Mark Dean

May 2016

A disappointing class. Overall, he's pretty tough despite the easy-going air with which he carries himself. So be forewarned about the following: he says from the start that the course is "self-contained". This means that all you need is offered during lecture and via his courseworks notes. That's certainly true if you have the ability to follow his speedy presentation and his bottom-line calculations that omit the steps taken to arrive at his conclusions. Record the lectures and go over the slides later. Also, speaking of math, be ready for proofs during HW and exams (although how you're supposed to know and learn how to write them is beyond me). The math involved at times pretty ugly Algebra, Calc I, and partial derivatives and the Lagrange multiplier from Calc III. Although there is a syllabus, it's pointless, since he does not release any notes ahead of time. There are two recommended texts but again, good luck reading ahead since he doesn't tell you what chapters to read until the relevant lecture - so you'll be playing catch-up the entire semester. Another small grievance is that his slides and problem sets are full of typos and errors; a frustrating lack of attention to detail. The TA's were the usual mixed bag - try to find the PhD students and stick with them.