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It might just be me but I really struggled in this class. The professor is honestly really good and I felt like I understood the material more than my grade reflects (not to say a B is bad by any means). The homework was graded really harshly but hw isn't worth much so it doesn't really matter. However, it's the tests that really got me. He offers to drop the lower midterm but that couldn't even save me. I got 10% below average on the first one (yikes). 100% on the second (idk how that happened) and dead average on the final. Got a B so not bad at all. The problems with the tests though is that it isn't structured like a normal math test I've taken in my other math classes here. There are a good amount of long response and proof questions but the weird thing is that there is a good amount of multiple choice and true/false questions. So on those it's all credit or nothing which can really mess you up. Hope you get a good TA because I'm sure that would really help. In my case my TA wasn't helpful. If I asked him to explain something, he would be like "well the answer is obviously 12 raised to 4 factorial divided by n choose 7 summed to infinity" and was just unable to explain how he got there.
He did not work for me as a math teacher at all. He teaches like he's talking to himself and the class was too hard to understand. He is a cute and nice person overall, but definitely not the best math professor.
Manolescu was the most endearing professor I had all year. He's incredibly knowledgeable and will make you smile a lot in lecture with his little mannerisms and jokes. Super approachable. One thing I would recommend to incoming freshmen is to take this class very seriously, especially if you didn't take Calc BC in high school. I made the mistake of putting off any and all studying until the night before section every single week. Even though I got an A on all the quizzes, this was a really bad habit for math that I hadn't seen at all before coming here. The first midterm was a disaster, but the good thing is that he drops one of them if you do better on the other one. Just make sure not to make stupid little mistakes! That killed my grade without a doubt and I ended up getting a C+ on a test that I completely knew how to do. For the final, memorize the shit out of the power series! Know what they look like! I only memorized how to derive them, which was a huge waste of time on the final. You will need all three hours and you will probably walk out of there feeling like you were assaulted. I managed a B- in the class, but the moral is TAKE THIS CLASS SERIOUSLY. It's very doable if you're willing to put in work. Don't think you can get away with high school habits, because 31B is honestly one of the hardest classes you can take here.
Professor Manolescu is incredibly straightforward. I had a pretty bad professor for 31A the previous quarter, so it was a nice change of pace.
In lecture, he pretty much goes through example after example of every sort of problem you could see on that topic, which is extremely helpful for those of you who work well with examples.
His grading scheme was composed of 10% quizzes, 25% midterms (2), and a 40% final. However, you have an option of dropping the lower midterm, and having the higher one be counted for 30% and the final for 60%. He chooses the higher of the two.
The quizzes were basically one problem from the homework problems he assigns (homework wasn't mandatory), and its up to the discretion of the TA to pick the problem, so if you can try and wheedle the TA into saving the quiz until the end of discussion and then bombarding him with questions until then that might work in your favor.
The midterms are straightforward, but he will throw in a few tricky questions. These aren't like complete curveballs, but they do require a bit of thinking, so read the questions carefully. The 1st midterm had an average of 35/50, and the 2nd had one of 40/50. His final was long, but doable within the 3 hours, but he throws alot of, again, tricky questions. 6/10 of the questions on the final were from the course material after the second midterm, so make sure you study that, which in my case was the power series formula. Know everything about the power series, having a complete knowledge of them will really help your chances on the final. The average on the final was a 60% i believe.
All in all, very decent professor. Straightforward, and gives tons of examples. He has a slight accent but definitely not an impediment to understanding him.
Manolescu is a really solid professor. He gives you what you need to know, presents the material very straightforwardly, and doesn't throw in any weird twists. I would definitely recommend taking him. 31B is a difficult class, so it's not like his class is easy--but he doesn't overcomplicate things (also, when I say difficult I mean difficult in terms of calculations--most of the theory is fairly straightforward). I did rely on the textbook but not ridiculously so. Again, he's a really solid professor and there are a lot of terrible math teachers at UCLA, so I'd definitely recommend taking him.
I took Math 33AH with Manolescu, and liked the class so much that I took course 100 with him again (and I'm not even a math major.)
This guys has all the qualities of a good professor:
1. He is insanely smart... or at least smart enough to write three perfect papers on the IMO and be a three-time Putnam fellow.
2. His lectures are very organized and complete, so you don't have to study a lot outside of class. He has a decent sense of humor too.
3. Gives hard homework problems, but the exams are SUPER easy. Also, the curve is incredibly generous so you'll probably end up with an A as long as you put effort into the assignments and have a reasonable understanding of the material.
4. It doesn't hurt that he's a nice guy who is willing to write you recommendation letters, either.
So... if you ever get the chance to take him, you probably should.
Really solid professor. Very straightforward and clear, doesn't overcomplicate the material. 31B is not a complicated class (theory wise, as someone mentioned earlier the computations can be difficult) and he didn't make it complicated, which some professors have the tendency to do. They are some shitty math professors at UCLA, and he's definitely one of the better ones--if you have a chance, take a class with him! He also has a cute accent (not difficult to understand though).