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Course Policies :: 67-442

Fall 2018

This page contains information on policies specific to the 67-442 course and applicable only for the Fall 2018 semester. For general Information Systems program policies, please choose the Department Policies link below. This section contains material on:

Questions & Piazza
Laptops & Phones
Special Accommodations
Concern for Students
TA Information

Grades and Project

Grades in this course are determined by student performance in four areas: a course project (worth 35% total), intermediate sprint deliverables (worth 15% overall), one midterm examination (worth 25% overall), nine weekly labs beginning in week one (worth 18% total) and attendance, short in-class assignments, and quizzes (periodically; worth 7% total). Any grading curves, if deemed necessary, will be applied only to the final course score and not to individual assignments.

Note that this a primarily a project-based course and that half your grade comes from the final project evaluation and the intermediate sprint deliverables. Even in that, 70% of the grade comes from the faculty and TAs evaluation of the final state of the project. If indeed "the proof of the pudding is in the eating," then for this class the proof of your learning comes in large measure from the quality of the application you and your team are able to develop.

We will be putting you on teams of two (or in one or two cases, teams of three) to work on the app. You are allowed to pick a partner and if you both mutually agree, we will assign you as a team. If you do not submit a choice for a partner by end of the day on September 6th, we will assign you a partner. If you have a strong desire to work alone without a partner, please let us know that too; we don't advise it, but will allow it in some cases.

To help ensure you are making regular progress on your project, each week after the course project kicks off, your team is required to have a 15-minute "stand-up" check-in with your supervising TA on Mondays and every other week have a 20-30 minute check-in with your assigned alumni mentor (around the halfway point of the sprint). Failure to complete these check-ins in a timely fashion will result in a penalty of 1 percent off the final course grade for each missed check-in. Also, copies of all deliverables need to be submitted to the mentors as well as the faculty and TAs.

Exams and other individual assignments are designed to be completed by individuals without the assistance of other, unassigned CMU students or other outside developers. The IS department has made a separate statement regarding the honesty and integrity policy in this course and students need to review this policy as soon as possible. The IS program consider academic integrity to be of great importance, we actively scan for cheating policy violations and will take swift and appropriate measures against those who fail to abide by these standards.

We will have small in-class assignments to do on a periodic basis. These assignments will not be announced in class beforehand; since regular attendance is the norm, this should not be an issue. (FYI: attendance is taken until 5 minutes after class starts. After that time a student is considered absent. Students have two excused absences before any grade penalty is applied.) A major purpose of these in-class assignments is for both students and faculty to be certain that key concepts are understood and can be applied to basic problems. There will be no make-up for missed in-class assignments but you can be excused with prior permission.

A final note on etiquette and attendance: please avoid stepping out of class or leaving early. If there is an emergency and you cannot avoid leaving the classroom for a moment, go and come back discreetly, with a minimum of disruption to others. If exiting during class becomes a habit for a student, he/she may be docked points for attendance.

Regrades: Any questions or concerns about grading must be directed to the Head TA responsible for grading for resolution before it can be taken to the professor. An entire statement regarding regrading for IS courses in general can be found in the department policies section and will be implemented here. Do not labor under the mistaken impression that you somehow special and therefore are exempt from this policy! If (and only if) you have followed the policy and are unhappy with the way the Head TA has handled your matter, you are welcome to take your case to the faculty. The faculty will want the Head TA's input before making a final decision (to be sure that we are fully informed when making the final decision), however, so any attempt to bypass the Head TA will be futile. If you attempt to do an end-run through the process, you will be sent back to discuss the matter with the Head TA. In the interest of fairness to all, we also reserve the right to lower grades further if we believe the TAs have been too generous in the grading the assignment in question. (This has happened in the past so be forewarned.)


To help students master the material covered in class, we will have a series of hands-on lab assignments for students to complete, starting in week 1. All labs are graded on a credit/no credit basis, depending on whether students completed the lab. Half credit can be given at the discretion of the TAs for labs are more than half complete but less than fully finished.

Lab sessions are run by TAs Monday and Thursday evenings. All labs will be held in the Wean IS Lab (5336) from 4:30-6:30pm. The first nine labs are required, but labs 10 and 11 are for extra credit and are optional. If a student misses one of the first nine labs, the extra credit labs can serve as a replacement. Students are allowed to complete lab work on their own (unlike 67-272, you do not have to physically be in the lab room to complete the assignment) and have it checked off later by TAs, but all check-offs must be complete by 5:00pm on the date the lab is due. (Do not come to Thursday lab with more than very minor bugs in the previous week's lab and expect to work on it; we want you to focus on this week's lab, not the previous week's lab during the session.)

Xcode Upgrade

Apple is planning on making a change to iOS 12 this fall and with that change make changes to Swift and Xcode. For this class we will be using iOS 11.x / Swift 4.x and Xcode 9.x - all labs and class examples will use these. If you move to Xcode 10, you may have difficulties with the labs and problems running code examples and getting help from TAs. Students are strongly encouraged not to automatically upgrade their version of Xcode (or let Mac OS X do it for you); doing so is entirely at the student's risk. You have been warned.


There are no assigned books this semester because the most up-to-date documentation is on the web. However, Apple has a number of free iBooks to help developers and you will probably find it advantageous to get a copy of these for yourself as references:

Questions & Piazza

Students are strongly encouraged to ask questions during class. The material can be tricky at times and we expect questions to be asked during the lecture. Odds are that if you have a question, someone else is wondering the same thing; if no one asks then the mystery remains a mystery. In a few cases in the past, the question is on a more obscure technical point that interests very few in the class -- in those cases Prof. H may choose to defer and answer the questioner after class so that the rest of the students are not bored or confused, but the question will be answered.

This term we will be using Piazza for class discussion and questions you might have outside of class. The system is highly catered to getting you help fast and efficiently from classmates, the TAs, and the professor. Rather than emailing questions to the teaching staff, we encourage you to post your questions on Piazza. The Head TAs will be monitoring Piazza every day and no question should go more than 24 hours without being answered (in most cases, much sooner). Do not send questions via email to the TAs without first checking Piazza to see if an answer has already been posted. In cases where the answer has already been posted. they simply tell you to go back to Piazza. If you email new questions that are not of a personal nature (like grades, standing in class) the TAs may ask you to post it on Piazza so they can answer it for everyone.

Find our Piazza class page at: https://piazza.com/cmu/fall2018/67442/home

If you have any problems or feedback for the developers of Piazza, please send an email to mailto:team@piazza.com

For the record, Professor Heimann is only half-Klingon. Hence, you can safely ask questions in class or during office hours without being worried about him 'killing you where you stand for asking your question.'

Laptops & Phones

Because laptops, tablets, and cell phones can be a distraction to students in the class (yourself and those around you) we will follow a policy similar to the MISM program and ban the use of laptops and similar electronic devices by students during class. There may be exceptions when you will need to do an exercise in class that requires a laptop -- you will be notified in advance if that is the case. Otherwise, please leave laptops in your book bags and turn all cell phones to silent mode prior to the start of class and leave them in your pockets or purses. (One exception: during the exam, all cell phones must be turned off and left on top of your desk; cell phones cannot be taken out of the room during exams and will remain in the room during any restroom breaks.)

Using mobile phones (even for texting purposes) in class is unprofessional behavior and forbidden in this course. Turn them on airplane mode while in class. Never answer a phone call in class. (Employers will leave you a message or call you back; they also want professionals who know when and when not to take calls.)

Special Accommodations

If you have a disability and have an accommodations letter from the Disability Resources office, I encourage you to discuss your accommodations and needs with me as early in the semester as possible. I will work with you to ensure that accommodations are provided as appropriate. If you suspect that you may have a disability and would benefit from accommodations but are not yet registered with the Office of Disability Resources, I encourage you to contact them at access@andrew.cmu.edu.

Concern for Students

All of us benefit from support during times of struggle. You are not alone. There are many helpful resources available on campus and an important part of the college experience is learning how to ask for help. Asking for support sooner rather than later is often helpful.

If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings like anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) is here to help: call 412-268-2922 and visit their website at http://www.cmu.edu/counseling/. Consider reaching out to a friend, faculty or family member you trust for help getting connected to the support that can help.


I maintain office hours that are run strictly on a first come, first served basis. However, I am available for appointments on other days and welcome students to stop in at other times without an appointment; if I am busy with something else at the moment then we will set up an appointment to talk at a more convenient time. Contact information is listed below:

  • Professor Heimann
  • Office: Hamburg 3001
  • Phone: 8-8211
  • Hours: Tues 3:30pm-5:30pm, Wed 1:00-3:00pm, Thurs 3:30-5:30pm

Please note that office hours are subject to change and will likely change in the second half of the semester.

Teaching Assistants

Below is a list of the TAs this semester:

If you have a grading concern regarding the sprint deliverables, please talk with your assigned TA first. If you have a grading concern about the exam, please talk with the Kenny first; Jordan can also assist with grading issues, but has limited time as a masters student in HCI so Kenny should be the first option.

The instructor reserves the right to make modifications to the materials in this syllabus during the term as circumstances warrant.