Math major at Berkeley

<p>I heard that math major is really, really tough at Berkeley. Anyone current Cal undergrad/grad here has any advice for incoming math major transfer students like me? Making a transition from community college lower division math courses to Berkeley upper division math courses will definitely not be easy for me. Besides, the level of abstraction in upper divisions courses would be a killer if I am not ready and prepared for it.
I will be going to Cal in the fall 07' as a transfer student, junior year, and it would be really helpful if any math major here shares some "math" experiences at Cal. Which class should I take first? I completed Intro to Linear Algebra, Intro to Differential Equations, Intro to multivariable calculus-vector calculus at a community college. Many people say that those math classes at community college are nothing comparing to those same class level at Berkeley, and I find this scary. I like challenges, but now I am a little bit afraid.</p>

<p>i'm a community college transfer (spring 07 admit) majoring in econ and math. i took math 110 (linear algebra) at berkeley in summer 06 and math 113 (abstract algebra) just this past semester, spring 07. </p>

<p>i have admit that the jump from cc to uc, math-wise, is huuuuge. you have to be prepared to go above and beyond. the thing with math is that you can work your ass off and thing you're doing just fine, getting all the hw in, understanding the lectures, etc... and then the first midterm will come around and literally knock the wind out of you. Which is what happened to me last summer. Or... this past semester when i took 113, i though i was doing just fine... sure i was working my ass of but i figured a had a decent grade locked in. Even the final seemed manageable. But then final grades roll in and I am floored... stil have to pick up my final and see exactly where it was that I blew it.</p>

<p>Moral of the story is, berkeley is a hell of a lot different from community college, grade-wise. I now see cc as a a nurturing womb whereas berkeley's math dept is a firey pit of hell, in comparisson. I think you have to be prepared to, at best, start off doing a mediocre job. You're competing with some of the best. And you have to adopt a mindset of learning-over-grades. Grades are one thing and only one measure of what you got out of the course. Don't get discouraged. </p>

<p>That said, congrats on choosing math and taking on the challenge. Pursuing math is one of hte greatest paths I have chosen to go down in life. I am absolutely in love with the subject.</p>

<p>Anyways. I hope this message helps. If you have any further concrete questions or just want to hear me ramble on about the math dept. here, shoot me a message on aim (sillycubester) or myspace (luba g)</p>

<p>I hear many of the non-transfers talk abou the jump from lower-division to upper-division classes as pretty huge as well. Upper division math in general is tough stuff, particularly certain classes (like 104, which makes some math majors decide to major in something else- probably one to put off for a bit, but a prereq for many, many classes- something to consider).</p>

<p>Ask around about professor difficultly of coursework and grading. A 104 with one prof can be fairly easy and fairly hellish with another.</p>

<p>Be prepared to do some tough proofs.</p>

<p>To luba: Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I find it not only scary but also intriguing to hear math major students' experiences at Cal, and I took those advices by starting reviewing my linear algebra since last week. It has been a year that I haven't touched that linear algebra book.
It's gonna be a busy summer for me. Which book did you use for your 113- abstract algebra? I am reading A First Course in Algebra- third edition by Fraleigh. The first chapter Number Theory with some slight ideas about induction proofs are interesting and pretty understandable for me. I read and tried a few problems everyday, hopefully, I will be able to do this until summer is over. However, Groups and Fields seem to be highly abstract for someone at my level now. What did you think of that 113 class overall? If I work really hard, is getting a "C+" possible? Have you taken Real Analysis yet? Which one do you think that people like me should take first, 104 Real Analysis or 113 Abstract Algebra? I started looking at the first few pages of Principle of Mathematical Analysis by Rudin- a very old book which my math instructor also used 25 years ago when he was in school. I heard that it might be the toughest course for undergrad. Redo calculus- prove everything you learn in Cal so far. That doesn't sound a lot fun. ^-^</p>

<p>To DRab: Thanks for your advice. I will do that, hopefully, I can find a good prof.</p>

<p>To beatsmater: I'll try.</p>