Grades mean what they are supposed to:

  1. [A] Essential mastery of the course.
  2. [B] Clear facility with most of the material.
  3. [C] Marginal understanding of much of the material.
  4. [D] Some comprehension.

I have no objection if everyone gets an A.

Since this is generally the first rigorous mathematics course that people take, there is a rather wide set or reactions to it. In view of this I will compute grades in 3 different ways and give you the best.

  1. Front-loaded:- Based on the (total) homework and two in-class tests. Homework counting $ 30\%,$ the tests $ 35\%$ each. Using this method you will not get more than a B.
  2. Cumulative:- Homework $ 25\%,$ in-class tests $ 35\%$ (taken together), final $ 40\%.$
  3. Ace:- Based on the final alone.

Even though you will get, as actual grade, the best of the grades computed these three ways, I strongly recommend against relying on the third method. In my experience it is very seldom that anyone does much better with method 3 than they would get from method 2.

Richard B. Melrose 2004-05-18