18.994: Seminar in 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

Course Info

Class Size 13
Hours/Week 9.8 (11 responses)
Instructors Tomasz Mrowka, Susan Ruff
Overall Rating 5.3/7.0

Realistic Prerequisites

  • The content of 18.02 was a necessary prerequisite. There was some material from linear algebra (18.06) as well, though most of this material was easy to find online or in the textbook.

Subject Matter

  • This course was helpful in learning some of the foundations in differential geometry without too much extraction given that most of the material took place on two-dimensional surfaces in three-pace.
  • Some felt like the material was a bit too computation, but had lots of applications such as cartography, computer graphics, and especially physics.

Course Staff

  • Very friendly and approachable. The staff helped by being flexible with their availability for office hours and discussions which was nice.


  • As a seminar, this course had lectures led by other students which resulted in variation in quality, but also a variation in teaching style.
  • Textbooks helped clarify the material in lectures.

Problem Sets

  • Challenging.
  • Some examples involved quite a bit of computation, and the non-computational problems became important theorems that were used later on in the course.
  • Office hours and problemset groups helped a lot.


  • There were no exams for this class.


  • The class used Shifrin’s “Differential Geometry: A First Course in Curves and Surfaces”, which was made available online.
  • The class follows the textbook pretty closely.
  • One student also recommends the use of do Carmo’s book on differential geometry.


  • Students felt that grading was incredibly fair and reasonable.