Alexander Merkurjev

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Class Most Helpful Review
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CLASSES

MATH 110AH
Algebra See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 1.5 Workload 2.0 Clarity 3.7 Helpfulness 3.0

Most Helpful Review

Tough Course. Really learned something though. If you want to go to grad school, take math from this guy.

(Dec. 11, 2010)
MATH 110BH
Algebra Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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MATH 110BH
Algebra See Full Profile

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MATH 110C
Algebra See Full Profile

Overall 3.7 Easiness 1.9 Workload 1.9 Clarity 3.6 Helpfulness 3.3

Most Helpful Review

Professor Merkurjev is extremly well spoken, has amazing boardwork, and goes through all the details; this doesn't mean the pace is slow. You learn a lot in his classes; if you are serious about math, take it from him.

(Nov. 8, 2011)
MATH 115A
Linear Algebra Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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MATH 115A
Linear Algebra See Full Profile

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MATH 115AH
Linear Algebra See Full Profile

Overall 3.8 Easiness 2.4 Workload 2.2 Clarity 3.5 Helpfulness 3.0

Most Helpful Review

Professor Merkurjev is not a good teacher when it comes to undergraduate level classes. He's one of the best minds in algebra, so I don't think it occurred to him that an introductory linear algebra class could be hard to anyone, even if it is honors. Because of that, he would come into class, quickly go through the theorems on the board as if they were simple and obvious facts, and then leave. At the beginning, I tried following what he was saying as he lectured, but the material takes time to understand and he was sprinting through it, so I had to just copy down what he said and try to understand it later.

In all, the class was hard but I learned a lot from it. That came from putting a lot of time in at home, though, not from the professor. If I could take the class again, I would try to learn the material before going to class so I could get something out of his lectures. But if I could just teach myself the material like that, why would I need to take the class?

(Dec. 11, 2009)
MATH 115B
Linear Algebra Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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MATH 115B
Linear Algebra See Full Profile

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MATH 115HX
Workshop in Linear Algebra See Full Profile

Overall 3.8 Easiness 1.7 Workload 2.0 Clarity 3.7 Helpfulness 2.7

Most Helpful Review

As a first-year, I decided to take Math 115AH with Professor Merkurjev. I came out of the class with a C unfortunately, but that was at the expense of thinking the class would teach me how to write proofs and that I can transition well into proof writing. However, it took me about 4 weeks until I got the hang of it according to my homework score. So, I would recommend anyone who is planning to take this class to have a strong foundation in proof writing (as in take the honors version of 32 series and 33 series). Despite the C, I still learn a lot from the class and I improve from knowing nothing to knowing how to write, and writing proofs is an essential skill if you're thinking of going to graduate school that is mathematically intensive.

Overall, I enjoyed having him as a professor since he is straightforward with his theorems and proofs. However, he does seem difficult to approach since he tends to leave immediately after class and he does not talk much during office hours unless you are able to start off with an interesting conversation with him. Regardless, he is helpful during office hour and he does reply quickly to emails.

Regarding the homework, some are straightforward, some might take time to think about. Still, his homework should somehow prepare you for his exams. For me, I guess it didn't and even I did a bunch of book problems to supplement the homework to help improve my proof writing skills. I guess I'm not very skillful at writing proofs under pressure.

Regarding his exams, Professor Merkurjev does not give any partial credit unless your proof is going in the right direction. Otherwise, it's full points or zero points. Furthermore, the midterms are 5 questions each given 50 minutes. So, good luck writing proofs on demand. And also know how to do some of the computational aspects of linear algebra. That surprised my class for the second midterm and as a result, we generally did horrible.

So, I would recommend taking honors linear algebra with him, but only for people who has a good foundation in proof writing.

(June 15, 2012)
MATH 197
Individual Studies in Mathematics Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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MATH 197
Individual Studies in Mathematics See Full Profile

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MATH 210B
Algebra Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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MATH 210B
Algebra See Full Profile

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MATH 214A
Introduction to Algebraic Geometry See Full Profile

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