About the ECE 313 Concept Matrix

Summer 2014

Rather than turning in problems sets this semester, you will be expected to read the notes and attempt to solve the short answer questions and many of the even numbered problems in the notes. The concepts to be covered, along with the sections of the notes you should read to learn about them, and the even numbered problems you should solve, are listed for each half week in a table on the main course web page. The solutions to the even numbered problems are included in the appendix of the notes. Solutions will ** not ** be collected from you, but you are strongly encouraged to work out the problems on your own; only looking at the solutions when you are truly stuck. Learning how to use probability theory is best done through problem solving.

We encourage you to start the required reading and familiarize yourself with
the concepts to be learned for the week before the beginning of the week, and perhaps view some of the
short videos for the material. While we hope you find the videos useful, ** the videos are not intended to be a
replacement for reading the notes. ** Typically the videos focus on problem solving, whereas you need
to read the notes for the basic theory that is applied.

TIP: You can save time by demonstrating multiple concepts at one go--often the concepts for a given week are closely related. While we will try to adjust staffing hours to meet your needs, you might want to avoid lines that may grow shortly before the deadline for a group of concepts.

The protocol for concept matrix certification is as follows:

- Protocol rule 1: Read the notes and learn the concepts, either on your own or working in study groups. Make use of Piazza as needed for Q&A. You should know the concepts before seeking certification. There isn’t time for TAs and instructors to simultaneously, individually, teach and certify you on the concepts.
- Protocol rule 2: You will be certified in groups of two, three, or possibly more students. You could either form a group prior to the office hour, or form one on the spot at the office hour with other students who happen to be at the office hour. The students in your group should ask each other questions to probe each others’ understanding of the concepts. Please be honest with each other about which concepts you know. You can take much more time with each other (such as five to ten minutes per student in the group) than the TA/instructor could spend with each of you individually. When a group of students presents itself for certification to a TA/instructor, every student in the group should have confidence that every student in the group knows every concept in the certification request.
- Protocol rule 3: When your group gets to the TA/instructor for certification, hand a slip of paper to the TA/instructor listing your names, NetIDs, and the concepts to be certified on, such as “Weeks 1&2 concepts” or “Week 3 concepts” or “Weeks 1-3 concepts” or “Week 3, first three concepts.” The TA/instructor will ask questions to one student in your group at a time about the concepts, spending a total of around one minute per student in the group. If any student in the group is found not to know one of the concepts indicated on the piece of paper, then the entire group will not be certified. If there are other students waiting, the group would go to the end of the line. The idea is for each of you to actively be helping the TA/instructors certify other students.

Participating in groups is an opportunity for collaboration and improving valuable communication skills. While it is not an absolute requirement for you to participate in a group, the course staff will give priority to groups, because it is only fair to give priority to groups of students who have each helped in the certification process by not only learning the concepts themselves, but in helping certify that others have learned them.

The course staff would your help in certifying students beyond your own group. For example, at a particular office hour, even if you have already been certified on a group of concepts, we would be happy to see you participate in another group of students to help with certification of that group. You would learn much by explaining concepts to others.

In order to accommodate a broad range of learning styles, the following grading policy will be implemented. As mentioned above, if you are certified for a given concept by the deadline you get one point for that concept. There are 50 concepts for the semester. If you do not get certified for a concept, instead of assigning one point for that concept, we will assign the weighted average of your quiz and exam scores for that concept instead. Here are some examples to help explain what this means. Let A denote your average weighted percent score for the quizzes and exams (A=[30*(quiz percentage score)+15*(exam 1 percentage score) + 15*(exam 2 percentage score) + 30*(final exam percentage score)]/90. Based on past experience, usual the average or mean value of A across the class is 70%. Strong students may have A values in the 80-95% range. A low C student might have A value around 60%.

- If you get certified for all 50 concepts, you will receive the maximum possible 10 percentage points for the concept matrix in your final score calculation.
- If you don't get certified for any concepts and your A value for the tests is about average, A=70%, then you will receive 7 percentage points for the concept matrix in your final score calculation.
- If you get certified for 30 concepts and you your A value for tests is about average, A=70%, then you will receive 8.1 percentage points for the concept matrix
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