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Mark Sellke
Room H312
Year 2017
Course Mathematics

Things I like

  • Math
  • Tennis
  • Number Theory
  • Roger Federer
  • Ping-pong
  • Analysis
  • Pokémon
  • Probability
  • Tasty food
  • Elliptic regularity
  • Cool temperatures
  • Additive Combinatorics
  • Floor Pi
  • Copying Jingyi
  • Playing melee poorly
  • Algebraic Topology
  • Clean dishes
  • Thanksgiving dinner
  • Freshmen

Things I dislike

  • Euclidean geometry
  • Rafael Nadal
  • Non-Euclidean geometry
  • Algebraic geometry
  • Differential geometry (actually this one is ok)
  • Dirty dishes
  • Tropical geometry
  • Computational geometry
  • Finite geometry
  • Other geometry


Fall 2014

18.715 (Representation Theory; Pavel Etingof)- this class was wonderful. The problem sets were generally interesting and thoughtful (though long), and the material was beautiful. Highly recommended if you're comfortable with linear algebra and willing to work. The category theory at the end wasn't very good though.

6.046 (Algorithms; Dana Moshkovitz and Richard Peng)- interesting but a little slow.

7.012 (Freshman biology; Eric Lander and Bob Weinberg)- surprisingly good. Test grading was kind of sketchy, but Lander was a great lecturer.

24.900 (Intro Linguistics; Adam Albright)- This class (a CI-H) was pretty cool at first, but the later material got pretty boring. I didn't like the early essays because they didn't have anything to do with the class. The main project was interesting; you interview somebody who speaks an unfamiliar language.

Spring 2015

18.318 (Extremal Combinatorics; Choongbum Lee) - Material was great; I finally learned what the regularity lemma actually says. Was not much work.

18.783 (Elliptic Curves; Andrew Sutherland) - I really liked this class. The beginning focused on curves over finite fields, and had a lot of emphasis on efficient algorithms and coding, neither of which I found great. It then moved to curves over the complex numbers which was incredible. Problem sets took a long time but were generally interesting. Lecture notes were fantastic, so missing class wasn't a problem.

21H.141 (Renaissance Europe; Jeffrey Ravel) - My second CI-H. History is neat.

24.111 (Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics; Bradford Skow) - I learned you can tensor inner product spaces in this class.

Fall 2015

18.755 (Lie Groups; David Vogan) - Fairly disorganized lectures, but good psets. I just skipped classes, read the book, and did the psets. It went pretty well.

18.155 (Differential Analysis; Richard Melrose) - We spent the first half of the class on distributions, and basically went through Friedlander and Joshi. Then we did some other functional analysis and PDE stuff that was interesting though a bit disorganized.

18.177 (Topics in Stochastic Processes; Scott Sheffield) - This class was amazing. We learned about a bunch of crazy SLE. Lectures were relaxed, and we read a couple survey articles for homework, then read and wrote about a research paper as a final project. I think at least 80% of the value from my classes this semester came from this one.

21M.600 (Intro to Acting; Olivia) - Olivia was great. Classes started with yoga and vocal warm-ups, and then we ran around and acted strange to practice not being self-conscious. Homework was mainly practicing acting scenes, so there wasn't too much and it was very educational. Definitely would recommend this class.

3.091 (Freshman Chemistry) - kind of boring though they try to make it fun.

Spring 2016

18.156 (Differential Analysis 2; Larry Guth) - Amazingly well taught class. You don't actually need 18.155, just good general familiarity with measure theory and functional analysis. Guth makes the topics fit together really well and the homework is also really good. Highly recommended for analysts.

18.176 (Stochastic Calculus; Dan Stroock) - Stroock has a unique, interesting take on the material. He also tells lots of great stories from back in the day. It was helpful to read Rogers and Williams in parallel.

18.099 (Discrete Analysis; Peter Csikvari) - This was an independent study class with 7 students (5 on hall!). We covered chapters 4, 10, 11 of Tao and Vu's additive combinatorics book. We each gave 3 lectures and formed small groups for final projects. I thought this class went quite well; it was helpful to organize a formal class rather than just find some people to read with, because borderline people are more likely to join if they get credit. Unfortunately we did not get CI-M credit.