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 30
Hours/Week 7.4 (14 responses)
Instructors Souvik Dhara (Lecturer), Julia Gaudio (Lecturer), Malcah Effron (Lecturer/Communication Lecturer)
# of Responses to Course 18 Underground Questions 7/30

Realistic Prerequisites

  • Mathematical maturity: having experience with proofs was important for reading math papers.
  • Linear algebra and combinatorics were important overall, but the knowledge required depended on the topic chosen.

Subject Matter

  • Broad range of topics: in total, 16 different topics were studied deeply. Some topics were theoretical, and others were applied.
  • Skills in writing math papers and creating presentations gained.

Course Staff

  • Approachable and helpful with questions about math or giving feedback.


  • The lectures were all student presentations, and because the topics differed, sometimes presentations were difficult to follow.
  • A lot of the material learned was from creating the presentation and writing the paper.

Problem Sets

  • Short psets which were based on lectures.
  • The psets were straight forward, and could be done with talk summaries and notes.


  • There were 2 midterms which were multiple choice, consisting of 1 question for each topic written by the students.
  • Since there were 16 topics, the midterms were difficult to prepare for, but were a small portion of the grade.


  • Each student got 3 topics to present on.
  • Topics had textbooks and research articles as source material.


  • The grading was fair and transparent, but getting an A took effort.
  • The largest parts of the grade were the talk and paper.
  • Grade cutoffs were around 90/80/70 for A/B/C.

Advice to Future Students

  1. “Start working on your talks early. Definitely do a practice talk.”
  2. “Look into the project topics before you rank them so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Also, ask the instructors for feedback and schedule practice talks if you can.”