The grade that you'll receive will be your last, we swear.

CS 473: Grading Policies

If you have any questions or concerns, please ask in lecture, during office hours, on the course website, or by email.

Graded work

Regrade requests

Final course grades

We will determine final course grades as follows. (What do you expect from an algorithms course?)
  1. Compute raw totals from homework and exam scores, excluding extra credit. Course work is weighted as follows:

  2. Compute adjusted totals, which include extra credit points. Extra credit points are not necessarily worth the same as regular points.

  3. Remove outliers at both ends of the curve.

  4. Determine letter-grade cutoffs from the raw totals. Outliers and graduate students are excluded from the cutoff computation to avoid unfairly skewing the curve. The mean is a borderline B–/C+, and each standard deviation is worth one full letter grade. For example, the B+/B cutoff is 2/3 standard deviations above the mean, and the D/D– cutoff is 5/3 standard deviations below the mean.

  5. Compute final letter grades (for non-outliers, including graduate students) from adjusted totals.

  6. Adjust grades upwards at the instructor's whim.

Here are rough statistics from the last four times Jeff taught CS 473.

Semester Mean ± stdev Min pass #As #Bs #Cs #Ds #Fs
Typical 70% ± 12% 45% 23% 30% 28% 17% 2%
Fall 2006 65% ± 11% 40% 25 26 23 13 5
Spring 2009 66% ± 13% 43% 21 25 26 14 2
Spring 2010 72% ± 12% 47% 24 34 35 16 3
Fall 2012 71% ± 13% 44% 36 51 42 33 2

We will not compute letter grades for individual homeworks and exams. However, we may occasionally post expected letter grades during the semester, based on the work that has been graded so far. We will compute these estimates by simple averaging, without dropping low homework and exam scores, and without extra credit points. Please keep in mind that these are very rough conservative estimates.