Review Comment

[IEOR 3658] Probability for Engineers

November 30, 2018

Dieker, Antonius
[IEOR 3658] Probability for Engineers

In light of the current reviews, I believe good ol’ Ton deserves some more credit. Don’t get me wrong, stats with him was the single most unnecessarily challenging class I’ve ever taken, but, to his redemption, also one of the most rewarding ones.

Problem sets are long and way too hard for you to even try to solve them. I was only able to half-way get at a solution after hours of going over them with classmates and religiously attending office hours. His exams were a hard hit on my self-esteem and rely on a much deeper understanding of the material than what is needed for the already impossible psets. That being said, Dieker is one of the best professors I’ve ever had. He’s one of the few ones who really care about his students and seems genuinely happy to be there. He knows all of his students by name and actually takes a couple of minutes off the lecture to chat with people individually and get to know them better. As for the memorizing, it is true: he is one of those dinosaurs who will make you memorize every single fucking thing. However, I truly believe this helped me develop a better intuition for the material I would have not gotten otherwise.

I completely disagree with other reviewers on Dieker’s office hour policies. He was always eager to host office hours by appointment for those who couldn’t attend the regular ones, and from my personal experience, was always pretty helpful. I now feel solid about stats, up to the point where stat-based classes like econometrics and - I’d even say the first half of stochastic systems - feel like a breeze.

Long story short: a tough guy who will make you sweat blood for it, but who will truly make you learn stats and prepare you for future courses.

Workload:

Heavy at best

December 23, 2017

Dieker, Antonius
[IEOR 3658] Probability for Engineers

In all my years of schooling, this was the single worst experience I have ever had with an instructor or professor. Dieker is weird, strict, terrible at teaching, intellectually arrogant, and a miserable human being. Try taking out a phone in class to see the time, and prepare yourself to be lambasted in front of all the other students. Thinking about going to his office hours for help with his ridiculously long homeworks that are infinitely harder than the material covered in class? Prepare for him to lecture you about how you should handle the responsibility of homework yourself, are inadequately prepared, and he can't help you (lighten the fuck up dude). His exams are just about impossible to finish in the allotted time given the amount of problem solving you have to do, not to mention he does not allow you to bring notes of any kind or a calculator to check your work.

The sheer amount of memorization you are going to have to do for his exams makes the course truly suck. When will you have to ever have formulas memorized as a professional engineer...when?! During his exams, he splits the class up into two different rooms because he is terrified that one of his students might cheat on his exams (trust issues...) and literally runs back and forth between both rooms inspecting every water bottle on your desk and watch on your hand. Oh, I almost forgot to mention he literally forces students to take their hats off before they enter his midterm and final AND forces you to show your ID...yea, he's that kinda crazy.

All in all, most people who are reading a review about this guy probably have to take one of his classes to fulfill the requirements for their major or a master's degree of some kind. However, IF YOU CAN AVOID THIS CLASS BY ANY MEANS, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO SO!!! Dieker sucks in so many ways, and the class will be a frustrating struggle with an absolutely awful professor from start to finish.

Workload:

His problem sets are a set of 12-15 questions, none of which contain material covered in class. So, you will have to spend a lot of damn time breaking the questions down, talking to classmates, seeing tutors, etc. For the most part, it will be a struggle for you to finish them on your own unless you have had a thorough prior course in possibilities and stats.

His exams are very, very difficult, and you must study at least 2 weeks in advance. No calculators, watches, or notes (........or hats, or oversized water bottles, or big jackets...ugh).

Just do yourself a really big favor and avoid this human being and any course he teaches for as long as you are a student at Columbia or anywhere else.

December 30, 2016

Dieker, Antonius
[IEOR 3658] Probability for Engineers

Have to write this since my good ol' friend Ton doesn't have a review on here yet. Which is surprising, because everyone has something to say about him.

TL;DR - in ~4 years of undergrad, this was the worst experience I've had with a professor.

TD thinks he is so much better than he is. I think we heard about him meeting President Obama like 3 times during the semester. Also, he tried to introduce a video lecture-twist to the class which (mostly) everyone hated. Nobody showed up to class after that. But, coincidentally, he ran out of videos and was too lazy to keep making them. So we went back to normal lecture.

Lectures are okay- but listening to a man slouched over a god damn Microsoft Surface is painful at times. He fosters an overly intense environment in the classroom, especially during his exams (which are absurd). "Nobody has every gotten a 100 on my exams" he says (somebody did get a 100 on the second midterm). But during exams, he made students take off their hats, and went around and literally checked every pencil + eraser + water bottle he could find. I also heard a story about a girl who went to the first midterm sick, and as soon as he passed the exam out she passed out and had to be hospitalized (5 minutes after pencils hit the exam). TD gave her a 0 on the exam because she made the "conscious decision" to sit-in on the exam. Well, she did that because TD literally states in the first class that basically nothing will prevent you from taking his exams unless you or some family member dies. That day. Lighten up dude.

P.S. Make sure you go to the classes after the class where he says "the material for the final ends here" because SURPRISE!!!! it doesn't end there. Yup. In a "Probability for Engineers" course, we were taught the invigorating concepts surrounding ASSET PRICING (what is this class called again? I realize it's in IEOR, but who the fuck cares about pricing assets, especially when it's taught after he tells US THAT EVERYTHING IN HIS ALREADY STALE COURSE PRIOR TO THAT CLASS WAS THE FINAL MATERIAL).

Workload:

Ha. The workload // problem sets in general suck. But, I'd suggest going to MIT OpenCourseWare and going here to the probability class that is taught by the professor that wrote TD's choice of course textbook: https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-041-probabilistic-systems-analysis-and-applied-probability-fall-2010/

TD will try & tell you that all of his material is original, but it surely isn't. Bud, if you're reading this, Columbia SEAs is not MIT. Get a grip :D

December 30, 2016

Dieker, Antonius
[IEOR 3658] Probability for Engineers

Have to write this since my good ol' friend Ton doesn't have a review on here yet. Which is surprising, because everyone has something to say about him.

TL;DR - in ~4 years of undergrad, this was the worst experience I've had with a professor.

TD thinks he is so much better than he is. I think we heard about him meeting President Obama like 3 times during the semester. Also, he tried to introduce a video lecture-twist to the class which (mostly) everyone hated. Nobody showed up to class after that. But, coincidentally, he ran out of videos and was too lazy to keep making them. So we went back to normal lecture.

Lectures are okay- but listening to a man slouched over a god damn Microsoft Surface is painful at times, especially when he is so full of himself (also just hate his condescending language and smirk). He fosters an overly intense environment in the classroom, especially during his exams (which are absurd). "Nobody has every gotten a 100 on my exams" he says (somebody did get a 100 on the second midterm, I hope TD went home and cried that day). But during exams, he made students take off their hats, and went around and literally checked every pencil + eraser + water bottle he could find. I think he has an array of trust issues). I also heard a story about a girl who went to the first midterm sick, and as soon as he passed the exam out she passed out and had to be hospitalized (5 minutes after pencils hit the exam). TD gave her a 0 on the exam because she made the "conscious decision" to sit-in on the exam. Well, she did that because TD literally states in the first class that basically nothing will prevent you from taking his exams unless you or some family member dies. That day. Lighten up dude. Have a heart. Understand that we are forced to take this class. Nobody cares (after the first time you tell us) that you met President Obama.

P.S. Make sure you go to the classes after the class where he says "the material for the final ends here" because SURPRISE!!!! it doesn't end there. Yup. In a "Probability for Engineers" course, we were taught the invigorating concepts surrounding ASSET PRICING (what is this class called again? I realize it's in IEOR, but who the fuck cares about pricing assets, especially when it's taught after he tells US THAT EVERYTHING IN HIS ALREADY STALE COURSE PRIOR TO THAT CLASS WAS THE FINAL MATERIAL).

Workload:

Ha. The workload // problem sets in general suck. But, I'd suggest going to MIT OpenCourseWare and going here to the probability class that is taught by the professor that wrote TD's choice of course textbook: https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-041-probabilistic-systems-analysis-and-applied-probability-fall-2010/

TD will try & tell you that all of his material is original, but it surely isn't. Bud, if you're reading this, Columbia SEAs is not MIT. Get a grip :D

December 22, 2016

Dieker, Antonius
[IEOR 3658] Probability for Engineers

This class is not easy. There is a LOT of material. In lecture, Professor Dieker goes through a number of concepts usually covering definitions and equations relevant to the material. There's usually a nice two minute break somewhere in lecture as well. However, when it comes time to do your homework you're going to wish you had more examples in your notes. The weekly homework assignments are usually around 10 problems in length. They're usually pretty difficult and are much more challenging than the material presented in class. Expect to spend a good amount of time on each assignment.

The two midterms are difficult. However, if you begin studying a decent amount of time in advance you'll be fine. Part of what makes the exams (and particularly the final) difficult is the sheer amount of memorization you're going to be required to do. Also be prepared to handle double integrals. Calculus is very much a pre-req for this class and you're going to be doing a lot of integrating. Brushing up on your series and sequences is also not a bad idea.

If you take this class, be prepared. It is challenging.

Workload:

Weekly homework assignments (difficult). 2 midterms. 1 final.

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