Grading, Lateness, and Extensions

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Overall Grade

Your overall grade in 6.390 will be the weighted average of the component grades:

  • Exercises: 5%
  • Attendance: 5%
  • Homeworks: 15%
  • Labs: 15%
  • Midterm exam: 25%
  • Final exam: 35%
We'll excuse any missing attendance points due to sickness. In other words, you will not be improving your grade in this class by coming to class when you are sick or ill.

The letter-grade cutoffs will not be higher than the following:

  • A: 90%
  • B: 80%
  • C: 70%
  • D: 60%


Exercises are completed online (with immediate/automatic grading feedback), and are typically due Monday at 9am.


The lab sections will generally have some on-line problems to complete and think about during the lab, preferably with a partner of your choice. Typically, each lab will require a "checkoff"-- a brief discussion with a staff member on the topic of the assigned problems. These checkoffs will be due by the end of the section. In cases where capacity limits checkoff handling, those checkoffs can be completed by the lab deadline (generally Monday 11pm after the lab section) in office hours without late penalty.


Each week there will be more in-depth homework problems, typically due online by Wednesday at 11pm the week after they are assigned. Homeworks for the next week will typically release on Mondays at 9am.

Midterm and Final Exam

The Midterm Exam will be held on Thursday March 23, 2023 from 7:30pm-9:30pm Eastern; it is an in-person, written exam.

There will be a three-hour, in-person, written exam Final Exam. The final exam will be held on Tuesday, May 23 2023, from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM, in Johnson Track.

Lateness and extensions

Due dates are posted on-line for each component. Late submissions incur a 20% penalty per day, applied linearly (so 1 hour late is -0.83%). See the extension policy below.

To help you manage your obligations, each student is given 20 automatic one-day extensions.

  1. If you are ill or are having personal difficulties that are interfering with your work, see the section below.

  2. Otherwise, everyone gets 20 one-day extensions, implemented as follows: at the end of the semester, for each student, we will compute a set of pairs (n, a) such that if we were to move assignment a's deadline forward by n days, their overall total grade would be maximized, subject to the constraint that the total number of days (the sum of the n values) is less than or equal to 20. This can be applied to homework, exercise, or lab check-off assignments.

  3. There will be no further extensions for any other reason (this includes sports, conference travel, music, interviews, projects, extracurricular activities, etc.). You do not need to ask for the extensions to be applied; they are applied algorithmically at the end of the term.

  4. If you add the subject after the start of classes, we will move the week 1 assignment deadlines forward by a week, but will not give any extensions beyond that. However, the normal lateness and automatic extension policy should provide additional help.

Illness and personal issues

If you are sick you should not attend recitation, lab, or in-person office hours -- we will excuse attendance points for illness so you will not be penalized; contact for consideration. Also, if you have personal issues impacting your attendance, or other personal difficulties affecting your progress on assignments, please see a Dean in Student Support Services, and then you and the Dean should contact for assistance and handling of the situation. Please do NOT email any of the course staff directly.

Mental Health
MIT is a challenging environment, and 6.390 is a challenging course. As such, it is normal to expect some level of stress (and a lot of hard work) during 6.390. A certain level of stress is healthy and is part of the learning process (if it were easy, you probably wouldn't be learning much!). However, too much stress can be a bad thing, and if you are feeling overwhelmed, we want to help, so please don't hesitate to reach out.

Additionally, if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues (including significant stress, mood changes, excessive worry, substance/alcohol abuse, or problems with eating or sleeping), we strongly encourage you to contact or visit one or more of the following resources, who may be able to provide additional guidance and support:


We are committed to the principle of equal access, and we are more than willing to make arrangements to help accommodate students with disabilities or related challenges. In general, knowing about the kind of help you need earlier in the semester means that we'll be better prepared to provide that help effectively, in coordination with Disability and Access Services. If you have a disability and are not planning to use accommodations, it is still recommended that you meet with DAS staff to familiarize yourself with their services and resources. If you have been approved for accommodations by DAS, 6.390 staff are ready to assist with implementation. Please send these approved requests to to inform us, and we will work to implement these accommodations.