MAE 124/ESYS 103:
Grading and Course Policy
|Participation, weekly assignments, attendance in discussion
Important points that you must remember:
Term paper assignments and announcements will be posted on the Web.
Supplementary notes and links will only be available on the Web.
You may discuss the term paper assignments with
each other, but the work that you submit must be your own.
Discussion is an important
part of the learning process. Each of you must individually submit the
assignment. It is very important that you actually do the work
Any direct evidence of plagiarism in the homework will be grounds for
receiving an F in the entire course. We will also report you to your
college for administrative penalties. Furthermore, any evidence of
cheating on either the final or the midterm will be grounds for
receiving an F in the entire course. Exams will emphasize understanding
and synthesis rather than regurgitation of material.
- Paper 1
will be assigned in section on March 31st, and the final version will be
due on April 21st at 9:30 am (with a hard copy to be brought to class that
- Paper 2 will be assigned on April 30th and will be due in final form on
May 26th at 9:30 am (with a hard copy to be brought to class that day.)
Each paper will require you to research and write about
some aspect of engineering, planning, design, and the environment.
Papers will be submitted through turnitin.com,
which time-stamps the submissions and checks for plagiarism. See here for instructions.
No late homework without prior arrangements for an extension.
Papers must be typed and submitted electronically.
Brevity and clarity are critical attributes of good reports.
Participation will be evaluated in three ways:
- Weekly take-home assignments due in discussion section each week.
These are intended to prepare you for useful discussion that will help
you synthesize the myriad ideas presented in the class.
- Attendance in discussion section (monitored through sign-in sheet).
One absence will be allowed without penalty.
- General participation in class discussion both in discussion section
and in lecture. (We will favor
thoughtful contributions and discourage any one individual from dominating
- The discussion section is a scheduled part of the class and you will
be responsible for material covered during discussion. Discussion sections
will cover topics not addressed in lecture.
- Guest lectures are an important part of course content, and
ideas presented by guest lecturers may appear on exams. (Check
previous years' exams if you have doubts.)
Midterm: Friday, April 30 (10:00-10:50 pm).
Final: Monday June 7th 8:00-10:59.
Both the midterm and the final examination will be at least partially open
note. You may not use
the text book or any other bound books.
This course will adhere to the
standard UCSD policy on academic integrity:
``Students are expected to do their own work, as outlined in the
UCSD Policty on Integrity of Scholarship.
Cheating will not be tolerated, and any student who engages in
forbidden conduct will be subjected to the disciplinary process.
Cheaters will receive a failing grade on the assignment or the exam
and/or in the entire course. They may also be suspended from UCSD.''
See http://www-senate.ucsd.edu/manual/Appendices/app2.htm for details.
The midterm will discuss work covered up to, and including the
The final will cover the entire course.
Each exam will always cover materials discussed in class, or
assigned in the weekly reading announcements on the Web.
There are absolutely no make-up exams. No excuses.
When you are asked to stop writing at the end of each exam, the
only writing should be the addition of your name to the front page. Anyone
caught cheating on either the midterm or final exam will be considered
to have committed a sufficiently serious offence to fail the entire
The midterm will be a review of all the material you have
The final will contain several long questions, and will offer
you the opportunity to synthesize the material that we discuss
in this course.
Grading is a crucial part of the course, of course!
Here is an approximate explanation of the guidelines used to determine
- We have no preconceived notions of the correct number of As, Bs
and Cs that will be awarded. Good performance will obtain a good mark
irrespective of the performance of the rest of the class.
- We will be interested in:
- Clarity of argument;
- Quality of discussion;
- Evidence of research and reading;
- Synthesis of diverse sources;
- Independence of thought.
- Marks will be lost for:
- Poor grammar;
- Poor spelling;
- Unnecessary length.
- For each component of the course independently
(homework/midterm/final), We will review the class performance as a
whole, and determine how many marks correspond to a bare "A" (rather
than "A-"), "B" and "C" performance.
- We scale the marks in this way so that, when we mix the three
components together, we can rationally arrive at a letter grade for
every student, irrespective of varying performance on the different
components of the assessment.
- Doing well in only the midterm or only
the final is not sufficient to warrant a "good" grade. Your final grade
is the culmination of your quarter-long effort.
- In 2010, final grades were adjusted to fit the following notional scale:
- A+ > 96;
- A 90-96;
- A- 86-90;
- B+ 82-86;
- B 78-82;
- B- 75-78;
- C+ 72-75;
- C 68-72;
- C- 64-68;
- D 60-64;
- F < 60;
- In 2009, final grades were adjusted to fit the following notional scale:
- A+ > 97;
- A 92-97;
- A- 89-92;
- B+ 86-89;
- B 83-86;
- B- 80-83;
- C+ 76-80;
- C 72-76;
- C- 67-72;
- D 60-67;
- F < 60;
- The grading scale varies from year to year, and for reference, in 2008, final grades were adjusted to fit the following notional scale:
- A+ > 97;
- A 90-97;
- A- 87.5-90;
- B+ 84-87.5;
- B 79-84;
- B- 76-79;
- C+ 74-76;
- C 70-74;
- C- 67.5-70;
- D 60-67.5;
- F < 60;