‘18.675: Theory of Probability’

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 55
Hours/Week 14.2 (21 responses)
Instructors Yair Shenfeld (Lecturer)
Overall Rating 5.7/7.0

Realistic Prerequisites

  • The content of 18.100x was a necessary prerequisite. Other than that, students found knowledge of probability concepts through 18.600 or an equivalent useful.

Subject Matter

  • Students found the subject to be very theoretical.
  • The first half of the class was focused on Measure Theory, with the second half more focused on probability theory.

Course Staff

  • Students found the course staff helpful, especially when attending office hours.


  • Most students felt that they learned most from the professor’s posted lecture notes, as well as the assigned problem sets.

Problem Sets

  • Challenging and time-consuming.
  • Problem sets were assigned biweekly, but students found them incredibly time-intensive and challenging.
  • Four problem sets were assigned in total, with two additional take-home exams.
  • Collaboration on psets was absolutely necessary.
  • The professor helped outline steps on problems when necessary.


  • Both the midterm and final were take-home and closed-note.
  • Some students found the exams quite stressful, while others found them interesting and fair.


  • The instructor posted very thorough lecture notes, which the students found useful as a reference.
  • The course referenced the book Probability: Theory and Examples by Rick Durrett.


  • Students felt that grading was harsh, yet fair.
  • Grading was not transparent with little information on the grading rubric. Cutoffs were not released until late in the semester, with an A being around 85%.

Advice to Future Students

  1. “This class requires a lot of dedication but I did learn a lot.”
  2. “Take the class with friends, and don’t do the psets alone.”