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Class credits

(I got this email and posted it here so we can start a discussion; evidently only I can start a new item.)


I tried to add a new thread on the blog but it turns out as a student I don't have the authority to add new threads (?) so I'll just send you my suggestion in this email.

Since I, and many of my fellow students, really appreciate the course; its structure, contents and range I believe the best solution would be to simply adjust the number of credits given for this course. To justify this one can consider the following:

Simultaneously with ours there is a finance course given at the HEC of Unil; "Principles of Finance", however does this one entitle to 6 credits. Having attended this course and read the syllabus I see that it is in fact very similar to ours. E.g. they use equivalent course literature (lecture notes + recommended MBA books for background
reading) and have a similar range of the course. They also have the same type of compulsory homework as we do, as well as a Midterm exam plus a final. They might have 45 minutes more of lecture each week (I do not quite remember) but on the other hand they don't have our Market Sessions.

I realize that changing the number of credits at this point could be administratively challenging, but given the high quality of our course so far and the student and teacher input given I think it is worth looking into.

Best Regards

Posted by Peter Bossaerts on Friday 26 October 2007 at 17:18

This is exactly what I found out this afternoon and I was quite shocked. Yes, the course at UNIL is pretty much the same - different teaching style, though, and no experiments (although they wish they could do that too).

I am going to talk to Chris Tucci how to get the credits up to 6. Otherwise we can as well stop after 1 November and call it a day.

Posted by Peter Bossaerts on Friday 26 October 2007 at 17:22
I talked to Prof. Tucci about the crediting of the class and, not surprisingly, it appears that not much can be done about it this year. As a result, I plan to "lighten up." Please give me a week to re-arrange the remainder of the course. I will probably drop 1 homework and reduce the material in the second half of the term.
Posted by Peter Bossaerts on Sunday 28 October 2007 at 12:29

Just to say that such a comparison between credits allocations at EPFL and at UNIL may not be relevant here. On a "EPFL-scale" and objectively, 3 should be the right amount of credits for this course (hours. consistency). But more important than this issue, please do not stop the course now! This would let a big lack appear in the syllabus you gave us.

This was my point of view, only to keep the discussion going... :)


Germain Augsburger
Posted by Germain Augsburger on Monday 29 October 2007 at 13:49
Dear Prof and Classmates,

In my opinion, my incentives for taking this course were driven by the covered topics in the syllabus. I'd find it most annoying to drop anything from the class material to match the number of credits given since I am (humbly) way more concerned about the knowledge I acquire than the credits I collect.

Since increasing the credits sounds like engaging in a crusade against the SAC, I'd suggest to change the name of the course into "Finance" + something instead of "Introduction to..." which would be somewhat more rewarding given the present situation. I can think of "Principles of finance" or "Fundamentals of finance" for instance.

Should you like the proposition and backed by both you Prof. Bossaerts and Prof. Tucci who's in charge of the MTE section, the SAC would probably accept the request.

What would you think about such an idea?

Best regards
Sohrab Kehtari
Posted by Sohrab Kehtari on Monday 29 October 2007 at 16:18
I will make sure all the topics are covered. I just won't make you work as hard as I wanted originally. In other words: I'll do my part of the job.

On petitioning SAC: evidently, this will not be possible.

On credit comparisons with UNIL: I agree that this is hard. But given how credits are computed at EPFL, I was already surprised by the low number back in May when I proposed the class.

Posted by Peter Bossaerts on Tuesday 30 October 2007 at 8:30
Mr. Bossaerts,

Will it be possible, as in UNIL, to choose as a final note for the two exams (mid-term and final) the best from either?

Another question, what are the final percentages for homeworks, mid-term and final? Since there are contradictory data in the 2 syllabus online. I would appreciate if you could clarify this for us.

Tomás Vera
Posted by Tomás Agustin Vera on Wednesday 5 December 2007 at 14:18