The deadline to submit this exam is 12 noon (Pacific) on Thursday, October 1. Late submissions will be penalized 10% per hour past the deadline.




The deadline to submit this exam is 12 noon (Pacific) on Thursday, October 1. Late submissions will be penalized 10% per hour past the deadline. There is ample time to complete and upload the exam, so if you wait until the last minute to upload your exam and run into technical difficulties, that will be viewed as poor planning on your part (not a basis for an extension).

Your exam responses should be entered in the Word document that has been provided as a template on Blackboard; once you have written all of your responses, the document should be submitted via the corresponding link in the Assignments section on Blackboard (you may leave it in .docx format or save it as a pdf first, whichever you prefer).

  • Responses involving calculations may be handwritten; take a picture or scan of your written response and insert it into the Word doc in the appropriate place. [Taking a picture with the camera on your phone should be sufficient, or you can use an app such as Adobe Scan; the image just needs to be clear enough for your response to be read.]
  • If you prefer, you can print out the exam and handwrite all of your answers.

This is an open-notes exam, so you are free to refer to course resources (lecture slides, textbooks, etc.) as you complete the exam. However, you must put all of your answers in your own words according to the usual standards of academic integrity. [A bit of related advice: if you think that a copy-paste from one of these resources would provide a complete answer to any given question, there’s a good chance that you have not fully understood what that particular question is asking.]

This is an individual exam, and you are prohibited from working with anyone else. Suspected collaboration will be reported as an Academic Integrity Violation; USC’s recommended minimum sanction for a graduate student caught cheating on an exam is an “F” for the course (for everyone involved). To avoid any ambiguity, you should not have any communication with classmates (or anyone else but me) that could be considered in any way course-related, including sharing course-related materials, until after the submission deadline has passed.

For any questions involving calculations, show your work, including equations and intermediate steps in your calculations, not just final answers. Correct numerical answers, without work showing how you reached that answer, will receive zero credit.  Showing your work also provides the opportunity to award partial credit if the final answer is wrong.

If you are confused about any aspect of the exam, please email me to ask for clarification (send it to and CC in case my USC email is not working). I will respond as soon as possible, but if you email me during the night, you may not hear back before the exam is due -- good reason to start working on the exam sooner rather than later!

There are 8 problems on this exam, worth a total of 100 points.

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