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College Discussion / College Admissions and Search / Colleges and Universities / CC Top Universities / University of California - Berkeley

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rideronthewheel
Posts: **5**Registered User New Member

Here's my situation; intending math/stats major, currently taking math 53 and math 54 and doing pretty well in both without excessive effort. I have always been told that I am "good at math," but of course coming to Berkeley really threw me off in terms of how much smarter everyone else is and the higher level of understanding that most professors demand on exams. Still, after the initial shock I feel like I am back on track and capable of being successful in math classes here.

In the spring I am definitely taking stat 133, stat 134 and math 110. I am having a really hard time deciding what other class I should take. I am deciding between math 55, math 104, and math 113. On the online schedule, it says that 104 and 113 only require 53 and 54, despite the fact that from what I hear they are mostly proof-based and in 55 you learn a lot about writing proofs. I have a decent background in logic and set theory but no experience with formal proof writing.

The main reason I don't want to take 55 is because it's at 8 am and I am not a morning person, so could I get away with taking 104 or 113 before 55? Which one is harder? (I know everyone says 104 is really difficult, but looking at the syllabi for both classes it seems like I've at least been exposed to the type of stuff in 104 whereas 113 is completely new material.) How necessary is 55 for upper division math classes? Why does 104 have a reputation of being impossible at Berkeley? Which professors for 104 or 113 would you recommend?

Thanks.

In the spring I am definitely taking stat 133, stat 134 and math 110. I am having a really hard time deciding what other class I should take. I am deciding between math 55, math 104, and math 113. On the online schedule, it says that 104 and 113 only require 53 and 54, despite the fact that from what I hear they are mostly proof-based and in 55 you learn a lot about writing proofs. I have a decent background in logic and set theory but no experience with formal proof writing.

The main reason I don't want to take 55 is because it's at 8 am and I am not a morning person, so could I get away with taking 104 or 113 before 55? Which one is harder? (I know everyone says 104 is really difficult, but looking at the syllabi for both classes it seems like I've at least been exposed to the type of stuff in 104 whereas 113 is completely new material.) How necessary is 55 for upper division math classes? Why does 104 have a reputation of being impossible at Berkeley? Which professors for 104 or 113 would you recommend?

Thanks.

Post edited by rideronthewheel on

## Replies to: Upper division math classes

1,160Registered User Senior Memberalso, 55 is nice to have for upper divs, but you can basically catch on to what makes a solid proof relatively quickly just by doing the homework in upperdiv classes. i feel theres a decent amount of people who skip over 55 and "get back to it eventually" (myself included). but yeah. i havent taken 104 so I can't really comment on that, but even though 113 is "new material", the first few weeks is proving stuff that even 3rd graders know, so... lol.

221Registered User Junior Member44,658Registered User Senior MemberYou cannot really tell how well you will do either way until you try it. You may be able to get an idea by previewing the 104 and 113 books to see if you can understand the proofs in the initial chapters.

Of course, if you are not constrained by schedule (i.e. limited number of semesters left and long chains of prerequisites to complete), then the safest thing to do is take the "gentler" transition of 55 and 110 before 104 and 113.

485Registered User MemberWhile 55 has little to no overlap with 113 and absolutely no overlap with 104, it teaches a lot of crucial basic problem solving skills that you've probably never been exposed to since high school geometry. The jump to 104 and 113 is pretty big from the computation based lower div classes.

44,658Registered User Senior MemberWouldn't said medalists be taking H104 and H113?

178Registered User Junior MemberI think those "IMO medalists" are nonexistent at Berkeley...(maybe one bronze medalist, but probably not). Anyway, from personal experience, if you can qualify for the USAMO and successfully complete #1/#4, you shouldn't have a problem with upper division undergraduate math. You might have to study a bit though depending on your background...

485Registered User MemberThe point is, there are people here who've had loads of proof writing and problem solving experience coming in as a freshman, compared to most typical American high school students, who've maybe encountered a bit of that within a year of geometry.

814Registered User Memberwilltake it eventually and it'd be much better to "ease" into the transition rather than jump ahead, and then go backwards when you do take it.I actually skipped 55 (contrary to my advice), and I regret it in the end. Taking 55 after finishing all my upper div's was rather stupid.. It was such an easy class (it would still be easy if I hadn't taken the upper div's first) and I feel that 55 would have been pretty useful for 113 specifically (Euclidean algorithm, gcd, Euler's totient function, well-ordering principle, etc.). Going over the basics in 55, I realized that there were quite a few things that would've been very helpful to know when I actually took the upper divs.

Also, be sure to throw in some of your breadth requirements. That is, maybe take a breadth or two as your remaining class. Just like 55, you will have to take them eventually, and it's better to get them over with rather than taking them throughout your 4 years (or just shoving them into your Senior year). Plus, it eases your schedule if you think it might be too cumbersome. Nothing wrong with taking some breadths since you'll have to do them anyways.

Not necessarily. The H classes are offered only during a specific semester (Fall or Spring) and sometimes that semester simply isn't convenient.

5Registered User New Member1,294Registered User Senior Membermath 55 is not necessary. I've actually never taken Math 55 (declared before it was required) but was successful in my other upper divs. I learned all that i needed to know about proofs in math 110.

Also, 104 and 113 are not impossible. I took both of them during the same semester and got A's. Ultimately, it depends on your professors but I did not find 104 to be particularly difficult. 113 with Auroux was challenging but in the end he had a very generous curve.

814Registered User Member