‘18.950: Differential Geometry’

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 15
Hours/Week 8.1 (8 responses)
Instructors Stephen Kleene
Overall Rating 6.2/7.0

Realistic Prerequisites

  • Students said 18.02 and 18.100x are hard prerequisites.
  • Students recommended having an understanding of 18.901.

Subject Matter

  • Students thought the subject material was theoretical, but not overly abstract.
  • Students felt like the material could be applied to physics and math, but it is ‘definitely a pure math class’.

Course Staff

  • Prof. Kleene was seen as friendly, and approachable.
  • Prof. Kleene was willing to meet online for those who needed extra help.


  • Students found the lectures to be the correct speed or slightly fast. Students learned mostly from these lectures.

Problem Sets

  • Students found the problems to be analytic and straightforward.
  • Students used lectures to prepare for the psets, and spent about 5 hours a week completing these.


  • The exams were relatively fair.
  • The professor (Stephen Kleene) posted lots of sample questions that could appear on an exam.
  • Students recommended going over class definitions and problem set solutions to prepare.


  • Many referred to the textbook ‘Differential Geometry of Curves and Surfaces’ by Manfredo do Carmo, but it was only loosely followed in lecture.
  • Lecture notes were also used by students.


  • Students felt that grading was incredibly fair and reasonable.
  • Students expect over half the class will receive A’s.

Advice to Future Students

  1. “This class is great if you want a glimpse of what differential geometry is about.”
  2. “Brush up on your topology and analysis knowledge before taking this class.”