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Course Policies :: 67-327

Fall 2018

This page contains information on policies specific to the 67-311 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:

Grading
Regrades
Labs
Summary Exercise
Readings
Questions and Piazza
Laptops
Concern for Students
Special Accommodations
Faculty
TA Information

Grades

Grades in this course are determined by student performance in four areas: five in-class 'lab exercises' (worth 6% each), one summary exercise, a.k.a. 'lab 6' (worth 25% each), one in-class exam (worth 30%) and attendance and quizzes (periodically; worth 15% total). Any grading curves, if deemed necessary, will be applied only to the final course score and not to individual assignments.

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.

Exams and the course project (a.k.a. 'lab 6') is designed to be completed by individuals without the assistance of classmates or other students. We have made a separate statement regarding the honesty and integrity policy for the IS program and require that students review this policy as soon as possible. The IS program considers 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.

Regrades

Any questions or concerns about grading must be directed to the Head TA 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 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 endrun through the process, you will be sent back to discuss the matter with the Head TA. 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.)

Being able to deliver work products on-time is important in the world of information systems, and for that reason we will be firm on the deadlines associated with class assignments. For electronically submitted assignments, any project turned in after 12:00pm on the day it is due will receive an automatic 20 percent penalty. Assignments more than 24 hours late will not be accepted without a special exemption from Professor Heimann.

Labs

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 2. These hands-on lab assignments will be completed during class time on Fridays. If the lab is not completed during class, students will have until 6pm that day to complete the lab. All labs are graded on the percent of tasks completed during the time allotted, which we hope is 100% for everyone. Students are required to have a working laptop for each lab (can be borrowed from a friend; any OS is acceptable) that is set up to run Ruby on Rails, Git and other technologies used in 67-272. Students must also have a copy of Burp Suite on the laptop they take to lab. The free edition of Burp Suite will be fine for labs (professional version works as well).

Summary Exercise

The summary exercise ('lab 6') will be given in class on Monday, October 10th and must be completed by 4pm on Tuesday, October 18th. The exercise is both open-book and open-notes, but it must be completed individually without the help of other students or people either in or outside of class. Students may not discuss any aspect of the exercise with other students. If there is any evidence of collaboration on this exercise, that will sufficient grounds to give the collaborators a failing grade regardless of their performance in other aspects of the course. (Bottom line: do NOT collaborate with other students on this exercise lest you fail the class automatically.)

Readings

The required book for this class is Web Application Security, A Beginner's Guide by Bryan Sullivan and Vincent Liu. Additionally, course content will draw heavily from The Web Application Hacker's Handbook by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto. I am not requiring this book for this mini-course because it is over 700 pages in length; so while it is great reference, it is also so large and detailed that few students actually read it in the past. Students who want more details will find this book helpful. I will also hand out additional materials in class -- anything handed out in class is required reading and fair game for the exam.

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 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/fall2018/67327/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

Because laptops, tablets, and cellphones can be a distraction to students in 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 cellphones to silent mode prior to the start of class and leave them in your pockets or purses. (One exception: during exams all cellphones 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.)

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.

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.

Faculty

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

Teaching Assistants

Below are our TAs for this semester:

TAs will assist in hands-on sessions in class as well as holding office hours to assist students with the summary exercise.

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