Exams and grading, TAM 202, Fall 2002

The prelims and final exam are closed book, no notes, no calculators. A student who can do all of the homework problems from start to end with no help from any sources, and justify every step if someone challenges them, is guaranteed to do well on the prelims and the final exam.

All exams in this class will be such that it will be possible to get 100% on all with no use of Matlab.
Unless otherwise stated for a problem, if you reduce the solution to correct Matlab commands that would yielda correct solution, and you have noted how to interpret the Matlab output, you can (depending on the quality and clarity of the problem setup) get full credit for a problem.


Prelims will allow extra time to reduce time pressure (for students with special needs and all others).
Prelim 1:
Tues Oct 1, 7:30-9:00 (+ one hour extra),
          prelim 1,   prelim 1 "solutions" ,  grader comments,     Makeup exam (no solns available)
          Bao and Tang students go to Hollister B14;
          Viay, Pankaj, and Peeush studentsgo to Kimball B11.
Prelim 2: Tues Nov 5, 7:30-9:00 (+ one hour extra)
         prelim 2 w/ solutionsgrader comments,       Makeup exam (no solns available)
          Bao and Tang students go to Hollister B14;
          Viay, Pankaj, and Peeush studentsgo to Kimball B11.
Early makeup for those with conflicts and needing extra time: 5:00 PM, same day, with prior permission.You must stay in the exam room from 5:00 until 7:30, bring food (we will give you a note excusing you for lateness to your next test). Thurston 204.
Makeup prelim:
(for those who missed both a prelim and early makeup, with prior permission): Monday Dec 9, 9 - 12 AM. Room TBA
Homework exam.
If you are sure you can do the homework but are worried about passing the class, on Tuesday Dec 10 at 10 AM you can take a homework exam to get a guaranteed C-. Five problems will be given. Each will be a homework problem, a prelim problem, or a part thereof but possibly with the variable names changed, the numbers changed, and the figure may be rotated. None will be from the homework due Dec 10. Bring a calculator. If you get four of the five problems completely correct you get a guaranteed C- independent of all other course work. If you do not get four problems completely right this extra exam is ignored in your grade calculation. Bring food. You will have 6 hours to work. Closed book and closed notes. Thurston 204. Contact Andy Ruina (alr3) if you plan to take this test. Here is the exam given and the exam solutions.

Final Exam (comprehensive). Tue Dec 17, 9:00-11:30, no extra time. Baker Lab 200.The final exam will have 5 questions.
           Final examsolutions, and grading comments.

Final grade: Your final grade will be determined by a number which counts the homework and prelims together as 50% (see paragraph below), the final exam 35%, and the labs 15%. TAs can add a few points for good section, office hour, or bonus project performance. One bonus point will be awarded for completing a course evaluation form (to be distributed in one of the last three lectures). The median student will get a B or B-, depending on overall class performance.

The 50% homework and prelim grade will be determined by the following complicated recipe. The total homework grade will be determined by dropping each student's lowest 2 homework scores. The total homework grade and the two prelim grades will each be rescaled so that the course median homework grade is the same as the course median for each of the two prelims. Then the HW/prelim grade will be calculated two different ways:
     first as the average of the three rescaled components (HW + P1 + P2)/3,
     second as the average of the two rescaled prelim grades (P1 + P2)/2.
The better of these two averages will be used for the 50% of the grade from homework and prelims. Thus, a student can half makeup for a blown prelim by an excellent homework total. And a different student can get an A+ with a terrible homework grade and near-perfect lab and exam scores. This scheme, like other drop-the-lowest schemes, helps students who have one very weak spot and does not help those who are consistent performers.

Finally, students who can get 4 out of 5 problems completely correct on the homework exam automatically get at least a C-.

Write to TAM 202 Staff