Ranking Courses at Caltech

Ranking Courses at Caltech


Below I have ranked all of the classes I took over 8 terms at Caltech. I ranked based on my overall enjoyment of the course, which depended on my interest in the subject, the quality of course, and the various topics/projects covered. The courses in the middle I did not have strong feelings for and had a hard time justifying their position besides gut feeling, so I did not provide reasoning for those.

1. ACM095A Introductory Methods of Applied Mathematics for the Physical Sciences

The best professor, Kostia Zuev, the best content, the best mix between theory and application, just all around a fantastic class. You basically learn calculus in the imaginary realm, and how this can be used to solve differential equations.

2. PE 010 Aerobic Dance

A great, fun, stress relieving class that is perfect for taking with friends. It is basically a zumba class with a core workout at the end. It was cool to see my ability to hold a plank increase by a minute!

3. EE/CS/IDS 160 Fundamentals of Information Transmission and Storage

The professor is a great lecturer, who really takes the time to explain theoretical concepts in a plain language that is easy to understand. It is also a great introduction to information theory.

4. ACM/IDS 104 Applied Linear Algebra

Taught by my favorite professor, this class really shows you a lot of applications of linear algebra that makes you confident in your ability to apply it. One of the sets had you implement the page rank algorithm that google uses to order search results!

5. EE 111 Signal Processing Systems and Transforms

A fundamental course that introduces you to discrete systems and the tools for understanding and transforming systems.

6. EE 044 Deterministic Analysis of Systems and Circuits

Amazing professor that was really engaging in class, and brought in a lot of real world examples. I took this class during the 2020 election and a problem in our midterm was trying to predict the winner of the election using convolution and Laplace transformations.

7. Hum/PI 044 Philosophy Through Science Fiction

So cool and interesting. The professor is really great at connecting physics, philosophy, and various media and presents a lot of interesting scenarios that I had never considered before.

8. Ma 001B (analytical track) Calculus of One and Several Variables and Linear Algebra

My favorite proof based class, it was really a great introduction to linear algebra.

9. Mu 137 History I: Music History to 1750

Super interesting, I never realized how tied music is to government, architecture and

society. It was also fascinating to see how music evolved from simple Gregorian chants

to compositions of Bach.

10. EE/CS 010A Introduction to Digital Logic and Embedded Systems

Incredibly challenging but we built our own CPU which was incredibly rewarding.

11. Ma 002 Differential Equations

I just like applied math classes, and the professor was amazing for this class.

12. CS 001 Introduction to Computer Programming

A really good introduction to Python with easy to understand assignments and teaches you the basics of Python as well as programming in general. We had to create a rubiks cube which ended up being really cool.

13. ESE 001 Earth’s Climate

The best part of the class was the final project, where you researched a climate policy. I did mine on ocean fertilization, which I never even knew was a thing until this class.

14. EE 045 Electronics Systems and Laboratory

My favorite part was the final project were my partner and I made a music tuner! So it would tell you wether or not the sound was a certain frequency. Below is part of my breadboard design for the project:

15.EE 112 Introduction to Signal Processing from Data

  1. Ph 002C Waves, Quantum Mechanics, and Statistical Physics
  2. Ma 001C (analytical track) Calculus of One and Several Variables and Linear Algebra
  3. SA 081A Peer Advocates
  4. Ph 002B Waves, Quantum Mechanics, and Statistical Physics
  5. APh/EE 09A Solid-State Electronics for Integrated Circuits
  6. ACM/EE/IDS 116 Introduction to Probability Models
  7. EE/CS 010B Introduction to Digital Logic and Embedded Systems
  8. Ph 001C (practical track) Classical Mechanics and Electromagnetism
  9. Ph 001B (practical track) Classical Mechanics and Electromagnetism
  10. Mu 139 History III: Music History from 1850 to the Present
  11. Ch 003X Experimental Methods in Solar Energy
  12. Ma 001A Calculus of One and Several Variables and Linear Algebra
  13. EE 040 Physics of Electrical Engineering
  14. ACM095B Introductory Methods of Applied Mathematics for the Physical Sciences
  15. PE 070 Weight Training, Beginning/Intermediate
  16. Ph 001A Classical Mechanics and Electromagnetism
  17. EE 002 Electrical Engineering Entrepreneurial and Research Seminar
  18. Hum/H 009B European Civilization: Early Modern Europe
  19. Ph 002A Waves, Quantum Mechanics, and Statistical Physics
  20. Ma003 Introduction to Probability and Statistics
  21. PS 012 Introduction to Political Science
  22. Ec 011 Introduction to Economics

Economics is boring, there are so many cool science classes that are just a lot more fun to learn about.

38. BEM 103 Introduction to Finance

Finance is boring, there are so many cool science classes that are just a lot more fun to learn about.

39. CS 002 Introduction to Programming Methods

I think there are a lot more interesting classes than computer science classes, and found that the subject matter taught was not essential for other areas of CS.

40. Wr 002 Introduction to Academic Writing

Really forced me to write a lot and become a better writer, but writing is not an enjoyable task for me.

41. Ch 001A General Chemistry

I just do not enjoy chemistry, it is my least favorite area in STEM.

42. Ch 001B General Chemistry

See above.

43. EE 055 Mathematics of Electrical Engineering

I took this course the first time it was offered, so there were still some bumps to be figured out. The content, though, had a lot of potential and I know they are working on improving the class.