Zvezdelina Entcheva Stankova

Visiting Professor


713 Evans Hall

Department of Mathematics

University of California at Berkeley

Berkeley, CA 94720-3840

Tel: 510-642-3768

Fax: 510-642-8204

Email: stankova@math.berkeley.edu

Notes and Statistics from Final Exam in MATH 55, fall 2014:

Solutions to Final Exam.

Here is some Statistics from Midterms 1 and 2 and the Final Exam. For example, a final exam with 72-77 points is in the top 25% of the class. Note that the median is 53/100 points, which indicates that the exam was very hard. Overall, there were three 2 perfect exams 100/100 and two exams of 98/100. The range was [2,100].

When calculating the final grades, the original final exam scores were rescaled up so that the median on the final exam would be 60, thereby matching roughly the two medians on the midterms. This means (probabilistically speaking) that a large portion of the class will have the (rescaled up) 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 quiz difficulty and quiz grading uniform across the whole class.

1. As a rule, the instructor and the GSI's 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 January 23 and February 15, 2015. 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 16 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. Keep in mind that doing well on the final exam alone is NO guarantee of an increased final grade. 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 the beginning of February 2015. 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 Januaty 23 and February 15, 2015 and I will pull the final exam from the main office after February 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!

There is no need to send me e-mails during winter break and ask me for your grades, final exams, regrading, etc. To such e-mails, I shall reply only after the spring semester classes start at UCB. Please, be reasonable and let the GSIs and me have our winter break, just like you want to have a winter break.

With this said, I had a lot of fun with the Discrete Math class this semester: this is the most interesting class I have had a chance to teach at UCB. :) Wishing everyone a wonderful and relaxing winter break!

Berkeley Math Circle