CMSC 631, Fall 2010

Program Analysis and Understanding


Subject to change, especially until the start of the semester.

Grading and Expectations

The final course grade will be made up of the following components:

  • Homework and Programming Assignments (30%) During the semester, there will be several short written homework assignments; a few programming assignments; and assignments using the Coq proof assistant.
  • Project (35%) You will be expected to complete a substantial research project during the semester. Projects may be completed individually or in pairs. For more details, see the projects page.
  • Participation and Presentation (10%) You will present your project to the class, and if there is time, we will include student presentations of existing papers (probably on static analysis tools). The criteria for grading presentations are given below. You will also be graded on contributions to class discussion.
  • Final Exam (25%) This course will include a final exam, which will cover material from the homeworks, programming assginments, and other lecture material.

Late Policy

Written assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date. Programming assignments (or assignments developed in Coq) are due at midnight on the due date. Neither written nor programming assignments may be turned in late. If you cannot make a due date because of extenuating circumstances, or because it conflicts with a religious holiday, please inform the instructor as soon as possible.

Course Evaluations

Your participation in the evaluation of courses through CourseEvalUM is a responsibility you hold as a student member of our academic community. Your feedback is confidential and important to the improvement of teaching and learning at the University as well as to the tenure and promotion process. CourseEvalUM will be open for you to complete your evaluations for fall semester courses between Tuesday, December 1 and Sunday, December 13. Please go directly to the website ( to complete your evaluations starting December 1. By completing all of your evaluations each semester, you will have the privilege of accessing online, at Testudo, the evaluation reports for the thousands of courses for which 70% or more students submitted their evaluations.

If you are a teaching assistant, be sure to encourage your students to complete course evaluations at the same time you are completing your own.

Academic Dishonesty

The college policy on academic dishonesty is strictly followed. All graded materials must be strictly individual efforts. Projects may include collaboration as permitted by the instructor.


Student presentations will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Understanding: does the presenter understand the problem in a larger context, and place the solution within it?
  • Background/perspective: does the presenter understand the relevant related work?
  • Clarity: can the audience understand the presentation? is the "big picture" clear? are there useful examples?
  • Materials: do the slides or use of blackboard illustrate and support the talk? are there diagrams to help convey the technicalities? (when your talk gets into deep territory, a diagram is worth 10K words)
  • Delivery: has the the presenter practiced?
  • Answering questions: can the presenter handle questions from the audience?

Valid HTML 4.01!