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Professor Manning is great! He's one of those professors who "works behind the scenes". His midterms are quite lengthy but proportionally easy and the final (taken during the pandemic) was hard (but fair, considering it was take home). His lectures are fun and he tries his best to make it engaging. He takes doubts meticulously.
P.S. if you EVER have the opportunity to learn from Joseph Breen for your TA, take it blindly. No second thoughts. Gosh he's so helpful that I'd take an entire class even if the professor wasn't good. Now if you don't get Joe as your TA, then be sure to go to his YouTube channel for quality content on 31b, 32a, 32b. You won't regret it.
This guy went to Caltech for undergrad and tested out 1 entire year worth of classes at CALTECH. Take his class to know how smart a person can be.
I really liked 32A with professor Manning. The content of the class is very interesting and he explains it well. In some lectures he spends a lot of time on proofs that you don't have to learn for the exams. These proofs are interesting but sometimes a little too complicated to cover in less than 50 minutes (ex. curvature, Kepler's laws), thus making the lecture not very effective. The explanations on partial derivatives, directional derivatives, gradient, optimisation (which are the most important parts of the class) however were very well done. The tests are fair, the problems are similar to hw / examples in class. He also has a pretty funny and involved way of conducting lecture. Handwriting is not the best. Homework is good because it's not a lot, it's not too hard and it's pretty easy to get 100% (average was something pretty close to 100%). TA Steve is really good and pretty funny. Before each test, he posts on CCLE a super useful summary of everything you need to know which is really good. Overall, a great professor and a great class.
As a person who enjoys mathematics and is trying to double major in math, I absolutely loved Manning's 32A class. He started off a bit quiet and shy, but by week 3 he was teaching concepts as clearly as any professor could. A lot of us felt that he spent an unnecessary amount of time on Kepler's laws but that was only because he was moving faster than the other lectures. This is my breakdown of different parts of the class:
Proofs of concepts such as curvature/tangent planes: extremely detailed, sometimes hard to follow
Examples: Manning covered a lot of important examples in class that showed us how to go about solving any problem. He didn't leave it to us to look into the textbook or online to see how a question is solved.
Tests: Both the midterms had a reasonable level of difficulty that you can expect from any math midterms and he curved up a tiny bit. The exam being a take-home final due to the Coronavirus situation was tougher and much longer than the midterms but was doable within the 24-hour window given to us.
Helpfulness: Although Mannings lectures can be daunting, he is an extremely nice person and always answers the smallest of questions in class and office hours and makes sure you understand the concepts.
Homework: The homework which is given weekly is helpful and never too difficult so if you are punctual and dedicate around 1.5 hours a week to the homework, you can secure full credit.
Lastly, if Joe Breen is TAing any of your math class, just take it blindly - you'll thank me later.
I felt Prof. Manning put a lot of effort in really trying to explain the material well and make us get the intuition through visualizations, which I really appreciated. At times I felt he could have done a better job during lecture. For example, the first few weeks I could hardly read what was on the board because he was writing too lightly, and he would definitely benefit from a mic because it’s sometimes hard to hear him. Also, whenever he asks a question to the class, there would always be an awkward pause since nobody would answer him. The homeworks are all pre-written for you so you don’t need the textbook to do the homework, which I thought was nice. The tests were pretty challenging, but they were reasonable, and I felt like it was because he was actually trying to evaluate our true understanding of the material. Overall, he’s a pretty good teacher who tries to make the class engaging and challenging.
Professor Manning seemed quite nervous at the start of the quarter, as this was his first quarter teaching Math 32A. By nervous, I mean his voice was quite strained, he was stuttering and tripping over his words, and sounded like he was about to die from asphyxiation. However, by Week 5, he had built up marked confidence in his lectures and in fielding student questions. He also switched from a thin chalk to a thick chalk, which was extremely helpful, as students further than the first few rows were not able to even see the thin-chalk writing. He used red, blue, and orange thin chalk, which were substantially fainter than his standard thick white chalk.
Professor Manning emphasized and explained linearization very well; he also emphasized multivariable calculus as an extension of single-variable calculus by analyzing single-variable topics in a multivariable context.
Due to COVID-19, the final was a 24-hour take-home exam (agreed upon by the Math department), so there was no pressure for the final. I think there were too many questions on the first midterm (six instead of four or five). However, standard test-time-budgeting techniques can get you through.
Steven Gagniere is a decent TA. He is very humorous and explains the topics well. He occasionally expands on the material, which is greatly appreciated. From what I heard, though, Joseph Breen is even better!
The professor had good lectures that were helpful. Sometimes they weren't directly related to what we were tested on (e.g. he derived kepler's laws but he would never ask those kinds of things on a test). The exams were actually pretty straightforward. The problem is that it's kinda hard to finish his exams on time. Also, sometimes he uses pretty big/ugly numbers and expressions in his problems, which is kind of annoying. Overall good professor.
After having an amazing professor for Math 31B, I was shocked at how poorly Manning conducts his lectures and how disorganized his teaching is. He spends about half of the class time deriving the definitions of topics in single variable calculus and rushes through the multivariable material near the end when he realizes that he is running out of time. I often leave class more confused than before I entered. Honestly, the textbook is your best friend in this class as Manning either provides no examples in class or completely useless examples that won't help facilitate your learning. His lectures are more for those who enjoy listening to professors ramble about various topics in math than learning anything. His exams are fair, although he puts too many questions on them that it makes it difficult to finish the exams on time. As for the final, it was a 24 hour take home final and was for the most part quite straightforward, except for the grading on one of the questions was overly harsh. With the amount of self-studying I had to do for this class and the quality of Manning's teaching, I definitely would NOT recommend him to anyone else.
Eh. Manning is... fine. I didn't get anything out of lectures. Tests were pretty straightforward though. If you have another option I would probably take my chances if I were you, but also he doesn't flat out suck. He's just not good either.
Manning's lectures were more often than not full of proofs, only giving the important equations and points during the last 5 minutes of the lecture. If you decide to take his class, be wary that you will most likely have to catch up on the material on your own by reading the book. To be fair, his midterm exams were not too difficult, although they were very difficult to finish on time as there were too many questions to feasibly finish in 50 minutes. His take home final took me forever to finish (about 6+ hours), but was not particularly hard (except for the very last question). Homework was very fair and easy, did not take up a huge amount of time to do. His overall grading was not too harsh, so I will say that he is not the worst option, but he is definitely not the best.