Calculus of Several Variables (Honors)
Fall 2018 - [Tyler's not going to be here after this year, but I thought I'd give a review as reflection of what honors multi can be.] One of the best classes I've ever taken. The lectures were engaging - concepts were *explained* - all the reasons behind each concept, well enough that I could normally look back at my notes and understand at least to some degree why every action was taken. And if I didn't, there were three hours of OH to get help with homework, get questions answered, and go on random math tangents. The course was very different from non h - very proof-based, large focus on sequences and sets, homeworks had a limited number of problems that required much thought, and the class was small enough to have a fun group chat and group study/support. I also took 32bh, and this sequence convinced me that I want to at least try some upper div math classes - currently planning to end up with a math minor. It'll depend on the teacher, but I highly recommend at least checking out the honors math classes
Fall 2020 - Joe is amazing. He explains the material very well, and is very welcome of questions, wouldn't mind repeating. I never got bored in his class because Joe is just so wholesome and funny. His tests and homework difficulty are on point. His YouTube channel also helps a lot. (Features his hilarious math music videos) Joe cares about learning more than putting concepts into you. He really gave me a lot of interests in math. Take him.
Disclaimer: I took 32A with Chayes (the 32A option didn't show). Lincoln Chayes is brilliant. His main fault is that he does not know how to convey that brilliance. I went to every lecture, and very rarely did I come out of knowing more than I knew going in. I was able to manage this class because I was lucky enough to get a great TA (shoutout to Will Rosenbaum. Side note: check out will rosenbaum.com for great review material). I would not have been able to do most of the homework if I hadn't gone to discussion and office hours. Will explained the concepts in an easy-to-understand way that Chayes could never do. The tests incorporated a couple of homework problems, but more than half of the problems used new language and concepts that had not been covered in lecture. I remember keenly a midterm problem that apeared on a homework set the following week. His tests have extra credit per se, in that there are a max of 120 points, but only 100 possible (235/200 for the final). There is always partial credit, so don't ever leave a problem blank. If you can take 32A and not take Chayes, you're saving yourself a quarter of extra stress and grief. He does have his entertaining moments, and he's a bit quirky (he jokingly pants during long proofs and wears the same thing every day), but he's too smart to teach a mostly freshman math class.
I took Math 32A with Conley (not honors), and thought this was an easy (this could be because of how well he taught the material), well structured, very enjoyable class. Pros: -Excellent lecturer: he goes over the concepts very clearly the first time and goes over them again during the next lecture (he spends the first 10 minutes on a “recall” section where he articulates the ideas from the previous lecture) and then goes over them again during the review session. -Excellent review sessions: he comprehensively goes over literally everything that's going to show up on the midterm/final 2-3 days before the exam -Easy material: Vectors and derivatives really aren't too hard, especially the way he teaches it. Some things are confusing at first (torque, component vectors of acceleration, curvature, critical values of 3 dimensional surfaces) but after attending the lecture and review session and doing the homework and practice exams, it really becomes pretty easy. -Easy grading scheme: You can do poorly on one of the midterms and not have it count towards your grade. The first midterm is really easy, so even if you do poorly on the second midterm, it's really no big deal as long as you do well on the final. -He gives out past exams to study with: These are amazing tools to use for studying, since you can see how he structures his questions and which concepts he generally emphasizes more in the tests. During fall 2014, he posted the actual midterm 1 and midterm 2, along with a past midterm 1 and a past final on CCLE, so if you take this class in the future, there are a lot of resources available for you to use. Cons: -Takes forever to post grades: It takes him the better part of a month to get grades onto MyUcla, which is pretty annoying. However, this seems to be the fault of the TA’s, who it appears are responsible for posting the grades. Regardless of who’s fault it is, expect to wait a looooong time to get back grades. -Doesn’t respond to emails: Sent him an email well before the second midterm, he didn’t respond. Left kind of a bad impression considering all of my other professors usually respond the same day. In Conley’s defense though, I’m sure he doesn’t have the time to respond to all of the emails he gets because he’s a popular professor. Overall, the pros far outweigh the cons, and 32A with Conley is a class that I would recommend to anyone who is able to sign up for it
Fall 2019 - This was an amazing class where I learned a lot but also extremely challenging. We used the textbook Calculus and Analysis in Euclidean Space by Sherman, and as the title implies, this class felt like MATH 131 taught in a way that simultaneously teaches MATH 32A. Homework is light, only about 3-6 problems per week, but sometimes the problems are challenging and you might have to spend a long time thinking about them. Tests are fair and are mostly textbook-based. If you do most of the textbook problems and study, you'll be fine. The instructor's teaching is very clear and follows the textbook, but gives more insight into the intuitions.