` MATH 508, Fall 2010 Course Grading
Penn Math Math 508: Advanced Analysis I Fall 2010

Homework and Course Grading

Exams: There will be three in-class exams, from 10:30-11:50
  * Thurs. Sept. 29
  * Tues, Nov. 3
  * Tues. Dec. 8 (the last day of class)
  * No Final Exam

You may always use one 3"x5" card with handwritten notes on both sides. For all of these exams the material will be cumulative from the beginning of the course.
Missed exams will count as zero, except for reasons such as serious illness, family emergency, etc. I may (rarely) excuse other absences if notified far in advance. In these cases, your grade will be based on your performance on the other exams.

Homework will be assigned regularly. The grading for each homework set will comprise of two independent scores: a "completion score" based on how many problems you honestly attempted, and a "success score" based on how many problems you successfully solved out of the ones the TA chooses to grade.

One goal of your work is to communicate, so neatness counts. PLEASE staple/paperclip your homework. If your homework is not stapled together, the TA will take off 2 points from your homework each time..
*Clarity* is also important: clear enough so that another student who is stumped by the problem could understand your solution.

It is often smart to discuss the homework with others in the class -- but counterproductive to be a parasite. Submit separate papers.
Homework should be placed in the TA's mailbox in the Math Department.

Since we all have a few bad weeks, your two lowest homework scores will be dropped (late homeworks will not be accepted). If you have not finished all the problems by the time the homework is due, just hand in whatever you have done. If you are going to miss a class, give the homework to a classmate to bring in for you.

Bonus Problems
In many weeks a Bonus problem may be offered. These are primarily intended as a challenge to the best students.
It would be poor strategy to spend lots of time on the Bonus problems at the cost of not learning the basic material. The scores on the Bonus Problems will not be used in a numerical computation of course grades. However, if you are between two grades and have done well on some of the Bonus Problems, then you will likely be pushed to the higher grade.
Note that it is possible to receive an "A" in this course and not solve any Bonus Problems.

Course Grades:   As a preliminary calculation:
  Homework: 20%,   Exam 1 & 2: 25% each, Exam 3: 30%.

In giving grades, I act more as a secretary. There is no curve, I have taught this often enough to have a good sense of what to expect. Most students get the same grade that other students in the class would have given them.
I certainly do not just mechanically do a numerical calculation based on the above percentages. That gives only a crude first approximation. If someone's grades have improved significantly on Exam 2, their grade gets a boost. Alas, I get a contrary impression if the score on Exam 2 is significantly lower. At the same time I factor in additional information I may have from the TA, my own personal contact data, and work on Bonus Problems.