1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

University of California Berkeley Courses

  1. Jun 12, 2013 #1
    Hey guys I have a question regarding math H104(Introduction to analysis) and math 115(Number Theory). I was wondering if I needed to do the pre-requisites? Or if you have taken the courses, what is your opinion of them.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2013 #2
    I think you would be better suited to ask an advisor at your school when you are registering for these classes about them
  4. Jun 12, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    You should ask an adviser. Typically though, a course has prerequisites for a good reason. The prerequisites are: 53, multivariable calculus, and 54, intro to linear algebra/differential equations. I'm going to guess that these would both be pretty important courses to have completed before taking any analysis.
  5. Jun 13, 2013 #4
    A couple versions of the 53 course have been put up on the web by Berkeley. Take a look at it and see if you know all the material inside out. If not, then doing Analysis would probably be suicidal.

    Disclaimer: I have only watched the course online (several years ago). As the others have said, get first hand advice from your university.
  6. Jun 13, 2013 #5
    The reason I was asking in the first place was because I had already taught myself the subjects(proof heavy self study). I was just curious about whether it was necessary to take the prerequisites, or would the system block me out. I was also wanting some input on other Berkeley students opinions on these classes since there is very sparse discussion on this in many forums.
  7. Jun 13, 2013 #6

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    The number of students who are in exactly that position is small.
    The number who are on PF is probably smaller.
    The number who can answer within 7 hours, smaller still.

    I think the suggestion to talk to your advisor is a good one.
  8. Jun 13, 2013 #7
    I realize that the number of people that could reply is small, but I have talked to my academic advisors and they weren't particularly helpful. All they knew was that I should probably do the prerequisites, but as for any detailed answers why, they could not supply. I would try to ask some students here in Berkeley, but I don't really know any of them since I am an freshman entering in the fall. Plus I will only be here in Berkeley for another day before I head back to my hometown in the midwest. I do understand that it might sound like I'm ignoring your advice, but I have tried everything mentioned.
  9. Jun 13, 2013 #8
    Hi, I go to Berkeley and have taken math 104. It is quite difficult and I personally did not like the class. Then again, I don't like proof-based pure math classes, so it is a personal preference. In terms of the pre-requisites, what have you taken at Berkeley? If you haven't taken at least Math 53, 54, and 55 I would take those before 104 and 115.

    EDIT: Just read you were a freshman entering in the fall. I HIGHLY suggest you do not take these classes. If you are paticularly strong at math and want to take two math courses your freshman year I suggest 54 and 55. This will help develop/improve your proof writing skills - absolutely essential for math 104.
  10. Jun 13, 2013 #9
    As i mentioned I have self studied those courses already. I can list the courses I have self studied: probability theory, mathematical logic, statistics, discrete mathematics(Discrete Mathematics: Elementary and Beyond by Lovasz), graph theory, linear algebra, calculus(Spivak's book), multivariable calculus, ordinary differential equations, and number theory(George Andrews Book). I have learned these courses all through proof heavy study and have had a professor check my proofs.

    @tannerbk Were the courses really that hard? I am just wondering because for math 115 it doesn't seem that the materials are particularly related to math 53 and 54 except for writing proofs. Would you recommend then that I take 53,54,55 in the fall, and if that goes well then 104 and 115 in the spring?
  11. Jun 13, 2013 #10
    I would never suggest taking 3 math classes in one semester, especially your first semester - as this will make completeling your breadth requirements extremely difficult. I would absolutely suggest taking math 54 and 55 first semester (if you are confident in your multivariable calculus, math 53 you could potentially skip). If they turn out to be easy for you because you know the material, they will work to boost your GPA, cement your knowledge, and introduce you to Berkeley math courses. Then I would suggest moving on to math 110 as your first upper division math class, but if you really want to take 104 and 115, there are no pre-requisites that keep you from doing so.

    Additionally, have you recieved credit for the math classes you want to skip? In order to major in math you need to have taken math 53,54,and 55 or equivalent (I'm assuming you passed out of the lower math classes). It is not enough to tell someone that you know the material - you must prove it to Berkeley before they give you credit for these courses.
  12. Jun 13, 2013 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Why don't you look at the course material for H104 and judge for yourself how difficult/tedious it seems, before you ask your adviser?
    The previous classes used baby Rudin. I don't know what the upcoming class will use but if this is your first foray into analysis, without ever taking a proper honors calculus class, then baby Rudin is going to be nothing short of aaaaaaaaaaargh.
  13. Jun 13, 2013 #12
    I don't think I have to worry much about my breadth requirements because I'm planning on getting 4/7 of those fulfilled by the end of freshman year.The reason I was thinking about taking the three courses in one semester is because I don't want to be bored my first semester by material that I most likely have already gone over, but I do see your point that I should use the time to get myself accustomed to Berkeley. I am wondering how long the problem sets may take on average (though I do know the time varies with each individual's abilities).

    As for the class credit, I understand that I will need to take 53,54,55 eventually since any credit from my local university is not counted as it is not in California. And I do understand that cheap is talk, and that I have to prove to Berkeley either by testing or other means that I have learned the equivalence of their course curriculum. I think I will ask my advisor if there is any possible way that I can test out the exam. @tannerbk Do you know if one can test out of math 53?
  14. Jun 13, 2013 #13
    A couple of hours - probably between 3-6 depending on how hard the chapter is and how thoroughly you do the homework / read the book. However, for harder classes like H104 you will probably have to go to office hours / discuss the problems with classmates and in my experience I've spent over 20 hours on a problem set (usually physics though).

    I think so, this is something you can figure out online, I'm sure.

    I think the best advice I can give you at this point is not to be over eager to fill your schedule. I would take 4 classes both semster freshmen year (between 14-18 units), and enjoy your time at college, rather than working endlessly on problem sets. Trust me, Berkeley is a great place to have fun as well as study hard.
  15. Jun 13, 2013 #14
    So? Just yesterday I was in an unfamiliar city and asked a cross-eyed homeless man how to get to a particular restaurant. Or you could even try emailing the professors to see what their opinion of your potential taking of their classes would be.
  16. Jun 13, 2013 #15
    @tannnerbk Alright thanks for everything. I guess I will take some time to think about this before I jump the gun.

    @AnTiFreeze3 The problem with asking the students is that not everyone there has taken the course. Only a couple of students have actually taken 115, so it would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack (albeit not as difficult). Plus most of the students are gone. I visited Evan's hall yesterday and their weren't many student at all. However, I am trying to find the professor(Emiliano Gomez) and talk to him about this.
  17. Jun 13, 2013 #16


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    I would definitely try to get credit for those easy courses, for the simple reason that it saves time and allows you to take more advanced courses later. In fact, I would insist on it, I would not take no for an answer.
  18. Jun 13, 2013 #17
    Very understandable. I also just read through my post again and noticed that it sounded harsh. Not my intention :smile:
  19. Jun 13, 2013 #18
    @AnTiFreeze3 It's okay. Any type of advice is welcome. I just wanted to let you know my predicament . But thanks. :smile:

    @verty Haha. Great minds think alike. JK. But seriously I'm not trying to skip the classes because they are easy or whatnot, but rather it is because I want to learn more. I self studied math courses in my free time because I felt as if mathematics was gravitating(pun intended) towards me. I just don't want to sit in classes that don't further my knowledge, or in this case, repeats it.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  20. Jun 13, 2013 #19


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    With regards to skipping classes, I did the same thing my freshman year (I took proficiency exams and if there was a pre-req class that I already knew very well the content of I turned the other cheek) except with analysis replaces with differential geometry. My adviser told me if I think I can do it then go ahead and I did take the class. It had a lot of theoretical multivariate calculus and some topology so I can tell you right now that if I hadn't known these things like the back of my hand before I took the class, I would have been screwed. Just make sure, if you decide to skip to honors real analysis, that you know the pre-req subject matter like your life depended on it. This is why I said to look at the past semesters' course contents for the class. You can never be too safe!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook