Linear Algebra (Honors)
Fall 2016 - Professor Elman is the best math professor I have had here at UCLA. For the honors 115AH class, he explains the techniques of proofs and repeatedly reiterate key points in proofs. The homework assignments are also very doable. The take home midterm was challenging but not impossible especially with the amount of time that was given. He also gives extra hours for the midterms and finals. This is definitely the honors math upper div to take.
He was really a great professor, I would recommend him for any math course you can. While his exams are difficult he likes to give A's and grades were based on averages, not absolutes. You will come out of the class with a deeper understanding and love for Mathematics than when you entered.
Fall 2020 - Professor Rubin is a great professor. His lectures are clear, but filled with a lot of content. He always pauses for questions and is always willing to help, which I like. Since this is an honors course, we learn about 1.5x the material than regular 115a (Topics we learned that I don't think are covered in 115a: dual spaces, double dual basis, transpose, determinants, Real and Complex Spectral Theorem, Singular Value Decomposition). All his lectures are recorded and he uploads them to CCLE rather fast. Discussions are usually recorded but to be honest, I only attended them two times (I'm so sorry Bar). If you don't have much proof experience, this class will help you transition into proof writing. You'll learn the proof techniques during the first few discussions. Our primary textbook for this class is Linear Algebra by Hoffman and Kunze, but you can find the PDF of it online. You'll need this book because he assigns some homework assignments from this book. This book is a little hard to read, but whether you're taking 115a or 115ah, I would definitely recommend Linear Algebra Done Right by Axler. His grading scheme is as follows (only one grading scheme): 30% Final Exam 15% Midterm 1 15% Midterm 2 20% Quizzes (Lowest quiz dropped; 8 quizzes) 20% Homework (10 HW assignments) Usually every week on Thursday, expect a quiz. These quizzes always stressed me out but it'll help you stay on track. There's a 24 hour window to take the quiz, but after opening the quiz, there's a 30 minute timer to take it and submit it. Each quiz is two problems, usually these are short proofs. Doing the homework assignments is a good way to study. There's a homework due every Thursday at midnight. He uploads the homework assignments in 3 parts, which total to about 8-10 problems a week. Only 3 problems will be graded for corrected, and he'll tell you which problems these are. The rest of the homework is graded on completeness. Try to start them early and don't procrastinate. On average, I would say I spent 3-6 hours a week on homework, but Rubin and the TA are very helpful on Piazza and Office Hours. There are two midterms for this class. I felt the midterms were slightly harder than the homework, but the averages were high. Midterm 1 had an average score of 39.8/50, midterm 2 average was 42.81/50. There are five questions on each midterm and I spent the whole day working on it. FYI: He took nine days to grade midterm 1, and ten days to grade midterm 2, which is pretty fast. After he publishes the exam scores, he also uploads the solutions to CCLE which are very helpful. The final had 10 questions which took me more than 12 hours to complete. The final felt much more challenging than the midterms, so I don't think I did well on it. Rubin cares a lot about his students. At the beginning of every lecture, he conducts a Zoom Poll asking how we're doing. He also sends us several surveys asking us for feedback and our opinions about the class. Do these surveys because he is really dedicated to improving and making the class better for his students. Linear algebra isn't my favorite subject, but I definitely learned a lot in this class. Overall, I would definitely recommend Rubin! Edit: The final has already been graded (only took two days to grade). The mean was 72/100 with standard deviation 17. My calculated grade of 77% turned out to be a C+, so I'm not too sure how generous his curve is.