professor
Kyle Hayden

Dec 2020

Having taken linear algebra at another university and having been confused out of my mind, I've found Kyle Hayden to be a very good linear algebra professor who can explain concepts and connections between concepts in a clear and intuitive way that stimulates the students' abilities to understand the whole of linear algebra better. Overall, Hayden seems invested in the students and cares about his teaching. He had a few polls on how to structure the class (when to hold office hours, whether to use handwritten or pre-typed notes in lecture, etc), offered corrections for a midterm, and grades exams himself instead of delegating to the TAs. Also, he is incredibly patient with answering questions and answers them well (even ones at a middle school algebra level), very chill and understanding (perhaps too understanding: one class started with "a lot of you cheated on the midterm, but I know it's been a tough semester for all of us. So don't worry about your grades, and don't let this be a drag on your semester. In fact, don't let this be a drag on your day" and jumped right into the math), and understanding of student's circumstances with online learning. Homework was from the book and rarely included super difficult questions. Midterm difficulty was fair but timing was challenging. Final difficulty was far harder but timing was extremely generous with a likely curve. I do think the pacing of the course is a bit awkward. The first third of the class was super easy: about half of it was review from high school algebra. But the second third felt more rushed, resulting in Hayden deciding to cut some content out. He also tells corny math jokes sometimes which is nice with such an early class time (in my time zone at least).

Dec 2020

Kyle is a funny guy, and explains core linear algebra concepts well. The homework is generous. But the tests... are not easy. He breaks it down thus: 50% mechanical (e.g. finding the determinant) 25% conceptual/True or False 25% hard Unless you *really* understand linear algebra, after midterm 1, the last 25% will be very difficult to obtain. I was not prepared for these. I totally understand this exam formatting, but I do not feel that he adequately prepares you for them. It's the classic "In class, I'll do the most straightforward version, but on the test, I'll give you the most convoluted version" scenario.