A student writes:

        Dr. Patt:

        I was curious about the way that you grade our programming 
        assignment.  Is there one specific program that you're 
        looking for, or is it just enough that our program does 
        what the assignment asks us to do?

        <<name withheld to protect the student who is worried ...unnecessarily>>

I almost did not forward this to the entire class, since my first thought
was that very few students would ask this question.  Then I remembered the
time when my younger sister asked me to look at her Geometry proof that had
been marked completely wrong (as in, "zero" points) because she had not
barfed back the proof the high school teacher had expected the class to
memorize.  ...and he did not know enough geometry to actually go over my
sister's proof to see if it was correct.

So, for those of you who were in my sister's class in high school geometry:
NO, there is no one specific program that we are looking for.  In fact,
programming is a design process, and with design, there rarely is one correct
solution.  We will grade your program on the basis of whether it does what the
assignment asks you to do.  ...and that it works for all cases.  For example,
your solution to this first programming assignment has to work for all bit 
patterns in x3100 and all legitimate values in x3101.  

...and that will continue to be the case throughout the semester.

It would be nice if your program was straightforward, and did not solve
the problem by going through unnecessary contortions.  But we are likely 
to not penalize you for that unless your program is so eggregiously
complicated that it is beyond my poor old brain's capability of 
understanding what is going on.

Good luck finishing your first programming assignment.

Yale Patt