Being a weblog devoted to a variety of topics. Including Mathematics. And Mathematical Finance. Sometimes with homework.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

21-120 Final Wrapup

Well, the semester has drawn to a close. Here are the final statistics for the course. You can see that the final grade cutoffs are

A 74.32
B 62.95
C 52.95
D 41.25

I don't use Blackboard to compute grades, but your final average, unless you have late homeworks, will be the same as your "weighted average" from the blackboard site. At least they ought to be. Until a few moments ago, Exam #3 was categorized as an "assignment" rather than an "exam", which threw off the calculation. I've corrected that though, so now, you should be able to compare your "weighted average" to the cutoffs above to determine your grade. As long as you don't have any late homeworks, that is.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Course Statistics and Graded Homework

Here is a page of statistics for the course so far. You can see (revised (downward)) grade ctuoffs for the three midterm exams, and the computed cutoffs for your cumulative averages. The final grade cutoffs may change somewhat after the final has been graded, but probably not too much.You can compare your "weighted average" from the blackboard site to the Cumulative Average grade cutoffs to see where you stand going into the final.

I think all of you uncollected graded homework is in a box outside my office door (WEH 6214). I think it includes HW#15 for sections A and B, but I'm not sure about Section C.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Finals Week Schedule

Our Final Exam is, of course, at 5:30 on Friday, May 9.

I'm trying to schedule a review session for 1:00-2:30 on Wednesday, May 7. That is a reading day, so most of you should be available.

I'll hold office hours most day's this week. The schedule is:

Monday: 11:30-1:00
Tuesday: 11:30-12:15
Wednesday: Review Session, 1:00-2:30 (tentatively)
Thursday: 11:30-1:00
Friday: 11:30-1:00

Friday, May 2, 2008

Dude This is Totally Awesome

Who would have thought that 216 magnetic spheres would be so cool.

Another Difference Engine

My last post about a real functioning Difference Engine reminded me of William Gibson's The Difference Engine, with which I was much less impressed.

A long time ago, when I had just finished reading Neuromancer, I thought The Difference Engine looked pretty cool. I'm not exactly sure what it was about, but it wasn't about Babbage's Difference Engine. As I recall, Charles Babbage is one of the characters, but he is unsympathetic to say the least. Do yourself a favor; read Neuromancer, but give this one the go by.

As an aside, this follows one of my cardinal Rules for Reading Fiction: Books by two authors are terrible.

Babbage Difference Engine #2

I, like many math/science types, have always been fascinated by Charles Babbage's Difference Engines. They were undeniably revolutionary when he designed them in 1821 and 1849. One can only imagine what might have happened had they been built.

Well, now someone has built Difference Engine Engine #2, and it is on display at the Computer History Museum in San Jose (beginning May 10).