If you have any questions or concerns, please ask in
lecture, during office hours, or in Piazza (either publicly or via a
priave post to the instructors).
Quizzes are graded automatically by Moodle. Your grade is recorded as soon as you submit each quiz. You may submit each quiz as many times as you like before the deadline, with no penalty, but you must retake the entire quiz each time. Only the last submission of each quiz actually counts, even if you got a higher score in an earlier attempt.
Homeworks are graded by the course staff. In order to keep grading fast and consistent, all submissions for each numbered problem will be graded using the following simplified scale:
Homework solutions may include more detailed 10-point rubrics, reflecting how we would grade each problem if it appeared on an exam.
A score of $n$ points on the 10-point scale corresponds to a score of $n/2$ on the 5-point scale.
- Missing, incomprehensible, or not-even-wrong. Corresponds to an "F" on the problem.
- A good-faith but mostly incorrect solution. Corresponds to a "D" on the problem.
- On the right track, but with significant errors or omissions. Corresponds to a "C" on the problem.
- Basic idea along the (a) right track, demonstrating significant
knowledge of the solution, but still with at one or more nontrvial errors
or omissions, or many minor problems. Corresponds to a "B" on the problem.
- Mostly correct, but with only a few minor errors or omissions. Corresponds to an "A" on the problem.
- Absolutely perfect. (This score should be rare.) Corresponds to an "A+" on the problem.
Style points for presentation and clarity will also be awarded (or not) for each homework
on a scale of 0 to 1, in increments of .25 points as follows:
- 0 pts: Missing, completely unreadable, or not even wrong.
- .25 pts: Difficult to understand without significant effort.
- .5 pts: Understandable with some effort.
- .75 pts: Reasonably clear and well-organized.
- 1 pt: Very clear, easy to follow, well presented.
Graded homeworks will appear in Moodle via pdf annotation, and the scores
will appear in Moodle gradebook. Graded exams are returned in lab sections.
We will attempt to get graded homeworks back to you within a week.
Students can look up their homework and exam grades on the course
Homework and exam solutions will be posted at most a day after the corresponding submission deadline. Homework and exam solutions will include the rubrics used by the graders.
Please check that your grades are tabulated and recorded correctly. If you notice a mistake, please bring your graded work to one of the TAs; we will correct it immediately.
If you believe that your work has been graded incorrectly, please
request a regrade. Homework will be regraded by the TAs; Lenny
and Chandra will regrade exams. To request a regrade, print off
your graded annotated pdf assignment and attach a brief written explanation. (For example, "My answer agrees with the posted solution." or "My grade does not match the posted rubric." or "My algorithm does not match the posted solution, but it is still correct." or "The posted solution is incorrect; here's a counterexample.")
We can only grade what you actually wrote. You cannot get a higher grade by explaining what you meant. Modifying your homework or exam before asking for a regrade is an egregious violation of academic integrity policies, which will result in an automatic F in the course.
Regrade requests must be submitted at most two weeks after graded work is returned. Except for arithmetic mistakes, late regrade requests will be ignored.
- If you submit a regrade request, we will regrade the submitted problem from scratch. Your grade may go down.
We will readily admit, apologize for, and correct our mistakes if you have been graded unfairly. However, please remember that "unfairly" means your grade is inconsistent with the published grading rubric, or that you were graded more harshly than other students, not just that you think the rubric is too harsh. Please also keep in mind that each homework point is worth approximately 0.1% of your final course grade. Frivolous regrade requests will be met with the scorn they deserve.
We will determine final course grades as follows.
(What do you expect from an algorithms course?)
- Compute raw totals from homework and exam scores, excluding extra credit. Course work is weighted as follows:
We will drop your lowest quiz score.
We expect to assign about 30 homework problems. We will drop your
four lowest homework problem scores (not your four
lowest homework sets).
There will be two midterm exams, each worth 21% of your raw total, and a cumultive final exam, worth 28% of your raw total. We do not plan to drop any exam problems.
Exceptions: Any forgiven homeworks or exams will be treated as though they were never assigned; we will drop the same fraction of each student's unforgiven scores. On the other hand, we will not drop zeros that result from cheating offenses.
- Compute adjusted totals, which include extra credit points. Extra credit points are not necessarily worth the same as regular points.
- Remove outliers at both ends of the curve.
- Anyone with an adjusted total over 90% automatically gets an A+. This rule typically applies to the top 2–3% of the class.
- Anyone with an adjusted total below 33% or an adjusted
homework total below 50%,
or an adjusted exam total below a threshold to be determined based
on the difficulty of the exams, or who otherwise does not appear to be making a good faith effort, automatically gets an F. This rule typically applies to the bottom 2-3% of the class. These are not the only ways to fail!
- Determine letter-grade cutoffs from the raw totals. Outliers 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.
- Compute final letter grades (for non-outliers) from adjusted totals.
- Adjust grades upwards as necessary to account for
exam difficulty (or ease), student marked improvement, or to take into account
other miscellaneous factors.