Grades and policies#

Points system#



12 quizzes (drop lowest)

10 points each (110)

4 Python Assignments

20 points each (80)

Participation Items

20 points


210 points



12 quizzes (drop lowest)

10 points each (110)

4 Python Assignments

20 points each (80)

Participation Items

20 points

Valuation Project

40 points


250 points

Grade cutoffs#

I will use the following ranges to assign letter grades. I may curve grades up for the entire class, but I will never curve grades down.




92 – 100


90 – 91.99


87 – 89.99


83 – 86.99


80 – 82.99


77 – 79.99


73 – 76.99


70 – 72.99


65 – 69.99


60 – 64.99


59.99 and below


There are no exams in this class. 🎉
Instead, we have quizzes almost every week at the end of class.

Studies seem to show that students who take regular quizzes instead of infrequent exams learn the material better, and as a result, have higher grades (e.g., here, here, and here). I follow this approach in this course. Each quiz will typically have 5–7 questions, should last about 15–20 minutes, and will be cumulative (though I will give you hints about past topics will be covered).

Your lowest quiz score will be dropped.

Since quizzes occur at the end of class, they are due when class is over. Failure to turn in the quiz by the end of class will result in a 5% reduction for each minute late. For example, if you answer all questions correctly, but turn it in two minutes late, your score will be 90%.

Missed quizzes#

If there are any university-approved absences that conflict with quizzes, please let me know as soon as possible. That being said, I know life can be chaotic and unpredictable sometimes. If an emergency precludes you from taking a quiz at the specified time, let me know as soon as is reasonable so that I can work with you.

It is sad that I must do this, but in order to prevent abuse of the system I must require documentation for the absence.

All make up quizzes will take place on one of two dates.

  1. The Tuesday before finals week at 4pm.

  2. The date and time of our final exam.

In order to prevent early dissemination of answers, it is also my policy to not allow quizzes to be taken early.

Python assignments#

Python is a great programming language which has seen wide and rapid adoption in a variety of contexts. It can be used to collect and analyze data, automate processes, implement machine learning applications, and much more. Employers are increasingly requesting coding skills from applicants — e.g., here — and this course will provide students with an introduction to Python for finance applications.

We will have several Python assignments throughout the semester. I encourage you to work in small groups on these assignments (no more than 3), since peer discussions can greatly help the learning process. See the cheating section for more assignments discussion.

Late assignments#

Submissions will be handled via D2L. Do not wait until the last minute to submit assignments. Late work will be accepted, but with the following penalties:



0–24 hours late


1–7 days late


>7 days late

100% (work not accepted)


Occasionally, I will distribute surveys or other minor tasks meant to gauge the progress of the class, encourage participation, etc. Participation points will come from these items.

If the class is forced to go virtual — please god, not again… 😭 — students will be required to keep their cameras on during Zoom classes. Failure to do so will result in lost participation points.

Additional project#

Not applicable.

Students in BA 536 will also need to complete a valuation project by the end of the semester. Each student/group will select a security, use the methods and techniques covered in class to arrive at a valuation, and ultimately make a recommendation. A thorough and robust discussion of the valuation assumptions and their implications should be included. See the project instructions for more details.

Other policies#


I have a strict policy when it comes to cheating. Students are expected to adhere to the university’s policy on cheating and plagiarism.

You are encouraged to collaborate with your peers in preparation for quizzes and on assignments. I do not view this type of collaboration as cheating, but each student/group must turn in their own work.

On assignments#

I encourage collaboration. That is why the assignments are group assignments. However, if one group copies the Python code of another group and submits it as their own work, then both groups will get a zero on the assignment. Group members may also fail the class and be reported to the university.

On quizzes#

You may not use any external or unauthorized resources on the quizzes. If I catch you cheating on a quiz, then you will automatically fail the quiz, fail the class, and I will report you to the university.

Do not cheat.

The following quiz policies will be implemented in order to reduce cheating opportunities.

  • There must be at least one seat between students during quizzes.

  • Students may not wear headphones/earbuds during the quizzes.

  • Once the first student finishes their quiz, other students may no longer leave the room until they are ready to turn in their quiz.

  • No smart devices (tablet, phone, watch, etc.) or notes may be accessible during quizzes.

  • I may allow a single 3x5 card of handwritten notes on some quizzes. I will let students know beforehand to which quizzes this applies.

  • If we are forced to go virtual for quizzes, updated policies/guidance will be provided.


You may not record classroom discussions/presentations without prior approval. This includes pictures, videos, and audio recordings.

It is distracting if you are constantly raising your phone to take pictures of the board. Additionally, recording devices make students less likely to participate in classroom discussions which reduces the quality of the lecture.


Occasionally I (or my TA) will make a grading mistake. Please bring this to my attention if you believe a mistake has been made in either a quiz or an assignment. I will be happy to correct it.

However, you must bring it to my attention within two weeks of receiving the graded item. I will not review all of your grade items the last week of the semester.