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He's extremely smart, and thorough in his lectures, but there's only so much that can be done when the topic is so difficult. TA hours helped, but still, there was only one scheduled midterm, but everyone did so terribly on it that he had to give us another midterm. The tests have one or two ridiculously easy questions, and the rest are beyond hard. The homework really does take a week to finish, and would probably take two weeks if we didn't have help from our TA.
He cracks jokes every once in a while. Though I think 90% of the reason why everyone laughed was because he's so effing French. He has a hilarious haughty French laugh that he does when he's rambling about his days back in Paris as a young mathamatical prodigy (who plays drums, apparently).
Math 115A is a VERY hard class. I'm sure there are a few easier teachers out there that. If you have the option, take one of them. If you don't, be prepared for a lot of studying.
though he is a good teacher, knows the material very very well, and goes into depth in a lot of abstract concepts, there is one word i can use to describe this course: relentless. his curve is very tough, the midterms require you to understand all aspects of the material covered, and you have to do all sorts of proofs and problems to do well. i, for one, physically and mentally was unable to do the homework by myself as it is pretty difficult. going to office hours with the TA is essential if you want to guarantee passing the midterms and homework.
it's a 5 day a week class, so you better make sure you're willing to commit to that topic for a quarter. i wasnt.