Welcome to CS349 web page!

[home] [syllabus] [lecture notes] [assignments] [project] [documentation]

Course Description
Time and Location
About assignments
Project grades
Grading Policy
Collaboration Policy
About Lecture Notes
FirstClass Conference
Other Resources
Your feedback (an anonymous form)

NEW! Click here to see the projects!

Course Description

This course covers topics related to Internet marketing applications (electronic commerce). The topics include: data storage and retrieval (relational databases, SQL), web technology (client/server model, Java inteface to relational databases), and web security (cryptography and ciphers, secure internet protocols, digital certificates, digital signatures, and digital envelopes, firewalls). A core component of the course is a semester-long project on designing, implementing, and testing a web site for a virtual business. The site serves as an interface to a database of products and allows to fill order forms and "buy" products with virtual "money".


Elena Machkasova (please call me Elena)
Office: SCI E127, Phone: X3172
E-mail: emachkas@wellesley.edu
Office hours: Tue. 4:30-5:30pm, Thu. 10am-12noon, Fri. 3:30-4:30pm,
or by appointment.

The easiest way for you to contact me is by e-mail. I read and answer my e-mail regularly.

Time and Location

Lectures Tue., Fri. 1:30-2:40pm, SCI E111

About assignments

There will be two kinds of assignments in the class. Please read carefully about policies for each kind, note that these policies are quite different! To submit a late assignment, please slide it under my office door. Please write down the date and and time of the submission on the first page, without such a note I will assume that it has been submitted at the time when I have found it.

Even though late project assignments are accepted, I strongly discourage you from submitting assignments late. Assignments follow one another, so finishing one assignment late makes you late on starting the next one, which means that you are more likely to be late with the next one, and so on... It is much more to your benefit so submit a not-quite-finished assignment for a partial credit and start early on the next one.

In exceptional cases (illness, family emergency, etc.) an extension may be given on assignments, provided you discuss the situation with me before the assignment is due or, in extreme cases, as soon as it becomes possible for you to contact me. Please also make sure to get in touch with your project group members and discuss the situation.

Please keep in mind that if one member of a project group is sick, the other ones have to finish the project assignment to the best of their ability and submit it on time, unless an extension has been arranged in advance.

Project grades

Projects are done in groups of 3-4 students. As a general policy, all members of a project group get the same grade for each piece of work related to the project (s.a. a project assignment or a presentation). However, if the contribution of a person is significantly different from the contribution of others in the group throughout the semester, grades based on individual work may be given. This may happen in one of three cases: In each of these cases I will talk to each student in the group to discuss a possibility of giving individual grades. This decision will be made in the end of the semester, since it is based on overall work on the project. To make it possible to judge individual contribution of each student, it is required that you specify contribution of each team member in every project assignment.

Please discuss a fair "division of labor" with the members of your group in the very beginning and throughout the semester. The best way of organizing your work is for each of you to contribute equally to each assignment. If it happens so that one of you did more than another one on one assignment, try to correct the "inbalance" on the next assignment.

If you feel that the amount of work is not balanced in your group, please talk to your teammates. If it does not seem to help, please talk to me, and I'll try to work out a solution.


The course has two exams: Both exams are open-notes.

Grading Policy

The grade in the course is computed as follows:
Project assignments 30%
End result and presentation 20%
Midterm exam 15%
Final exam 20%
Problem sets: 15%
Total: 100%
Each problem set and each project assignment will be counted according to its grade point value.

Collaboration Policy

We believe that collaboration fosters a healthy and enjoyable educational environment. For this reason, we encourage you to talk with other students about the course and to form study groups. Unless otherwise instructed, feel free to discuss assignments with other students and exchange ideas about how to solve the problems. However, there is a thin line between collaboration and plagiarizing the work of others. Unless otherwise instructed, you must compose your own solution to each problem set. In particular, when working on individual assignments, while you may discuss strategies for approaching the programming assignments with your classmates and may receive general debugging advice from them, you are required to write all of your own code. Furthermore, you should never look at another student's code. In general, it is unacceptable (1) to write a program together and turn in two copies of the same program, (2) to copy code written by your classmates, or (3) to read another student's code. However, it is OK to borrow code from the textbooks, from material discussed in class, and from other sources as long as you give proper credit.

In keeping with the standards of the scientific community, you must give credit where credit is due. If you make use of an idea that was developed by (or jointly with) others, please reference them appropriately in your work, e.g., if person X gets a key idea for solving a problem from person Y, person X's solution should begin with a note that says "I worked with Y on this problem" and should say "The main idea (due to Y) is ...'' in the appropriate places. It is unacceptable for students to work together but not to acknowledge each other in their write-ups.

When working on a project, you may, of course, work together on program code with members of your project group, but the collaboration standards above apply to all of your classmates who are not in your project group.

Lecture Notes

Lecture notes will be posted on the lecture notes page. While I'll try to post notes in advance, sometimes I may edit and update them right until the time of the lecture, so please make sure that you have the latest version for preparing for an exam. If I change notes after the lecture, I'll send an announcement to the class conference.

FirstClass Conference

The conference for the class is called CS349-S02. All announcements for the class are posted in the subconference CS349-S02 Announcements. It is your responsibility to read this conference on a regular basis.

There are two conferences set up for questions and answers:

You are also strongly encouraged to read these conferences and to post there, not only your questions, but also your answers to other's questions. This material of the course, and especially the course project, are entirely new to Wellesley curriculum, so it is hard for me to anticipate in advance what problems you may encounter in working on the project or studying for the exam, and it may take a while for me to answer every single question on the conference. Your own input in solving these problems, finding references for material that answers questions, and so on, is crucial for making this course a successful learning experience for you.

The conference CS349-S02 Talk is for students in the class to talk to each other about orgainizational issues, s.a. choosing partners for a project group, setting up study groups for exams, etc. I will not be reading this conference on a regular basis, though I may glance there occasionally.

Other Resources

Tons of information on the material of the course is available online. The page documentation has a lot of links that you will, hopefully, find very helpful. Some of these links have in turn links to other good sources of information. I will be adding more material to this page as the course progresses. If you find a good link on any subject related to the course, please let every one know about it (in class or via the FirstClass conference), I'll add it to the documentation page.

Your feedback

Your feedback for this course is very welcome! Please let me know all your suggestions and concerns. I am always happy to discuss any issue related to the course, personally or by e-mail. In addition to this you can submit your feedback via an anonymous form. This form will send me your feedback without specifying whom is it from. The access word for this form will be announced in class. The purpose of the access word is to make sure that only students in this class use the form.

Students with Special Needs

If you have any disabilities (including "hidden" ones, like learning disabilities), you are encouraged to meet with an instructor to discuss accommodations that may be helpful to you.

This page has been created and is maintained by Elena Machkasova
Comments and suggestions are welcome at emachkas@wellesley.edu

Spring Semester 2002