Visiting UC Berkeley tomorrow -- Any suggestions?
Apr 21, 2007 at 6:20 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22


Headphoneus Supremus
Jun 13, 2004
I'm visiting Berkeley tomorrow as an EECS major and I was just wondering if there are any suggestions for places to check out? Which residence hall(s) do you recommend that I take a tour of? I know that there are a few Berkeley-Fi members here; are any of you in EECS? Also, are there any headphone/hi-fi clubs on campus or anything close to that?
Apr 21, 2007 at 6:48 AM Post #2 of 22
I don't know about the campus itself but definitely check out University Ave. No use in knowing all about the campus if you don't know what's outside. Some interesting characters and nice shops/restaurants over there.
Apr 21, 2007 at 7:03 AM Post #3 of 22
My parents always strongly discourage me from considering the college because it admittedly does look a bit on the sad side.

Ha, also in middle school my class took a trip there, and where the bus stopped to drop us off, it was in a nest of hobos who woke up to watch us get off the bus and stare back at them.
Apr 21, 2007 at 7:07 AM Post #4 of 22

Originally Posted by TheMarchingMule /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My parents always strongly discourage me from considering the college because it admittedly does look a bit on the sad side.

Ha, also in middle school my class took a trip there, and where the bus stopped to drop us off, it was in a nest of hobos who woke up to watch us get off the bus and stare back at them.

Uh...thanks for the "suggestions"...

Berkeley-Fi members: Which residence halls are you located in?
Apr 21, 2007 at 7:21 AM Post #5 of 22

Originally Posted by Azure /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Uh...thanks for the "suggestions"...

Berkeley-Fi members: Which residence halls are you located in?

The residence halls rob your money, private housings is best! other than that, nothing beats the experience of living in the Units.

I suggest you do what I did: skip Cal day and take a trip down Shattuck, College and Telegraph avenues. maybe go catch a show in SF or downtown Berkeley (Anna's Jazz island comes to mind).

Check out the dinosaurs in VLSB, the plant museum, the Bug museum, the art museum, the galleries in Doe Library, the inside of the architecture school (Wurster Hall) the wall of prizes at the Berkeley National Labs. Too bad you can't go into The Bancroft Library, that thing has the best special collections this side of the Mississippi. Also, there will be lectures by my history department including one by Thomas Lacquer, and many performances. Try to go on the Cal Performances website, they have lists of them. Tonight the theater has a show and there was a concert by Lura.

sorry I can't be much more help; but David and I will be skipping town (national meet and all) as soon as possible to escape the Cal Day traffic jams, and i encouraged Jocelyn to do the same.
Apr 21, 2007 at 10:39 PM Post #6 of 22
not sure if it's too late since cal day is today.

but i would check out foothill, unit 3 and unit 1. unit 1 is very similar to unit 2, so no need to check out both. see whether you like the units or foothill better, cause they are very different. alot of enginners live in foothill and it's very very quiet at night. the units are more lively and you get to meet some pretty girls(if you are a boy) if you are lucky.

if you like the campus and all, i wouldn't worry about the rest like what's outside of the campus. you'll get used to it.
Apr 22, 2007 at 8:06 PM Post #8 of 22
I didn't get nearly enough time to check out the campus in full, unfortunately. I only got to tour Foothills and Unit 2 (but I left the Unit 2 tour about half-way or so when I was late for an EECS presentation) and I had to leave early at ~4 because it started to rain (I wanted to walk around the campus for another hour or so to get a better vibe of it). I also wanted to take the general campus tour, but I didn't have time for that. Didn't get to try any campus food as I was somewhat tired at ~4 and it was raining, so I felt like going home. Unfortunately I got lost in Berkeley for about an hour just trying to find highway 24. Got home at 7:30 and was pooped.

Overall, though, the campus seemed really nice (I loved all the trees, and Sather tower is awesome!). I really like the strong school spirit at Berkeley (something I really didn't feel at UCSD) and I love the urban setting (Unfortunately I didn't get to walk outside of the campus much to see all the bums and what not). My tour guide for Cory Hall was complete crap, though. He'd barely talk and didn't seem to be 100% sure of what he was saying; basically all he said was that the upper floors of Cory Hall are where the professor's/TA's offices are. From what I saw of Cory Hall, it didn't look nearly as nice as UCSD's CalIT2; unfortunately I didn't get to view the Engineering bulidings at UCSD to make a better comparison. Doe Library > Geisel Library.

I could really see myself going to Berkeley, but I'm still not entirely sure. This is how I'm looking at it:

UC Berkeley:
-EE+CS combination (I initially wanted to major in computer science around the beginning of high school because I like the whole programming thing. I think this would be a great way for me to get experience in both EE and CS and decide which one I ultimately like better; or perhaps I may like both equally
-Prestigious EECS program/Silicon Valley location (easier to get jobs/internships than with UCSD, I'd imagine)
-Lots of trees on campus and an urban surrounding
-Lots of school spirit/pride
-More Head-Fi members?

-Cost (UCSD will be free; Berkeley will cost me ~$9000 a year in loans/work study)
-Competitive/incredibly difficult (those EECS horror stories are hard to get over; I'm afraid of harsh curves and getting a poor GPA that will make it next to impossible to get into a good graduate school)
-Theft (I'm scared as HELL of getting my laptop or headphone rig stolen)
-Big residence halls (hard to socialize/meet new friends?)

-Honors program
-Proximity to the beach (The view at La Jolla cliffs of the ocean was beautiful; I could definetly see this as a great location for headphone listening outside)
-6 college system (easier to socialize and meet new friends, I'd imagine)
-Relaxed environment around campus
-New CalIT2 building (very cool)

-Relative lack of prestige/location (harder to get jobs/internships compared to Berkeley?)
-TOO relaxed (not as much school spirit (virtually no sports?) and out-spoken attitude as Berkeley)?
-Lack of Head-Fi members compared to Berkeley?
-Prestige again (Ugh, I can't get over the idea that I may be selling myself short by going to UCSD, considering that I got into Berkeley EECS)
Apr 22, 2007 at 9:02 PM Post #10 of 22

Originally Posted by pirus /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i saw a guy with grados on in unit 1 deusch, didnt have any time to ask about them though (the place was CRAMPED!)

Could you tell what model they were?
Apr 23, 2007 at 2:29 PM Post #11 of 22
I wouln't worry about the prestige of UCSD vs. Cal. I may be a bit biased as my wife got her PhD at UCSD (but not in engineering)

There are pleanty of jobs and intership opportunites in San Diego. SAIC, Nokia, whatever may be left of Qualcomm... Intel had just opened a division up the street from me when we moved 6 years ago.

HP's printer / plotter division is in Rancho Bernardo. The Brooktree part of Conexant is in San Diego. They do chip design. There are a large number of mid size defense contractors too. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few.

There are also a lot of biotech companies. There are all sorts of engineering and software opportunites there too. There is (was?) a small company that makes super cooled magnetic sensors that read the tiny magnetic field produced by the brain.

I found that once you are past that first job, where you went to school hardly even comes up again. Unless maybe the person doing the interview went there too. That's only likely to happen if you stay in the same city. Where would you rather live?

Silicon valley is kinda far from Cal really. Commute would be terrible.

I would be most concerned with the quality of the undergraduate programs. Contact the departments. Ask if they could put you in touch with a current student to ask about undergrad education. Try and talk to some of the professors. In part the response you get will be indicative of the support you can expect once you are a student. The classes can be difficult and you may need to get some help.

Does Berkely cost more than the rest of the UC system? Used to be that the fees were the same at all the campuses.

That you are accepted at both places is great. They are both very competitve.
Apr 23, 2007 at 10:26 PM Post #12 of 22
Thanks for the detailed response, AndrewFischer.

I personally found the UC Berkeley campus to be more appealing to me, and I really like the urban location. I can see myself living around there, but the only thing really keeping back from choosing Berkeley is the cost. I believe all the UCs pretty much cost the same, but I got a full-ride to UCSD (Regents Scholarship; I also got into the Honors Program there). I got some scholarships and grants from Berkeley as well, but still far from a full-ride; Berkeley will be $9000 a year in loans.
Apr 23, 2007 at 10:28 PM Post #13 of 22
choose where your heart feels the best. you're considering between two extremely good schools, and you'll realize soon it's the people you hang around and communicate on a daily basis who will help to dictate your feelings overall on college. don't just choose berkeley because 'its better. don't just choose ucsd because 'i got into the honors program.' go to both schools, talk to the people going to school there, immerse yourself in the atmosphere. then, make your decision, and whatever one you make I am sure you will be happy.

good luck

PS - two extremely good schools = both top 30. you'll realize that while rankings are cool, your college experience will mean so much more to you.
Apr 23, 2007 at 11:05 PM Post #14 of 22
some points:
1. You meet many many people, the dorms in Berkeley are like concentrations built for socializing.
2. Don't mind the outside size of doe library, because underneath the Memorial Glade we got a far larger library that does 4 stories underneath the campus. Our total library size is about 10 million volumes, compared to UCSD's 3 million.
3. the SD guy is right. For walkers and non car commuters, the bay area is a dream. for drivers, it is a nightmare.
4. Do take cost into consideration, it affects the freedom you have after graduation.

looks like berkeley- fi is about to get big...
Apr 24, 2007 at 2:01 AM Post #15 of 22
I also visited berkeley on cal day and I drove all the way from L.A. I just finished my SIR and housing app with some friends, hope you pick berkeley also.

Gonna major in mechanical engineering.

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