The following paragraphs describe the grading criterion that will be used in this course. Pluses and minuses will be used within a letter grade to distinguish the better performances from the weaker ones.
Fully understands the material covered in class, and in the problem sets; can extend ideas to new situations and more complex problems; frequently is successful in combining techniques to solve problems not demonstrated in class; often exceeds the professor's expectations for the class as a whole; work is of a consistently high quality throughout the term.
Understands most material presented in class and in the problem sets; correctly applies procedures to problems similar to those demonstrated in class; often successful in combining techniques to solve problems not demonstrated in class; fully meets the professor's expectations of the class as a whole; work is of moderate to high quality.
Understands much of the material presented in class, but is weak in some areas; can solve most problems similar to those done in class; sometimes applies important ideas incorrectly or incompletely; needs much more practice in some areas for full proficiency in the material; does not fully meet expectations in some areas; quality of work is moderate or inconsistent, and is likely to have worsened over the term.
Has serious difficulty with much of the material from class and the problem sets; consistently misapplies procedures or fails to complete the solutions to problems, even those that are similar to the ones covered in class; fails to meet expectations in several areas; quality of work is inconsistent or consistently poor.
Generally, I try to produce assignments where the grade ranges are approximately 85 to 100% for an A, 70 to 85% for a B, and 55 to 70% for a C, though this varies from assignment to assignment and from class to class.
To obtain an A in this course, you will need to be able to do most of the problems on the problem sets, and make some progress on all of them. You will need to perform well on the in-class exams and quizzes, and will make significant progress on the homework assignments.
To obtain a B in this course, you will need to do well on the problem sets, completing most of the straight-forward problems, and making a good start on the more difficult ones. You should be able to make significant progress on all but the hardest exam problems. You may not be able to complete all the homework problems, but should be able to start them all.
To obtain a C in the course, you need to make significant progress on the majority of the problems on the problem sets, and be able to successfully complete at least some problems on the exams, though you may not be able to do the more difficult ones.
To obtain a D or F, you will be unable to complete most problems on the exams, and will make serious errors on the problem sets as well. If you are not able to do at least one or two of the main problems completely and correctly on the final exam, you will not pass the course. Turning in problems late (or not at all) and excessive absences from class also can result in these grades.