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Over twenty years ago, when the WPI Plan was conceived, it was decided to
require full time students to take only three courses at a time (at other
schools four or five are a full load). The rationale was that students should
be more responsible for their own learning, and therefore should put in
the time required to be full time learners outside of class. The figure quoted
was that students should spend (on average) seventeen hours per course.
I feel that seventeen hours is a fair figure for students taking only three
courses, and I expect you to put in that amount in MA 2611, on average.
(By ``on average'' I mean a class-wide average. Some of you are
fast learners and will average less than seventeen hours per week; some of you
are slow learners and will average more.)
Joseph D Petruccelli