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Course Info

Class Size 39
Hours/Week 9.4 (17 responses)
Instructors Diego Fernando Cifuentes Pardo (Lecturer), Michel X. Goemans (Lecturer), Susan Ruff (Communication Lecturer), Malcah Effron (Communication Lecturer), Pachara Sawettamalya (UA), David X. Wu (UA), Emily Z. Xie (UA), Nelson S. Niu (Recitation Instructor), Rene D. Reyes (Recitation Instructor)
# of Responses to Course 18 Underground Questions 8/39

Realistic Prerequisites

  • Corequisite: 18.06
  • Previous exposure to discrete math (such as through 6.042) is helpful.
  • Prior proof writing experience is also recommended.

Subject Matter

  • Course content is mostly applied
  • Offers broad coverage of topics in discrete math, but does not go in-depth

Course Staff

  • Students found the course staff approachable and very willing to help.


  • The lectures received mixed responses. Some students felt that the lectures were slow and not engaging, while others enjoyed the pace and found the lectures to be instrumental to their learning.
  • Students generally found the lecture notes to be helpful.

Problem Sets

  • Problem sets were an appropriate level of difficulty. Students felt well-prepared for the problems sets following the lectures.
  • Some students felt that the problems sets contained an excessive amount of computation and busywork.


  • Exams were similar in difficulty to the problem sets.
  • Many students found the exams stressful due to the time constraints.


  • Detailed lecture notes were available.


  • Grading was not transparent.
  • The mean and standard deviation of grades for each assignment was released, but students were unclear about letter grade cutoffs.

Advice to Future Students

  1. “Don’t take this class or expect to get too much out of it if you’ve already taken classes like 18.600, 18.410/6.046, etc. This class is aimed for relative newcomers to discrete math.”
  2. ” I would not take this to learn discrete math. For someone with no prior exposure to any of the material, it can be way too fast.”
  3. “Probably don’t go into this course without previous proofs experience. The math is already plenty to wrap your head around, so if you’re confused on how to structure proofs you’re in for a rough one.”