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February 18, 2013

Computer science students successfully boycott class final

Andrea Michalowsky:

The students in Professor Peter Froehlich's "Intermediate Programming" and "Introduction to Programming for Scientists and Engineers" (a Python language class) classes, boycotted their finals last December. The former initially organized the boycott and the latter followed suit.

To avoid the stress of taking their exam, the students decided to capitalize on a loophole in Froehlich's grading system.

"In my courses, all grades are relative to the highest actually achieved score. Thus, if no one showed up and everyone got 0 percent, everyone would be marked as 100 percent," Froehlich wrote in an email to The News-Letter.

Since Froehlich started at Hopkins in 2005, no class had taken that challenge until last semester. Both of Froelich's classes were awarded with perfect scores on their final exams.

"Peter tends to say this in each of his classes as almost a challenge to the entire class to execute," James Gliwa, a student in Intermediate Programming, wrote in an email to The News-Letter.

Froehlich speculated that the Occupy Wall Street movement provided students with a model, as students coined the phrase "Occupy Hackerman" to describe their effort. He also cited the use of the online forum Piazza as facilitating the boycott.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at February 18, 2013 1:00 AM
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