Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ask and Ye Shall Receive: Getting Back Homework Points

In some of the finance blog I read regularly, they've talked about asking for discounts or waived fees -- often, apparently, companies actually will if you just ask. My mom also taught me to ask for things -- "You never know unless you try" and "What's the worst that could happen? You'll be right where you are now" were common phrases from her.

I had those lessons in mind when I got back a graded programming assignment today in my algorithms class. I'd missed 3 points because I hadn't followed the algorithm in the textbook explicily, but rather done a (correct, but alternative) version found on Wikipedia. I'd ordered the textbook online and didn't have it when I needed to finish this programming assignment, so I had hoped Wikipedia's version would be close enough. But no.

Figuring the professor wouldn't take off more points just for talking to him, I told him why I'd implemented my algorithm as I had. He was sympathetic, so I asked if I could redo it for partial credit. He immediately agreed! No harm in asking, indeed.



John Cowan said...

Of course, there are some people who will make your life worse for asking -- see the beginning of Oliver Twist. Hope you never are in the power of one.

Anyhow, IMHO your professor should have given you full credit for correctly implementing a correct algorithm.

Arthaey said...

If Wikipedia's summary is accurate, I should not ask my professor for any extra servings of gruel? :)

And yeah, I sorta agree that I should have gotten more points than I did, but OTOH the instructions did say to follow the text exactly. In any case, it looks like it will be worked out.