Demography 88 grades and expectations

The standard workload for a 2 unit course is 6 hours per week. I take this to be an average rather than a maximum, but my intention is not to exceed that 6 hours of work except occasionally by accident. The two hours that we meet in class; time spent reading; and time spent on assignments outside of class all count toward the 6 hour time budget.

The work for this class consists of:

The weekly assignments will be done with a randomly selected partner; For the final project you may either choose a partner or do it individually.

Weekly lab assignments

Each week we will have a lab assignment in the form of a Jupyter notebook. Labs will be "distributed" in class on Mondays. Labs will not be turned in but all labs will have online questions which must be completed in order to get credit for the lab. The due date for each question is visible from within the Jupyter notebook generally lab questions will be due at midnight the following Sunday.

Multiple choice questions will be graded for correctness. The system indicates when an answer is wrong and prompts the user to reconsider. Second through nth correct answers will be granted 1/n points. In other words, if you get an answer wrong, you can resubmit and if you get it right on second try, you get 1/2 credit. Getting it right on the 3rd try is worth 1/3.

Short answer questions will be graded for effort: a response that is free of contempt and evidence of profound laziness will receive at least some credit.

Multiple choice questions will be worth 1 point; short answer questions will be worth 2. There will be be about 137 lab question points in the course. I recognize the my questions are far from perfect and that confusion is inevitable, I will therefore drop questions worth 20 percent of your lab grade (so as to maximize your score on labs). This I hope will eliminate the hassle of arguing about small stuff.

The readings

Short weekly reading assignments will be drawn either from the text book or from articles which will be downloadable from the Course Calendar section of this website. The the Course Calendar will also include links to questions about the readings. These questions work the same way as the questions embedded in the Jupyter Notebooks. The questions will be due before the class meeting in which they will be discussed--as with the lab questions, the due date will be evident when you click on the link. Reading questions will be equally valued.

The final project

Beginning in the 12th week of class we will turn our attention to final projects. While each individual or group will choose (with the instructor's help) a project, all will be encouraged to use a particular data set and to address the same general topic. The lab exercises from later in the course can serve as templates for a final project. A no stress presentation of your final project is required during our schedule final exam period. I'll explain what I mean by "no stress" in class -- but it means no stress. An excellent final project will be: