CS190N/CS290N -- Introduction to Superheroics: A Modern Approach
- Where: 387 101
- When: 12:00 PM to 12:50 PM, Mon., Wed. and Fri.
- Why: Because we are all children of the T.V. generation
CS190N/CS290N Links of Meaning
The goal for this course is to consider various mathematical and statisitcal
problem solving techniques evinced in the television series
Friday nights, 10:00 PM) with an an emphasis on their implementation and
application. Conveniently, the program both poses a number of tractable
analytic and inferential problems, and presents solutions in the form of
crime-solving contributions made by the protagonist "Charlie" (who is
possessed of unusual mathematical ability) to a weekly FBI investigation
led by his brother "Don."
Our intention is to review selected episodes, illuminate the
techniques that are presented, formulate the relevant problems, and compare
the solutions that result from these formulations to the ones developed by
Many of the crime-solving approaches Charlie takes are, fundamentally,
hinge upon solutions to problems in applied statistical inference.
Thus, the prerequisites for the course are an introductory
(PSTAT 120A or equivalent) and engineering calculus. In addition, basic
programming skills (in any language capable of floating point
computation) will be required to implement numerical solutions to the
problems posed as assignments. Finally, qualified students must be willing to
watch excerpts from various episodes during class periods and also to use the
World-wide Web as a tool for further study.
Course Requirements and Grading
Lectures in the course are designed to prepare the students to solve the
crimes described in each episode under study. It is anticipated that between
4 and 6 crimes will be assigned during the course of the quarter in addition
to a midterm and a final. Grading will roughly conform to the following
In addition, the instructors will consider adding up to 10% to the grade of
any student based on class participation. It should in no
way be construed that these additional grade points will be
automatically assigned in response to simple vocalizations generated during
lecture, nor that the full 10% will be assigned in each case. This latter 10%
will be assigned purely based on a subjective evaluation of each student's
contributions to the general course environment by the instructors.
- crimes: 50%
- midterm: 20%
- final: 30%
The exam schedule for the class is
There will be no make up exams and it will not be possible to administer
either exam before its scheduled date.
- midterm: Wednesday, February 15th, 2006
- final: Tuesday, March 21st, 2006