Modern Algebra

Aug 2004

An execellent lecturer and a man who truly understands the field of algebra. It wasn't until the end of each semester that I understood how solid Neumann's lecturing style was. The true test that he passed is that he presents the material in an order and in a fashion so that the proofs of theorems and propositions are almost blindingly obvious. The notes that you will get from this class will be amazing. The course text, Fraleigh, that we used was utterly horrible; however, if you would like to learn from a better text, choose Algebra by Artin. I wouldn't spend too much time with a text, but rather with his notes. Another plus, Neumann is British and he has a pretty cool accent and speaks immpecable English. Finally, unlike most math professors, he is rather personable and approachable, but does tend to space out during conversation from time to time.

Jan 2000

There's a bad side and a good side to Jorgensen's classes -- at least his higher-level math classes. The bad side is that the man is so thoroughly disorganized in his teaching of the material that many students opt to skip class. At the start of the semester, he'll give you no information about how the course is graded, nor when the tests will be. One full class was spent learning the students' names (to his credit, he now knows our names well, but still...)! He brings no lecture notes to class. He'll jump from one lesson to another without any continuity whatsoever. He'll frequently have no cogent answers to students' questions, and he'll often get stuck while trying to illustrate examples! He'll suddenly announce test dates *two* days in advance. The lectures give new meaning to the word "boring". Add all this to the fact that the material in this class in very hard to comprehend (it's basically set theory... there's as much "math" here as there is quantum physics in Lit Hum). The good part of the course is that Jorgensen is very lenient, probably the most lenient professor one can imagine. He'll give you every opportunity to succeed in his class. For example, on the test he announced two days in advance, he let the students ask him questions for the first 10 minutes of the period (after the test was given out!). Then, students were encouraged to try their best, but if they couldn't finish the test, they could take it home and put it in his mailbox at a later date. He sometimes seems genuinely surprised when students hand in a large problem set he assigned -- apparently he doesn't expect many to actually do it, even though it was "mandatory". Grades don't really matter to him, and if you go through the course without doing a shred of work (i.e. no homework, bad tests, etc), he still won't fail you. He's also a very nice guy in general, and usually available for help if you need it. However, in my opinion, the bad outweighs the good in this course. Strong recommendation to stay away unless you're a Math major.

Jan 2000

Pretty near useless. We spent the majority of three classes on a five-minute proof because he didn't prepare for classes. There's no pressure, which is great; the class is a joke, which is not. Expect to learn maybe a month's worth per semester. Credit for no work is wonderful but don't expect to learn much math.