Posted by: jeff | October 8, 2010

HW3 Grades

This was a much better outing than HW2 across the board:

  • Mean: 51
  • Median: 56
  • Standard Deviation: 32

This set was out of 100 points, and not including the ~20 zeros (from folks who either have dropped the class or didn’t turn this one in) that are in there, the average is 64, a significant improvement over the previous assignment.  The scores are still distributed over a large range (20’s up to full credit), but there were quite a few 100s, which was nice to see.

A few quick points:

  • Formatting was much better this time.  Clearly marking your proof ideas, algorithms, proofs, etc. according to the components of the solution specified in the rubric helps us to grade your papers.
  • Writing down a bunch of stuff without actually saying anything will not get you any points.  Restating the question, rewriting an algorithm from the text, or any similar techniques that allow you to fill up the page without actually introducing any new information or ideas of your own will not be rewarded with any credit.
  • As always, the more clearly you state your ideas and solutions, the more easily we can understand your answers, and the more easily we can award you at least partial credit.  So being direct and clear when you write is very important.
  • I’ve received a lot of questions about “points”, with students focused very intently on grades with no concern for whether or not they understand the material.  If you’re worried about scores exclusively, my advice is to redirect that energy into making sure you understand the concepts that are being presented in this course.  If you develop a deep understanding of the material, the grades that you want will flow naturally.  Ultimately, this is our goal, to get you to understand the ideas from this course, and to think in a new way about problem solving.  If you can accomplish that (which of course does take some work), you shouldn’t have to worry about your grades at all.

Keep up the good work on the rest of the assignments!


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