EECS 203 Mailing List
Midterm grades

Midterm grades

From: Robert Dick <dickrp_at_avoiding.spam>
Date: Thu May 08 2008 - 21:32:08 CDT

Grading many of the midterm exams was disturbing. The grades were almost
evenly distributed from 49/50 to 5/50. I have never seen this before.

Nobody is beyond hope, because a lot of weight is put on the final exam, the
lab assignments, and the homework assignments. However, if you received less
than a 30/50, something needs to change. If you received less than a 20/30,
you should be very, very concerned. I will bring the graded exams to class
tomorrow. The grades are posted to blackboard.

I really want all of you to understand the design of digital systems by the
end of the class.

First, this stuff is fun to understand, at least it was to me. I want it to
be fun for you, too, although I realize it is not easy.

Second, you will be entering a highly-competitive world, not a
highly-competitive town or city. Your abilities will be measured against the
best people in your discipline anywhere in the world. If you ultimately work
directly on computer design, the topics we cover in this class will be the
foundation for a huge number of other ideas; there must be a solid
foundation. If you ultimately work in another area in which computers are
used, many of the concepts in this course will help you understand what these
devices are actually doing and give you a competitive advantage over others
who have only a fuzzy, high-level understanding.

There is pleanty of time before the end of the course to reinforce what we
have covered so far. If there is something that you don't grasp during
class, please do one or more of the following things:
  1) Ask questions,
  2) Take notes and study them later,
  3) Look up the topic, e.g., "decoder", in the index of the book,
  4) Talk to Neal, David, and me in office hours.

If you aren't able to get the help you need, tell me. As is, my office hours
are under-used. Talk to classmates who have used them. I really try my best
to help. From what I have seen, Neal and David also care a lot and
understand the material.

Don't be afraid to push back if something isn't clear. We can slow down or go
back to any topic that isn't clear. When I say, "Any questions about
anything," I mean it. You are paying a lot of money for this. You have to
work hard but you deserve help if you are still stuck after trying your best.
However, the place to push is in learning the material. I will correct any
grading error you can identify on the exam, but will not increase credit for
an incorrect answer because that is unfair.

Best Regards,

-Robert Dick-
Received on Thu May 8 21:32:08 2008

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