AME 40590 Course Syllabus, Spring 2011

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Instructor

Bill Goodwine

  • 365B Fitzpatrick
  • bill@controls.ame.nd.edu
  • Office hours: Monday and Wednesday, 4:30-5:30

Time and Place

  • MWF 11:45-12:35
  • 101 DBRT

Course Web Page

Grading

  • Your grade in this course will be based on homework exercises, in-class participation and three exams with the following distribution:
  1. Homework: 25%
  2. Class Participation: 25%
  3. Exam 1: 12.5%
  4. Exam 2: 12.5%
  5. Final Exam: 25%
  • The format of the exams is to be determined. They may be traditional in-class exams, take home exams, more of the nature of projects or a mixture of all three.
  • Guaranteed grades:
  1. (overall grade > mean + 1.5 stdev) OR (overall grade > 90%): A-
  2. (overall grade > mean + 0.5 stdev) OR (overall grade > 80%): B-
  3. (overall grade > mean - 1.0 stdev) OR (overall grade > 70%): C-
  4. (overall grade > mean - 2.0 stdev) OR (overall grade > 60%): D-

Homework, Class, Projects and Examination Policies

  • Any student missing an exam without an excuse from the Office of Student Affairs will receive a grade of zero for that exam.
  • There will be daily reading and homework assignments.
  • I will randomly select approximately five homeworks each day to grade, so on average, only one out of 10 of your homeworks will actually be graded. If I feel that the class is somewhat lost on something I may grade more to give more feedback. The homework portion of your grade will be the average of your homeworks that I actually grade. If you are unlucky enough to not have done a homework when it's selected to be graded, you will receive a zero for that homework.
  • Late assignments will receive a grade of zero unless the student received an extension from the instructor 'prior' to the time it is due.
  • Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the day they are due.
  • Unless otherwise expressly prohibited, collaboration on homework assignments in encouraged. Unless otherwise prohibited, you may consult outside reference materials, other students or the instructor. However, all material that is submitted must be the result of your own individual effort and accurately and substantively reflect your understanding of the subject matter at the time of writing.
  • Examples of disallowed activities include:
  1. unless expressly allowed by the instructor, submitting material that is not entirely the result of your own individual intellectual effort;
  2. submitting material that is intentionally misleading in that it would appear to be correct when it is not;
  3. signing in another person when attendance is taken or using multiple texting methods to give the impression that someone is in attendance that is not;
  4. submitting material that is copied, wholly or in part, in any form; and,
  5. any activity not expressly allowed above that violates either the letter or spirit of the University Academic Code of Honor.
  • Class participation has two components:
  1. daily poll questions answered via texting (10%); and,
  2. class participation via the Socratic method (15%).
  • The daily reading assignments will usually be approximately three published opinions of U.S. Federal Appeals Courts or the U.S. Supreme Court. Typically one student will be called on to answer a series of questions for each case. 10% of the participation grade will be simply evidencing preparedness, meaning that it is obvious to me that the student read and understood the case. 5% of the participation grade will be evidencing deeper and broader understanding of the case, i.e., what policy the reasoning was based upon, whether the reasoning of the case was sound, what potential unforeseen implications of the decision may be, the broader context of the case in how it relates to any others in the same area, etc. If a student is not satisfied with the way they answered questions in class they may elaborate upon the answers via email after class and I will consider the email as well. If any significant time has elapsed so that the student would have had time for more contemplation, time to read the case, etc., then it will not count for much.

Some Student and Professor Obligations

I consider it part of my job to make it as easy as possible for you to develop a mature and sophisticated understanding of intellectual property law and its implications for engineering. As such, I am happy to answer any and all questions you may have (or to direct you to others, if I think they could do so better) as many times as is necessary to help further this goal, provided that you meet your similar obligation to make a substantive and mature effort to achieve the same goal. Hence:

  • If you regularly attend class, are not disruptive, make an effort to make class time productive for yourself and others, outside of class study the material and regularly complete the assignments, I will make every effort to promptly respond to any communication addressed to me.
  • If you skip class, are generally disruptive, inattentive, texting (other than as part of class particpation), surfing the web, completing other coursework, reading the paper, doing the crossword puzzle, etc., I will answer your questions at a time that is convenient for me, which may be never. If you ask questions regarding administrative matters, e.g., test coverage, that I already announced in class, I will not answer them.

The rationale for this policy is to both manage my workload as well as to prepare you for the realities of the professional world.

Subject Outline

The topics considered in this course include the following topics. Each will be approximately one week each, not necessarily in this order.

Reading Material

Most of the reading assignments is linked to the course subject outline page.

Resources

  • Westlaw:
  1. Go to http://www.library.nd.edu/
  2. Click the Databases tab
  3. Click on W
  4. Click on Westlaw Campus Research
  5. Click on the Law tab in the upper left