Math 408 Final Exam Information

General information

Date and location: The final exam will be at the regular final exam slot for MWF 9 am classes: Friday, May 2, 7 pm - 10 pm, 103 MUMFORD HALL (located on Gregory Drive).
Note that this room is different from the rooms in which the midterms were given. Make sure you familiarize yourself with this location beforehand.

Official final exam room assignments for all University classes can be found under this link.

Office Hours/Open House: I plan to continue the Open House style office hours during the final week on the usual days (Wednesday, and Thursday, 5 pm, 141 Altgeld (or an adjacent room)).

Conflict policy. There is no scheduled conflict exam for this class. If you are in a "3 finals in 24 hours" conflict situation, you are entitled to a conflict/make-up final, but the University has strict regulations as to which of the three classes has to provide this conflict/make-up final. (See the Final Exam Section of the Student Code for the official regulations.) If one of the three classes has an officially scheduled conflict exam (Math 408, like most smaller classes, doesn't), you have to take that conflict exam. If none has a scheduled conflict exam, the class with the largest number of students has to give you a make-up exam. If our class (Math 408) is the largest of the three classes involved, let me know by the end of Monday, April 28, with details on the other classes.

Rules: The rules are essentially the same as for the midterm tests and the actuarial exams. Books/notes/tables are not allowed. A normal table will be distributed (the same as the one used in the midterm exams. For a few problems you will need a basic calculator of the type approved for actuarial exams. However, the majority of problems require no calculator, and using a calculator for those problems would be a waste of time; some problems may explicitly prohibit the use of a calculator.

Missed final, illness, and other emergencies: By University policy, a missed final exam automatically translates into a failing grade unless the student has been granted an "excused/incomplete" grade by the Dean, in which case the student is entitled to take a make-up final by the middle of the following semester. If you miss the final because of an illness or other emergency do the following as soon as possible (preferably before the time of the final):

Keep in mind that, if you do take the final, then whatever score you earned there will stand. You cannot retroactively argue that your final exam score should be discounted because you have not been feeling well. Thus, if you are sick enough that you feel your performance on the final will be affected, it is better to play it safe and seek an excused grade.


I hope to have the final exam graded and scores online by Monday. I will put an announcement on the course webpage as soon as grading is complete and the scores are online.

The Final counts 30% towards your course grade. The grade will be computed from your grades on the homework, quizzes, midterm test, and final exam, as follows (see the Course Information Sheet for details):

Course grade. Your course grade will be the letter grade (with pluses and minuses) shown at the end of the score display, once the final scores have been entered. See the Interpretation of Scores Display page for a detailed explanation of the online score display.

Curving. All grades shown on the score display are curved grades. The current (pre-final) cutoffs for for A-/B-/C-/D- are set at 85/72/56/40. (Cutoffs for other +/- grades are determined by the program by linear interpolation.) Once the final scores are in, I may modify the current curve to adjust for the distribution of scores on the final, but it will likely be not very different from the curve in effect now, and in any case will be more generous than a 90/80/70/60 curve; i.e., there will be no "curving down". (Note that the only curving done is the "global" curving of the overall average, as described above. There is no additional curving of the individual scores.)

Grade appeals. The computer grade, as shown at the end of the score display, is your final grade and is non-negotiable. With a class of this size, going strictly by performance on written exams and assignments is the only fair and equitable way to assign grades; I cannot make adjustments for such things as having a perfect attendance record, or discount an exam because the student had a bad day on the day of the exam, or allow someone to improve a score by doing additional work. Everyone is subject to the same rules, and taking subjective factors into account in individual cases would be highly unfair to the rest of the class. Also, being close to the next higher grade is no reason to get bumped up to that grade. After all, if you were similarly close to the next lower grade, I wouldn't bump you down to the lower grade. In fact, since a letter grade with plusses and minuses corresponds to a 3 or 4 point range on a percentage scale, most of the grades are probably within one or two percentage points of the next higher or next lower grade.

Exam content

The exam will be cumulative and cover the syllabi of the two midterm tests, plus the material covered in class since the second midterm. See below for more details. The problems will be comparable in terms of difficulty and length to the problems on the two midterm tests, or the practice exams for these tests. The final will have about 2 - 2.5 times as many problems as a midterm exam, so you have plenty time to get finished within the allotted 3 hours. The exam will be cumulative, covering the material from the two midterms, plus the material from the final two weeks of class. The entire course material will be covered about equally, and there will be no special emphasis on any particular part of the syllabus. Refer to the links below for detailed lists of topics, and links to practice exams.

Exam 1 Syllabus

Exam 2 Syllabus

Post-Exam 2 Material

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Last modified Tue 29 Apr 2008 09:25:44 AM CDT A.J. Hildebrand