**What was your first upper div class at Cal?**

Lakshmi: My first upper division class in general was Stat 134, but in the math department, my first were 113 and 172 (at the same time)

Wan: My first upper-division Math course is 110, linear algebra.

Winnie: My first upper division class was Math 110.

**Which semester did you take the class?**

Lakshmi: I took 134 my freshman spring, and 113/172 my sophomore spring.

Wan: I took it in my first transfer semester (Junior year).

Winnie: I took 110 my sophomore spring.

**What was your experience — good? bad? terrible? why?**

Lakshmi: They were hard. I didn’t go to school freshman fall, so freshman spring was my first semester at Cal and Stat 134 is not an easy class. Math 113/172 did not go well either. Basically I took a lot of classes without taking the not required but recommended prerequisites and it was a struggle.

Wan: To be honest, I really wish that I could have chosen another upper course instead. As a transfer student, I took my lower-division linear algebra 4 semesters ago at the time I took 110.

As a result, I had forgotten almost all the key materials in linear, and suddenly had to admit the proof-based linear course. It was very difficult for me to learn linear algebra in a short time. Although most students and advisors suggested me to take 110 as the first upper-division course, I think for transfer students, it depends on the sequences you choose a course. If I took lower linear and then upper linear right after, it would be much easier for me to make the transition in my first transfer semester.

Winnie: To me, 110 was like the second and the more difficult part of Math 54. Even though we went over similar materials in linear algebra, it was a lot more proof based. My experience with this class was a little rough because I had taken 54 three semesters ago, and I had forgotten about some materials. I wish I had reviewed 54 thoroughly before going into this class. Upper-division Math courses go fast and you are expected to have all the basic knowledge. If I had known 54 better when I started 110, I would probably have a better transition into upper division courses.

**If you could do it again, would you have done the class at the same time. If not, what would you have taken instead?**

Lakshmi: I think I would’ve taken Stat 134 at the same time. However, I would’ve made math 110 or 128a my first math upper division instead. 113 and 172 both had a lot of emphasis on proofs, which I found difficult because I hadn’t taken any proof intensive classes before. 110 really eased its way into proof writing, which is why I wish it had been my first upper div.

Wan: I recommend everyone to choose courses based on personal experience, i.e., the course makes you feel most confident and comfortable. If i had one more chance, I would have take Math 128A instead of 110. Math 128A is less proof-based compared to other upper courses. In this course, we learn how to use numerical methods to solve previous questions. So I think it is a great course to guide students into upper-division math course.

Winnie: I didn’t really regret taking 110 as my first upper-division courses, but I do think 128A is also another good choice when it comes to choosing the first upper-division courses. It focuses a lot more on computations, and it might be a good choice for those who know how to code (especially in Matlab).