10/03/2006

A student writes: Dr. Patt, If we make an error on a problem and we correctly use that answer in another problem, will we receive credit for the problem? Eck, that's confusing. For example, say we get the wrong answer to part A, but we use that answer in part B correctly (which gives us the incorrect answer), will we receive credit for part B? Actually, I got it the first time. So, I will ask you a question: How does knowing the answer to this question help you prepare for the exam? ...or, learn the concepts in the course? I am trying very hard to not call this a high schooler's question. Your job is to learn the concepts and demonstrate that you have learned them on the exam. My job is to evaluate that performance correctly and fairly. That means I will try to come up with problems where the above does not happen. Since I am not always successful, I will be conscious of those cases where such does occur and grade accordingly. Unfortunately, there are cases in which a wrong answer to part A can change the problem so dramatically that the answer to part B is meaningless. Simple example (in a math test): Part a (3 points): Let x = square root of 2^6000. Represent x as a power of 2. Part b (15 points): Is x+1 a prime number? Suppose the student answers: Part a: 2^2 Part b: Yes, 5 is a prime number. How many points should the student receive? I also have a question about problem 2 on the 2002 exam. For part A, I got 3 and a TA got 3, but the answer on the website says 4. Is address space the number of actual locations or the number of locations that could be addressed by the address lines? In this problem there are 2 address lines, which can address up to 4 locations, but the diagram only shows 3 locations. Since it was on the 2002 exam, as you might expect, I answered it when a student asked it in Fall, 2004. Rather than repeat it here, let me just point you to Fall, 2004 EE306 email archives: http://www.ece.utexas.edu/~patt/04f.306/Emails/email39.html Thanks for your help, <<name withheld to protect the ...>> Good luck on the exam. Yale Patt