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This review is for 115A.
Professor Rubin is the best professor at UCLA, hands down. I'd definitely recommend him to anyone.
Super nice and wholesome, take advantage of OH and start on the HW early. Weekly quizzes are alright, really just checking some basic understanding of what was covered. Midterm and final was pretty nasty, they require quite a bit of deep thought, though it might be because it is take home 24hr. Responds quickly on piazza and is pretty helpful.
Professor Rubin is extremely careful, clear, and concise in everything he does which makes it easy to follow along and learn as well as understand what is expected of you on the homework and exams. Perhaps the only problem I had with this class was that the quizzes and exams were timed at a harsh pace. The entirety of the difficulty of the course that semester was finishing the work before the clock ticked down. The quizzes were often an incredibly stress-inducing 30 minutes every week of rushing to carefully write out the problems and upload them before the time limit, then receiving points off a week later because the proof was missing some minute polish. The final was "designed to take 3 hours" as prescribed by the mathematics department, but I spent about 12 hours and didn't finish. Spending more time on the exam could have given me a better score. I am frustrated at this because my grade essentially came down to not being able to find the trick and write the proofs quickly. It is highly disappointing to know that the grade distribution was skewed due not to the students understanding of the material, but the speed at which they could complete the problems and the amount of time they could afford to spend on the assignments.
Jonathan Rubin is a rare breed. He is not only one of the greatest math professors but greatest professors out of any that I've ever had. I really struggled with this class. Like, REALLY struggled. I wasn't sure if I was going to pass. Dr Rubin though, was always there to help. It was so satisfying to start completely lost and end up understanding the content enough to feel confident in what you wrote down. He is extremely generous with his time and is always willing to clarify, go back over a prior topic, or help you see what to improve on. If you are willing to learn, and ask the questions, you will pass. He is kind, can be funny, and you can tell that he is genuinely passionate about what he does. Though I wasn't the best student, and others did much better than I, you can see that my sentiment is not unique by the many other positive reviews he has. Take this class, and it will be an experience for the better.
Professor Rubin is the best math teacher I've ever had without a doubt. He is incredibly gifted at explaining complicated topics in a simple manner. I came in as a CS major with little to no appreciation for Linear algebra after a shaky 33A, but ended up learning a shit ton over the course of the quarter. It's hard not to gain an appreciation for this class when starting with literally nothing but addition and multiplication, and ending with super complex theorems. If you have a choice between this and normal 115A, I would say take this without hesitation. Rubin is the GOAT and you absolutely cannot go wrong. The only negative is that it is workload heavy but its kinda necessary to reinforce the concepts. 10/10 recommend this class.
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.