CS 473: Grading Policies

If you have any questions or concerns about these policies, please ask in lecture, during office hours, on Piazza, or by email.

Graded homeworks and exams

Regrade requests

Final course grades

We will determine final course grades as follows. (What do you expect from an algorithms course?)
  1. Compute everyone's raw total: 25% homework + 75% exams (30% final, 22.5% for each midterm), excluding extra credit points.
  2. Compute everyone's adjusted total, by adding extra credit points to the raw totals. 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 undergraduate raw totals. Outliers and graduate students are excluded from the cutoff computation to avoid unfairly skewing the curve for undergraduates. The mean is the center of the B range, and each standard deviation is worth 3/4 of a letter grade. For example, the B+/A– cutoff is 2/3 standard deviations above the mean, and the B–/C+ cutoff is 2/3 standard deviations below the mean.
  5. Compute final letter grades (for non-outliers) from adjusted averages.
  6. Adjust grades (only upwards!) at the instructor's whim.

This algorithm ensures that extra credit can only increase your grade, that other people's extra credit does not affect your grade, and that the curve isn't skewed by the handful of outliers in every class.