Math 53 or Math 54?

<p>I am an incoming Freshman, pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering. </p>

<p>I went to the course description website for Math</a> 53 and Math</a> 54.</p>

<p>I was planning on taking Math 53, just because it looked like it was before Math 54. During my senior year of high school I took a Differential Equations class and it covered almost everything that the Math 54 course covers. </p>

<p>So, if any students that have taken either course, could they give me their opinion as to which math class I should take. I'm planning on taking Physics 7A, E10, Math 53 or 54, a Civil Engineering Seminar, and English 1B (if I pass out of 1A with AP English Literature). Also, if you have had any experience or have heard good things about any professors that teach these courses could you please state their names. Which is the best professor for Math 54? Math 54?</p>

<p>I would like to take the easier of the two, and since I have a good background in what Math 54 covers, I am leaning towards that one even though it looks like it covers way more concepts than Math 53.</p>

<p>Thanks for the help.</p>

<p>They're quite different subjects from my experience. I think the majority prefers Math 54 because it's less computationally intense, but if you are good with "plug-and-chug" and some long computations from BC calc, Math 53 should be more comfortable for you. I guess a lot of people take Math 53 before Math 54 not because it's easier, but simply because it has the remnants of high school math of simply solving problems without too much creativity.</p>

<p>I really don't know why I'm doing your professor ratings research for you, but a quick look at RateMyProfessors.com reveals:
Prof. Evans for Math 53 is very good. He has a nice timeslot this fall and very high reviews. The other 53 professor has no ratings. If you have a hard time accommodating Evans' timeslot, then...well, given the quality of his reviews, I'd actually go with him unless you have an un-resolvable conflict, but if you can't resolve a conflict, you're...well, stuck gambling.</p>

<h2>For 54, Holtz has glowing reviews, the other non-honors professor does not, and the alternative is the Honors version of the class...and, while taking the easier option may go against your personal code (particularly given that you have experience with the material), I can tell you from personal experience that you should not take the harder version of a class without a damn good reason (i.e. "I need it for my degree.").</h2>

<p>Personally, I'd say that it...really doesn't matter which order you take them in, actually. If you were coming out of High School having just finished BC Calc or a non-accredited Multivariable course, I'd tell you to take 53 now and 54 next semester<em>, and 53's material is certainly a lot less thought-intensive and much more computational, as UpMagic said. I strongly disagree with UpMagic's implication that 54 is the easier of the two, though - it seems like a lot of people (even at Cal) either aren't that good at what 54 requires, or have fallen out of the practice of actually employing. I loved it, but while our professor got excellent ratings for his teaching, most of my peers thought the material covered on the first midterm was very easy and that everything after that was an absolute brain</em>***.</p>

<h2>...also, if you're taking 7A, you might benefit from the computation practice you'll get from doing 53 at the same time, but if you're still very fresh on the material in 54, the easier time you'll have there is probably worth more (don't use your past experience as an excuse to slack off, though - it's an easy trap to fall into).</h2>

<p>Other prof recommendations, because I'm REALLY bored:</p>

<p>7A: Yildiz is new and doesn't like making his own problems, so he basically just pulls stuff out of the workbooks, lecture slides, and homework and sticks it on the exams (...or, at least, he did this Spring). The problems aren't easy, but they're very predictable and he's a decent lecturer. Lin's reviews indicate that he's a bit of a wildcard.</p>

<p>E10: The professor you sign up for is completely inconsequential, because the graded portions of the class are "Modules" taught by professors that you can (sort of) pick via a voting system. You get to take 2 modules, each of which is six weeks long. As to which modules to pick...
Pruitt's teaching the Mech. E. module and has good reviews.
Schruben's covering the IEOR module and has good reviews. That said, a lot of people found the IEOR module under Leachman to be boring as hell, and I was once again the odd one out because I loved it. Proceed with caution.
Hermanowicz is covering the Civil Engineering module, and...well, his reviews aren't glowing, but I didn't hear too many complaints from the people taking his section last fall. If you're taking 7A concurrently, you should be fine.
Devine's covering MSE and has fairly ambiguous reviews, much like Hermanowicz. I personally hated the labs for this module with a passion and will never take another MSE class again, but the lecture material was cool and I certainly don't regret taking the module.</p>

<p>Choose as you will.</p>

<p>Concerning the other Math 53 professor, I hear that he's extremely good. He's come from MIT (so you can check the ratemyprofessors ratings for MIT), and you can watch his previous lectures on MIT OpenCourseWare. You can't go wrong with either professor for 53.</p>

<p>For me, Math 53 was easier than Math 54, obviously due to the focus on computation vs. math 54. However, the whole math 53 vs. math 54 is pretty much subjective. Some find math 54 to be much easier/better than sliced bread.</p>

<p>Math 53 is pretty easy with the right professor. But with the wrong professor, you're in trouble. This was the case last semester. You had Steel, who couldn't teach but gave fairly easy tests, and Rezkhanlou who was the better teacher but gave those tests that make you just want to throw up on your exam so you have an excuse to leave and not do it.</p>

<p>auroux is one of the 53 professor and i had him for 113 this spring. His grading is pretty generous although some of the exams were difficult. The average score on our first exam was 44/80 so he made the second one much easier. I got an A in the class despite not studying as hard as i thought i would need to. Also, i must say that this professor is a very talented lecturer. He has a really cool french accent that you grow to love over the course of the semester. You can see his multivariable calculus lectures from MIT on youtube to see for yourself: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxCxlsl_YwY%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxCxlsl_YwY&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Also his ratemyprof reviews from MIT are very good: <a href="http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=334553%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=334553&lt;/a>
and he has his own facebook fanpage: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2209087583%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2209087583&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>how friendly is auroux?</p>

<p>^ could someone comment on 53 with evans, what the curve is like, how well he teaches?</p>

<p>if someone has taken evans and seen auroux on opencourseware and can compare, that would be awesome</p>

<p>auroux is one of the nicest teachers i've had at berkeley. He really cares about the students and goes out of his way to help them. Unlike some other classes, his course was very well organized and taught very clearly. Also, he grades extremely fast. Our midterm scores were always up within 36 hours. I took my final on a thursday morning and had my grade on bspace by friday night. I would definitely take auroux for every math course if i could.</p>

<p>Oh he's a nice guy [about Auroux], and knows his stuff. I don't know specifics about his class policies, but I think you should be fine and happy with him.</p>