Proof experience and some linear algebra knowledge are very useful. The 18.701 prerequisite is very helpful.

Subject Matter

Students felt like the subject matter was largely theoretical and broad, but beautifully presented. Oftentimes there would be multiple proof presentations of the same problem, but combinatorially.

Course Staff

Postnikov is an extremely approachable and caring professor.

Lectures

The lectures were very well-paced. The professor goes through a lot of examples in order to explain each concept, which really helps.

Problem Sets

Challenging.

Only three problem sets (posted once every 2-4) weeks. Needed to solve 6 out of 12 problems to get an A on the first two psets, 3 out of 12 for the last one.

Psets were very challenging but also rewarding.

Exams

No exams.

Resources

The course closely follows Stanley’s textbook on combinatorics

Postnikov posts his handwritten notes on the website after each lecture, and Andrew Lin’s notes are also available online

Grading

Students felt like the grading was lenient and the number of problems you needed to solve to get an A was always made clear.

Advice to Future Students

”You need to spend a lot of time thinking about the problem sets. The problems are not easy, but that’s why they’re interesting. Expect to be completely confused about what you should do for a while, but don’t give up. Keep on thinking about it and eventually you will solve many of the problems.”