Richard Elman

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CLASSES

MATH 110AH
Algebra See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 1.6 Workload 1.8 Clarity 4.1 Helpfulness 4.4

Most Helpful Review

One of the best teachers in the department. And I'm judging that relative to a department with some of the best teaching at UCLA, in my opinion (in upper-division, that is). Kind and friendly, and cares a lot about students, with great personal interaction in office hours. Cares a lot about the class material as well. Again, he's one of the best.

His upper division honors courses, let me just say, are not for casuals. A LOT is covered, and it goes by extremely fast. If you take the time to digest it as you go, you won't even be able to copy down all the notes, and if you copy down all the notes as you go, you won't even be able to digest it. You have to consistently put in the time at home to review and wrestle with the material. I said consistently. Consistently. Not cramming. Put in the effort, and you'll learn so much, it'll change the way you think, and you won't regret it one bit. Remember, there's a huge difference between good and easy; only one of them is what you should optimize for. Bottom line: if you care at all about, you know, learning math, take his class.

(Fall Quarter 2014)
MATH 110BH
Algebra See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 1.0 Workload 4.0 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 5.0

Most Helpful Review

I have had Professor Elman for a few different classes now, and he is by far the best math professor I have ever had. The material is engaging and Professor Elman clearly cares deeply about it and wants his students to share his passion. He even holds a bonus lecture every week which takes the material covered in class and extends it to more advanced/interesting applications (generally these bonus lectures are not covered on the tests). This class in particular deals with Ring Theory and Module Theory. If you haven’t taken 110AH this class will be very difficult as a solid understanding of group theory is essential for understanding rings and modules. If you are deciding whether to take this class, here are some details about the class that may help you decide. First, Professor Elman generally does an in class midterm and a second, take-home midterm (broken into two parts for this class). The grading scheme he uses depends on your midterm scores but provided you do well on one of them, you will he set up for success in the class. Second, the tests for this class are longer than the class period. The professor gives extra time because he doesn’t want time pressure to be an issue, but this usually means the questions on your in class tests will be more difficult. Third, work on the take-home test as soon as you get it. I have made the mistake of leaving the test to the last minute and even though it is only 10 problems, it will take 10-20 hours to complete. Fourth, the pace of this class is intense. If you zone out for more than a few seconds in lecture, you will struggle to catch up to what the professor is writing, and a huge amount of material is covered over the span of a quarter. I personally filled up around two pages front and back per lecture. Fifth, the final for this class is seven hours. Sixth, the module theory section of this class is significantly harder than the ring theory section. Ultimately, this class is really hard, but a rewarding experience. If you enjoy algebra you should take a class with Professor Elman and if you liked your past group theory class I highly recommend this class.

(Winter Quarter 2020)
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MATH 110C
Algebra See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 2.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness 5.0

Most Helpful Review

This is definitely one of the most interesting and challenging math class offered. You learned to utilize all the basic algebra tools (group, ring, and field theory) to do a lot of cool things (construction, proof of the Fundamenral Theorem of Algebra...etc). The entire grade is just based off of homework assignment (50 questions for 100 points, 80+ will get you an A). Professor Elman is really helpful and clear and gives a lot of examples which comes in handy for completing the assignment. 100/10 would recommend.

(Spring Quarter 2018)
MATH 115A
Linear Algebra See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 2.0 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 5.0

Most Helpful Review

Professor Elman was a great professor. His handwriting on the board is messy and small at times, but he'd always answer his students when one would ask what he wrote. His lectures are very clear, thoroughly explaining all the proofs for the theorems. The exams involved recalling theorems and proofs from memory, a simple calculation (he even told us what we'd have to do in class), and giving examples of abstract concepts (this was the hardest part). However, simply memorizing everything from class would guarantee you about a 50-75% on the exam, and the class was curved pretty generously. The homework was very challenging, but came entirely from the textbook, so you could just copy the solutions manual's proofs if you wanted. Overall, a solid introduction to upper division math / proof-based math, and not too difficult of a course either.

(Spring Quarter 2017)
MATH 115AH
Linear Algebra See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 3.8 Workload 3.0 Clarity 4.2 Helpfulness 5.0

Most Helpful Review

Professor Elman is the best math professor I have had here at UCLA. For the honors 115AH class, he explains the techniques of proofs and repeatedly reiterate key points in proofs. The homework assignments are also very doable. The take home midterm was challenging but not impossible especially with the amount of time that was given. He also gives extra hours for the midterms and finals. This is definitely the honors math upper div to take.

(Fall Quarter 2016)
MATH 115AH
Linear Algebra See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 3.8 Workload 3.0 Clarity 4.2 Helpfulness 5.0

Most Helpful Review

Professor Elman is the best math professor I have had here at UCLA. For the honors 115AH class, he explains the techniques of proofs and repeatedly reiterate key points in proofs. The homework assignments are also very doable. The take home midterm was challenging but not impossible especially with the amount of time that was given. He also gives extra hours for the midterms and finals. This is definitely the honors math upper div to take.

(Fall Quarter 2016)
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MATH 115B
Linear Algebra See Full Profile

Overall 4.1 Easiness 1.8 Workload 1.9 Clarity 3.6 Helpfulness 4.1

Most Helpful Review

Definitely a fantastic professor, can't recommend him enough. His classes are well thought out, the concepts lead from one into another and the hw problems are very useful and insightful. His lectures are engaging and entertaining.

(Winter Quarter 2017)
MATH 117
Algebra for Applications Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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MATH 117
Algebra for Applications See Full Profile

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MATH 375
Teaching Apprentice Practicum Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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MATH 375
Teaching Apprentice Practicum See Full Profile

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