Spring 2018 Dalpiaz

Exam I Policies and Information

Location, Date, and Time

  • Time: Thursday, March 1, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • You will be given 75 minutes to complete the exam.
  • Location:
    • Sections AD1 and AD2: 103 Mumford Hall
    • Sections AD3 and AD4: 150 Animal Sciences Lab


  • Time: Friday, March 2, 11:00 AM - 1:50 PM
    • You will be given 75 minutes to complete the exam.
  • Location: 106B3 Engineering Hall

Any and all conflicts should be discussed with the instructor before the week of the exam. The conflict may only be taken with prior approval of the instructor.

Exam Content

  • 1.1 - Properties of Probability
  • 1.2 - Counting Methods
  • 1.3 - Conditional Probability
  • 1.4 - Independent Events
  • 1.5 - Law of Total Probability and Bayes’ Theorem
  • 2.1 - Discrete Random Variables, Hypergeometric distribution
  • 2.2 - Expected Value
  • 2.3 - Variance, Standard Deviation, Moment-Generating Function
  • 2.4 - Binomial Distribution, Multinomial Distribution
  • 2.5 - Geometric and Negative Binomial Distributions
  • 2.6 - Poisson Distribution
  • 3.1 - Continuous Random Variables
  • 3.2 - Uniform and Exponential Distributions
  • 3.2 - Gamma Distribution
  • 3.3 - Normal Distribution

Materials Provided

Materials Needed

  • Writing utensil.
    • Please no red pen.
  • Calculator. A graphing calculator is useful but not necessary. Your calculator should be able to perform:
    • Combinations.
    • Exponents.
    • Logarithms.
    • Etc.
  • One 8.5" x 11" sheet with notes.
    • You may use both sides.
    • You may write whatever you please.
    • You may type and print your notes sheet.
    • No funny business. (Möbius strips, magnifying glasses, etc.)
  • iCard
    • Must be presented at end of exam.


  • All answers must be reasonably simplified. Answers cannot contain combinations, they must be calculated.
  • Decimals answers must contain four significant digits.
  • Where appropriate, final answers must be written in the space provided.
  • Grading will be done as follows:
    • A correct answer, supported by correct calculations and explanations will receive full credit.
    • An incorrect answer supported by substantially correct calculations and explanations will receive proportionally appropriate partial credit.
    • A correct answer, unsupported by calculations, explanation, or algebraic work will receive no credit.
  • Please be aware of the grade disputes policy in the syllabus.


  • If you arrive early, let the previous class leave before entering. This will speed our entry.
    • Do not stand in the hallway where they exit, stand in the hallway off to the side.
  • If you arrive early, do not sit near the aisle. Move into a row as far as possible.
    • Exceptions made for lefties.
    • This will greatly speed up getting everyone seated and distribution of exams.
    • If a student arrives late, they will not need to step over you.
    • If someone finishes early, they will not need to step over you.
  • If you arrive late, you must find a seat before you are given an exam. Find a seat and raise your hand.
  • You may not sit directly next to another student.


  • Do not mark on your exam after time has been called.
    • Failure to adhere to this policy will likely result in an exam grade of 0.
    • Anything you write in a few seconds after time has been called could gain you at most 1-2 points because of the partial credit policy. So, is it worth the risk?
    • With one minute left, the most important thing you can do is check that your name and NetID are on your exam.
  • Be sure you have written your name, NetID, and discussion section on your exam.
  • Turn in your notes sheet. (We will staple it to your exam.)
  • Show your iCard.
  • Use the closest possible exit.
  • Do not speak to your classmates until you have left the room.

Academic Integrity

In short, don’t cheat. Keep your eyes on your own exam. Any violation will be punished as harshly as possible.

Advice for Studying

Like most mathematical courses, the most important thing you can do to study is exercise (practice) as much as possible. You have four resources for practice exercises which will be very relevant to the exam:

  • Homework
  • Homework Practice (Posted with each Homework.)
  • Exam Practice (Posted shortly before each Exam.)
  • Discussion (Problems posted from each Discussion.)

You have the solutions for each of these, but when using these effectively, you should attempt all problems before referencing the solutions. Reading a solution and thinking “I know this” is very different from starting with a blank page and writing a solution. You won’t have solutions on the exam. You will have a blank page.

Creation of your notes sheet should be a by-product of practicing. Anything you needed to reference in notes when doing the exercises should be written on your notes sheet.

Time spent reading notes is far less valuable than time doing practice exercises. Many students believe reading the textbook or notes is useful for studying. In fact, time spent reading for the sake of reading is completely wasted. The notes and textbook should be used to help you eliminate gaps in your understanding which are discovered through practice problems. (But often, the solutions will be more directly useful.)

Some very bad ideas:

  • Copying a notes sheet of another student. Writing the notes sheet is a very helpful study tool. The act of simply writing down a definition will make it easier to remember, thus cost you less time during the exam.
  • Writing entire problems from homework or practice on a notes sheet. Students who rely on this strategy almost always run out of time on the exam. The notes sheet replaces needing to memorize formulas and definitions, not how to do every type of problem.
  • Pulling an all-nighter.

For some general advice on being a good student, take a look at this post from Andrej Karpathy. (Andrej was a very successful CS student, now well known in the Deep Learning community.) I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, but he has a very good perspective.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many problems are on the exam?

  • This question is irrelevant since each problem could have an arbitrary number of parts. A one problem exam could easily be written to be longer than a ten problem exam.

How long will it take to do the exam?

  • If you are well prepared and manage your time efficiently: Under 75 minutes.
  • If you are ill prepared or manage your time poorly: Over 75 minutes.
  • You should not focus on this. Focus on practicing and being able to do questions of the types you’ve seen on homework. Let me worry about this. And believe me, I worry about this a lot.

Is there a practice exam?

  • No, but you have a large number of practice problems, some of which, came from old exams.

When will the exam be returned?

  • Our goal is to post grades the following Monday. This makes Tuesday the mostly likely result.
  • The exams will be physically returned in Discussion Sections.

Will the exam be curved?

  • No.

We got our grades back, now will the exam be curved?

  • No. Unless you want it to curved to a normal distribution with a mean of 75. In which, case, sure, that would make my life easier.

What is the historical average on the exam?

  • Usually somewhere in the A- or B+ range. (This is in no way a guarantee.) This is part of the reason there is no curve.