Richard S Elman
Department of Mathematics
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4.2
Overall Rating
Based on 10 User s
Easiness 1.8 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.1 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.0 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.5 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
  • Tough Tests
  • Would Take Again

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

59.5%
49.5%
39.6%
29.7%
19.8%
9.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

47.7%
39.8%
31.8%
23.9%
15.9%
8.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

44.0%
36.7%
29.3%
22.0%
14.7%
7.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

32.4%
27.0%
21.6%
16.2%
10.8%
5.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

52.9%
44.1%
35.3%
26.5%
17.6%
8.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews (6)

1 of 1
1 of 1
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Quarter: Fall 2014
Grade: A
Oct. 5, 2016

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.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Jan. 1, 2022

I thought Elman was decent, but IMO he's far from the best UCLA has to offer.

Pros:
- Elman is a nice guy, and he cares about his students.
- His lecture notes are typed up and pretty thorough, and he tends to follow them closely.
- If you make a mistake on homework, you get a chance to submit corrections to get back a few points.
- The class is difficult and very fast-paced, but you will learn a lot from taking this course (of course, assuming you put in the time and effort to keep up with the material).

Cons:
- His lectures are difficult to follow. His handwriting is terrible, and he also tends to make mistakes in proofs sometimes, so it's very easy to get lost during his lecture.
- I did not think he presented group theory very well. He basically teaches you the subject as a bunch of abstract symbol manipulations that carry little meaning, when in reality there is a lot of hidden intuition for the concepts you learn. I read a few sections of Dummit & Foote throughout the quarter, and honestly, they do a much better job of explaining concepts than Elman does.
- He gives you an extra hour to work on his midterm and an extra 3 hours to work on his final, which may seem like a pro, but all this means is that you end up spending double the time taking an exam that could have easily been made shorter and finished in the lecture hall.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Nov. 5, 2021

Professor Elman is a fantastic professor who gives excellent lectures, great lecture notes that are clear but does not talk too much, and the complementary lecture is the best part of the class. The in class midterm was given plenty of time unlike any other professor and the take home midterm has difficult but excellent questions. He is also very accessible professor and cares a lot about his students. Overall, a great professor that you should always try to take 110H sequence and probably also 115H sequence with.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Aug. 10, 2020

One would think that with so many positive reviews on bruinwalk, Elman would actually be a good professor. Well, said person would be absolutely right! Elman is far and away the best professor I've had at ucla. He is approachable, easy to talk to, quite kind, and his passion for mathematics is palpable. Taking his class will really inspire you to learn, and not just memorize definitions for the sake of getting through a class. It is true that he covers an ungodly amount of material in each quarter, but that's part of the fun. His class will be a grind at times (end of winter quarter specifically), but ultimately it will help you grow as a person and a mathematician. Suffice to say, if you have the opportunity to take Elman, do it!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A-
Dec. 25, 2019

Absolutely wonderful professor. Very clear lectures, his lecture notes are freely available (it's pretty much a textbook). Extremely generous curve, messed up a bit on the final so ended up with an A-. You have to work consistently every week to stay on track. I constantly found myself a little behind, but doing the homework (including all the optional problems) really helps.

Homework: Does take time every week, but you can resubmit homework the next week for full credit. Extremely helpful to complete all the homework.
Midterm/Final: Learn all the proofs done in class and make sure you understand everything properly.
Take Home Midterm: Pretty hard, takes a lot of time. Make sure you start it early.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2018
Grade: A
Feb. 21, 2018

It’s definitly one of the hardest undergraduate math classes one can take. A lot of materials are covered and the exams/homework are difficult. However, if you are willing to put in the work and really want to learn, it’s the best option. Professor Elman is by far one of the best professors at UCLA

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2014
Grade: A
Oct. 5, 2016

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.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A+
Jan. 1, 2022

I thought Elman was decent, but IMO he's far from the best UCLA has to offer.

Pros:
- Elman is a nice guy, and he cares about his students.
- His lecture notes are typed up and pretty thorough, and he tends to follow them closely.
- If you make a mistake on homework, you get a chance to submit corrections to get back a few points.
- The class is difficult and very fast-paced, but you will learn a lot from taking this course (of course, assuming you put in the time and effort to keep up with the material).

Cons:
- His lectures are difficult to follow. His handwriting is terrible, and he also tends to make mistakes in proofs sometimes, so it's very easy to get lost during his lecture.
- I did not think he presented group theory very well. He basically teaches you the subject as a bunch of abstract symbol manipulations that carry little meaning, when in reality there is a lot of hidden intuition for the concepts you learn. I read a few sections of Dummit & Foote throughout the quarter, and honestly, they do a much better job of explaining concepts than Elman does.
- He gives you an extra hour to work on his midterm and an extra 3 hours to work on his final, which may seem like a pro, but all this means is that you end up spending double the time taking an exam that could have easily been made shorter and finished in the lecture hall.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Nov. 5, 2021

Professor Elman is a fantastic professor who gives excellent lectures, great lecture notes that are clear but does not talk too much, and the complementary lecture is the best part of the class. The in class midterm was given plenty of time unlike any other professor and the take home midterm has difficult but excellent questions. He is also very accessible professor and cares a lot about his students. Overall, a great professor that you should always try to take 110H sequence and probably also 115H sequence with.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
Aug. 10, 2020

One would think that with so many positive reviews on bruinwalk, Elman would actually be a good professor. Well, said person would be absolutely right! Elman is far and away the best professor I've had at ucla. He is approachable, easy to talk to, quite kind, and his passion for mathematics is palpable. Taking his class will really inspire you to learn, and not just memorize definitions for the sake of getting through a class. It is true that he covers an ungodly amount of material in each quarter, but that's part of the fun. His class will be a grind at times (end of winter quarter specifically), but ultimately it will help you grow as a person and a mathematician. Suffice to say, if you have the opportunity to take Elman, do it!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A-
Dec. 25, 2019

Absolutely wonderful professor. Very clear lectures, his lecture notes are freely available (it's pretty much a textbook). Extremely generous curve, messed up a bit on the final so ended up with an A-. You have to work consistently every week to stay on track. I constantly found myself a little behind, but doing the homework (including all the optional problems) really helps.

Homework: Does take time every week, but you can resubmit homework the next week for full credit. Extremely helpful to complete all the homework.
Midterm/Final: Learn all the proofs done in class and make sure you understand everything properly.
Take Home Midterm: Pretty hard, takes a lot of time. Make sure you start it early.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2018
Grade: A
Feb. 21, 2018

It’s definitly one of the hardest undergraduate math classes one can take. A lot of materials are covered and the exams/homework are difficult. However, if you are willing to put in the work and really want to learn, it’s the best option. Professor Elman is by far one of the best professors at UCLA

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 1
4.2
Overall Rating
Based on 10 Users
Easiness 1.8 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.1 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.0 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.5 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (3)
  • Engaging Lectures
    (3)
  • Useful Textbooks
    (2)
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (2)
  • Often Funny
    (2)
  • Tough Tests
    (2)
  • Would Take Again
    (4)
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