# FIrst Math Update in UChicago

October 14, 2023•654 words

There are a lot of math majors here! Honors analysis has been alright. Prof Wilkinson is a great professor, but the class is organized a bit weirdly. First off, she isn't using Rudin, which is the classic and canonical text for learning undergrad real analysis from. Instead, she is using Pugh's book, who was her thesis advisor. The book is a bit unconventional in that it treats topology as very subservant to the analysis. Instead of learning things in the typical perspective towards topology (i.e. open sets), he uses sequences. The book also has lots of other ideosyncracies, like fp for f(p). She also assigns a bunch of reading to do before class and psets, and the readings pretty much cover her entire lecture. She literally does a lot of the same stuff—she even gives mostly the same proofs. I am fairly confident that at one point I read more for this class than my humanities class. So far, I've learned that I really hate analysis #realsdontexist Hopefully it gets more interesting. The problems in the book are also not very precise, which just adds to the (already pretty high) difficulty of the psets.

I've learned a bit about the math professors here from other math majors, and it seems like a lot of them are really cool people but bad professors. Although, one of them has some pretty saucy lore. The math building is fairly small: I think there's maybe 6-7 classrooms in there. Although, a lot of the building is offices (and pretty snazzy ones too). It is also directly connected to the physics building. I think the main math psetting place is a room called the Barn, which is a really big, AC'ed room with tons of chalkboards (I think there's 3 sides plus a moving one). The Barn is pretty devoid of chalk, but other classrooms have good supplies (including Hagoromo). There's this one room I found that had really girthy sticks of chalk that looked like Hagoromo. The math library is also in the math building, and it's quite nice. There are a ton of books, even the more esoteric (I think the one I'm reading is included in this) ones.

It's probably because the year recently started, but it seems like there haven't been many math talks yet. I'm hoping to go to one to let the math wash over me. I've also been auditing a grad algebra class, which I wish I did from the very beginning. I didn't really consider the possibility of auditing a grad class, but it's actually been going pretty well. I'd really recommend just yoloing and trying classes out. You can always just stop. Unfortunately, I missed the first two lectures because of this mentality, which isn't ideal. Luckily, those two lectures covered one isolated (afaik) topic, but it was an important one. He tex's his own notes and uploaded them though. I wish I had more time to work on the algebra psets; they look so interesting. I probably have no chance at proving any of them though. He's an excellent lecturer (Ginzberg).

The other day I was wandering my dorm and found someone playing Set. Turns out they were a math major, and we had an interesting talk. There's lot of other interactions with people interested in math too. There's also some really, really strong math people here. There's this one guy who SKIPPED honors analysis. Wild. I was sweating trying to get into it and bro just skipped out. I haven't gotten to know a lot of people in my math classes yet though. The algebra class is 10 minutes after my analysis class, so it creates some tension between talking to classmates after class and algebra. This is a small sample size, but it seems like there are a lot of people interested in analysis here. It's prob just a biased sample because I'm in an analysis class.