Quiz and Recitation Policies

15-453 (s15)



Quizzes are meant to be easy. They contain two types of questions:


Quizzes will be given in class each Tuesday. They will also be released each Thursday as a “preview.” Quiz previews will be almost identical to the actual quizzes. Changes will primarily be of one of the following forms, never meant to trick you:

In general, the real quizzes will be at most as hard as the preview quizzes.

Getting Help

Quiz previews, like real quizzes, are noncollaborative, with an exception. If all people involved have attended that week's solution session, then they may discuss the quiz preview together. A student may not discuss the quiz with anyone except course staff without having attended that week's solution session. This means that no discussion of the quiz previews should take place before the solution session.

If you need help with a quiz preview, you may ask private questions on Piazza or come to office hours. For most questions, any staff member can help you, but in case Asa is looking for a specific answer, it is best to double-check with him.


Quizzes count for 5% of your final grade. Grading is “full credit or half credit,” meaning that any score below 100% is halved before being entered into the gradebook. Thus, a 100% is recorded as a 100%, and an 80% is recorded as a 40%. Because quizzes are easy and test primarily basic concepts that every student must understand, and because we give you ample opportunity to learn the answers to the questions beforehand, there is no excuse for not earning a perfect score on every quiz.

Recitations (a.k.a. Quiz Solution Sessions)

5:30-6:30, tentatively in GHC 6501


Recitations are optional. Their purpose is twofold. We will review any content that was unclear from lecture (and cover things that Rudich skipped), and many things will be presented in a different way that may make more sense to you if you had trouble following the lectures. We will also go over the answers to that week's quiz preview.


Rule #1: Play along. Participate. If I ask you, personally or as a class, to do something, like come up to the board or find a partner, class will be more fun and more useful for everyone if you do it. If you think you learn more by sitting in your seat and ruminating than by being actively engaged with the rest of the class, then you're in the wrong major. Go publish your results, overturn half a century of pedagogical research and get a PhD in psychology.

Be on time. That means: be seated before the clock on the wall says 5:31. Do not leave early, and do not begin to pack up before I dismiss you. For my part, I will dismiss you before the clock on the wall says 6:29, and by that time I will have given you the answer to every question on the quiz preview.

Electronics policy: None. (That means no electronics, not no policy thereon.) No photography or video or audio recordings are allowed (even if you have a phonograph or some other non-electronic recording device).

Food policy: Sure, as the room allows.