AMS131, Spring 2014, Section 01: Take Home Midterm

As promised, here is the take-home midterm.

There has been a lot discussion on the course Piazza page about this, mostly covering

1. fairness

2. cheating


Before I address both of these, let me reiterate what I said in the announcement.  My goal is for everyone to learn and understand the material.  I see exams as a way for you to demonstrate this to me.  I have also stressed repeatedly that it's very easy to sit in class and think it all makes sense, but you only know whether it does when you attempt the homework problems.  Hopefully this is now a little clearer.  I have also noted the comments regarding working through more examples in class.


1. Fairness.  Most of the comments regarding fairness are that this would penalize students who prepared for the exam.  I reviewed all the exams from the morning session, and quite a few from the afternoon session, and the questions that I will be putting on the take-home midterm were answered almost universally badly - some of the questions had zero correct answers, others had single-digit correct answers.  So there is almost no-one who will be penalized.  Think of the take-home exam as an "extra credit" opportunity.


2. Cheating.  Don't do it.  The main concern here, if I understand it correctly, is that someone who works the take-home as intended (using notes and the textbook, but not their math-grad-student friend or the internet) will be at a disadvantage to those who find someone who can solve the problems for them.  This is a problem with any type of take-home assessment.  The TAs and I will be vigilant, and will be pulling out submissions that we suspect are not the unaided work of the student.  I have said in class that the quickest way to fail this class is to be caught cheating.  So don't do it.


Thank you everyone for raising your concerns and comments.