Your grade will be largely determined by your performance in the examinations, with a smaller component from home works and labs. Read on for details.


There will be three in class Term Exams during the semester and a Final Exam. The Term Exams will last 1 hour 15 minutes and be given during the regular lecture time in Hoyt Auditorium. The Final Exam will last 2 hours and is scheduled at the time listed below. The Final Exam is cumulative for the entire semester.

Term Exam 1 Tuesday, February 15 12:30 - 13:45 Hoyt Aud (in class)
Term Exam 2 Tuesday, March 22 12:30 - 13:45 Hoyt Aud (in class)
Term Exam 3 Tuesday, April 12 12:30 - 13:45 Hoyt Aud (in class)
Final Exam Wednesday, May 4 19:15-21:15 Hoyt Auditorium

ID, Calculator and Cheat sheet

For the exams you can bring with you one 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of standard ruled paper with whatever notes you wish to write on it. You may write on both sides, but please don't write in unreadably small script, in your own interest. The intend is to help you remember formulas. You should also bring a scientific (or graphing) calculator. And you must bring your U of R identification card.

Missed Exams

In computing your final course grade we will give you the option of dropping your worst Term Exam score. This allows you to miss an exam with no penalty towards your grade. If you miss one of the Term Exams for any reason whatsoever (no matter how serious or frivolous), that exam will count as your "drop" and will be excluded in computing your final grade. We do not want or need to hear about it. Only if a very good reason is forcing you to miss a second Term Exam should you contact us and we will try to work something out with you. In most cases this will not be an ideal solution, however. Use this flexibility to drop an exam score sparingly and only in a time of real need because we will not negotiate for additional flexibility.

If you miss the Final Exam for this course you will have to take an incomplete in the course and take the Final Exam in May 2012 in order to complete the course. No exceptions will be made.

Re-grading Requests (Changed for Exam 2)

If you notice a numerical error in adding points for your exam score, bring your exam to the Head TA at his next available office hour.

If you believe you have had a problem graded incorrectly you should: (i) first be certain to carefully read the posted solutions to make sure you understand the problem correctly; then if you still feel you have a case you should (ii) leave your exam in the box meet with the TA who graded the problem. The deadline for submission of requests to regrade will be posted on the home page. Late requests will not be accepted.

We reserve the right to completely re-grade exams that are submitted for re-consideration: not just the part that you want. Your grade may go up or down during a re-grade.

If you still believe you have not been graded correctly, please see the Head TA at his next available office hour.The decision of the Head TA will be final.

Overall Score

Your overall numerical score for the course will be computed as the maximum value obtained from the four possible schemes given below. Schemes 1 - 3 allow you to drop your lowest Term Exam score. But if you have done well on all Term Exams and less well on the Final, then scheme 4 may give you the highest numerical average.

Scheme Exam 1 Exam 2 Exam 3 Final Exam Labs Homeworks
1 - - - 20% 20% 35% 15% 10%
2 20% - - - 20% 35% 15% 10%
3 20% 20% - - - 35% 15% 10%
4 15% 15% 15% 30% 15% 10%

You will not receive a grade in the course until you have completed and turned in all the required laboratory work. Of the 15%, 10% at full credit will be given for passing all the labs; the remaining 5% will be based on your total score on the pre-lab questions that accompany each lab.

Your homework average will be based on your scores on the best 8 of the 10 assigned problem sets.

Your grades on the various components of the course will be reported to you, as they get recorded, via the University's Blackboard system. It is your responsibility to notice any recording errors and report them to your TA as soon as possible.

If the class average in a term exam is below 55% or above 90%, we will normalize the scores before calculating the course average.That is, we will multiply all the scores in that exam by a number that will bring the class average to within the range 55%-90%, before calculating your numerical score using the above table. We feel this is the fairest way of evening out the level of difficulty of the exams.

Course Letter Grade

We will assign letter grades based on the above numerical score: the higher your position relative to the class average, the better your grade will be. But, there is no fixed curve to be assigned, and no grade quotas.

If you are close to (but below) a grade boundary (within one point, as we will round course averages to the nearest integer) we may advance you to the higher grade depending on how we judge your effort in the course. A recommendation from your workshop leader will play the main role in this assessment. Here is another reason to attend workshops regularly.

If you are at the bottom of the grading curve it does not necessarily mean you are failing the course. It means we will look very carefully at your scores and your effort. If you are living on bits of partial credit and we don't see that you are putting in serious effort, you may not pass the course. If you are making more mistakes than you should, but we are convinced that you are putting in a good effort, you will pass. However, don't expect a stellar grade in that case.

Thanks for reading this rather long exposition.Today's word is strawberry. We will ask you to read this page if you have questions about the grading scheme.