Based on 38 Users
Professor Richthammer was a very caring teacher but at the same time he was awful at presenting topics to those of us who had not taken calculus already. He was more concerned with the proving of obscure topics than getting to the basics and helping people who were learning the subject. Every week I would have to spend hours daily in the tutoring lab just to finish the homework and barely pull a B- on average. To top it off his midterms and finals were ridiculously hard, making it almost impossible to succeed even if you try your hardest. I wish him the best, but do not take him unless you want to be miserable.
Considering math 31A is a sort of introductory math class, the homeworks were incredibly (and unnecessarily) hard probably because he does not pull the questions from the textbook. Students (including me) would spend stressful hours to just to finish the hw. I think his exams were fair and straightforward, but there will be questions that would ask you to prove definitions, which are covered in notes. Richthammer is not the worst choice, but there are better choices out there too, just to let you know.
Professor Richthammer is extremely organized and very clear in speech. His lectures are rather fast paced, but he speaks very clearly and encourages participation from the class. He writes all of his own problem sets, which are very challenging. However, you get a clear understanding of the material by completing the homework on your own. He never gives out answers during office hours, but gives hints to help guide students along. Basically, it's pointless to go to office hours if you haven't already tried the problems. His tests are challenging and requires a clear understanding of the material, but he curves very generously. My scores on two of the tests were over 100% after the curve. He also curved the class one more time in the end according to math department standards, which yielded quite a few A's. So overall a difficult class with relatively easy grading.
Professor Richthammer is good, but not easy professor, his homework is hard and I had to spend a lot of time on it. However, if you struggle but understand the homework in the end, you'll be fine. Richthammer is a good professor and easy to talk to, and also grades fairly.
Professor Richthammer teaches as a mathematician. As someone who enjoys math and is considering majoring in it, I definitely liked his class. The homework is very difficult, but I liked doing it because it truly made me think. I would go to every single one of his office hours to receive clarification (and I had already taken AP Calculus before) on his homework. Unfortunately, most people did not take advantage of this and struggled in the class. Richthammer writes original tests and homework, so everything in the class is based on what he wants!! TAs and tutors will teach you different techniques, which will probably just confuse you! You have to go to lecture because this is how you will know how to do his homework. He doesn't use the book at all... And go to his office hours, he will clarify anything you need to know and will work through any problem with you. He is really nice and friendly, don't worry! (:
Personally, this is one class that I actually looked forward to attending (and I even kind of looked forward to the hw)... Anyway, I received an A in the class (with a lot of work and thinking)...
I took 31A and 31B with Richthammer. He is not a bad teacher-go to his office hours! This will get you a better grade because he goes over homework and helps you understand the concepts that are difficult to grasp at first. Overall, he is a great professor who challenges you.
Professor Richthammer is not a horrible professor. He cares about his students. His homework, however, is really unnecessarily hard for an introductory course. I knew people from other 31A classes with different professors, and they have it a lot easier than the people that was in Richthammer's class. Every student I knew and saw from Professor Richthammer's class had a lot of trouble with the homework. Professor Richthammer is a very nice guy though, but maybe not the best professor to teach Math 31A as he is sometimes difficult to understand in his lectures as well. If you want a challenge, take him. If you want easy and relatively understandable lectures and homework, you should find someone else.
So here's the thing: I took ap calc ab in high school, got a 4 on the ap test. Biology major but decided to take the 31 series (HORRIBLE MISTAKE). Did pretty well on the first midterm (A) so I thought the class was going to be a breeze. Boy was i WRONG! The entire second half the quarter we spent learning proofs and memorizing them for the tests. I got a high C on the second midterm and an F on the final. I ended up getting a B in the class (miraculously). He writes his homework problems himself (you dont use the book at all)...Very difficult problems. ok good things: he has a really cute accent (ex. similiarly, difficult, veird behavior :)) he's dorky, and he's usually available for office hours (but he's pretty confusing during those). hard to understand. I would stay away from this professor if you're not into proofs and functions and little application.
Professor Richthammer was an extremely nice prof. who had well organized lectures that were easy to follow and understand. I highly recommend that if you take him, you go to class everyday to take the notes because his notes don't follow the book and are essential for getting a good grade on his tests. Also though some people complained about the fact that he wrote his own problem sets, I think they were very helpful as they provided a good indicator of the questions on his midterm and final, which were extremely similar and of the same difficulty as his homework. Also Richthammer is more than helpful in office hours which I also highly suggest, and his explanations are excellent. He is willing to help with any problems or questions you might have. I liked him, though yes his class was harder than other 31A classes, but you will learn in Richthammers.
Professor Richthammer's 31B was my first math class at UCLA so I didn't know what to expect. I thought he did a great job teaching up until around the 6th week of class. After that the material just gets more and more confounding and I think he tried his best to clarify it for us. Homework was a lot of work. Nine homework assignments due every Friday (drops lowest 2 if I remember correctly). He wrote his own problems (we never used the book) and so there were definitely challenging questions. He does his best to explain anything you don't understand if you go to OH or if you email him. The two midterms were pretty straightforward. I thought his grade curves were justified. The final was a monster. It was originally out of 120 or so but he set the total to 85. Even with that the class average was a 59%. It's a challenging class and the material isn't easy, especially the first time around, but he's overall a good professor. If you're planning on taking him for 31B, all I can say is make sure you do the homework in its entirety.