Winter 2020 - I have had Professor Elman for a few different classes now, and he is by far the best math professor I have ever had. The material is engaging and Professor Elman clearly cares deeply about it and wants his students to share his passion. He even holds a bonus lecture every week which takes the material covered in class and extends it to more advanced/interesting applications (generally these bonus lectures are not covered on the tests). This class in particular deals with Ring Theory and Module Theory. If you haven’t taken 110AH this class will be very difficult as a solid understanding of group theory is essential for understanding rings and modules. If you are deciding whether to take this class, here are some details about the class that may help you decide. First, Professor Elman generally does an in class midterm and a second, take-home midterm (broken into two parts for this class). The grading scheme he uses depends on your midterm scores but provided you do well on one of them, you will he set up for success in the class. Second, the tests for this class are longer than the class period. The professor gives extra time because he doesn’t want time pressure to be an issue, but this usually means the questions on your in class tests will be more difficult. Third, work on the take-home test as soon as you get it. I have made the mistake of leaving the test to the last minute and even though it is only 10 problems, it will take 10-20 hours to complete. Fourth, the pace of this class is intense. If you zone out for more than a few seconds in lecture, you will struggle to catch up to what the professor is writing, and a huge amount of material is covered over the span of a quarter. I personally filled up around two pages front and back per lecture. Fifth, the final for this class is seven hours. Sixth, the module theory section of this class is significantly harder than the ring theory section. Ultimately, this class is really hard, but a rewarding experience. If you enjoy algebra you should take a class with Professor Elman and if you liked your past group theory class I highly recommend this class.
Winter 2019 - Professor Gieseker is enthusiastic to teach, though his lecture is kind of disorganized. His field is algebraic geometry so he tended to introduce a lot of algebraic geometry ideas in class, which makes the lecture even harder to follow. His exam is fair enough and the curve is generous as well. Overall, not bad but not the best.