18.155: Differential Analysis 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 25
Hours/Week 9.5 (17 responses)
Instructors Semyon Dyatlov
Overall Rating 6.8/7.0

Realistic Prerequisites

  • The content of 18.100x was a necessary prerequisite, along with either 18.101 or 18.102. 18.103 is a soft prerequisite/recommended, and experience with manifolds was useful as this part of the class went by very quickly.

Subject Matter

  • Most viewed this class as theoretical but clearly applicable, with useful applications in linear partial differential equations and beyond.

Course Staff

  • Engaging and approachable. Professor Dyatlov was caring and well-intentioned.


  • Lectures were amazing and useful, albeit occasionally fast. Lectures and office hours were the most useful.
  • Lecture notes helped clarify the lectures.

Problem Sets

  • Interesting and Challenging.
  • Lectures and textbooks were useful for the PSETs.
  • Working with others made the PSET more fun.


  • No exams.


  • Many referred to the useful lecture notes to improve understanding of material.
  • Hormander’s The Analysis of Linear Partial Differential Operators and Friedlander-Joshi’s Introduction to the Theory of Distributions were useful.


  • Students felt that grading was fair, with many opportunities for extra credit through optional problems.
  • Exact cut-offs were not given, but still reasonable.

Advice to Future Students

  1. “Be prepared for a lot of work; it develops an entire new theory essentially from scratch.”
  2. “There are two parts to solving the PSET questions in this course, understanding the road map of how you’re going to solve the problems, and then actually slogging through the work (epsilon-delta, triangle inequalities, bounding, partitioning unity, etc.). My advice is to try to separate these when solving the problems and make sure you get the roadmap down first before worrying about the details, as they can get muddled in this class.”