Spring 2018 - Math 240 (Chai) - Won TA Award ~45 Students
TA Quality: 3.95/4.00 - Highest 240 rating ever (min 20 students)
- "I did not attend a single lecture and only learned from my TAs office hours and recitation.
is the reason I passed / learned this course and was absolutely amazing."
- "Ivan has taught me two semesters of Calculus at penn. Less than 10 students attend lecture
no one can understand the professor, but Ivan is able to teach the curriculum in only 50
- "Ivan is AMAZING! He is always accessible outside of class, either in person or through
His notes were very helpful and prior to all exams, he held review sessions where he went
problems that we needed to know for that particular exam. He is very patient and kind and I
confidently say that I learned and understood material from this course only because of his
- "Ivan was simply incredible. I usually don't attend office hours for any class, but I
often because I knew that not only would I get a prompt and accurate response, but that he
go above and beyond in helping me understand. Just before the final I asked for help on a
problem. Ivan (accurately) informed me that we had not covered that topic, but also
what I should take away from that problem anyway. He is simply excellent!"
- "Due to the poor communication of the professor, many of the students in this class (myself
only show up for recitation with Ivan (Yilun). He teaches the class in a much more
and manageable way than the actual professor, so much that other students from other
of the class (with different professors) come to his review sessions because he teaches the
so clearly and with such poise and confidence. I literally only am passing this class
of Ivan. He has put in so much time and energy to provide his students with extra material
practice quizzes, answers to practice problems, review packets, recitation notes, and even
85 page notes packet. Ivan is an incredible TA, when I heard he was going to be my TA I knew
that my life taking this class would be easier."
- "Ivan is an amazing TA. His teaching is always clear, concise, and to the point."
- "The TA went above and beyond to help us learn the material - he has even created a website
lesson videos for us."
- "Ivan filled the void in my knowledge left by challenging lectures and opaque office hours
Chai. Recitations largely replaced lectures. I came to truly grasp and understand the
in Ivan's office hours. Study sessions held by Ivan filled classrooms while more and more
abandoned lectures. Ivan's website made accessing notes, videos, and practice quizzes for
class trivial. Ivan quickly and effectively responds to questions on Piazza. Even when Ivan
rough patches in his unthinkably busy schedule, he still makes time to teach and answer
for his student. Ivan raises the bar for all TA's and is inspiring as a student and a
- "Learned the entire course from his great recitations. Ivan spends a lot of time preparing
for his recitations and review sessions. He is truly, an amazing teacher and TA. I took the
with Chai, despite his reputation, so I can have Ivan as my TA. Great and hardworking
- "Ivan was an amazing TA!! His recitations were filled with many useful examples, which
what we learned in lecture and prepared us to answer similar homework questions. He always
above and beyond to help us. I joined this class a week or two into the semester, and he was
very accommodating with catching me up on assignments and helping me get used to the
He had plenty of weekly (sometimes even daily) office hours, review sessions before exams,
was constantly answering our questions via Piazza. He also responded quickly to emails. He
updated his website frequently with his personal notes, extra supplemental examples, videos,
etc. He was a fair grader and helped me understand my mistakes. I definitely feel like I
not have been able to succeed in this class without having him as my TA. He was somewhat
that this was his first time as a TA for Math 240, but it certainly did not show, since he
a fantastic job!"
- "IVANNNNNNN. YOU'RE AWESOME. SAVED MY LIFE IN MATH 240. I CONSIDERED YOU TO BE MY PROFESSOR"
- "IVAN LI SHOULD TEACH MATH 240 (and 114). Although I was unhappy to be stuck with Chai as my
I knew I was going to be ok because Ivan was my TA. I honestly had to remind myself that
was also a student and not just our TA because he put much more time, effort and care into
class than Chai did. Ivan would stay an hour to an hour and a half past his designated
hour times to help us finish our math homework and make sure we understood the material. I
upset I will not be having him as a TA next semester because he has made the most
positive impact on my math experience at Penn. I hope he goes on to teach because he has a
for it and should put many of the math professors at Penn out of jobs (or teach them how to
- "This TA was better than the teacher. I had him last semester for Math 114 too, and he
to be amazing! He is the only reason I actually learned anything this semester. He will be a
great professor someday"
- "Ivan is the best TA there is, perhaps better than the professors with PHDs. If I have
from Penn Math, it is from Ivan. Penn needs to find more TAs like Ivan, or have Ivan."
Fall 2017 - Math 114 (Haglund) - Won TA Award ~70 Students
TA Quality: 3.90/4.00 - Highest 114 rating ever
- "Ivan was honestly a shining star in this class. I know he's only a TA, but he's probably
instructor I had my freshmen year."
- "He's an amazing TA. He taught me much better than the teacher did, answered my questions
effectively, held a lot of review sessions, answered questions on Piazza quickly and is very
- "Lectures were not the best way to learn the content for this course, but Ivan did a really
job going over everything that we needed to know. Math clearly isn't my strong suit, but
took a lot of time to answer my question during office hours, as well as just provide a
environment to learn. I was really intimated by my peers, and even though Ivan is pretty
a genius, he's still very approachable and encouraging. Thank you for a great sem!"
- "Ivan did more for the students in the class than the professor. He conducted review
review lectures on Fridays, and had a website where he posted notes and practice problems.
was always available and TRULY cared about us as students and individuals. Penn should do
in its power to keep Ivan in the math department as long as possible."
- "Ivan dragged us through Heaven and Earth in order to make sure we understood the material.
recitation was infinitely more valuable than the lecture and I cannot stress that enough."
- "Ivan went above and beyond to ensure that students (and sometimes not even his student)
to material. The material he provided in addition to the extra review sessions that he has,
the extra office hours have overall helped my ability to learn in the class. During office
students had the opportunity to learn one on one with Ivan, going through practice problems,
and he typically did a great job of teaching the material in a way where everyone could
it. Overall, I'm highly impressed with Ivan's dedication to his students."
- "I couldn't have survived through this course without Ivan. He invested so much time and
make course content more manageable and understandable through recitations, Friday review
office hours, exam review sessions. He also had a Piazza page which was such a nice way for
to ask questions to both him and fellow classmates. He was always so responsive to questions
and messages despite him having a heavier schedule than most. He has inspired me so much
selﬂessness and putting others before yourself. I hope to follow in his steps one day to
become a TA for a class (maybe this class) because he was so so so amazing. I have nothing
praise for Ivan."
- "The TA was probably the best teacher that I have had out of all of my teachers at Penn. He
out of his way to help us, and even held 2.5 hour Friday review sessions every single week
go over the weekly lectures, in addition to his recitation. He also compiled an entire book
notes for his students, which have been extremely useful. He also created a piazza page and
any question that we had about the course within 20 minutes of asking. He made math fun, and
he actually cared about whether or not we learned something."
- "Ivan was the only reason that I passed Math 114. His review sessions were so incredibly
and he was always willing to explain topics no matter how many times I asked. He also had an
extremely active Piazza page that he used to answer questions even when he wasn't in office
The only reason I feel confident taking Math 240 is because Ivan is planning to TA that
- "The best TA out there, I think everyone will agree. Thank you Ivan! As someone who wants to
educator myself, I have the utmost respect for your style and just genuine interest in your
success. It's a rare skill and a rare passion. I wish you all the best! I hope my comments
helpful in any way."
- "Ivan Li was the only reason that the course was manageable for most students. He gave up a
his own time and effort outside of recitation (holding extended office hours, having extra
of his own, answering emails and piazza questions) to make up for the lack of instruction by
- "The TA essentially taught this class as lecture was useless. James Haglund would use
slides that he had never seen before until that day, and was ineffective at communicating
course material. Many things on the final exam Haglund never discussed. Yilun is the only
many students learned anything in this class."
- "Ivan taught much better and much more successfully than the actual professor. If Ivan was
the class would actually learn material."
- "Ivan is the best TA you'll ever have. Seriously he does so much for his kids. If you have
doesn't matter how difficult the class or teacher is. He'll help you enough."
- "Ivan Li is probably the best TA that has ever existed and is the only reason I learned
in this class."
- "Ivan Li is the greatest TA in the history of humanity. Never in my life have I ever seen
who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in any endeavor like Ivan Li. To begin, Ivan
doing optional shadow lectures of Haglund on Fridays, where he would review the entire
materials. Second, his website posts so much relevant information and resources. His LaTex
document, which is over 100 pages long, was more helpful in this course that Haglund's
MyMathLab, AND the Godzilla textbook combined. I cannot even express how amazed I am by
I would take a course just because he is TAing it. I propose that the Math Department starts
an annual award for the Best TA, and name it the Ivan Li award, because he deserves it. If
all TAs were like Ivan........."
- "Ivan went above and beyond in all aspects of being a TA. Don't think I would have gotten
I did without him and I'm grateful. Overall, best TA."
- "Despite the poor quality of the lecture, Yilun went above and beyond to help out each and
student, including those who were not even assigned to his recitations. When he saw students
struggling and giving up on the main lecture, he hosted a three hour review and teaching
each week and recorded it for students who could not make it in order to ensure that we
all be prepared for each final and midterm. He was incredibly accessible and quick to answer
emails and Piazza questions. Additionally, he worked incredibly hard to grade each of our
and return them to us with impressive expedience."
- "The TA was extremely devoted to finding every opportunity to help students, ranging from
Friday review sessions basically every week to a piazza page, and honestly was such a far
"teacher" than the professor that lecture was almost awkward seeing how poorly the professor
taught the course as compared to a TA who is simply another college student."
- "This is the best TA at Penn. He goes the extra mile every week and was fantastic at
concepts of multi. I think I would have failed without his help. Give this man a raise!"
- "Yilun is committed to make every student who shows up to his recitation to understand and
material. He puts in a lot of effort in providing examples that he believes will make us
chapters a lot better. I would also say he explains things in a straight forward manner
is great because the textbook can get very confusing when it is hard to physically grasp
it is saying. Overall, I would say he is the best TA you could get!"
- "Ivan is absolutely the best TA/instructor in math that I have ever had. He is consistently
to answer student questions on Piazza even with his busy schedule and is genuinely concerned
with helping his students succeed. For example, he held extra Friday review sessions almost
week in the semester to help students practice things that they could not pick up in
If not for Ivan , this course would have been much much harder."
- "Ivan was the best TA I've had. If it wasn't for him I would have dropped the class!"
- "Ivan was single-handedly the reason why I did not do poorly in this class. He made the
more interesting and gave students of the class many opportunities to meet with him to clear
up any difficulties. He went above and beyond in all respects."
- "Ivan is actually the best. He has been committed to making sure we learn the material
Final. He worked out what he should go through in the recitations to make sure we have
of time to study for the final. He even had make-up lectures on Friday afternoons to teach
the material since Haglund's style didn't work. Highly recommend him, so honored to be so
my freshman year."
- "Ivan is an incredible TA that cares about his students and is dedicated to their learning.
this class only because of his help. He held regular office hours and review sessions which
me grasp material that I could not understand in lecture due to a poor professor. Ivan
has a great skill in teaching and catering to the needs of his students. The math department
is lucky to have him as a TA."
- "Ivan was basically the professor of this course. He hosted regular weekly extra review
to supplement the lectures and recitations. His website compiled personal notes for every
of every unit and presented numerous problems from past finals and midterms for review.
he managed to function as basically a full-time math teacher while being a Junior
Spring 2017 - Math 114 (Hablicsek) - Won TA Award ~70 Students
TA Quality: 3.76/4.00 - Highest 114 rating ever on Penncoursereview
- "Ivan was an amazing TA. Sometimes he taught the material better than the professor. I am
to have had him for the course."
- "I was at times frustrated that Prof Hablicsek didn't post any notes online. It was
rely exclusively on Rimmer's notes when studying. Ivan was amazing, seriously so good."
- "Absolutely amazing TA. Really helped solidify my understanding of the material."
- "Ivan was incredible as a TA. He seemed very passionate about math. Not only that he seemed
passionate about helping learn so that we could develop the level of knowledge he had about
Overall, he was an A+ TA."
- "IVAN IS THE MOST AWESOME TA I'VE EVER MET. He is accountable, easy to reach out, friendly
very fast in scoring. He is very clear when teaching materials for 114!!"
- "Awesome TA! Really knew what he was talking about and was friendly and highly available via
emails and office hours."
- "Ivan is the best TA I've had during my time at Penn in any class."
- "Ivan is the only reason I know anything about 114 he is literally a godsend 1000% would
- "Absolutely amazing TA! So accessible, patient, and helpful. Taught me everything I know
114. Much more helpful than the professor himself. Would recommend Ivan (Yilun) as a TA to
- "Ivan's website and many many resources truly helped me learn calculus! His email responses
always extremely fast, and he held many office hours and review sessions for us. An amazing
Would not have learned calculus without his help!"
- "Without the help of the TA, I probably would have done much worse on exams and would have a
grasp on the content. The TA really knows how to explain the content well and answers
appropriately. A very great job in helping students and being an important resource for
- "should win math ta award if there was one..."