Reviews for MATH406

Information Review
Lutian Zhao
MATH406

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/06/2022
Just stop reading reviews and sign up now before his class gets filed up. Pros: - Clear teaching - Gives practice exams VERY similar to actual exam - Reasonable homework’s - Drops lowest exam - Final is presenting/ making a report on how to solve a theorem that you have weeks to prepare for (you choose the theorem from a list) - Good personality Cons: - (this one is very minor but) when explaining he looks mostly on at the board so if you have a question you either have to say so or you might need to wait a few minutes until he sees you Do yourself a favor, sign up now P.S. Thanks Lutian for a great semester :)
Lutian Zhao
MATH406

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
12/06/2022
He cares a great deal about lowering the pressure of getting a good grade. He is very generous in his grading scheme and teaches the material in such a way that makes it interesting. There were some moments when the material was hard to understand, but not once did I feel stressed about it since he made sure that only what we knew was on the exam or homework. One of the best professors I have ever had.
Nathan Manning
MATH406

Expecting an A
Anonymous
11/02/2022
Nathan is one of the best professors I have had. Don't be fooled by the low reviews; they're probably from 240 students who were upset that they couldn't get an easy A. He is very knowledgeable and cares a lot about his students. His tests are sometimes tricky but definitely doable if you go to lecture, study, do the homework, and go to office hours. He encourages students to ask questions and is always accessible via office hours and email. I have also had him for 240 and 310 and my math thinking and appreciation has grown so much thanks to him!
Thomas Haines
MATH406

Expecting an A+
Anonymous
07/02/2022
great professor
Harry Tamvakis
MATH406

Expecting a C
Anonymous
05/04/2022
Very straightforward and easy-to-understand lectures, but he gets angry at the American education system (he's Greek) sometimes and takes it out a little on you.
Antoine Mellet
MATH406

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
12/19/2021
He is a good professor and this class isn't too hard if you have prior experience with proofs. However, Mellet's accent can sometimes make it hard to understand what he is saying as he talks quickly and mumbles sometimes. Luckily, he follows the textbook to a T so if you miss something, it's in the textbook. He uses the same examples and everything. He also goes pretty quickly in class in general, so you have to be a quick notetaker-- he starts wiping down the board the second he is done a proof or example. There also was a small curve at the end-- I walked into the exam with an 84 and ended up with an A- in the class, and it was not possible for me to get an A- even if I got 100% on the final. I definitely would have done better in this class if I had studied overall more. He has no quizzes, only weekly homework, 2 tests, and a final. So if you're like me and you do homework in 1-2 days, you may struggle a bit to catch up when it's time for exams.
Yanir Rubinstein
MATH406

Expecting a C-
Anonymous
04/14/2021
Actually really bad. I had taken this class by mistake and didn't realize it was a mistake until after add/drop, and he was the only available professor. He didn't have any reviews yet; just one from like 5 years ago that said he was awful. I said ehh, it's only 1 bad review, but I should've listened. So far the mean exam grade has been a 60 and he says he isn't going to curve it. Lectures are painful. He does zero prep and reads VERY slowly through the book, and if you ask a question he will either barely answer it or talk down to you. Probably just here for the research. The grade distribution is nice, HW's aren't graded and you get points for making a study guide, but seeing how the exams (basically the only source of a grade: 5 quizzes, ~10% each and he drops the lowest one) it's not looking great. Unless you are really good at Math and it's like your passion/you do Math research for fun, this class is gonna be the death of your GPA. I've taken up to Calc3 and LinAlg, and this class could be interesting, but he makes it tedious to sit through and gets mad when students don't show up to lecture.
Nathan Manning
MATH406

Expecting an A
Anonymous
11/11/2020
Great guy, knows the material well and makes jokes in the class. First exam was too long, he listened and vastly improved exam 2.
Adam Kanigowski
MATH406

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
10/27/2020
Very understanding man. Definitely cares about students and wants you to understand the material. Did recieve an A- in the class.
Adam Kanigowski
MATH406

Expecting an A-
Anonymous
05/02/2020
Decent professor. Not the best lecturer, but fair and exams are not bad.
Adam Kanigowski
MATH406

Expecting an A
Anonymous
04/06/2020
Professor Kanigowski is phenomenal. I had him for Math 406 as a freshmen. He is so kind and patient. He is the kind of professor who is extremely brilliant but also cares about his students learning the material. He understands that students might not necessarily understand the material through one approach and if you ask questions or he notices that he has lost student in his lecture, he will go back through what he just taught and try to teach it in a different way so it makes sense. ASK QUESTIONS IN CLASS!!! He is so willing to help you understand and he WANTS you to ask questions. He will repeatedly ask during lecture if there are any questions, and every time I have asked (which was a lot) he always made sure to answer it to the best of his abilities and I always understood it better. He is very nice at office hours and will spend however much time it takes going over problems until you feel comfortable. His homework and midterm prep are very useful and you will feel very well prepared for his exams if you complete them. The class breakdown is 6 to 7 graded homework assignments with 1 midterm and 1 final. However the homework and lectures really prepare you for the midterm and final so you will be okay. He does not require you to attend lecture, and the book is helpful, but I found his lectures to be a lot more helpful than the textbook, and he doesn't go in order of everything in the book so you at least need to know what topics he covered in class. I would highly recommend attending lectures. Side note - I had him during the time that UMD went online for the second half of the second semester because of COVID - 19 and he did so much to make sure that all his students were okay. He made sure to modify the curriculum and add more office hours so that we knew we could reach out to him. He said he cares more about his students understanding what he has taught than just bulldozing though material for the sake of saying he completed everything on his timeline. He is great for people who love math, or who struggle with math. He will challenge your brain to think different for those who enjoy it, and he is there to support you and encourage you when you struggle. 100% recommend taking him and I would take his class again if I could.
Manjit Bhatia
MATH406

Expecting an A
Anonymous
12/21/2019
number theory is an easy math400 in general. manjit bhatia is pretty old but he's not a terrible professor in my opinion. he can be very generous with exams as he allowed the first exam to be regraded and turned in for full points back. HOWEVER his grading on exam is BS sometimes. the reason why so many people needed regrades was because of this. he takes off like 90% credit even if you show you know how to do 95% of a problem. you need to make sure you know what he wants. but otherwise a low stress class and i wouldnt avoid taking him for this class by any means. also he didnt show up for our 8am final which was annoying...but the math department was the one being annoying by not letting it be a take-home exam after that happened.
Jonathan Rosenberg
MATH406

Expecting a B-
Anonymous
01/02/2018
If you want to get an A by just studying given material and don't have experience with proofs, avoid taking any classes taught by Rosenberg! Teaching: He can explain concepts straightforwardly, although he chooses to cover proofs in class instead of problems related to homework or ones you'd find on tests. The homeworks are hard. Even if you do well on the exams, this is where you will be losing your points. Expect to sit down on homework for at least 4 hours unless you are good at proofs. He usually asks 2 to 3 difficult thinking questions that require you to do proofs where you need to think outside of the box. Exam Difficulty: He starts off the class seemingly easy. The first exam took about 20 minutes or less if you just did the homework problems. Its mostly arithmetic / problems memorized from the notes. I got a 97 on it. On the second exam, I got a D... the full exam was all proofs except 1 problem despite the fact that he said it would be more arithmetic based than proofs and easy like the first exam. Rosenberg loves proofs so if you're not a math major like me (comp sci), avoid this class. He likes to make you think intuitively on the exam. Out of the 5 problems, I only saw 1 before, despite reviewing every single hw problem and the notes multiple times before the test. Rosenberg only curves at the end and you have no idea how you did. The final exam is brutal just like the second midterm ... do not be fooled by the curriculum of this class or the first midterm. He made it way more difficult half way through the year and doesn't seem to care about student concerns ... you don't even get the solutions to the homework problems after the first 2 or three. If you do end up taking his class, do all the proofs covered in class. Try to look for previous exams and study everything. Studying all the material is not enough to get an A. You need to practice proofs a lot. Grading Breakdown: In-class exams 100 points each Homework 100 points total Quizzes 50 points total Final Exam 200 points Total 550 points
Niranjan Ramachandran
MATH406

Expecting an A
Decave
12/26/2012
Dr. Ramachandran is, hands down, the best college professor I've ever had. He is extremely knowledgeable, is very good at communicating information and is a very nice man who essentially embodies everything that is needed in a college professor. Let me begin by admitting that his class was very challenging. The homeworks were tough, the average on the two midterms probably averaged out at a 59 (there was a very generous curve at the end of the course) and you won't get very far by lollygagging and mindlessly memorizing a few formulas. That being said, I thoroughly learned about an immense (almost unbelievable) amount of difficult and very important mathematical concepts and I am very, very happy that I took the course with him. After having taken Rama's course I honestly consider myself a much more mature and knowledgeable mathematician than I did before I took his course (and I had straight As in math beforehand). I guess I should also warn you that Ramachandran is not for everyone. A lot of people in my class didn't like it at all and claimed that he was a bad professor for various lame reasons. Usually, their reasoning was something like, "He's all over the place and is impossible to follow," or, "I feel like we don't learn anything in the class". What that illustrates is that they're not accustomed to rigorous, difficult math courses and that they're either too lazy or not apt enough to study and understand the deeper concepts that are actually worth putting the time and effort in for. One kid in the class said that "Modular arithmetic is dumb because there are no formulas." If you associate yourself with people like that then I recommend dropping out of any upper-level math courses and taking something more your style like communications. In summation, I highly recommend Dr. Ramachandran to anyone who is a serious and mature student and/or to anyone who wants to learn some awesome math. If you're in it for the easy A then take he class with someone else. P.S. His grading is very fair; it's just that his problems and homeworks are challenging and take a fair amount of time and effort to complete.
Melissa Macasieb
MATH406

nmendels
12/18/2012
She obviously knows number theory really well but her lectures were devoted more to proving theorems which really weren't tested at all. Also all of the proofs were in the book anyway so she could have just said "for details on the proof for theorem x consult the book." Also her grader was quite draconian and if you said something like "I lost 8/10 points for an arithmetic error", she would say "if you want I could maybe give you a few points back" and then spend a few minutes continuing to expand on how you were wrong which was quite annoying.
Melissa Macasieb
MATH406

Expecting an A
Anonymous
09/23/2012
Macasieb is great. She understands number theory in and out, and communicates it very well to her students. Lectures are focused on going through basic proofs of the material, and a sufficient number of examples for you to understand what's going on. If you skip class, you can just read the book; it's essentially the same thing. Grades consist of weekly homework from the book (lowest 1-2 grades dropped), weekly quizzes that are homework problems verbatim (again, lowest few dropped), two midterms, and a cumulative final. Exam questions are either computational (and thus simple) or proof-based (almost always come from problems in the textbook that are recommended but not explicitly assigned). Exam averages suck (we're talking 55-65ish), so she will obviously curve a bit in the end. Advice to do well: keep up with the material (early concepts such as Fermat's theorem and modulo arithmetic definitely impact the later material substantially), do extra practice problems from the book. This class requires a bit of work, but if you put in the effort, you'll be fine.
Melissa Macasieb
MATH406

Anonymous
05/25/2012
Like most math, number theory is not difficult to understand once you learn to mentally adopt new methods of abstract visualization. How this is best done probably depends on the student. This branch of math really amounts to little more than a massive game of pattern-finding, which can be a lot of fun. My issue with Macasieb is that she takes the fun out of it. She fails to communicate any enthusiasm for the material, or math and problem solving in general, lecturing purely from the book, proof after proof. She makes superficial attempts to engage the class, by occasionally prompting for part of a proof or example, but has no real sense of how to harness classroom energy. Ultimately, there is no reason to go to class if you learn well from books. She uses a good text, and reading it let me focus on the math without the awkward tension of the classroom. YMMV, but for me the point of math is that's it's fun, and this is not a fun class.
Melissa Macasieb
MATH406

Expecting an A+
zaqu413
12/24/2011
Macasieb was a great professor, but that comes with a slight catch. She really only wants to help the students who seem serious and study the material often enough to never fall behind on the small things. She gets rather annoyed during lecture if she needs to explain something that we went over last week. That being said if you are on top of things you will do fine. Homework/Quizzes: Was somewhat difficult, but manageable most of the time. 4 questions were often turned in for grading and all the other questions were possibilities to be seen on a quiz the day the homework was due. The quizzes were just redoing the hw problem w/o the book or notes, which wasn't hard to do. The Book: "Intro to Number Theory" by Dudley or something like that. It was a pretty good book. It was short, but effective. Although I must say that the author starts to get impatient and lazy around section 12, but nothing really to worry about. Tests: 2 Midterms and a final (ALL are cumulative, despite what she might say). Number Theory is one of those classes where if you fall behind you stay behind, because there isn't any concept that you can just say "I just wont bother learning that and I can scrape by with a B" because everything builds on the previous stuff. The Midterms were about 75% computation and 25% proofs The Final was about 60/40 computation to proof. Overall I would say make sure you know all the theorems that took a while to prove during class or that she emphasizes, because those are sure to show up on the tests. FINAL NOTES: -MAKE SURE TO GET MODULAR ARITHMETIC DOWN SUPER FAST OR YOU WILL BE LOST. -FERMAT'S THEOREM IS VERY IMPORTANT, AS IS PRETTY MUCH ANY THEOREM PROVED BY EULER OR EUCLID (THERE ARE MANY) -THE ONLY WAY THAT SHE WILL HELP YOU IS IF IT SEEMS AS THOUGH YOU HAVE PUT A LOT OF EFFORT INTO FIGURING SOMETHING OUT AND HAVE A GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF THE MATERIAL. IF YOU SEEM LOST SHE WILL NOT HELP, SHE EXPECTS YOU TO BE ABLE TO FIGURE "SIMPLE" THINGS OUT BY YOURSELF BY NOW. (Here "simple" means stuff we did last week) Also I managed an A+ because I destroyed the final, I studied for it for pretty much 4 days straight.
Lawrence Washington
MATH406

Expecting an A
rockinbassman
03/02/2011
Very nice guy and a pretty good professor. His tests are very reasonable and he gives you practice tests too. He is very approachable during office hours. He assigns homework bi-weekly. He collects 2 or 3 problems and then quizzes you on another 2. However, in class before the quiz, you can ask him ANY homework problem and he will do it. There's usually enough time to do all of them, so you're set for the quiz. He'll also do problems in office hours. With a little effort, you can get a 100% in homework and quizzes.
Joel Cohen
MATH406

Expecting a C+
Anonymous
05/20/2010
Although he's a really nice guy and very amiable, he's not a very good math professor. He clearly cares about his students and tries hard to address questions and concerns, but he seemed to never be able to find ways to clearly explain concepts in the class. He simply walks through proof after esoteric proof, then assigns homework which the student is forced to figure out on their own. Overall, I would recommend taking any other professor for a math class if you have the option.
Joel Cohen
MATH406

Anonymous
05/19/2010
He's a pretty nice guy, definitely approachable, and fairly understanding when it comes to extensions. HOWEVER, to be perfectly honest, he is not a good teacher. He rushes through proofs and skips a lot of steps, he rushes through examples and (once again) skips a lot of steps, and all in all, he simply doesn't explain what he's doing. He pretty much takes his lectures directly from the book, and doesn't know how to break things down into a more comprehensible format. If you ask him to explain something, he will stop and try to explain, but he usually just says the same thing he did before, meaning that asking him for help is ultimately not very useful. The exams are fine but you come out of the class feeling more like you memorized a bunch of tricks and rules rather than actually learning number theory well. Homework is useful and usually similar to the questions on the exam. If you REALLY want to learn number theory, I would recommend taking the class with someone else.
Joel Cohen
MATH406

Expecting a C-
satz24
02/13/2010
He's not a bad guy. In fact, if you can't get your homework in on-time, you can you email him for an extension. However, he is a crappy teacher. He does the examples that are found in the book. These examples are only helpful for a couple problems, then you get stuck. He doesn't give any insight or information other than the book. He brings the book to class, and reads it to you.
Thomas Haines
MATH406

keyoung
01/04/2010
Haines was a good and fair prof. His lectures were sometimes boring but he allows time for HW questions. He has 2 exams which are curved and weren't that bad if you keep up with HW. He gave practice exams for both. HWs were very helpful in learning and practicing the material and he drops 3. He told some "funny" jokes to lighten the mood several times. Overall good prof, nice guy.
Justin Wyss-Gallifent
MATH406

Expecting an A
a778999
05/24/2009
Great professor. Made the material easy to understand. I didn't even need to buy the book because the notes were so clear. However his curve isn't really generous so don't expect a free A.
Joel Cohen
MATH406

Expecting an A
fuzzyLogic
12/28/2008
Hard to follow during the first half of the course. His lectures follow the course of the text but he will take the time in class to explain any confusions you have. Second half was better as you picked up enough of the number theory background to follow some of the proofs.
Joel Cohen
MATH406

Expecting an A
samolang
08/25/2008
The class was pretty easy, the test content was always well covered in class/homework, and he kept the lectures somewhat entertaining.
Joel Cohen
MATH406

Expecting a B
Crispus Attucks
04/23/2008
MATH406 with Prof. Cohen is the only course I've ever been in where you can burst out loud "I have no idea what's going on!" and everything will be explained to you again patiently. In contrast to the other reviews, I find his lectures very clear. If you're really on your stuff with math you will do fine with him.
Kathryn Truman
MATH406

Expecting an A
Anonymous
02/02/2008
she is awesome. if you are taking math406 take her class. go over your homeworks and any theorems that she says you have to know!! do the work and you will do well.