A student wrote to my TA yesterday, who forwarded the message to me.
Unfortunately, I just flew in from the East Coast a couple of hours
ago.  Ergo, the delay in my response.

        Hi Dr. Patt
        A student sent me the following mail. I guess you only can answer this
        question correctly....

        ---------------------------- Original Message -------------------------
        Subject: Grades
        Date:    Fri, December 15, 2006 8:47 pm


        I know Dr. Patt said at the beginning of the semester that 
        if we make an A on
        the final, we make an A in the course (or something to that effect). 
        I'm a little confused as to what that means. 

You are right, "something to that effect."  Dr. Patt is not interested in
penalizing any student who has been trying all semester, but only finally
"got it" very late in the semester -- BUT, in time to demonstrate it on the
final exam.

        Does that only happen if we make a raw A
        (without any curve) on the final or if we make 
        an A after a curve (if he chooses to curve it). 

I never know how to answer this type of question.  My TAs and I plan to look 
at the record of every student over the entire semester, and determine the 
final grade on the basis of our interpretation of their mastery of the material
and their conscientious attempts to understand that material.  The best
indicator of that is performance on the final exam.  But there are other
indicators as well.

I really believe the best thing you can do now is concentrate on your
other courses.  You can not do anything to help your 306 grade at this
point.  But, if you obsess over it, it could adversely affect your other

Good luck with the rest of finals, and enjoy the semester break.  ...and
please look forward to a fantastic Spring semester.

Yale Patt

        Also, does that policy only apply if we make an A or is it the
        same for any grade? As in, if we make a B on the final, do we get a B in the

        Thanks in advance.

        <<name withheld to protect the student who is ...>>