Main Course Webpage

General information


Here are some guidelines for electronic communication (email and forum postings). These are meant to help you get answers more quickly by allowing us to better cope with the potentially high volume of email we receive.

Giving feedback

Rather than wait until the official course evaluations at the end of the term, by which point it's too late to make a difference, please feel free to get in touch with your instructor at any point during the term with any suggestion or complaint that you have about any aspect of the course. In particular, don't hesitate to let us know if there are aspects of the course that you particularly like, so that we can keep them that way, or if there are specific aspects that you dislike, so that we can make changes (or discuss with you our reasons for doing things the way we do).

If you are uncomfortable bringing your concerns directly to us, you might consider mentioning it to your TA so that they can pass them on. Failing that, feel free to use any means that makes you more comfortable to give us feedback.

Note that this does not mean that we will accept unfounded complaints! If you have a complaint or criticism that you are ready to discuss in a reasonable manner, that's great. If you are merely unhappy but you have nothing constructive to say (e.g., "this course is terrible", with no thought about why or how it is terrible), then you should wait and think it over: if you are unhappy, there must be a reason — that's what we want to know! Remember that the goal is to help improve the course, not just to vent. But in that case, please do think about it and let us know!

Contact information

Instructor: François Pitt
Email: fpitt [at]
Phone: 416–978–3707 (email is strongly preferred)
Office: BA 4264
Office Hours: TWF 2–4 [here is my full weekly schedule, in PDF]


Section Time Room
L0101 MWF 10 LM 161


Section Time Room For students whose last name starts with...
T0101-A R 2 BA 2145 A–K
T0101-B R 2 BA 1240 L–Z

CS Help Centre

In addition to lectures and tutorials, and my regular office hours (which you are strongly encouraged to attend whenever you have any question or concern about the course), the CS Help Centre is a nice study space with help available, run by experienced TAs, located in room BA 2230. It is open every Monday to Thursday, 4–6pm, from the first day of classes (Sep. 10) until the last day of exams (Dec. 21).

See the second page of the Course Information Sheet for a complete calendar of important dates and course events.

Grading scheme

Work Weight
Class Participation: 2%
4 Assignments: 30% (7.5% each)
12 Quizzes: 18% (1.5% each)
1 Midterm Tests: 10%
1 Final Examination: 40%

Policy on special consideration ("Petitions")

If you are unable to complete homework or if you miss a quiz or test due to major illness or other circumstances completely outside of your control, please contact your instructor immediately in order to receive special consideration. Note that special consideration will be considered on an individual basis and will not be given automatically — in other words, you risk getting a mark of zero for missed work unless you contact your instructor promptly.

In the case of illness, medical documentation must be supplied on the standard University of Toronto Student Medical Certificate (PDF). You can also obtain a paper copy of this certificate from your college registrar or in your registration handbook. (A simple "note" from your doctor is unfortunately not acceptable.)

Policy on remarking requests

All remarking requests must be received within two weeks of the date when the homework, quiz or test was returned. It is your responsibility to check course announcements regularly (for work returned electronically) or to pick up your work in lecture, tutorial, or from the instructor during office hours (for work returned on paper).

Please be specific when you write up your request: either clearly demonstrate that the marking scheme was not followed correctly, or ask questions about specific elements in the marking scheme. Note that marks are awarded based on merit, not on need — that is the only fair way to award marks — so statements like "I worked really hard" or "I really need those marks" are unfortunately not good reasons.

If you are comparing your work to that of another student, hand in both tests or include both usernames in your request.

If you are still not satisfied after getting back your remarked homework or test (or after having a meeting with the marker), contact your instructor to discuss your situation.

Textbook and references

Required textbook

Additional references

LaTeX links

LaTeX is a general-purpose typesetting system that makes it easy to generate high-quality documents, particularly when formatting mathematical formulae.

Source files

Tutorials, guides, references, etc.

Useful links