From CDS 130

Jump to: navigation, search

This is Weigel's CDS 130 course page. All of the information that you will ever need for this course can be found here or on a page linked to from this page.


  1. Homeworks, Quizzes, and Activities
  2. Schedule and Class Notes
    1. Tuesday May 13th
    2. Thursday May 8th
    3. Tuesday May 6th
    4. Thursday May 1st
    5. Tuesday April 29th
    6. Thursday April 24th
    7. Tuesday April 22nd
    8. Thursday April 17th
    9. Tuesday April 15th
    10. Thursday April 10th
    11. Tuesday April 8
    12. Thursday April 3rd
    13. Tuesday April 1st
    14. Thursday March 27th
    15. Tuesday March 25th
    16. Thursday March 20th
    17. Tuesday March 18th
    18. Thursday March 13th
    19. Tuesday March 11th
    20. Thursday March 6th
    21. Tuesday, March 4th
    22. Thursday, February 27th
    23. Tuesday, February 25th
    24. Thursday, February 20th
    25. Tuesday, February 18th
    26. Thursday February 13th
    27. Tuesday February 11th
    28. Thursday February 6th
    29. Tuesday February 4th
    30. Thursday January 30th
    31. Tuesday January 28th
    32. Thursday January 23rd
    33. Tuesday January 21st
  3. Syllabus
    1. Format
    2. Grading
      1. Weighting
      2. Attendance
      3. Quizzes
      4. Homework
      5. Exams
    3. Important Dates
    4. Office Hours and Email
    5. Exam Preparation
    6. Honor Code
    7. FAQ

1. Homeworks, Quizzes, and Activities

Grade Sheet: [1]

2. Schedule and Class Notes

2.1. Tuesday May 13th

  • Final Exam: 7:30-10:15am 9:45 am - 11:45 am in the regular classroom.

2.2. Thursday May 8th

2.3. Tuesday May 6th

Make-up class for canceled class on Thursday February 14th.

  • Final Exam review.

2.4. Thursday May 1st

  • No in-class quiz; post your answers to the activity questions for quiz credit. If you did it with a group, include all names on the Google Doc mentioned at Ethics.
  • Cover Ethics
  • Turn in HW #11
  • Assign HW #12. Due on Tuesday May 6th (the last class).

2.5. Tuesday April 29th

2.6. Thursday April 24th

2.7. Tuesday April 22nd

2.8. Thursday April 17th

2.9. Tuesday April 15th

2.10. Thursday April 10th

2.11. Tuesday April 8

2.12. Thursday April 3rd

2.13. Tuesday April 1st

2.14. Thursday March 27th

2.15. Tuesday March 25th

2.16. Thursday March 20th

2.17. Tuesday March 18th

  • Turn in HW #6
  • Mid-term Review.

2.18. Thursday March 13th

No class (Spring Break).

2.19. Tuesday March 11th

No class (Spring Break).

2.20. Thursday March 6th

2.21. Tuesday, March 4th

Class canceled due to snow.

2.22. Thursday, February 27th

2.23. Tuesday, February 25th

2.24. Thursday, February 20th

2.25. Tuesday, February 18th

2.26. Thursday February 13th

Class canceled. Make-up day is Tuesday, May 6th

2.27. Tuesday February 11th

2.28. Thursday February 6th

2.29. Tuesday February 4th

2.30. Thursday January 30th

2.31. Tuesday January 28th

2.32. Thursday January 23rd

2.33. Tuesday January 21st

3. Syllabus

My syllabus is everything stated at Syllabus along with the following additions and notes. Please read Syllabus before reading the following.

3.1. Format

This is a three-credit course that meets for 75 minutes twice per week. I use active learning techniques during class. After presenting a major concept I will pose a question which you will think about, write about, discuss with your neighbor, and then possibly present your answers.

Be prepared to think and work in class!

Typical Schedule


  • Mostly lecture and some in-class activities.
  • Homework is due at start of class.


  • Mostly in-class activities.
  • Quiz near the start of class. Quiz covers previous lecture and homework that was turned in at the start of class.
  • Homework is assigned at the end of class and is usually an extension of the in-class activities.

3.2. Grading

Partial credit is given on all problems provided work is shown. When we grade, we look for a correct answer. If the answer is not correct, we look for evidence that you understood something about the problem. The more evidence that is provided, the more partial credit is given.

We drop the lowest quiz and homework grade. The only time an additional homework or quiz grade will be dropped is if the student provides documentation for the absence.

3.2.1. Weighting

  • Quizzes 10% (lowest quiz grade dropped)
  • Homework 30% (lowest HW grade dropped)
  • Midterm 30%
  • Final exam 30%

Final grade scale: 93 and above=A, 90-93 = A-, 80-83=B-, 83-87=B, 87-90=B+, 70-80=C, 60-70=D, 59 and below=F.

3.2.2. Attendance

I do not penalize students for missing class and I do not take attendance. I have found that the above grading policy sufficiently penalizes students that frequently miss class. (My observation is that if a student misses more than two weeks of classes it is very difficult for them to earn a grade higher than a B-.)

3.2.3. Quizzes

Quizzes will be used for two purposes:

  1. To ensure that you are prepared for the in-class work.
  2. To ensure that you understood (and did not just copy) the homework.

3.2.4. Homework

  • There will be a weekly homework that is due one week after it is assigned. Homworks must be turned in before class starts.
  • We will partially work many problems in class that will be due the following week (they will seem very difficult if you don't attend class!).
  • I am serious about the above. The homework problems are not simple multiple choice questions. To solve, they require a synthesis of multiple concepts covered in class.
  • Most homeworks will be hand-written in the first half of the semester.
  • Most homeworks will be turned in electronically in the second half of the semester.
  • Late homework will not be accepted. I will drop the lowest homework grade.
  • It is OK to collaborate with one or two other students on homework problems. If there appears to be evidence of one student copying another, the students involved will be asked to meet with the instructor and/or T.A.

Homework questions will usually consist of calculations, short answers, and computer programs. The questions are designed to test a student's understanding of the course material. When applicable, the student is strongly encouraged to write out both the solution and the step-by-step solution logic in their homework responses, so that instructors may assess the student's overall approach to and understanding of the assigned problems. Credit will be assigned on student homeworks based upon whether or not the student's solution is correct (approximately 50% of the score), and also whether the student's solution logic is correct (approximately 50% of the score).

3.2.5. Exams

  • A midterm and final exam will be given in the class to test comprehension of the topics covered in the lecture, discussions, and homework.
  • The final exam is cumulative.
  • The exam will include short answers, multiple choice, and simple discussion questions. The questions will be based on concepts covered on the homeworks and in the in-class questions.
  • At least one class period will be used for exam review and the results of the exam will be discussed within a week after the exam was given.
  • Sample midterm and final exams will be provided approximately a week before the date of the actual exam.
  • There will be no surprises on the exam. The exams are designed so that students who can successfully solve all of the problems on the sample exams, within the allotted time per exam and without notes will earn, at worst, a B on the actual exam.
  • I rarely give make-up exams. However, special consideration will be given if the student (1) has completed all of their home works on time and (2) provides compelling evidence that they missed the exam for reasons that were beyond their control.

See also #Exam_Preparation

3.3. Important Dates

  • http://registrar.gmu.edu/calendars/2014spring/
  • Mid-term Exam: Thursday, March 20th.
  • Final Exam: Tuesday, May 13th 10:30 am – 1:15 pm 9:45 am - 11:45 pm
  • No class: March 11th and 13th (Spring Break)
  • Last class: Thursday, May 1st 6th.

3.4. Office Hours and Email

  • Office Hour: 9-10am on Tuesday and by appointment (rweigel@gmu.edu). My office is in room 259 of Planetary Hall. I usually arrive at class 10-25 minutes early. I will arrive earlier if students start asking me questions before class.
  • Email questions: Dr. Weigel <rweigel@gmu.edu>
  • Extra help: See bottom of page at http://cds130.org/. LAs will be available for questions.
  • Extra help: Contact Nicole Gordon <ngordon4@masonlive.gmu.edu> to set up an appointment if you can't make the office hour or the Tuesday extra help session.

Important: If your email is not set up to show your full name in the "From" line, please include your first and last name in your email so that I know who you are. To change the display name in Mason Live, go to options drop-down menu, click on "See All Options", then click on "Edit" on the Account Information page, and a window pops up where you can change your name and display name.

3.5. Exam Preparation

  • The sample exams should be considered as the equivalent of a study guide. The actual exam is written so that (1) if you understand the principle(s) required to solve the problems on the sample exam, the actual exam will not be difficult, (2) if you only attempt to memorize the questions and answers to the sample exam, you will perform poorly on the actual exam.
  • Work through the problems first without using MATLAB, logic.ly, or notes. Check your answers using MATLAB, logic.ly, or notes. On problems that you got wrong, review the notes and then do additional problems that follow the notes.
  • The mid-term is closed book and closed notes. You may not use MATLAB or logic.ly either. A calculator is allowed, but you may also write your answer in terms of a simple calculation that must be performed, e.g., 232 or 99*38.
  • Keep in mind that there is very little that you need to memorize to solve the problems. Memorize as little as possible - this exam is intended to test your understanding of the concepts, which require memorization of only a few rules and steps.
  • The actual exam will have problems that look similar to the sample problems. Try to determine the concept that each problem is testing you on. The exams will have problems that test the same concepts.
  • Start preparation early. It is more time efficient to spread out your study time over a week than to do all of your preparation the day before. When you prepare the day before, anxiety will make learning more difficult. When you spread out your preparation, there is less anxiety. In addition, studies have shown[2] that cramming is not efficient.
  • If you have went through all of the exam problems, write your own. Modify the problem a bit and see if you can answer it. In many cases, the exam questions are written by starting with a sample question and then modifying it in such a way that if the student understood the concept behind the sample problem (and was not relying on memorization), the modified problem should be easy.

3.6. Honor Code

I am generally approachable, reasonable, and patient with anything involving undergraduate students.

I am always stubborn, aggressive, and irritable on anything involving violations of the honor code, especially on exams.

Although my primary teaching responsibility involves teaching science-related subjects, I believe that an auxiliary responsibility of a college professor involves giving lessons related to ethical and honorable behavior.

It is OK to collaborate with one or two other students on homework problems. If there appears to be evidence one student copying another, the students involved will be asked to meet with the instructor and/or T.A. before any honor code actions are initiated.

3.7. FAQ

  • Do you use BlackBoard? No. All information about this course is at http://cds130.org/ or is sent to you via email.
  • Textbook? None required. All of the information that you need is available from http://cds130.org/.
  • Software? All software will be free. Outside of class you will have access to the same software on the classroom computers.
  • How much math? Math makes many students anxious. I know this. This class requires calculations, but the calculations are much different than the ones you typically do in algebra, trig, and calculus.
  • How much programming? We gradually build you up to being able to write your own programs. We do not assume any prior programming experience; we assume only that you have worked with Excel. After the fourth week, you are typically asked to write one or two small programs per homework - about 50% of the total grade.
  • What kind of problems will we be able to solve?
Glad you asked. Here are a few of the problems students worked on later in the semester Tumor | Antialias. We are working on more (in particular, a Neuro-specific project that useshttp://www.hiit.fi/neuro/images) and will take requests.
  • Do you give credit for class participation? I do not give points for class participation. Students that do not participate will naturally do worse. I find that giving points for class participation makes the best students suffer because they spend more time thinking about what they need to do to enhance their participation grade and less time thinking about the problem under discussion.
Retrieved from "http://cds130.org//2014S003"
Personal tools