Since each incoming student has a special background, any final decision
concerning placement in courses may involve discussion among the student,
his or her advisor, and the mathematics/statistics and computer science
faculty. Generally, the placement process involves these steps:

In consultation with the Department
of Mathematics and Statistics, the computer science faculty make a
preliminary placement recommendation, based upon results of standardized
tests and the high school transcript.

Upon arrival on campus, the student reviews this preliminary placement with
his or her advisor.

If the transcript is incomplete, if the student believes another placement
might be more appropriate, or even if the student feels slightly nervous
about the placement, then the student may talk with a faculty member for a
detailed discussion of placement.

Final placement comes from the consensus reached based on discussions with
a student's advisor.
Specific placement information
The Department of Computer Science maintains an expert system to
provide you with tentative placements in mathematics, computer science, and
statistics based on your test scores and transcript.
We encourage you to check
your tentative placement. Feel free to contact us for additional
information.
Some general placement guidelines
Since the Department of Computer Science collaborates with the Department
of Mathematics and Statistics on the preliminary placement of incoming
students, the following discussion addresses placement in computer
science, mathematics, and statistics.
The overall placement process considers may factors, although
the following guidelines may provide some general information:
Mathematics

The normal first course is Math 131, Calculus I. This course usually is
taken by students having a solid mathematics background through precalculus
or trigonometry and by students with one semester of calculus in high
school.

Students with two semesters of calculus in high school typically begin in
Math 133, Calculus II. Since Grinnell's Calculus II covers multivariable
calculus, most of the material in Math 133 will be new to students with
calculus in high school.

Students with particularly strong backgrounds start in Math 215, Linear
Algebra.

Students with weaker backgrounds start in Math 123, Functions and
Differential Calculus.
Computer Science

Most students begin with CSC 151, Functional Problem Solving.
Since Grinnell's introductory computerscience sequence studies alternative
views of problem solving (functional, imperative, and objectoriented
problem solving), this material is new to most entering students.

Students with extensive programming experience may begin with CSC 153,
Computer Science Fundamentals. This course assumes considerable
background in some programming language, and covers the main elements
of functional and imperative programming in one semester.

Students interested in placing computing within a broad social and
ethical context may start in CSC 105, The Digital Age.
Statistics

Most students begin their work in statistics in one of two courses, depending
upon their background in mathematics.

Math 115, Introduction to Statistics, introduces basic concepts of
variability and uncertainty and common statistics concepts, such as
point and interval estimation and hypothesis testing.

Math 209, Applied Statistics, builds upon a student's calculus background
to cover the application of basic statistics using a range of methods.

Students with extensive background in both mathematics and statistics may
begin with upperlevel courses, such as the Design and Analysis of
Experiments and Statistical Modeling.
Advanced Placement Policy

Calculus

Our research indicates that a score of 3 on the AP AB Calculus Examination
is not a good predictor of success in calculus, and our placement considers
the rest of a student's transcript. A student may receive 4 credits for
this score upon placement in and successful completion of Math 133,
Calculus II.

Students scoring 4 or 5 on the AP AB Calculus Examination or scoring 3 or
better on the AP BC Calculus Examination receive 4 credits for Math 131 and
may begin in Math 133, Calculus II.

Students scoring 4 or 5 on the AP BC Calculus Examination may be allowed to
begin in Math 215, Linear Algebra. Such students receive 4 additional
credits for their AP score upon placement in and successful completion of Math
215. (Such students successfully starting in Math 215 would receive 8
credits overall, 4 for Math 131 and 4 for Math 133.)

Computer Science

Students scoring 4 or 5 on the AP CS A Examination or scoring 3 or betting
on the AP CS AB Examination receive 4 science credits and are encouraged to
start in CSC 153, Computer Science Fundamentals.

Students scoring 4 or 5 on the AP CS AB Examination may be allowed to
begin in a 200level computer science course. Such students receive 4
additional credits for their AP score upon successful completion of the
200level course as their first computer science course.

Statistics

Students with AP Statistics or with a yearlong statistics course
in high school are encouraged to take mathematics through Math 133,
Calculus II, before taking statistics. After Calculus II, students
with a very strong statistics background might begin at the 300level
statistics course, while others might consider the calculusbased
Math 209, Applied Statistics.

Students scoring 4 or 5 on the AP Statistics Examination receive 4 credits
for Math 115, Introduction to Statistics. Such students are encouraged to
complete mathematics through Math 133, Calculus II (if they have not already
done so), and start statistics at the 300 level.
International Baccalaureate Policy

Students scoring 4 or better on the IB Math Examination receive 4 credits
for Math 131 and may begin in Math 133, Calculus II.

Students scoring 6 or 7 on the IB Math Examination may contact the Chair of
Mathematics ans Statistics to discuss the possibility of being awarded 4 additional
credits, pending initial placement in, and successful completion of, Math
215, Linear Algebra.

Students scoring 4 or better on the IB CS Examination receive 4 science
credits and may begin in CSC 153, Computer Science Fundamentals.

Students scoring 6 or 7 on the IB CS Examination may contact the Chair of
Computer Science to discuss the possibility of being awarded 4 additional
credits, pending initial placement in, and successful completion of, a
200level computer science course.