Grading

Your grade will be computed according to the following scheme:

Problem sets and quizzes:  20%
Each midterm exam:  25%
Final exam:  30%

Exams will be curved but problems sets and quizzes will not. In assigning the final letter grade, in addition to considering your numerical scores from each graded component of the course, I will adhere to the following guidelines.

Grades at Wellesley College are described in the Articles of Government as follows:

(a) Grade A is given to students who meet with conspicuous excellence every demand which can fairly be made by the course.
(b) Grade B is given to those students who add to the minimum of satisfactory attainment excellence in not all, but some of the following: organization, accuracy, originality, understanding, insight.
(c) Grade C is given to those students who have attained a satisfactory familiarity with the content of a course and who have demonstrated ability to use this knowledge in a satisfactory manner.
(d) Grade D is a passing grade.
(e) Grade F denotes failure and loss of credit for the course.

Here are more details about each component of the grade:

Problem sets: The homework can be found on the assignments page.  You are responsible for doing the exercises as the material is covered in class. Problems sets will usually be due on Fridays by 5 pm. It is very important that you keep up with the assigned work since the exams will be based on homework problems. Each homework assignment will contain some problems of the sort you have not seen before (i.e. of the sort not done in class or worked out in the textbook). The reason for this is that the best measure of a good grasp of new material is an ability to apply it in new situations, and problems that look unfamiliar at first glance are meant to test this.  Lowest homework grade will be dropped. 

An important note about homework collaboration and the Honor Code:  You are welcome to work with your classmates or tutors from the helproom when solving homework problems. In the event that you have taken notes while working with someone else, you must put these notes away and recreate the solutions on your own as you enter them into WebWork.  Using notes from a collaboration while answering your homework problems will be considered a violation of the Honor Code. In addition, you may NOT consult a written solution to a problem you are working on (whether it be online or in a book). Breaches in the Honor Code in any aspect of the course will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the college legislation. If you have any questions about this policy, please talk to me.

Quizzes: Two 20-minute quizzes will be given before each midterm exam, on Friday, October 13 and Tuesday, November 28. They will contain 3-4 problems that will be much like the ones you will encounter on the midterms and the final. The idea is to give you practice with solving exam-like problems under a time constraint. Each problem will count as much as a homework problem (and will thus account for very little of your final grade).

Midterm exam: There will be two in-class midterms. They will take place on Friday, October 20 and Friday, December 1.  More detail about the midterms will be given later.

Final exam: The final will be self-scheduled. More detail about the final will be given later.