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In class final for a graduate EM class?

  1. Jun 7, 2006 #1
    I question the educational value of such an exam. We've been working out of Jackson this year, and based upon my experience the typical jackson problem (just one) takes at least two hours, even if you know what you're doing and make minimal mistakes (ie dropping signs, forgetting terms in your algebra).

    The professor hasn't done it before, but this year he caught several students (maybe 3 out of 7) cheating (on problem 5.26 - the prof has yet to work out the quoted solution). No, I was not one of them. I made a completely boneheaded mistake (calculated the integral of B*B between the two wires, as opposed to over all space). Instead of reporting the problem to the dept. chair he simply didn't grade the problem for those students (they got a score out of 30, the rest of us out of 40).

    In any event, I'll quit ranting. To get to my original point, for those who have had to take an in class final for Jackson, was this educational for you at all?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 7, 2006 #2

    George Jones

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    How did they cheat?

    In fourth year, I took two 1-semester courses that had Jackson as text and assignment source. The final exams were four hours long, and the exam problems were somewhat less difficult than Jackson problems.

    I would rate the value of this type of exam as about the same as most exams.
  4. Jun 7, 2006 #3
    from what I understand, they copied from a posted solution, verbatim.

    Personally, I think it's one thing to check a solution to see if you're on the right track. But to copy something is wrong.
  5. Jun 7, 2006 #4
    And to think they could get away with it, in a class of seven people? If any two people in a class that small do a hard problem with exactly the same work and with the same writing, it should be pretty obvious that the professor is going to catch it.
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