Month: May 2014

First part of homework 1 posted

It’s in the Assignments tab, as you might suspect it ought to be. I will post the rest of the assignment after class Friday. The problems are pretty much (though not exactly) from the textbook, but I’ve written them out in case some of you don’t yet have the text.


Final grades posted / Ernie Banks

The semester is over, y’all. It’s in the past. Let us give thanks for what he have learned and how we grown over these past few months, and let us prepare ourselves for much merriment and well-earned festivities.

Your course grades are available on Solar. Take a peek when you feel like it.


Final exam thoughts / updated grade distribution / Reptar

The material on the final exam will be drawn from all parts of the course. For a review of which topics we covered, see the rundown I sent out before each test. Also recall that we studied mathematical induction, condition number, pseudoinverses, and vector spaces in class but those topics did not appear on any of your exams. It seems likely that at least one or two of those will be on the final. I mean, it just kind of makes sense, right? Just a guess. What do I know, though? I’m just the guy who writes the exam. Or should I say WROTE the exam! Just finished it. It’s gnarly like the King of Limbs — not that one, this one:


So sweet. The format of the final is like this: There are four sections of three questions each. Some of the questions have multiple parts. Each of the questions within a given section are worth the same amount. The first section is more conceptual problems, the next three basically correspond to the material from the first, second, and third in-class exams. You have to do two out of three problems in each section. You are allowed to bring a 3” x 5” index card (or a piece of paper cut to that size) as a cheat sheet. Anything on it must be handwritten by you — no printouts, no photocopying, no getting your friend with tiny handwriting to write one for you. You are not allowed to bring a calculator to the exam. Also, if you take the final and you decide you don’t want it to count, you can just put a big X through the front page and write “Don’t count this exam, dude! Too hard!” and we won’t grade it. If you hand it in to be graded, though, it will count.

There have been a few grade adjustments over the past week, so here is the updated distribution:

90th percentile 89.33
75th 83.99
65th 80.16
50th 75.13
35th 69.22
25th 62.75
15th 54.29
mean 70.37


HW 11 solutions / exam iii material / final exam note / archaeopteryx

The solution set to the Exam III review a.k.a. Homework 11 a.k.a. your favorite homework’s favorite homework is now up in the DOCUMENTS tab. (That was an accidental caps lock, but I’m leaving it.)

Exam III will cover all the material from the posted lecture notes, plus all the material from sections 4.2 and 5.3 in the textbook that we covered in class. If you weren’t in class, either get the lecture notes from someone or read all of each section to make sure you know everything you need to know.

You do NOT have to memorize the formulae for finding q and r in the regression model y = qx + r. Please don’t memorize them. That would be a colossal waste of time.

You should, however, know the formula for calculating q in the model y = qx, and also be able to derive it using the pseudoinverse.

I will hold my usual office hours tomorrow from 11-1 in my office. I will send out an email at some point with details about next week’s office hours.

If you do well on the final exam (i.e., better than your average for the first three exams), then it will count for 37% of your final grade (HW will be 20%, Exam I: 11%, Exam II: 16% and Exam III: 16%).


Review problems / chortles

Dear y’all,

I’ve posted some review problems in the Documentz tab. The solutions to hw 10 are also there. Also, I have posted a drawing of a giant squid battling a sperm whale, with a couple of sharks swimming about nearby. Do with that what you will.

I will go over some of the review problems on Tuesday, but bring any other questions or concerns you have about any of the material from this part of the course. If we have extra time I’ll probably just rap the first verse from “Get Down” by Nas, so come prepared to prevent that eventuality.


Lost netbook / fundamental theorem / homework / exams / rutabaga?

Hi everyone, 

Someone left a netbook and a pencil case behind in class yesterday and a student from the class that meets at 5:30 in our room gave it to me, so I have it with me in my office. If it’s yours come by my office to get it. I’ll ask you what brand it is and any distinguishing characteristics of it to validate your ownership of it. If you can’t make it today, send me an email. I’ll bring it to class tomorrow if necessary but I’d rather not because I am physically weak and carrying even a small computing device is very taxing on my underdeveloped body.

I’ve posted the Fundamental Theorem of Invertible Matrices in the Documents tab, so go on over there at your leisure and take a gander.

For problem 2 of Homework 10, you don’t have to do a proof by contradiction. In fact, there is a fairly simple direct proof.

I will post an assignment tomorrow, but it won’t be collected, so it’s not really a homework. More like a review sheet for your upcoming exam 3.

Exam 3 (which is Thursday May 8th) is mandatory. The final exam (that is, the exam on May 19th) will be optional. If you choose not to take it, your grade distribution will be the following: Exam 1: 24% / Exam 2: 28% / Exam 3: 28% / Best 9 homework grades: 20%

Please don’t ask me (neither now nor after the exam 3 grades are posted) what your letter grade will be based on your current grades. After the third exam grades are up, I will post the grade distribution, but I won’t know what the cutoffs will be for each letter grade until after the final exam is graded. 

If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is ‘God is crying.’ And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is ‘Probably because of something you did.'”

Exam 3 / cowabunga

I suppose I should’ve mentioned this in last night’s email, but your last in-class exam will on the last day of class — Thursday, May 8th. It will cover everything we will have covered since exam 2 — all the stuff from the posted lecture notes, plus section 4.2 (yesterday’s lecture), plus the material we’ll be doing next week (which will come from section 5.3 and maybe a bit from 2.6 and/or 3.5). The final exam will be on Monday, May 19th, from 2:15 – 5:00 pm. The location is TBD; I requested a larger room than our regular classroom but haven’t yet heard back.

Gregory Corso was a Beat poet who is interred at the Protestant Cemetary in Rome (which is a dope spot to visit if you’re ever in the Eternal City). He wrote his own amazing epitaph:

is Life
It flows thru
the death of me
like a river
of becoming
the sea

That’s definitely one of my favorite similes of all time. Corso also once heckled Allen Ginsberg at a poetry reading that my aunt went to, at the St. Mark’s Church-In-The-Bowery. They were chums, though. (Corso and Ginsberg, I mean. But actually Corso and my aunt were also chums. She is another example of a very cool person from Poughkeepsie; in fact, it was she who told me about Lee Miller.)

gc  grave