Course Policies

Policy Goals

The main goal of these policies is two-fold:

  1. Help you understand and use the material of this course in your further life.
  2. Ensure that people and especially further employers believe you have mastered the skills presented in the class.


Due to the lost of two lectures caused by the snow storm we will be only having one midterm. The new course grade apportioning will be as follows:
Homework 25%
Midterm 30%
Final exam 45%
Here is the approximate grading standard (subject to change). Per our discussion in class, the grades will be graded on a curve. Those students completing all the work for the class should expect a grade ranging from A+ to B-.


  • All homeworks are due at the beginning of class.
  • We will not accept late submission. However, each individual student has a single 48 hours pass. This pass can be used to extend the deadline for one homework by 48 hours.
  • You are encouraged to work in groups of 2 or (preferably) 3. The group should be as diverse as possible. (Exception: Homework 0 needs to be done individually.)
  • On all assignments each person should hand-in their own writeup. That is, collaboration should be limited to talking about the problems, so that your writeup is written entirely by you and not copied from your partner. In addition, list all members of your group.
  • We prefer that you type up your solutions (preferably using LaTeX). You may neatly hand-write your solutions, but if we have trouble reading them you will be required to type up future solutions.
  • A 30% bonus will be assessed to the entire homework for each solution used in the posted solutions. Submission in LaTeX is required for consideration.
  • You can earn more than 100% on most problem sets. A score higher than 100% is bonus.
  • If you use any reference or webpage, you must cite it.


Lateness and Absence

Make-ups for the two exams and the final must be arranged at least one week in advance, barring extreme situations. Make sure to document any health problems you might have.

Academic Integrity

As a graduate class, we will assume that you understand the issues and do not need an explanation here.
Finally, feel free to contact any member of the course staff to clarify these policies.