18.061: Linear Algebra and Optimization

Table of contents

  1. Course Info
  2. Realistic Prerequisites
  3. Subject Matter
  4. Course Staff
  5. Lectures
  6. Problem Sets
  7. Exams
  8. Resources
  9. Grading
  10. Advice to Future Students

Course Info

Class Size 46
Hours/Week 11.2 (23 responses)
Instructors Ankur Moitra, Pablo Parillo
Overall Rating 5.4/7.0

Realistic Prerequisites

  • 6.0001 is definitely necessary, or some coding experience.

Subject Matter

  • Most students thought the course material was extremely applied and broad.

Course Staff

  • People found the TAs to be extremely helpful, especially during office hours.
  • Students also found the lecturers very knowledgeable.


  • Many students found the lectures extremely engaging, but a little fast-paced.
  • Recitation helped clarify the lectures.

Problem Sets

  • Problem sets were found to be appropriately challenging. Many students said office hours were helpful in solving psets.
  • Problem sets prepared students well for class content, but were found to be easier than exams.


  • Many students mentioned that the first exam was extremely difficult while the latter ones were made to be a little easier.
  • Time pressure was significant on exams.


  • No textbook, but lecture notes and videos were helpful
  • Several students mentioned recitation notes being very helpful.


  • Grading was very transparent and fair.

Advice to Future Students

  1. “Don’t miss lecture cause it’s the best way to learn in this class”
  2. “If the only reason you’re taking this class is because 18.06 and 18.700 don’t fit in your schedule, don’t do that.”
  3. ”Best class at MIT, but take normal 18.06 if you’re looking for an easy class.”