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CS-4003 - Organization of Programming Languages
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Grading Policy
    Take your pick:
    For the more conventional:
    Grades will be determined from a cumulative score that is obtained from labs and exams according to this distribution of credit: midterm exams (2) @ 20% each; labs @ 30%; final exam @ 30%. Midterms will be graded on a scale of 0-100. The contribution of a midterm score to the cumulative score will be 0.2 times the midterm score, for a maximum contribution of 20 points per exam. Labs will be graded on a scale of 0-10 but only the 7 highest lab scores will count toward the final score. Thus, the contribution of lab scores to the cumulative score will be 3/7 times the total lab score (7 highest) for a maximum contribution of 30 points. The final exam will be graded on a scale of 0-100. The contribution of the final exam score to the cumulative score will be 0.3 times the final exam score for a maximum of 30 points. Letter grades will be assigned on an informal "curve" from a ranking of student cumulative scores.
For those who like to explore and dislike exams:
Grades will be determined from the number of brownie points that are accumulated during the semester. Brownie points will be awarded upon successful completion of a relevant project or other activity that is agreed to in advance by both the student and the professor. The number of brownie points for a given project must be negotiated but is typically between 5 and 25. Some of the harder labs may count for brownie points - this is to be negotiated. A project that is worth 25 brownies could be the development of a new assignment, say regarding Haskell Monads. An activity worth 5 brownies could be research to settle a question that arises in class. A successfully completed difficult lab may add 10 brownies to the student's total. A student receiving at least 100 brownies for the semester get an "auto A." A student receiving at least 92 brownies is eligible for an "auto A-," a student receiving at least 87 brownies is eleigible for an "auto B+," and a student receiving at least 80 brownies is eligible for an "auto B." A student with a brownie total that is less than 80 must be graded using the conventional scheme above. A student with at least 80 brownie points may elect to be graded using the conventional scheme. In that case, brownies will be exchanged for conventional points according to the conversion rate in Note 1 below.
For the creative but risk averse:
Try some exploratory projects but also take the exams and do the labs. The highest of the two grades (conventional and exploratory) will be awarded. Or, cash in your brownies for conventional points and be graded conventionally.
For a class full of competitive but exam averse students:
If the class agrees, programming contests will replace the two midterms and final. Students will compete in teams of two to solve a certain number of problems in a certain time, approximately 3 or 4 hours. The single midterm contest will be held on a Saturday. For example contests see the 2014 contest record which includes practice contests. Contests will be scored using a scale of 0-100, on the creative use of a language to solve particular problems, not on placement in the standings. Team members get the same score, so choose carefully. Distribution of points for grade determination will be: each contest @ 35%, labs @ 30% (calculated as above). These are considered conventional points so the above conventional grading policy applies and conversions from brownies, as below, will be honored. As above, a student on the exploratory track may skip all this, if desired.
    Note 1:
Brownie points may be converted to conventional points. The following table shows the conversions (all conversions are from integers to integers - the converted value will always be rounded down to the nearest integer).

Brownie Range     Conversion Factor

0 to 190.10
20 to 390.15
40 to 490.20
50 to 590.25
60 to 690.30
70 to 790.35
80 to 890.50
90 to 990.75
Over 991.00

 
As examples, 70 brownie points converts to 24 conventional points, 10 brownie points converts to 1 conventional point, and 5 brownie points converts to 0 conventional points.

    Note 2:
Conventional points may be converted to brownie points using the same table as above. For example, 70 conventional points converts to 24 brownie points. If you convert, then change your mind, you lose big: for example, 70 conventional points will then be replaced with 3 conventional points.

    Note 3:
You do not have to declare how you want to be graded (if you have a choice) until finals weeks.

    Note 4:
Occasionally, brownies will be awarded for attending class. This could add as much as 15 brownies to your total.

    Note 5:
A student who does all the difficult labs may get 50 brownies for that effort. Add 15 brownies for attendance to get 65 brownies just for being a good student! How hard can that be? By the way, if a group completes a project for brownies, the number of brownies that project is worth is divided equally among all members of the group.
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