Zvezdelina Entcheva Stankova

Visiting Professor


713 Evans Hall

Department of Mathematics

University of California at Berkeley, CA 94720-3840

Tel: 510-642-3768, Email: "last name, lowercase" at "university name" dot edu

Office Hours: TTh 9:30-10:30am (first in front of 155 Dwinnelle right after lecture, then Evans 713), T 3:30-4:30pm in Evans 713.

Webpage: http://math.berkeley.edu/~stankova

Course Syllabus for MATH 53, Spring 2016

(updated 5/17/2016)

Notes and Statistics from Final Exam in MATH 53, Spring 2016

Solutions to Final Exam MATH 53 Spring 2016.

Here is some Statistics from the Final Exam MATH 53 Spring 2016, rescaled to 100 maximum score. When rescaled, the median was 66 out of 100, mean was 61 out of 100, and standard deviation was 22. This indicates that the exam was hard. Overall, there were three top scores of 96 out of 100 (or, before rescaling, three top scores of 115 out of 120), and half a dozen perfect true/false questions.

When calculating the final grades, the original midterm 1 and midterm 2 exam scores were rescaled so that their medians matched the final's median. This means (probabilistically speaking) that a large portion of the class will have the final exam score overriding one or both of their (lower) midterm scores. Quiz scores in sections were also rescaled to uniformize the median across all sections in the class and make the quiz difficulty and quiz grading uniform across the whole class.

1. As a rule, the instructor and the GSIs do NOT mail, e-mail or communicate in any way the final grades to the students. The final grades are distributed to the students ONLY through the regular university channels. There will be NO exceptions to this rule regardless of how anxious you are to see your grade, regardless of students' computer problems accessing bearfacts, regardless of students' delinquency in paying bills and hence postponing the posting of their grades on bearfacts, regardless of the fact that students may be registered through UCB Extension and may receive their grades later. Please, do NOT e-mail the instructor or the GSIs asking for your grade: the GSIs are instructed not to communicate any grades, and any such e-mails will be ignored by the instructor.

2. If a student wishes to dispute the final grade, he/she has to e-mail the instructor between June 1 and June 30, 2016. However, the student must be aware that

(a) the final scores are calculated by the percentages announced in the course syllabus, and they are calculated for everyone in the same way: just like in the syllabus. Do NOT ask for exceptions to "twitch your score a bit" so as to give you a higher grade: this won't happen. The grading system is created so that it is fair to everyone. And it will stay that way.

(b) a final grade case will be reopened only if a student has a convincing reason that his/her final grade was miscalculated. Final grade cases will NOT be reopened just to check if the final grade was calculated correctly. The assumption is that all final grades are calculated correctly, unless a convincing evidence to the contrary is brought forward.

(c) a final grade case, once opened, will be fully reviewed, and the final score and final grade will be fully recalculated. This means that, if there is an error, the final grade could go down as well as up. If the final grade calculation reduces the grade, I will have no choice but to change the final grade to the new lower grade and there will be no turning back. Thus, do NOT submit frivolous or unjustified requests. By the way, for the 18 years that I have been teaching at UCB since I was a postdoc, I cannot recall a single case where a student complained that his/her grade should have been higher and that turned out to be the case! So, keep this in mind before you send any complaints about a final grade.

3. If a student wishes to know facts about the final exam (e.g., median, etc): some of this information is posted on this website, and NO FURTHER INFORMATION about final grades, the class grade curve and such will be shared with the students: this is internal information and will not be disclosed to the class, nor to individual students, parents or others. No further questions about statistics, level of difficulty and other info about final exam will be distributed, so don't ask for such.

4. If a student wishes to view his/her final exam: the final exams are out of our hands and into the hands of the main office on the 9th floor in Evans Hall. The student must go there and follow the rules for viewing the final exams within the allowed viewing period. I am told that the Math Dept will start showing final exams sometime in June 2016. The student must also be aware that if he/she wishes to contest the final exam score, the student CANNOT leave the main office with the final exam under any circumstances: the student can view the final only in the presence of the main office staff. Then, if the student wants to contest the final exam score, the student must e-mail the instructor between June 1 and June 30, 2016 and I will pull the final exam from the main office after June 15 and then I will review the complaint. A student CANNOT take the exam from the office and bring it to me: if by any chance this happens, the student will be disqualified from the right to contest his final exam score. No exceptions. Again, keep in mind that a final exam score can go up as well as down, and a very convincing reason must be supplied to me before I reopen the final exam, and hence the whole final grade case for that student!

Videos on Game and Geometry Puzzles from the Numberphile Channel with Zvezdelina Stankova, directed by Brady Haran, containing some proof and problem-solving ideas that come handly in a variety of math areas:

Triangle has a Magic Highway (Euler Line): see how a triangle's center of mass relates to other centers of the triangle

Three Squares

Freedom for the Clones

Berkeley Math Circle