18.100B: Real Analysis

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 69
Hours/Week 8.6 (43 responses)
Instructors Paul Seidel
Overall Rating 6.7/7.0

Realistic Prerequisites

  • 18.01 is a hard prerequisite. Knowing 18.02 was useful, but not required.
  • Some proof writing experience is recommended ahead of time as all psets are proof based.

Subject Matter

  • Very theoretical with more of a focus on topology than calculus.
  • Occasionally, applied examples were given.

Course Staff

  • The professor is very approachable after class and in office hours and was very engaging.
  • Many students praised the professors’ teaching style.


  • Lectures were taught in an active learning style, where the professor would pause and allow for students to work through examples together.
  • Students primarily learned from the lectures, although some found them a bit too fast-paced.
  • Lectures were necessary to learn the material as notes didn’t include proofs of theorems.

Problem Sets

  • Generally not too difficult.
  • Students found that psets generally didn’t require much creativity.
  • The grading of psets was strict.


  • The questions on midterms were easier than psets.
  • A portion of each midterm would be recalling definitions.
  • Students found professors’ suggestions on what to review helpful.


  • Although there was a textbook (Elementary Analysis by Thomson, Bruckner, and Bruckner), students did not use it often since lectures loosely followed the book.
  • The professor provided lecture notes that summarized lemmas and theorems covered in class, but did not have proofs.


  • Students found the grading to be transparent and extremely fast.
  • Grade cutoffs were released halfway through the semester.

Advice to Future Students

  1. “Prof Seidel is great.”
  2. “The class will depend a lot on the professor.”
  3. “Take this class before other advanced proof-writing classes.”
  4. *”Make sure you ask for help if you don’t understand something, because this is very much a class where results and concepts build off of each other, and if you don’t understand one you could easily fall behind.”