CSE 20: Discrete Math for CS --- FALL 2017 ARCHIVED SITE: DEPRECATED


Course grades will be computed using the following weights.

65% of overall score
Computed by MAX (20% midterm + 45% final, 15% midterm + 50% final, 65% final)
28% of overall score
Drop lowest HW score if do follow-up HW review
5% of overall score
Earn weekly participation credit by attending class and discussion section; make up missed attendance with review quiz
Surveys and feedback
2% split equally across pre-test, pre-class survey, mid-quarter feedback, and end-of-term survey

Minimum letter grade cutoffs

After your weighted average is calculated, letter grades will be assigned based on the following grading scale:

A+, A, A- B+, B, B- C+, C, C- D, F
100-90 89.99-80 79.99-65 Below 65

The boundaries for +/- designations within each letter grades will be determined based on the grade distribution of the class, special effort, etc. We may adjust the above scale to be more lenient (depending on the overall class performance), but we guarantee that we will not adjust the scale to make it harder to get a better grade. In addition, you must pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

Regrade policy

Regrades need to be requested within three days of announcement of grades. To do so, email cse-20-regrades@eng.ucsd.edu with subject line [HW #] Last name, first name or [Midterm] Last name, first name or [Other] Last name, first name. In the body of the message, include:
  • Your full name and PID, as well as your partner's full name and PID if you are asking for regrade of a HW assignment you completed with a partner.
  • The specific question you are asking about, including links to the Gradescope submission if relevant.
  • Explanation about why you think there was an error in the grading.
Emails sent to this address asking for explanations of the rubric will not be answered. Only possible errors in grading will be addressed here.

Homework policy

There will be eight homework assignments. You will work towards mastery of the course techniques by carefully completing them.

After each homework you can complete an optional online HW review highlighting key concepts. If you complete the questionnaire for an assignment and that assignment is your lowest homework score, that score will be dropped from your homework average.

Homework may be done alone or with a partner. Partners may be in any of the sections of CSE 20. You are free to change partners between assignments. Problems should be solved together, not divided up between partners.

Homework solutions should be neatly written or typed and turned in through Gradescope by 11pm. Illegible assignments will not be graded. Submit only one submission per group. One representative group member can upload the submission through their Gradescope account and then add the other group member(s) to the Gradescope submission: make sure to select their names when you "Add Group Members" to the submission; it's not enough to just list their names on the page. For step-by-step instructions on scanning and uploading your homework, see this handout.

Late homeworks will not be accepted. Submit early drafts well before the deadline to make sure partial work is graded.

For homework help, consult your textbook, class notes and podcast, lecture slides, instructors, TAs, and tutors. It is considered a violation of the policy on academic integrity to:

  • look or ask for answers to homework problems in other texts or sources, including the internet, or to
  • discuss the homework problems with anyone outside your group (unless you are in office hours with someone from the instructional team).
Only post about graded homework questions on Piazza if you suspect a typo in the assignment, or if you don't understand what the question is asking you to do. Other questions are best addressed in office hours.

Exam policy

There will be one midterm exam and one final exam. The midterm will be during the usual lecture time and place and you must attend the lecture for which you are registered. No makeup tests will be given.

If your final exam score is higher than your midterm score, your final exam will be weighted more heavily. If you miss the midterm exam, your score will be 0 unless you have a documented, valid excuse. In this case, your final exam score will count for your entire exam portion.

The exams will test all material covered up to the day of the exam. In particular, the final exam will be cumulative and will cover all material from the whole term.

You may not use calculators on any exams but you may use a handwritten notes, double-sided on a standard sized index card.

You must have a passing score on the final exam in order to pass the course.

Participation policy

In Weeks 1 through 10 (starting with the second lecture of the quarter), you will earn credit for attending and participating in lecture (2 points each) and discussion section (1 point).

We highly recommend actively participating in class, attending discussion, and completing the weekly review quizzes. Each weekly review quiz will be worth 5 points and will be counted for credit if it is submitted before 11pm on Wednesday night. Any points that you miss on the weekly review quiz can be made up through lecture attendance (each lecture = 2 points) and discussion attendance (1 point).

The lowest weekly participation score will be dropped when calculating your participation average.

Clicker questions will be graded for participation only and not correctness of the response. Full credit for clicker points for a given day will be awarded for clicking in at least 80/% of the time that day. Forgetting your clicker counts as missing a class, so please remember to bring it!

Do not attempt to falsify iClicker or discussion participation or review quiz submissions. This is considered a violation of academic integrity.

You will complete and submit review quizzes online. You can submit as many times as you like. The latest submission before 11pm on Wednesday will count towards your participation score.The review quiz must be completed independently and individually. You may refer to your textbook and class notes and slides but not other references. You may not share information about the review quiz with others, take the review quiz in someone else's name, or ask anyone for prior knowledge about the review quiz.

Participation credit from lecture and discussion section will be used to make up any lost points on that week's review quiz. For example, full credit for the week's participation score can be earned by any one of the following scenarios: (1) answering all questions on the review quiz correctly; or (2) attending both lectures and one discussion section; or (3) attending two lectures and getting one answer correct on the review quiz; etc.

Getting help

We want you to do well in the class and also to get excited about the material. Outside the class and discussion time, we encourage you to attend office hours to ask questions and talk about the class.

Drop-in group office hours: Prof. Minnes, each TA, and each tutor will hold office hours each week where you can drop by and ask questions about the homework, key concepts, or the class in general. See the Google calendar on the main page for times and locations of these office hours.

One-on-one tutoring sessions: Each tutor and TA will be available for one-on-one sessions to catch up or dig deeper on tough concepts. These half-hour sessions must be booked in advice (booking procedure TBA) and cannot focus on the current HW assignment.

Accommodations for students with disabilities

Students requesting accommodations for this course due to a disability must provide a current Authorization for Accommodation (AFA) letter issued by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) which is located in University Center 202 behind Center Hall. Students are required to present their AFA letters to Faculty (please make arrangements to contact me privately) and to the OSD Liaison in the department in advance (by the end of week 2, if possible) so that accommodations may be arranged. For more information, see here.

Academic Integrity

The Jacobs School of Engineering code of Academic Integrity is here. Academic integrity violations will be taken seriously and reported to the campus-wide Academic Integrity Office. Ignorance of the rules will not excuse you from any violations. Key facts about academic integrity related to CSE20:

  • Do not discuss homework problems with people besides your homework group members and the instructional staff.
  • Do not share written solutions or partial solutions with other groups.
  • Prepare your final written solution without consulting any written material except class notes and the class text.
  • Do not use any external resources (other than the allowed index card of notes) during the in-class exams.
  • Before taking an exam or quiz, do not attempt to obtain information about the contents of the exam from students who have already taken it. After taking an exam or quiz, do not discuss its contents with anyone in the class who has not yet taken it.


The IDEA Engineering Student Center, located just off the lobby of Jacobs Hall, is a hub for student engagement, academic enrichment, personal/professional development, leadership, community involvement, and a respectful learning environment for all. The Center offers a variety of programs, listed in the IDEA Center Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ucsdidea/ and the Center web site at http://idea.ucsd.edu/. The IDEA Center programs support both undergraduate students and graduate students.

Educational Research

This class is participating in research to understand an array of specific classroom and learning experience that students have in response to the pedagogical and curricular decisions instructors make and to address the following research questions:

  • What pedagogies lead to better learning outcomes, and for which students?
  • What educational practices increase the persistence and success of students, particularly those from underrepresented groups?
  • What student practices lead to increased learning and success in real-world settings?
Answers to these questions will inform teaching practice at UC San Diego, and also have the potential to contribute to the global knowledge base of how to improve student learning in a large university setting.

For details on this research and to understand the consent process, please see this document.