18.112: Functions of a Complex Variable

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 40
Hours/Week 10.6 (19 responses)
Instructors Alexei Borodin
Overall Rating 5.9/7.0

Realistic Prerequisites

  • 18.100B is a necessary prerequisite. Should have a good understanding of analysis and strong proof writing skills.
  • 18.700 is not as necessary for course material.

Subject Matter

  • Theoretical subject matter, though there were some applications.
  • Material is foundational but quite deep.

Course Staff

  • There was some disagreement about course staff. The majority of students felt the TAs and professors were supportive, helpful, and approachable, while others felt it was difficult to approach some of the TAs.


  • Many students enjoyed lectures and thought they were clear and easy to follow.
  • Some students found lectures too fast and rigorous and preferred to learn with the textbook and office hours.

Problem Sets

Very Challenging.

  • The psets required time to think of new approaches not taught in class.
  • Textbook and Office Hours helpful with psets.
  • Many people found they needed to collaborate more than usual on psets.



  • A lot of time pressure. Difficult to get through all the questions in 80 minutes.
  • Exams problems were as difficult as pset problems.
  • Cheat sheets were allowed and practice problems were made available.
  • Tested understanding of material well.


  • Complex Analysis by Stein and Shakarchi was the main source of notes, and was followed closely by the class making it useful for lectures/psets/exams.


  • There was disagreement on the fairness of grading.
  • Class lacked rubrics for psets which led to a lack of transparency around grades.
  • Some students felt exams were graded harshly and nitpicky.
  • Grading expectations were miscommunicated (i.e. said 80% or above would be an A which later changed).
  • Some students did feel grading was fair and transparent enough.

Advice to Future Students

  1. “This class was very difficult, harder than all of my other classes this semester combined. I highly recommend taking it only if you are ready and have a real analysis background. It is very interesting though!”
  2. “Dedicate as much time as you reasonably can to this subject when you take it because it is demanding and you don’t want to miss out on grasping complex analysis as deeply as you can since it is such an amazing subject.”