‘18.785: Number Theory I’

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 19
Hours/Week 11.2 (12 responses)
Instructors Bjorn Poonen
Overall Rating 6.7/7.0

Realistic Prerequisites

  • The content of 18.705 was a necessary prerequisite.

Subject Matter

  • Most thought the course was foundational and theoretical.
  • Some applications to applied math were discussed.

Course Staff

  • Students found Prof. Poonen approachable and engaging.
  • Students appreciated that course staff held both in-person and virtual office hours.


  • Most students found the lectures very helpful. They also appreciated that the lectures were recorded for further review later.
  • Lectures are fast, but well-constructed.

Problem Sets

  • Fun but challenging.
  • Students spent about 7 hours a week on each problem set.
  • Some students recommended collaboration on the psets.


  • There were no exams.


  • Prof. Poonen posts lecture notes, which some students found helpful.
  • Others recommended Prof. Sutherland’s notes from the previous year.


  • Students felt that grading was incredibly fair.

Advice to Future Students

  1. “Take this course, especially if Prof. Poonen is teaching it.”
  2. “It’s important to keep up with the lectures as the content repeatedly builds on itself.”