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Professor Forlano is a decent professor, if you are OK with getting a B/C.
The curve. For my class, the avg for 2 midterms and final are 59%, 49%, 64%, and HE DOES NOT CURVE DOWN for A/A-. YOU NEED 90% TO GET AN A-! (Just to reference, 2 out of 33 people got 90%+ in final, and no one got 90% for midterm 2.)
His handwriting in the lecture notes is kind of hard to understand.
Very tiny workload comparing to other professor for 131A. The homework is about 10 problems but you only need to submit the ones he require, which is about 3 problems.
His lectures are clear. He is very helpful.
He allows cheatsheet for final which is very useful.
He gives an extra homework for 7% extra credit, but the problems are hard so it is hard to get all of the 7%.(Most students got 2-5%)
Summary: In comparison to Math 131A, I took Math 115A with a different instructor last quarter and while I found MATH 115A a lot easier, I think I learned far less and much less about proof writing. Additionally, the Math 115A lectures were much less clear. So while Math 131A with Professor Forlano may be harder, it may be worth it. Overall, I think it was a great introduction to real analysis
Pros: Lectures are clear and intuitive and the professor is pretty nice about clarifying topics or offering help (Note: The professor does go fast (which I think is common in the math department) so you can get lost. I typically used to take down notes while he was talking and review them later on to make sure I understood what was said). Homework load is relatively light, especially later in the quarter. Midterm/Final average is relatively low so, if the class is graded on a curve, it’s easier to do better (i.e. small mistakes don’t have as much an impact on your final grade). There are also two grading schemes where the lowest midterm can be dropped and the homework/final scores are upweighted, but I think most students used this scheme anyway because their homework/final scores were far better. There was an extra credit hw assignment (worth 7% of the overall grade) to boost grades with three hard (but doable) problems. I also felt I learned a lot about rigorous proof writing (this is emphasized in lecture as well as homework/exam grading). Grades are on a straight scale (90 is an A-/A, 80 is a B-/B, etc.) though these can be lowered depending on class performance.
Cons: The exams are pretty challenging (mt1=59%,mt2=49%,final=64%) and doing well on them can be very dependent on your time management during the exams. For the first two midterms we didn’t have a notesheet and had to memorize everything which can be a pain (for the final, we were allowed a notesheet). The practice problems for the exam are ridiculously hard though, to a lesser degree, are reflective of exam problem difficulty. We also don't go over problem-solving strategies for exam problems which is another important aspect of doing well on timed exams. I think in past class offerings the average GPA was ~2.7 and that was probably the case this quarter. While there isn’t too much homework, the problems can be tricky and require some thought (this isn’t necessarily a con, tbh).
I really loved his lectures, he explained everything very clearly (his accent will honestly help you pay attention, everyone loves an Australian accent), responded positively to questions, and was overall super helpful. He's teaching a class that a lot of people have a hard time with, so I can't fault him for the difficulty of the exams, but they were tough. Averages of the midterms were 48% and 58%. The average of the final was 63%. There were two grading schemes, but it's likely everyone had to use one that was 20% highest midterm, 30% homework, and 50% final. After the first midterm's low average, he said that was normal, and that luckily we have a grading scheme that drops a midterm. After the second midterm's low average, he made the final homework extra credit (up to 7% on top of the grading schemes, pretty huge boost to our grades). He also allowed us a cheat sheet for the final, which was very helpful, there are a lot of definitions you need to remember. The questions on all of the exams were honestly pretty fair, and I think the grading was generous, we were probably just all a bit rusty coming off of online unproctored 24 hour exams straight into 50 minute in person exams (for the midterms) and 3 hours for the final. The homeworks were pretty long, but you only had to do a small subset of the questions. I doubt very many people did all of the homework (we're all lazy), and I think if you actually did the whole homeworks you would get a ton more practice than your classmates and be way ahead of the curve. Some proofs from homework are also very helpful to reference during exams or future homework assignments.
Professor Forlano was a decent professor. He was very clear and organized with his lectures and notes. He pretty much never went off topic, and his notes were very organized and neat, and they helped a lot for his exams.
The homework was straightforward and overall pretty easy to do. The TA graded them very leniently, and I always ended up with a higher grade on them than I expected. A downside to this was that the homework was not indicative at all of the exams.
2 Midterms, 1 final, pretty standard.
His first midterm was pretty difficult and long. Definitely not doable in 1 hour.
It had 5 questions with multiple parts and the average was a 68%
He responded very well to the feedback on the first midterm and the second midterm was much shorter and easier with an average of 80%
The final had 9 questions, each with multiple parts, but it was much more straightforward and doable compared to his midterms and was actually much easier than his midterms, although it took a long time to finish.
He grades relatively leniently, with a ton of partial credit, but it's also true that little mistakes can take off points too.
I lost 20% off my grade on the first midterm due to "assuming the conclusion" on a question. Don't get me wrong though, it wasn't a simple "if this then that" question, but a much more complicated proof involving showing that the intersection of intervals has a non empty intersection or something like that. Definitely not a straightforward "if, then" claim and I made the grave mistake of assuming the conclusion by mistake.
But it is a rigorous analysis course so you have to be almost perfect in your analysis and structure of your proofs, but overall, I believe he graded pretty leniently.
Overall, Professor Forlano was a decent professor to have for Analysis, his notes and lectures were clear and organized and he responded very well to feedback.
Good lecture flow, however, sometimes monotone when he speaks. In the online setting, midterms and final kinda kicked my ass bc they actually took like 8 hours to do, but idk how that translates to in person.
Real analysis is a tough class, but Forlano gave relatively engaging and very clear lectures, so paying attention was easy. Also I think his accent is kinda cool lol. I didn't end up reading the textbook at all since his notes were good enough for me. His handwriting is a little messy, but still readable for the most part.
You definitely learn a lot doing the homeworks. The workload wasn't all that bad, only 4-6 problems are assigned out of the entire set, so it usually only took 3-6 hours to do each week.
The homeworks are weighted high, so be sure to do them carefully. Doing the non-assigned problems is recommended just to get exposure to more material.
The midterms were relatively fair, if not a bit long. The final, in my opinion, was a step up in difficulty compared to the midterms, and took me significantly longer to complete. I spent about 7 hours on the midterms and about 14-ish on the final, but I am a slow worker, so ymmv.
The grade is determined on a semi-straight scale, where >90% gets an A-, >80% gets a B-, etc., but where the cutoff for A/A+ and B/B+ is determined by Forlano.
30% is from the Final
22.5% is from the midterm you do better on
17.5% is from the midterm you do worse on
29.5% is from homework
0.5% is from end of quarter evaluation.
At first I was a bit worried coming into the class seeing that the past reviews spoke on how hard the exams were but honestly I was pleasantly surprised. But just as a side note: I has 115A the previous quarter with a professor who did not care at ALL so I learned to self study and still did that a bit in this class just because I found the material not super intuitive at times. However with that being said, Professor Forlano and our TA Patrick really care!! The first week we went over mathematical logic and sets since it was not expected of us to know all the mathematical lingo or how to do proofs, so that was really helpful. Then after we went through the typical material in the course, with weekly homeworks that at first were a bit time consuming but shortened as we progressed through the quarter. Only ~3 problems were graded, but it was really helpful to work through all of them for practice. Forlano has OH 3 times a week as well as open contact via email to set up 1 on 1's, and he was always there to answer any questions we may have. One of the best things about the class is the grading. The professor and TA understand that this is an introductory class, so grading was surprisingly fairly lenient and I always did better than expected. However, that does not mean they were lazy and you did not receive feedback. Even for questions you did not lose points for, they would leave helpful comments about your work and what did/didn't work, so definitely looking through those were super helpful!
Overall, this wasn't a walk in the park and in all honestly I attended many OH sessions and did a lot of practice to get a good grade. However, I do think Forlano and our TA did a great job this quarter, and if you have the option to take Professor Forlano you should consider it :)