Maximising your coursework practical score

Since you're working with real world image and motor data (unlike theorem proving or solving a math problem), it is often impossible to get your practical assignment program to work perfectly. So, when do you stop?


  1. You like to get things to work properly: When your vision/robot program works mostly correctly on 5-10 test cases. I don't set impossible assignments (except accidentally).
  2. You are Homo economicus: Let's put this in perspective. This course is worth something like 10% of your assessment for the year. This assignment is worth something like 20% of the assessment for this course. You think that you have done enough for a 70%/A after 20 hours of work. Should you do another all-nighter (20 hours) to get that 80%?

    Let's do the maths. Each 1% on the assignment is worth 0.01 * 0.20 * 0.10 * 100 = 0.02% on your final average for the year. You earned the first 70% at 0.07% per hour. You earned the next 10% at 0.01% per hour. You've got to ask yourself, is this worth enough?

Bob Fisher
December 1, 2010

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