An absolute grading system will be used, where 90% is required for an A, 80% for a B, 70% for a C, 60% for a D, and anything below 60% is failing. Pluses and minuses will be given for grades within 3 percentage points of the dividing marks. For example, a final total which is 80% or more but less than 83% would correspond to a letter grade of B-, a total of 77% or more but less than 80% would correspond to a C+, etc. The final grade will be based on the following:
Midterm Exam 15%
Final Exam 30%
Group Projects 15%
Individual Projects/Homework 15%
Late work will be accepted without penalty only if some compelling reason is provided (preferably in advance) justifying the lateness. Without such a justifiable excuse, late work will be penalized 5% for each calendar day that it is late (with a maximum penalty of 50%).
Plagiarism (intentionally or knowingly representing the words, ideas, or work of another as one’s own) or any other form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Students who are guilty of such dishonesty will receive no credit for the given assignment or exam and will not be allowed the opportunity to redo the work in question. In addition, incidents of academic dishonesty may be reported to the University and further disciplinary actions are possible including expulsion or suspension from the University. (See Appendix E-2 of the University Catalog.)
The exams may be “take home” exams or “in class” exams. They may be open book or closed book, but, in any case, they must be individual efforts. Discussing the questions on the exam with an individual, other than the instructor, is not permitted.
The students in the class will be divided into teams of four to five members each. The group projects will be done as team efforts and a single result will be turned in by the team. Members of each team will evaluate the performance of the other team members at the end of the semester. This evaluation will account for 25% of the total Group Project grade (or 5% of the total course grade).
Individual assignments and projects will also be given. Discussion and collaboration with other class members on individual assignments is permitted, and even encouraged, to the extent that said collaboration is a fair and equitable exchange of ideas. That is, one individual should not be doing all the work and sharing it with others. It is permissible to ask other students for help, but it is not permissible to copy the results of others. If several students collectively solve a problem, each should write up the results in his or her own words.
Each student will be required to select a technical article on a subject relevant to the course, review and analyze the article, and present a summary and critical evaluation to the class.