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Most Frosh Pass Second Diagnostic

By Eva Moy
News Editor

Seventy-four percent of the 218 freshmen who took the second math diagnostic exam on Registration Day passed, according to Assistant Dean for Curriculum Support Margaret S. Enders. However, 48 students who did poorly on the first exam failed to show up for the second exam, she said.

The average score on the second diagnostic was about 75 percent, comparable to 74 percent for the first exam, Enders said. "Many students did much better this time," she added. The two tests were similar but not identical, Enders said.

Students had to retake the diagnostic if they did not pass the exam when it was given during Residence/Orientation Week.

The criteria for passing this diagnostic were exactly the same as for the original test, according to Professor of Mathematics Sy D. Friedman PhD '76, who is teaching 18.01 this semester. Freshmen had to earn more than 70 percent overall, as well as score higher than 17 percent on each of the four areas tested.

Students who did not pass the second diagnostic are advised to take 18.01 or 18.02S, which are "most suitable for students who are weaker in pre-calculus," Friedman said.

In addition, students enrolled in 18.01 who did not pass the diagnostic must pass a tutored exam in pre-calculus by Sept. 18 in order to earn 100 out of about 1100 total points for the term.

"I hope that the students will view this as something the Institute does to help them solve problems early on in the term, and will attend the review sessions and take advantage of the tutoring that we offer," Friedman said.

44 register for 8.01L

On registration day, 44 freshmen were registered for Physics I (8.01L), a longer version of 8.01 which will extend into Independent Activities Period, Enders said.

The class is "just as sophisticated as the regular 8.01," said Senior Research Scientist Alan J. Lazarus PhD '53, who will teach the majority of the class. He emphasized that 8.01L covers the same material in comparable depth.

In addition to lectures and recitations, 8.01L students will meet with student teaching assistants in groups of two for half an hour each week. "Each of the two students will be asked to do one of the homework problems" at the session, Principal Research Scientist George S. F. Stephans, said. Stephans, who will aid Lazarus with the class, added that the meetings are a way "for the students to get more personal attention, and for us to get more feedback."

The structure of 8.01L differs from the other physics classes in that the class will "review the math specifically in the course," Stephans said. "Especially in the early part of the course, whenever we come to a topic that involves a lot of math skills," the class will spend more time on math review than in a normal physics class, he said.

Lazarus added that he and Stephans want the students "to be able to understand physics without being hindered by the math."

Stephans described the class as an experiment, and said he and Lazarus "will try to mold the course as we go along" with the help of student input.

The course will extend into the first two weeks of IAP. Students will attend one hour of lecture each day, as well as two to two-and-a-half hours of recitation each week, according to Stephans. But the classes will remain "very informal," Lazarus said.