Grades Aren’t Normal


Introduction

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A while back someone posted on Reddit about the grading policies of their academic department. Specifically, the department chair made a statement claiming that grades should be Normally distributed with a C average. I responded, claiming that no statistician would ever take the idea that grades follow a Normal distribution seriously. Some asked for context, and I wrote a long response explaining my position. I repeat that argument here, and also give some R code demonstrations showing what curving grades does. Continue reading

High Dimensional Data, MSRI, and San Francisco in 2018; Reflections

Last fall my adviser alerted me to the MSRI workshop on high-dimensional data and suggested I may be interested. I applied and was accepted to participate. Thus, from July 9th to July 20th I stayed in San Francisco (for the first time in my life), living in the dorms of UC Berkeley and attending the workshop. I got to experience San Francisco’s legendary weather (escaping Salt Lake City’s triple-digit heat) while learning mathematics. I enjoyed the experience and wanted to share it.

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