Complex Variables

Dec 2020

Nicholas was a very good lecturer - he tried to help you really understand the concepts intuitively/geometrically, which was helpful because some of the material in this class is hard to visualize. I didn't go to his office hours often but he was very helpful the times I did go. The midterm and final questions were similar to examples done in class or on the homework, but he did make a few of the exam questions a bit harder than problem set ones. I still thought the assessments were well within reason! I'd recommend this class/professor for anyone looking to fulfill a requirement.

Dec 2020

Nick was such a fine teacher! His explanations are thorough but his teaching style is a bit fast-paced. If you're coming straight from calculus/linear this may be a bit difficult but otherwise, he matches the teaching pace of other higher math classes. He follows the book well and is a great math lecturer. He's overall down to earth and easy-going. Pleasant class to take teacher-wise. Content-wise the class is a bit more difficult given that you probably don't get much exposure to any kind of complex analysis in lower math, but it's not unbearable. (Also, shout out to his cat that would frequently pass between him and his camera. Those small glimpses of a cute cat made this 3000 level math class a bit more worth it during these uncertain times :').)

Jun 2018

In general this is a terrible course, which was not aided by Jeon's teaching. The course, which attempts to combine applied and pure complex analysis, fails spectacularly and teaches students neither. The textbook focused on applied methods and the lectures focused on the theory behind these methods. This meant that the homework was entirely computational, and the theoretically motivated test questions resembled neither the homework or the lectures. The class average was between 30% and 40% on each exam. The exams had a few T/F questions and the wild guesses on those determined entirely whether or not I was above or below the class average. Jeon was hard to reach and didn't provide many outside resources. Furthermore his handwriting was illegible, which made the already obscure lectures harder to follow. The only good thing about this course was the generous curve. If you are interested in theoretical complex analysis, I would recommend Honors Complex, which is much more interesting and provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject. If you are interested in applied math or physics I would recommend taking a course in the applied math department.

May 2006

In short: Gallagher is clearly brilliant, but the course has some serious flaws. The course packets (handed out each lecture) are elegant, concise, and make complicated proofs seem simple, but the exercises assigned (which are very time consuming!) aren't designed to help you learn the material. Rather, the homeworks often introduce new stuff and that doesn't really enrich your understanding of the old. The midterms literally asked you to spit back definitions and theorems you have memorized -- they require absolutely no understanding whatsoever, and are graded somewhat harshly (two missed words like 'convexity' is a B-range grade). Then out of nowhere the true/false final exam asks you to apply the theory in the lecture packets in ways you've never seen before and that require a very deep understanding of the material in the packets, an understanding you were never encouraged to develop in the joke midterms and somewhat orthogonal homeworks. In short, having gotten what most likely will be an A or A- in this class, I don't really understand complex analysis.

Jul 2004

Gallagher is the most brilliant professor I have had so far. He doesnt use a book - in fact, writes up his whole course in notes that he copies and hands out, which is very nice, since you dont have to take any! His lecture style is very enjoyable - he lectures completely from memory, which adds some spontaneous insights and jokes to his lectures, and his 50 years of teaching experience make sure you have a great time in class. Did I mention that his lectures are absolutely clear and reflect his unending love for teaching? There are, though, occasional mistakes in his lecctures/notes which he usually corrects immediately (instead of covering them up like some pretentious profs). In one word, a Gold Nugget. Oh, yeah, and he included poems in his notes, too!

May 2004

Taken Spring 2004: Gallagher is a great professor as the other reviews have said, but he is getting older, so he's referring to his notes more frequently and will be slower to grade things- he returned our second midterm which was taken on March 31 on the last day of classes May 3. That said, I think Gallagher's teaching method, doing all the important proofs in class and not requiring you to reproduce them on exams, is the gentlest way to study pure math, but I'm not sure that it's the most effective.

May 2002

Basically a good professor. Understands all of the basic concepts quite well. Usually her lectures were fairly understandable, although occasionally she did go a bit fast. The material for this course is relatively difficult, but quite interesting (if you find math interesting). I was able to understand the material and do well having previously taken no course higher than linear algebra. She is open to questions during class and during office hours. On the down side, she was never on time, typically five to ten minutes late. More significantly, she often chose not to do long or complicated algebraic manipulations in class, saying "and you can work it out at home." The steps that she skipped were not really essential, but sometimes I would have liked to have seen them anyway.

Jan 2000

Interesting lectures as math goes, excellent (5 star) handouts, basic homework, and awful tests (100% memorisation of months of material).