Math 425-4 Home Page

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Note: This course meets in 1412 Mason Hall, 2:10 - 3 p.m., MWF

Instructor: Prof. Hochster
Office: 3078 East Hall
Telephone: 764-0326

Office hours: MW: 3:10 - 4 p.m. and Tu 1:15 - 2:10 p.m.

Text: A First Course in Probability by Sheldon Ross, Prentice Hall, Fifth Edition. The course will cover a substantial portion of the first eight chapters.

Concerning grades: Grades will be based on three fifty minute in-class exams (100 points each), a composite homework grade (100 points) which is described further below, and the final exam (200 points, thought of as two equal grades of 100 points). The worst of these six scores will be weighted half, so that course grades will be based on totals out of a possible 550 points.

The tests will be relatively straightforward, and I intend to use absolute scores, not a curve. Thus, on a given exam, A+ is 98% or better, A is 93%, and A- is 90%, etc., so that, for example, B+ is 88%, C- is 70% and D- is 60%.

If I feel that an exam was too hard I may lower these lines slightly, but I will not change them if the exam was too easy. Thus, a student with a total score of, say, 495 is guaranteed at least an A- in the course.

Homework will be collected weekly. Late homework will not be accepted: instead, a certain number of the worst grades (I will specify how many at the end of the course), will not count, and these, for most people, will include all missed homework. E.g., if your ten best homework grades were the ones counted and you averaged 80% on those homeworks but had zeroes on all the rest, your homework grade would be 80 (out of 100).

The assignments will be initially from Ross. After a while, supplementary problems will be assigned from a course pack. Your homework solutions should show work or an explanation, not just an answer. (In many cases, the answer is in the back of the book.)

Try the homework problems before they are due, so that you can ask about the ones you don't understand in class. Usually, I will work a different but similar problem.

Math 425-4 Home Page

Mel Hochster's Home Page