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Anyways, I think this was Professor Honda's first time teaching classes here so if you have him in the future your experience may differ because new professors tend to give easier tests. That said, Honda was an okay professor. Not the best but definitely not the worst. Both midterms were very fair bordering on easy. He has reviews on Ratemyprofessor which are more or less accurate. If Honda is an option for you then definitely consider him.
I took this course in the Spring of 2016 and received an A. I believe that this was the first time that Professor Honda taught at UCLA, but I thought he was fairly good. He posted a schedule of what sections he was going over in each lecture, which was nice. Unlike my previous math professors, he had a good set of notes for each lecture, and had engaging lectures. However, I often skipped lecture, as I usually learn out of the book anyway. From my experience, you don't need to go to lecture to do well as I scored highly on all of the tests. The course consists of a homework portion, two midterms, and a final. The midterms were fairly reasonable tests, bordering on the easy side. The questions on the tests were similar to homework problems, like he said that they would be. The final was a little tougher, with about 10 questions; however I only stayed for the first hour of the three hour allotted time. My advice to students taking this course with Professor Honda is to do lots of problems out of the book, and to understand fully how to do the homework. Also, I recommend going to section as it can help you to understand the material to a greater extent. If you get Jacob Rooney as a TA, then you are set, as he is a superstar.
Professor Honda's class has been one of the most straightforward classes that I've taken so far at UCLA. The homework is definitely very important, and even though it's not collected, there's a quiz every week that has one or two questions word for word from the homework from the week before. You're allowed to drop your lowest quiz grade so make sure to only f*** up once. I felt that the midterm and final were relatively fair and straightforward, with the final being on the harder side. None of the questions were particularly challenging in the sense that you had to apply concepts you learned to situations you had never seen before, but you have to know the material well to solve the problems. His teaching style a little weird to get used to, because usually what he'll do is lay out how to do a problem, then say something along the lines of "I'm not sure if you guys like this but...yeah so are there any questions?". Always ask questions. He loves questions and he's much better at explaining specific points or ideas in the problem than the initial general layout.
Professor Honda is very good at explaining the material and doesn't speed through the course. He assigns homework, but none of it is mandatory to turn in. There are weekly quizzes in discussion section which make up a midterm grade, but the questions are taken directly from the assigned homework (therefore it is REALLY important to actually do the homework). The tests are pretty reasonable, if you do the homework and actually understand the material you can do very well. He is a very nice guy, but he's kinda awkward to the point most of the class thought he was adorable/hilarious. Overall, I had a good experience and would take him again.
DISCLAIMER: I TOOK THIS CLASS DURING THE FIRST FULL-TIME ONLINE QUARTER SO EXPERIENCES MAY VARY.
Professor Honda is super approachable and a nice guy. He is always looking for questions and is happy to clarify something if you ask. However, his lectures are a hit or miss. Sometimes, he gives good lectures, but other times, he just reads off his slides. He often says things like "you know, this would be clear if I fully wrote it out" but never actually fully writes things out. He is not intimidating at all or anything like that, but I still didn't find his office hours to be that helpful. He knows his material but just has a hard time explaining at times.
Grading: Since this was the COVID quarter, grading was weird. We had 8 weekly quizzes and they summed up 68 percent of your grade. The midterm and the final made up the other 32 percent (16 percent each). The quizzes are often from the homework he doesn't collect. However, he did have a few quiz questions that were too difficult. Otherwise, the quizzes aren't that bad. The midterm was also reasonable, but the final was a bit on the harder side. However, we had 24 hours to do it, so people did well. His curve, even though he said it would be generous, was a bit weird. I think his curve helps those who are doing badly than those who are doing well. His gaps between B+ and A- is too much, but getting an overall way below the median still pretty much gives you a B or B+. I didn't like the curve, but it is what it is.
Overall, Honda isn't a bad professor, but there are definitely better. I wouldn't avoid Honda, but if there are better option, please go with those. As for the material of 115A, this is the first class you will probably see proofs, but it is honestly doable if you just stick to the definitions. Read the book and ask your TA all the questions you have. Good luck.
Obligatory disclaimer that this was the online quarter.
I would say Professor Honda was a pretty decent professor. His lectures were most of the time clear to follow, but other times he would just read off the slides while adding clarifying asides that were hard to catch. Don't be scared to ask questions, since he was very open to questions during lecture. I personally found his office hours to be much more helpful, though sometimes he would struggle to explain that concepts that presumably come naturally to him.
DEFINITELY go to the discussion sections!! Our T.A. explained the concepts clearly with many example problems (some from the optional HW, some picked by him) that really help preparing for the weekly quizzes, since most questions were just variations of the HW problems. There were a couple instances where a proof the TA showed us in discussion wouldn't get full points on a quiz, since there is a separate grader for the class, so I would definitely make sure to lean on over-proving on the quizzes/exams than not.
I want to say that I would have struggled a lot more with this class if I hadn't taken Math 61 before. The class pretty much jumps right into proofs, and Math 61 provides a much more smoother transition.
Otherwise, I don't have anything extraordinary against this class, though I should note that the curve was kind of weird. The curve (to my understanding) puts the median grade at a B+, no matter what percentage that correlates to, and everyone in the class is getting a B- or higher. In a way, it puts the high-performing against each other to get an above-median grade, while those struggling are given a large safety net.
Overall, I'm sure there are better professors, but he definitely isn't the worst at teaching and seems pretty easygoing.
In terms of work load, it's not a huge step up from the 31/32/33 series. I would still say that 32B was harder than 115A. The professor is good, really nothing to complain about. His explanations were sometimes a bit unclear, but he encourages questions and will gladly clear anything up if you ask. I had a really good TA who helped alot, and most people went to the TA office hours, rather than the professor office hours. Regardless, the math class isn't particularly more difficult than any others, and at the very least, the professor doesn't make it any harder.
First of all, I took this class during COVID times. Second of all, to the person who said that 32B was harder than this class, jeez. Don't get me wrong, Professor Honda is a super nice guy. Probably one of the nicest professors you will ever have. He has this funny laugh that you will just know when you hear. But in terms of teaching, his lectures often weren't too engaging and sometimes it was hard to keep up since he was using slides. Hopefully he will choose to write more in the future. This was the first upper div math class I took, and it really sucks that I had to take it online. He assigns HW, but it isn't graded, so you don't really know if you are writing the proofs effectively. I'll just say it, I had a really rough time. None of the quizzes are dropped, and I failed a couple quizzes. I spent most of my Math 115A time in the TA's office hours. Hopefully your TA will be Eilon, he is a gift sent from heaven. He was always willing to help and was super clear about concepts. So with that being said, make sure you attend discussion. Manage your time on the exams, and don't slack off with the HW just because it isn't graded. Stay on top of things, and if you fail the first quiz, seek help right away and don't just assume it was a blunder on your part. I forgot to mention that the curve was very generous, so that is indeed a plus.