Meet Your Spring 2017 Peer Advisors!

Hello everyone, and welcome to our first blog post this semester! We’re looking forward to a great semester, and to get you acquainted with us, we thought we’d answer some introductory questions!

Question: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

  • Fahad: Hey everyone! My name is Fahad Kamran, and I am currently a junior majoring in Math, CS, and Statistics. I have been a TA in a few CS classes and very involved in the education community. In my spare time, I like to head to the gym, play soccer, and play a lot of video games!
  • Katya: Hello, I’m Katya! I’m a Junior Transfer double majoring in Math and CS. I love to teach, come talk to me about being a TA or getting involved with student run organizations that provide tutoring! When I’m not teaching and taking classes I’m skiing, doing yoga, or sleeping.
  • Loek: Hey, I’m Loek. I’m a fourth year applied math major with a concentration in numerical analysis. I’ve participated in many of the opportunities available to undergrads in the department (DRP, REUs, UCEAP Study Abroad, Berkeley Connect, and more) so feel free to come with any questions about those or just life in the department in general! Most of my free time is spent on music, but I also enjoy reading, watching movies, and traveling.
  • Rose: Hi, I’m Rose, a third year Math major. I am really fond of doing math and spend much time on it, but I also like reading, baking, and hiking.
  • Freddy: Hey, I’m Freddy! I’m a third year applied math and statistics major with a concentration in probability. In my free time I’m a big fan of watching movies and classic sitcoms. On top of that I’m also a big fan of cooking (when I have time) and I’ve recently been learning to pickle.
  • Lilian:  Hi, I’m Lilian! I’m a senior year international student majoring in Applied Math with a focus in Actuarial Science. I’m also currently working in library on campus. For free time, except from sleeping, I like to travel all around the world with friends and learn new languages. I also do dancing for several years.


Question: What’s your favorite class you’ve taken ever! Not just in Berkeley

  • Fahad: My favorite class I’ve ever taken by far is Stat 134. It opened my eyes to what I thought was a dry subject in Statistics and combined it with the mathematical ideas I like so much that it inspired me to go on and try a Statistics major.
  • Katya: My absolutely favorite class was the first Linear Algebra course I took (although not at Berkeley). My professor would always connect what we were learning to his projects at HP; it made me realize that there were so many things you could do with a degree in Math!
  • Loek: My favorite course was probably Math 128B. I felt like I learned a ton from every lecture and homework problem. I liked the mix of rigor and applicability in the class and it really confirmed for me what exactly I wanted to study. Close runners-up include Math 224A and History C175B.
  • Rose: I find it hard to choose just one favourite course, as I love almost every math course that I’ve taken.So I will instead mention my favourite non-math course, which is one about forensic science that I took on Coursera years ago. That course sated my curiosity about evidence collection and analysis, and provoked me to contemplate questions about death, truth, and justice. Plus, I found the process of crime investigation very similar to the process of solving math problem, and enjoyed that similarity a lot..
  • Freddy: By far my favorite class has been Math 126. It was one of my first upper division classes and it introduced me to so many new ideas in differential equations from both a rigorous perspective as well as an applicable one. Second to this would probably be either Stat 210a or Physics 137a.
  • Lilian: My favorite class so far is Math 10B. It shows me the connections between math and real life. It covers a lot of mathematical topics, although not very deep, which prepares me for many later math and even stat courses. Another favorite class would be Stat 134, which let me, for the very first time, understand probabilities and how to apply them.


Question: What’s your favorite place to eat in Berkeley?

  • Fahad: Besides the new taco bell (which is AMAZING), I really love Tuk Tuk Thai. If you haven’t heard it, hit it up on Shattuck; great thai food, great portions, reasonable price.
  • Katya:  I love Sweetgreens! You get to make your own salad – its like cooking without the difficulty of actually putting everything together and cleaning up!
  • Loek: Probably Pizzahhh on Hearst. Easily the most underrated pizza place in Berkeley and maybe the most underrated restaurant overall in Berkeley. Great location, not too expensive, fast, and the food has never let me down.
  • Rose: Wat Mongkolratanaram! This is a thai temple on the corner of Russell and MLK, and it serves brunch to the public on Sundays. The portion sizes there are large, so it would be a good idea to bring friends and share if you want to try more than one dish at a time. I’m not sure if Wat Mongkolratanaram is vegan-friendly (at least there is papaya salad), but it is definitely vegetarian-friendly. By the way, this place accepts only tokens, which can be “purchased” using cash at one of the counters.
  • Freddy: Before it closed down, Makri’s Cafe on University and Shattuck was quite literally the best brunch/diner place in Berkeley. Now that it’s gone I’d probably have to go with Cheese N Stuff down on southside. Great sandwiches, friendly service, and an insane selection of drinks. Works every time.
  • Lilian: HUGE shout out to La Note! My favorite place to hang out with friends for a brunch/lunch in the weekend (although it takes AGES to get a table).


Question: If you could become an animal for one day, what animal would it be and why?

  • Fahad: I want to be a dinosaur really badly, just because I feel like they have the most fun in life. Specifically, a pterodactyl because they can fly and have the coolest noises.
  • Katya: I would be a dog, specifically a Golden Retriever, because they always look so happy.
  • Loek: I would want to try being a polar bear. I would get to spend time in a place I’ll probably never visit, swim around a bit, maybe hunt some seals, and I wouldn’t have to worry much about other predators. Plus, go bears, am I right?
  • Rose:  I would like to be an octopus, because its body structure is very different from that of human, and because it has some intelligence. In particular, I want to know what it is like to have no skeleton, three hearts, and two-thirds of my neurons located in my arms.
  • Freddy: If I could be an animal for a day, I’d have to be a gyrfalcon. Mostly because I would need to know what it’d be like to fly in the air completely unsupported, just gliding through on my own wings.
  • Lilian: I’d like to be a koala because I want to know how it feels to sleep all day without worrying about anything.


Thanks for reading and we hope you got to know us a bit better! Drop by our office hours for any questions you might have! Our office hours schedule is:

Mondays: 9:30-10:30 AM (Loek), 2-3 PM (Fahad)
Tuesdays: 1-2 PM (Lilian), 3-4 PM (Freddy)
Wednesdays: 11 AM-1 PM (Katya), 1-2 PM (Rose), 2-3 PM (Fahad)
Thursdays: 1-2 PM (Lilian), 3-4 PM (Freddy)
Fridays: 9:30-10:30 AM (Loek), 1-2 PM (Rose)

For more, visit and scroll down to “Peer Advisors”