Home / Basic Information About 6.S966/8.S301 / Grading, Lateness, and Extensions

Grading, Lateness, and Extensions

You are not logged in.

Please Log In for full access to the web site.
Note that this link will take you to an external site (https://shimmer.mit.edu) to authenticate, and then you will be redirected back to this page.

1) Overall Grade

Your overall grade in 6.S966 will be the weighted average of the component grades:

  • Exercises: 60%
  • Participation (Polls and Workshops): 10%
  • Project: 30%
We'll excuse any missing attendance points due to sickness. In other words, you will not be improving your grade in this class by coming to class when you are sick or ill.

The letter-grade cutoffs will not be higher than the following:

  • A: 90%
  • B: 80%
  • C: 70%
  • D: 60%


Typically, exercises are released each Monday at 9am Eastern, and due online (through the course website) the second following Friday at 5pm Eastern. Each Exercise page will explicitly show it's due date at the top of the page. We will make annoucements as necessary in class and on Piazza if there are any changes to this schedule.

Exercises are mostly coding and will be autograded using test cases. We may choose to do some Exercises in class. We will provide Colaboratory (Colab) notebooks with these test cases to help you prototype your code interactively.


We will be taking polls in class to get real time feedback on pace, points of confusion, and to do in class code reviews. To perform our polls we will be using the advanced technology of index cards which will be provided in class. Please bring a writing utensil! Write your Kerberos on the back and response on the front.


Workshops will give your opportunity to give and receive feedback to/from your peers on draft project proposals and in progress computational essays for the Project (more details below). Students will have the option to form workshop groups of 3-4 around similar topics or the instructors will assign groups as needed. Feedback on materials will be provided through forms on the course website.


Please see Project page for more information.

2) Lateness and extensions

Due dates are posted on-line for each component. Late submissions incur a 20% penalty per day, applied linearly (so 1 hour late is -0.83%). See the extension policy below.

To help you manage your obligations, each student is given 10 automatic one-day extensions on Exercises! This does not apply to Polls, Workshops, or Project related deadlines as these are specifically time-sensitve!

  1. If you are ill or are having personal difficulties that are interfering with your work, see the section below.

  2. Otherwise, everyone gets 20 one-day extensions, implemented as follows: at the end of the semester, for each student, we will compute a set of pairs (n, a) such that if we were to move assignment a's deadline forward by n days, their overall total grade would be maximized, subject to the constraint that the total number of days (the sum of the n values) is less than or equal to 20. This can be applied to homework, exercise, or lab check-off assignments.

  3. There will be no further extensions for any other reason (this includes sports, conference travel, music, interviews, projects, extracurricular activities, etc.). You do not need to ask for the extensions to be applied; they are applied algorithmically at the end of the term.

  4. If you add the subject after the start of classes, we will move the week 1 assignment deadlines forward by a week, but will not give any extensions beyond that. However, the normal lateness and automatic extension policy should provide additional help.

3) Accommodations

Illness and personal issues

If you are sick you should not attend lecture or in-person office hours -- we will excuse Poll participation points for illness so you will not be penalized; contact symm4ml-instructors@mit.edu for consideration. Also, if you have personal issues impacting your attendance, or other personal difficulties affecting your progress on assignments, please see a Dean in Student Support Services, and then you and the Dean should contact Prof. Tess Smidt at tsmidt@mit.edu for assistance and handling of the situation.


We are committed to the principle of equal access, and we are more than willing to make arrangements to help accommodate students with disabilities or related challenges. In general, knowing about the kind of help you need earlier in the semester means that we'll be better prepared to provide that help effectively, in coordination with Disability and Access Services. If you have a disability and are not planning to use accommodations, it is still recommended that you meet with DAS staff to familiarize yourself with their services and resources. If you have been approved for accommodations by DAS, 6.S966 staff are ready to assist with implementation. Please send these approved requests to Prof. Tess Smidt at tsmidt@mit.edu to inform us, and we will work to implement these accommodations.