Professor

## Matthias Aschenbrenner

**Most Helpful Review**

I had Professor Aschenbrenner for Math 31A. I had already taken Calculus AB in high school, and gotten a 4 on the AP exam (like most students in this class). Many kids never showed up, except to turn in their homework on Friday. I, personally, am the type who would rather spend the allotted time in class learning the material, rather then teach myself on my own time, but since everyone pretty much knew it already, it wasn't a huge deal. The homework was easy and short, but graded pretty harshly, so make sure you do them all right (although it is not a huge portion of your grade). The two midterms and final were pretty difficult and there was a spread of 11%-100% on all of them. I got a 76 and a 63 on the midterms, and an 85 on the final. My final grade was a B+ in the class. The curve definitely helps. Know your absolute value, he makes every easy problem harder by making it an absolute value problem. The discussions were not that helpful, as most of the students already knew the material, but they were used to get answers to more difficult homework problems. All in all, it was a pretty fair math class, and by taking it again, I understand it in much greater depth than I did in high school.

###### AD

**Most Helpful Review**

Spring 2016 - The lectures are dry (as almost all math lectures are to me), and the professor is very heavy on the theories. He spends most of the time explaining how formulas are derived, which is interesting but doesn't help much with the homework. Just going to the lectures definitely isn't going to get you a good grade. Some things that helped me: 1) Going to discussion sections: the weekly quizzes were ridiculously easy, but they kept me studying. My TA, Kwon, was really helpful--during the review sessions, he would go over especially difficult problems that are similar to the ones on the exams. 2) Test bank: Aschenbrenner gives out the solutions right after you turn in each exam, and you can easily find previous exams (which gave you an idea of what to expect) at the test bank. 3) Practice problems from the textbook: solutions to the textbook are available online, use them to check your homework. If you don't know what you did wrong and why, you will just repeat your mistakes on the exams. Overall, this class wasn't as difficult as I expected (while I definitely did put in extra work). It does help to have a solid foundation, like being familiar with all the basic calculus properties. For reference, I took Calc AB in high school and got a 5 on the AP exam. The quarter system schedule is still rushed, but some topics from Calc BC (vectors) aren't even covered in this class, so don't stress out too much--the class is definitely doable.

**Most Helpful Review**

I find it pretty interesting that almost every evaluation written before me is so negative. All in all, I don't believe Professor Aschenbrenner is as horrible as people make him sound. While he does simply do examples from the book, I always found that going to lecture was EXTREMELY HELPFUL. I love the way he draws graphs to illustrate what he is saying (such as with integration and Taylor Polynomials, etc.). I also thought that his explanations in class were clear and concise while bringing a greater understanding to the subject. I would definitely say if you wan to do well in this class to go to both section and lecture as they are extremely helpful. Try and get a Thursday section because some of the homework problems cover sections that won't be covered until AFTER you turn in the homework (which was definitely a downside). His midterms aren't too hard, the mean for both being in the mid to high 50's. BEWARE of the final though - it's RIDICULOUSLY hard. It's cumulative and he doesn't allow any notes, so study hard.

**Most Helpful Review**

Fall 2017 - 110A is a sort of weird class because there is a lot of math that you learn in high school and college that keeps building on itself and this class just doesn't use any of it. Theorems in this class require no calculus, no vectors knowledge, or anything like that, and so it would really not be hard for a 7th grader to understand the theorems. That being said, the homework forces you to get really good at guessing. The theorems are easy to understand, but it takes a lot of homework problems to learn how to apply them. It is really hard to find a consistent way to learn how to tackle the problems but I think the book sets them up in a fairly good way, so regardless of what the homework problems actually assigned are, you should do the problems in the textbook in order. Roughly speaking, the class spends the first 2 weeks talking about integers, modular arithmetic, and congruence classes in Zn. This was the material covered up to the first midterm. The third and fourth weeks are spent mostly discussing rings, integral domains, fields, and their properties, such as units, zero divisors, field implies integral domain, and so on. The fifth week through seventh week or so are spent covering polynomial rings and discussing the similarities they have with the integers. About half the material from polynomials appeared on the second midterm. The eight and half of ninth week were spent on congruence classes of polynomials with material covering when such congruence classes were made modular irreducible polynomials. The rest of the time was spent covering ideals and quotient rings (though one lecture was missed due to the fire). The material on the final focused not just on the later material, but also ways in which the later material could be combined with the earlier material. For example, prove Z28 x Z5 is congruent to Z35 x Z4. The tests were fair, though like the homework, they require a spark of creativity to understand how to prove the problem. First Midterm Average: 76% Second Midterm Average: 73% Third Midterm Average: 80% Basically, don't screw up on a test because the averages are high and they don't get dropped. Also, I get the feeling he doesn't give out a lot of As. Got an 89 on the first midterm and 95s on both the second midterm and final and ended up with an A- in the class. Lectures are really clear and also he pretty much just follows the book, doing the same examples and ideas, and really only skipping one or two sections. The class did not feel rushed and yet we covered pretty much all of the course material. Overall, professor with great understanding about material, accent pretty much unnoticeable, nice course about number systems with a lot of practice and examples, just little to no idea of how to apply it outside of computer science and somewhat hard grading.

###### AD

**Most Helpful Review**

Spring 2018 - Matthias is a very clear lecturer, and effectively builds up the course material from the ground up, which is the purpose of this class: proving the material of single variable calculus from first principles. He gave easy tests, with medians of 79%, 68%, and 81% (Midterms 1 & 2, then the Final). I got 98%, 93% and 96% by just ensuring that I knew and understood the import definitions/theorems from the class. The homework problems can be challenging, but extra credit problems on them should keep your HW grade close to 100%. He does grade on the absolute scale. Very chill guy, would take a class with him again!