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 23
Hours/Week 12.4(12 responses)
Instructors Davesh Maulik (Lecturer)
# of Responses to Course 18 Underground Questions 8/23

Realistic Prerequisites

  • 18.725 was a hard pre-req.
  • Knowledge of commutative algebra and differential geometry was useful.

Subject Matter

  • The content was theoretical, broad, and foundational.

Course Staff

  • The course staff was quite approachable and helpful.
  • The professor was enthusiastic about the material.


  • The lectures were fast-paced but clear and useful and gave intuition.
  • Students also learned a lot from the textbook and the psets.

Problem Sets

  • Challenging but not overwhelming.
  • They were long but there were no overly-grindy problems.


  • This class did not have exams in Spring 2021.


  • One textbook (Vakil).
  • Also, there were lecture notes in the class. Towards the end, other sets of notes were referenced as well, but they were less useful than the textbook.


  • The grade was entirely based on psets.
  • Students generally felt that grading was fair and lenient.
  • The grade distribution/cutoffs were not given.

Advice to Future Students

  1. Definitely go in prepared (especially wrt soft prereqs), because algebraic geometry is tough. I’d suggest reading the textbook in case anything doesn’t make sense, because it explains things very clearly.
  2. “Be prepared to spend a lot of time working on psets. Also pset with other people!”