Course information

Fall 2020

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1) Course Description

The catalog description for the class can be found here.

2) Prerequisites

Both 8.02 and 18.03/2.087 are important prerequisites for taking 6.002; 18.03/2.087 may be taken as a co-requisite. 8.02 provides the electromagnetics background from which much of circuit element laws are derived, while 18.03/2.087 provide a background in the differential equations that describe the dynamics of circuits. It is difficult to focus on the concepts introduced in 6.002 without the physical and mathematical foundations that these prerequisites provide.

3) Schedule

Lecture and recitation

This term, 6.002 will be taught virtually. "Live" lectures are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00a - 12:00p ET, via Zoom. One-hour recitations are Wednesdays and Fridays at 11 am, 12 pm and 1 pm, all ET and via Zoom, with signups for particular recitation sections orchestrated during the first week of classes.

To enable even closer interaction between students and staff, tutorial sessions will be offered at a variety of times during the week (to be scheduled once classes commence). While live participation by students in the classes is strongly encouraged, recordings of the lectures and recitations will be made available via the course website.

There will be no lab component of 6.002 this term. In its place we will provide an expanded treatment of analysis and design methods to give students an especially strong foundation in circuits and electronics. In a future term we plan to offer a separate 3-unit lab class that can be taken by those completing this term’s class.

Office Hours

We will seek to provide sufficient coverage of tutorial hours to satisfy the time zone constraints of participating students. For starters we'll be doing the following:

  • Sunday 2pm-5pm (for week one only this office hours will be moved to Monday 09/07 2pm-5pm)
  • Wednesday 7pm-10pm
  • Thursday 4pm-7pm
  • Friday 9am-11am

We will be be using the Catsoop queue system combined with the comingle room that is listed on the course website. ( We encourage students to hangout in the comingle while waiting on the queue and work with others. The TA will have a room setup where you will join when picked from the queue.

If you cannot make any of these times, please let us know as we are flexible in moving/adding times to this schedule.

4) Homework

Homework will be made available online on the web site, typically released on Fridays at night and due the following week on Friday at 6:00 PM. They are online, and so completion is based on successful submission of the online homework exercises. Please familiarize yourself with our policies on homework collaboration.

5) Textbook

The principle sources for this course will be class handouts (including lecture and recitation notes), along with readings in the course textbook, Agarwal and Lang. The textbook – available at the COOP and on line – is required:

Foundations of Analog and Digital Electronic Circuits. By A. Agarwal and J.H. Lang, Morgan Kaufmann 2005.

The online version of the textbook is available via the MIT libraries. If you can't access it through this link directly go here then click on the "View Online" button on the left, and it should route you through all the login/authorization stuff.

Another book that might prove helpful on occasion is:

Engineering Circuit Analysis, Hayt, Kemmerly, and Durbin, McGraw-Hill, 2006.

6) Videos

Many online videos (Youtube, Khan Academy, etc.) are available to go over various topics in circuit theory. In particular, video lectures from an older OCW version of 6.002 are available for viewing on the web. These videos are great review of particular topics, just be aware that the topics, order, and particular emphasis of 6.002 has changed a lot since those videos were recorded!

7) Grading

Numerical aspects of grading will be based on two components: Homework (50%) and weekly Assessments (50%). Translating numerical grades into letter grades per MIT policy requires considerable discussion among the teaching staff at the end of the term. During the final grading discussion, we will examine the general trend of your performance in 6.002 over the course of the semester, and may also consider participation in class (lectures, recitations, tutorials) and office hours. This discussion can affect your letter grade, particularly if your initial grade is on a letter-grade boundary.

7.1) Homeworks

Homework assignments will be issued weekly and will be due the following week as specified in the assignment. The primary goal of the homework assignments is educational. We ask you to work through these materials because we feel that the experience will cement the basic technical ideas and lead you to think about bigger conceptual issues.

We understand that discussing the course material with other students and gathering advice from the teaching staff can be useful for learning. However, there are limits to the degree of collaboration that is allowed to ensure that everybody has a good individual learning experience. Homeworks are intended to be primarily individual efforts. You are encouraged to discuss approaches with other students, but your final formulation and submission must be your own. You may not use materials produced as course work by other students, whether in this term or previous terms, nor may you provide work for other students to use. Submitting homework copied from someone else is a serious breach of ethics, and will be handled by the Committee on Discipline.

There are two components to the weekly homeworks:

  • The auto-graded assignments. These are meant to be shorter individually and give you practice/prep on the content. They are done inside the class website and are automatically (immediately) graded. These assignments can be turned in late for partial credit (see below)!
  • The "free-response" assignments. These will be provided to you in a printout format and you are to do them by hand or externally. You are then to upload the completed work to Gradescope by the due date/time. These cannot be turned in late for partial credit so make sure you turn them in on time (usually 6pm on Friday for any given week).

7.2) Late Submissions

In each homework assignment, automatically-graded problems (not the free-response questions) can be turned in late for partial credit. We provide a lateness penalty for late submissions of problem sets, along with dropping the lowest problem set grade. Due dates for online problem set are posted on the web site.

The grades for late submissions will be multiplied by a lateness penalty P that is calculated from n, the number of minutes late:

P = max(0.0, min(1.0, 1-float(n)/(7*24*60*2)))

as shown below:

The lateness multiplier for late assignments decreases linearly from 1.0 at 0 minutes late to 0.0 at 14 days late. Assignments completed more than 2 weeks after the due date will not receive credit. The following table shows some numerical examples:

Submitted Max Credit Received
on time 100%
1 hour late 99.7%
8 hours late 97.6%
24 hours late 92.8%
2 days late 85.7%

This penalty is applied to each question or checkoff independently, so questions that were completed on time will not be penalized, even if other parts of the same exercise were completed late.

If you are experiencing personal or medical difficulties that prevent you from completing some of the work in 6.002, please talk with a dean at S^3, and, with their support, we can offer additional extensions or alternative arrangements. Without written support from Student Support Services, we cannot offer any exceptions to the rules outlined on this page.

7.3) Assessments

Assessments are short problems to be completed at home that will be issued weekly starting Sept. 21. These assessments contain problems that are similar in scope to free-response homework problems. Assessments will be issued at 9 am on one day and will be due before 11 am the next day, with submission via gradescope. Late assessments will not be accepted. (A practice assessment having no grading weight will be issued the week of Sept. 14 to allow students to gain experience with gradescope and the submission process.) The goal of these assessments is to provide low-stakes evaluation of student learning rather than making evaluations based on a few high-stakes exams. Note that the lowest assessment score for each student will be dropped when computing grades.

Unlike the homework assignments, you must complete the assessments entirely on your own with no consultation or discussion with any other person. Do not discuss your solutions with anyone until the solutions have been released. You may use a calculator and review the course lectures/recitations, notes and textbook (Agarwal and Lang) when completing the assessments. Please do not use other computational tools or reference materials. Violation of these rules represents a serious breach of ethics, and will be handled by the Committee on Discipline.

8) Staff

You can contact the 6.002 instructors (Dave, Joe, Joel, Kevin) via ``. You can contact the TAs via ``.