Oliver Kirchkamp

Frequently asked questions

I have a question regarding the lecture?

Please ask your question in the discussion board of this course. Other students and myself can then try to help you.

The term has already started. Can I still join the course?

You have to settle the formalities with your examination office. I admit all students to the course, no matter when they join. However, when you join late you have missed some material and you have missed some of the homeworks. Since all parts of the course count (including the homework) you might want to start in the first week.

I realise I have not enough time for the course. How can I leave?

Please check: What would happen if you don't formally leave? For most degrees the number of exams you can take is limited, but not the number of courses. It may well be that it makes no difference whether you formally remain in the course or whether you formally leave.

If you want to leave and if you can't do this with Friedolin, you can ask your examination office (Prüfungsamt) or the student-service center for support. Alternatively you send me an email with your request and signed it with a qualified electronic signature (so that I know that it is really you). You can generate such a signature with the help of a user certificate.

Which questions should be asked in consultation hours?

Questions which don't refer to the lecture but only to you. These are questions regarding your study plan, letters of recommandation, etc. You want to prepare these questions with the help of an email.

I need a letter of recommendation.

Please find some information here.

Lecture, Exercises, Handout, Discussion board, Homework... - this is too much!

Please use those components you find helpful. Each student is different and each student learns in a different way. Therefore, there is substantial overlap among lecture, exercises and the handout. You must take the homework. Otherwise, you don't miss anything if you use the components that work for you.

Why can't all videos have the same length?

On average you get 2:42 hours of video per week. To better organise the material, some videos are shorter, some are longer. I think that it is better to focus on one topic in each week - even if this means that some weeks have a bit more and other weeks have a bit less material. There is some variance in particular during the first four weeks, i.e. during the revision. During the core part of the course (from week 5 on), the length of the videos ranges between 2:10 and 3:19 with an average of 2:48.

Do I have to take the homework in the same term as the exam?

Yes, homework and exam can not be spread over different terms.

How much time do I have for each homework?

One week. You can open the homework on Monday, you can work on it during the entire week and submit your answers on Sunday. Please keep in mind that you might get better support for your questions in the discussion board during the week and less support during the weekend. If you ask your question during the weekend, please understand that I might answer your question only after you have submitted your homework.

The exam is different: There you have just one hour for all questions.

Is it possible to install R and RStudio on a network filesystem (e.g. Microsoft OneDrive)?

Theoretically this should be possible - however, there are a number of pitfalls (and few benefits). A local installation seems to be easier.

How should I enter decimal numbers in Moodle?

Unless stated otherwise, use three or more digits after the decimal point. A higher precision is possible but optional. Numbers in exponential format (1.579e-06) could either be rounded (0.000) or entered as 0.000001579. It does not matter whether you enter a number like 0.4000 as 0.400 or 0.40 or 0.4.

Moodle complains about “incomplete answers”.

If you enter a number in a format Moodle does not understand, Moodle warns you. The format depends on your language settings. E.g. if your language setting is German, you enter numbers with a decimal comma (3,14). If your language setting is English, you enter numbers with a decimal point (3.14).

How does Moodle grade answers to the homework?

  • If the answer is a number, you get points for each correct answer (unless stated otherwise: 3 digits precision is enough). You get zero points for a wrong answer.
  • If the answer is a choice out of two, you get the points for a correct answer. You get zero points for no answer. You get negative points for a wrong answer. Moodle does this, since, with random answers, you get in expectation zero points, i.e. the same number of points you would get with no answers.

I could not submit the homework in time. Can I still get credits for my homework?

After the deadline for the submission, Moodle shows you the correct answers. After the deadline, you also find solutions in the videos and in the exercises. All this is meant to be useful for those students who did submit in time. With the correct answers available for everyone, submitting these answers no longer shows that you have understood the material. Therefore, it is not possible to credit late submissions.

How hard is the exam?

Exam questions will be similar to homework questions.

How do I register for the exam?

You register for the exam with the help of our campus management system: Friedolin. If you are a student and if you find it difficult to register for the exam with Friedolin, then your Prüfungsamt (or, more generally, the people in charge of your degree) can help you. Registering for an exam in particular means confirming that your participation in the exam can be credited for a degree. It might also means that failing the exam has certain side effects. Obviously, only the people in charge of your degree can provide such a confirmation and, therefore, only the people in charge of your degree can provide a registration.

Regardless whether you are registered for an exam or not, technically, I can not exclude you from attending the course, I can not exclude you from working on the homework. I can not exclude you from working on the take-home exam. So, it remains entirely your own responsibility to register for the exam. It also remains entirely your own responsibility to assess your own registration status and, accordingly, to attend the course and to supply solutions to homeworks or take-home exam.