6.033 consists of three components: technical material,
communication/system design and analysis, and participation. Each
of these components comprises roughly one third of your
grade, according to the following breakdown:
|30% for Quizzes|
|5% for Hands-ons|
|40%:||Communication + System design and
|10% for DP preliminary report + DP presentation|
|20% for DP report|
|10% for critiques|
|20% for recitation participation|
|5% for communication participation|
You must hand in assignments when they are due, and you must attend
quizzes at the scheduled times. If you feel you have a compelling
reason for not handing in an assignment on time, or for not attending
a quiz, please talk to Dr. LaCurts in advance; with support
from S3 we will make exceptions.
The only exception to this late policy is design-project materials.
For those, the late policy will be explicitly posted on each
If you miss an assignment deadline, you should still hand in the
assignment; we'll give you feedback even though we won't give you
credit for your final grade. Furthermore, doing assignments is the
best way to prepare for exams and design project. Unless otherwise
specified, assignments are due at 5:00pm on their assigned due-date
(hands-ons are due at 11:59pm).
One quiz is held during the term
(Quiz 1 FAQ). A second quiz
will be scheduled during finals week. Each quiz will focus on half
of the class' material, but keep in mind that later topics in
6.033 build heavily upon the earlier topics. The quizzes will
test material from lectures, recitations, and the assigned
reading. The quizzes are worth 15% each, and will be graded on a
standard 0-100 scale.
During most weeks, you will be expected to complete a hands-on
experiment that requires a computer, usually an Athena
workstation, and sometimes the Internet. These reinforce some of
the abstract concepts from the lectures or papers that week, and
let you find out how things really work. These are worth 5%
total, and will be graded on a standard 0-100 scale.
Communication + System design and analysis
The 6.033 staff have worked with the MIT Writing, Rhetoric, and
Professional Communication (WRAP) program for more than 10 years to
design 6.033 writing and speaking assignments. We have chosen
assignments that are similar to the kinds of writing you will do in
the engineering workplace: memos, preliminary reports, final
reports, and presentations. Communication assignments are designed
to help you conceptualize and develop the design project.
The design project requires you to develop a detailed system
design to solve a real-world problem. This project will extend over
most of the semester, and will be done in teams of three students, all
of whom have the same TA. The project will involve a preliminary
report, an oral presentation, and an extended report. The feedback we
give on your preliminary report and presentation will aid in writing
your final report.
Your design project will be done in teams of three. Real-world
systems are not built individually; it's always a team effort. Part
of the design project assignment is to learn to work productively
and effectively in this setting. We will give you tools for doing
so in the writing tutorials.
The preliminary report for the design project will be
evaluated by your Recitation Instructor and your Communication
Instructor. Your Communication Instructor will evaluate it according
to the grading rubric and assign a letter grade. Your Recitation
Instructor will evaluate the preliminary report to make sure your
design is on the right track; you should incorporate their feedback
into the presentation and report.
The presentation will be graded by your Recitation
Instructor. Your presentation should reflect the feedback you got
on your preliminary report; feedback on your presentation should
inform your final report. We will release guidelines for the
presentation as the due date gets nearer, but in general, your
presentation will focus on any changes you have made since the
preliminary report, rather than re-capping the entire system.
The presentation will receive a grade of check, check+, or check-.
A check+ will move your preliminary report grade up one letter, a
check- will move it down one letter, and a check will not change it.
(E.g., if you receive a B on the preliminary report, and a check+ on
the presentation, your "preliminary report + presentation" grade is
The report will also be graded by your Recitation
Instructor, and will receive a letter grade.
You must turn in the design project report in order to pass 6.033.
If you have not turned it in, you will automatically receive an
One of the goals of 6.033 is for students to be able to analyze and
critique technical papers. We will assign three paper critiques
during the semester. The first is worth 2%, the second two are
worth 4% each.
These critiques will be graded by your TAs and Communication
Instructors, and assigned a letter grade. The expectations for each
individual critique will be detailed in the tutorials. As your
skills at analyzing and reading technical papers improve throughout
the semester, we will expect your critiques to reflect that.
Your recitation participation grade is more than just an assessment
of your attendance. We expect you to engage fully in each
recitation (a good rule of thumb is to try to ask or answer at least
one question per recitation). 6.033 is a communication class, and
oral communication is just as important as written communication.
Your recitation participation grade will be comprised of your
attendance in recitation sections (attending a section means being
there the entire time, not coming in for the last five minutes),
your answers to the recitation questions, and your engagement in the
We will assign the grade in two parts: one for the first half of
the semester, one for the second half of the semester.
We expect you to read the recitation papers before that day's
recitation. It is okay if you find aspects of the papers
confusing, but you should come to recitation prepared to ask
questions about what you didn't understand.
A portion of your participation grade will also be based on your
participation in writing tutorials and on your understanding of
communication concepts and skills, as demonstrated by your work on
the design project and evaluated by your communication
Note that over a third of your grade comes from written
assignments: we expect you to take writing seriously in this class.
You may not collaborate on quizzes. On all other assignments you
are welcome to discuss ideas with others, but your writing should
be your own and you should acknowledge all contributions of
ideas by others, whether from classmates or from papers you