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Data 88S Course Information, Spring 2023

Shobhana Stoyanov

Welcome to Data 88S! This page contains the nitty-gritty details of the class. Please read it carefully, and also read the companion page about the class.

Enrolled and waitlisted students have been added to our Ed forum. Some start-of-term information has been posted on Ed.

Community Standards

Data 88S is an academic community; Ed is a formal, academic space. We must demonstrate appropriate respect, consideration, and compassion for others. Please be friendly and thoughtful; our community draws from a wide spectrum of valuable experiences. For further reading, please reference Berkeley’s Principles of Community and the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct.


The textbook is on the course website. Lectures and the textbook will be closely related in content and sequence, though the exposition and examples in lecture might be different from those in the text.

Weekly Sessions and Attendance

All sessions are in person and start at Berkeley time, that is, 10 minutes after the stated start time.

The class does not allow time conflicts. You are expected to attend all the sessions below. Each session will assume that you have attended the previous ones.

  • Lecture meets MWF 1PM to 2PM in Valley Life Sciences Building (VLSB) 2050.
  • Discussion sections meet two times a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • There will be numerous office hours held by the instructors and course staff; days and times TBA.

Student participation and informal conversation will be encouraged during all lectures and sections. You are expected not only to attend but also to participate. We will not take attendance. Rather, we’ll make sure that participating in the sessions is an effective and efficient way to learn.

Ed Forum

We will use our Ed forum extensively for communication, posting documents and information, and discussions with students. Please check Ed regularly, and please read the Forum Policies post carefully before posting.

The Required Components of Your Work


Homework will be assigned each Wednesday and will be due the following Tuesday at 11:59 pm. In some weeks there may be deviations from this due to exams or holidays; we will let you know.

Data 88S is essentially a math class. Homework will consist of math and interpretation, not code.

Late assignments will not be accepted. But if you have DSP accommodations for extended time on assignments, please make sure we receive your DSP accommodation letter by the second week of classes. We will contact you about arrangements.

Homework must be submitted on Gradescope. Please follow all submission instructions. Not doing so will result in no credit and no regrade request allowed for the work. It is your responsibility to make sure your submission is complete.

Homework will be graded based on correctness. We encourage you to use the plentiful support available from the instructors and course staff, and to get started as early as possible. Turning in work that you understand well and know to be correct is by far the most efficient way to succeed in the class.

Please keep in mind that homework assigned each week is based on the material covered in the same week, not in the previous week. The first two exercises (and possibly more) of each week’s homework will be based on material covered on Tuesday. So you will be able to start homework as soon as it is assigned, though many students prefer to wait till after section on Wednesday.

Quizzes and Exams

  • Quizzes will be held three times during the term in section. You must take your quizzes in the discussion section to which you are assigned.
    • Quiz 1: Wednesday 2/1
    • Quiz 2: Wednesday 3/22
    • Quiz 3: Wednesday 4/12
  • Midterm Friday March 3rd, will be held during the normal lecture time.
  • Final Exam Tuesday 5/9 from 8am-11am (Exam Group 5). It is your responsibility to make sure that you are not enrolled in a class that has a conflicting final exam. You must take the final in order to pass the class.

There will be no alternate quizzes or exams except as required by campus rules. If you have extended time accommodations for tests from DSP, please make sure that you have enough available hours around the times of the regularly scheduled tests. This is particularly important for the midterm and the final. Also, please make sure we receive your official DSP accommodation letter at least one week before the first test for which you need the accommodations, so we can make the necessary arrangements.


We strongly recommended that you turn in all assignments even if you can only complete some of them partially. However, to give you some leeway in case of illness and emergencies, we will drop the following in the calculation of your overall score:

  • your two lowest homework scores
  • your lowest quiz score

Course grades will be assigned using the following weights:

  • 20% Homework
  • 20% Quizzes
  • 20% Midterm
  • 30% Final
  • 10% max(midterm, final)

Grades will be based on a combination of absolute cutoffs and the distribution of overall scores.

Collaboration and Integrity

You are encouraged to discuss practice problems and homework with your fellow students and with course staff. Arguing with friends about exercises is an excellent and time-honored way to learn. However, you must write up all your assignments on your own.

Copying assignments from other sources is not only dishonest, it also doesn’t help anyone. Each exercise requires its own combination of ideas, and each student needs practice in coming up with those combinations, or else they will be at a loss when trying to use the ideas in their future work. From a purely practical perspective, all students must work independently on Data 88S quizzes and exams – no collaboration is allowed on tests. If a test is the first time a student works independently, then that test is not likely to go well.

Stat 88 and Data 88S materials including exams and solutions are the intellectual property of the course developers. From the campus statement on Academic Integrity: “… students may not circulate or post materials (handouts, exams, syllabi, i.e. any class materials) from their classes without the written permission of the instructor.”

We are tough with dishonest students and we hope that we will not be put in that situation in Data 88S. I expect that you will work with integrity and with respect for other members of the class, just as the course staff will work with integrity and with respect for you.