticipation that some students may miss classes due to health issues, classes may be recorded. Ay students who prefer to not ask questions while being recorded are encouraged to submit questions in advance of class.

Video and audio recordings of classes (via Zoom) are part of the class activities. Any video and audio recordings are used for educational use/purposes and only may be made available to all students presently enrolled in the class. For purposes where the recordings will be used in future class sessions/lectures, any type of identifying information will be adequately removed.

According to University Policy, students must get express permission from their instructor to record class sessions. Screenshots showing instructors and students are considered recordings. Even if permission is granted, student-initiated recordings must be used only for educational purposes for the students enrolled in the initiating student’s class. Recordings may be used only during the period in which the student is enrolled in the class. Authorized student-initiated recordings may not be posted or shared in any fashion outside of the class, including online or through other media, without the express written consent of the course instructor or appropriate University administrator. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of class recordings may be held in violation of the University’s Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws.