Some notes on distribution

    As many of you no doubt noticed, the exam 3 grades are posted. A number of people earned a perfect score, mad props for that. Here’s a table with statistics for each of the exams as well as for weighted averages that I calculated as follows:

HW + .24*(exam 1 grade) + .28*(exam 2 grade) +.28*(exam 3 grade)
where HW = average of your first eight homework assignments (out of 20 points). Obviously this statistic isn’t perfect, but it’s as good as I can do at the moment. Keep in mind that the rightmost column will change after the final, and it will almost certainly go up 

    

Exam 1 Exam 2 Exam 3 Weighted Average
25th percentile 55 48.5 70.75 58.52
median 66 68 84 71.77
75th percentile 78 81 90.25 81.93
85th percentile 84 85.2 95 86.15
    As for the final: the reason I made it optional was basically to benefit those of you who have done really well this semester. If you have excellent marks already then you have nothing left to prove on the final, since you’ve already been tested on all the material, so I figure why should I make you sit for a final. Most of you should want to take the final, as it is an opportunity to show what you know and make up for any poor performance earlier in the semester. You’ll have the sheet of notes, so you don’t have to worry about memorizing everything from the whole semester; also, you’ll have choices about which problems to do. 

I saw a painting I liked by Chaim Soutine at the MoMA:

  
It’s called Man in a Green Coat. Soutine lived in Paris around the same time as Amedeo “Mo Diggity, Mo Doubt” Modigliani (and a million other great artists like Chagall and Picasso and all those big dogs). Modigliani is the more famous artist, but that could be partly because of the mythos surrounding his reckless lifestyle (he was a tremendous drunk, hit the hashish hard, and chased the green fairy all around Paris (but mostly Montmartre) until he died at 35). Modigliani painted Soutine a couple of times:
  
but a better work of his is the Red Nude, which I’m not going to post in case some of y’all are sensitive like the Paris Chief of Police who in 1917 shut down Mo Diggity’s exhibition for being too scandalous.
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