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 278
Hours/Week 11.2 (66 responses)
Instructors Srinivas Devadas (Lecturer), Jonathan Adam Kelner (Lecturer), Virginia Williams (Lecturer), Simon C. Alford (TA), Bryan X. Chen (TA), Katherine Y. Cheng (TA), Elizabeth M. Harkavy (TA), Edward H. Jin (TA), Kyle Y. Liu (TA), Jerry W. Mao (TA), Srijon Mukherjee (TA), Angelos Pelecanos (TA), Yu Xia (TA), Shangdi Yu (TA)
# of Responses to Course 18 Underground Questions 17/278

Realistic Prerequisites

  • Hard prerequisite: 6.006
  • It is helpful to have some experience with proof-writing and probability (such as 6.042, 18.200, or 18.600).

Subject Matter

  • Course content is largely theoretical.
  • Covers a breadth of algorithms and some useful applications.
  • Lectures frequently jump around different topics without much build-up on previous material.

Course Staff

  • Students found the professors and TAs to be very friendly and willing to help.
  • “Course staff was extremely caring and approachable. The professors were engaging and fairly lenient.”
  • ” Office hours with Bryan, Shangdi, Elizabeth and Yu were great! They all gave very insightful hints and were very approachable.”


  • Lectures received mixed reviews. Some students found the lectures very useful, while other students learned mostly from the notes and psets.
  • “I learned a lot of the general ideas from lecture, and practiced applying the specifics in problem sets.”

Problem Sets

  • Many students described the psets as challenging and interesting and found that they required a good understanding of the lecture material.
  • Time spent on psets varied from 5 to 12 hours.
  • Students recommend working with others on the psets and going to office hours.


  • Most students found exam questions to be slightly easier than pset questions, but felt the exams were stressful and challenging due to the time pressure
  • Practice quizzes are an accurate representation of the actual exam and useful for studying.
  • Student also recommend reviewing the course notes and psets.
  • “Exams are stressful but still challenging and requiring creativity. They are fair and comprehensive.”


  • The course provided lecture and recitation notes which most students found helpful.
  • The recommended CLRS textbook was a good supplement and students recommend using it for a better understanding of the material.


  • Most students found the grading to be fair.
  • Grade cutoffs were released after the final exam.

Advice to Future Students

  1. “It’s a fun class! Even if you are not intending to do algorithms things, even if you disliked 6.006. Brush up on your probability skills before the class starts.”
  2. “Hop recitations until you find a good instructor - it makes a world of a difference. Office hours are great for psetting with others.”
  3. “Pset solutions are useful to look at, and doing all the practice quizzes helps.”