course
Calculus IIS

Dec 2020

I took calc 2 with Prof. Piechnik and it was great. It was on zoom but still engaging and interesting. We were extremely prepared for both exams, and she gave us a group project instead of a final. She was very fair and accommodating. I can’t recommend her enough.

Mar 2020

Teaching us stuff that you would learn in calc III and multi... Not even building a bridge to help us understand the content, just straight jumping over the cliff. He's nice and you can def tell that he wants you to understand things conceptually. But you won't.

Dec 2016

Professor Zeitlin is without a doubt the worst professor I've had so far at Columbia. His lectures are incoherent and he might as well be talking to an empty room for all the student engagement he inspires. Also, his lectures just consist of him writing the same examples that are done out in the textbook on the board, so most people don't even show up to his class. He makes fun of students who ask him to explain something again or who ask questions in his class, and likes to talk a lot about how "obvious" various proofs are. He's also really into putting trick questions on midterms and finals, and will never be willing to tell you which concepts to study before tests. PLEASE do yourself a favor and avoid this guy at all costs :(

Aug 2016

Daniela De Silva teaches class in a way that I thought was very of service to the students. She takes class as an opportunity to walk the entire class through whole problems on the board, and at times she offers some anecdotes that are just as helpful as well. Your tests will consist of problems that easily are defined as typical problems for the subject.

May 2015

I'd have to disagree with the reviewer below who did not enjoy this class. I think Robert Friedman is a brilliant teacher that will teach his students the mathemagics of Calc II. In class Friedman can go over the concepts really quickly, but if you ask him to go over something he will stop and explain things to you. He constantly is teaching us "tricks" (in his words) that enable students to become mathemagicians. Also I found Friedman very approachable and friendly. He would say "Hi" to me when he saw me (even when I saw him in Riverside Park). Since Friedman is fast-paced in class, sometimes my notes after class were not very good, but I would go to the book and review the material. This is one thing I would suggest since the class was closely tied to the book. Going over the material in the book helped clarify certain concepts for me. The homework was straight-forward, but hard. Nevertheless, I never went to office hours because the online book gave great examples of how to solve certain problems. The day before every midterm and the final Friedman would hold a review session which would be closely related to the material on the exam. The midterm averages were low. The first midterm had an average of 63% and the second had an average of 73%. I'm not sure what the final exam average was. I ended up getting an A in the class, even though I only had a Calc I background. My first midterm average was an 87% and my second midterm average was a 74%. I got a 96.5% on the final exam. My HW average was a 95%-ish. I put in a considerable amount of work for this class, but I was nowhere near killing myself with work. I would suggest that do practice problems online in order to do well.

May 2015

Professor Friedman was an incredible professor! His lectures were very organized and he made sure to do many example problems or answer any questions we had at any time. Before our midterms, he would host a review session the night before to make sure we had no doubts about what was going to be on the exam. Although his homework is challenging, he makes the exams very fair and easier than the homework itself. Calculus 2 is a difficult class nonetheless so I recommend you choose Professor Friedman if you want to come out of the class knowing the material.

May 2015

Professor Friedman is brilliant, so brilliant that he often forgets that the students are there to LEARN from him rather than attending an academic conference as mathematicians. For a Calc II class, I'd say he has made it unduly difficult. Not only was his teaching crazy fast and the exams excruciatingly painful (the median is often below 60, with no more than 4% students over 90) , but he also did not give a slightest damn to those puzzle-ridden students who reached out to him with a lot of problems. Quite often, he will just walk past you and pretend he doesn't know you if you meet him outside class and office hours. Adding to the misery, he does not drop a single homework and he simply doesn't curve in the exams! (He said he did, but you will be crazy to expect a raise more than 2% in an exam where the median is 57 and the SD is around 13) All that being said, my friend also took his class and got an F after struggling through this whole semester. I am probably the only student who got away with an A but that was because I used to have a very solid basis in maths and physics back in high school. Fairly speaking, Friedman's class is too hard and too fast for an average college student with merely Calc I background. If you have any chance to take other professors' classes, AVOID HIM, "AVOID HIM LIKE A PLAGUE".

Jan 2015

Calc II is just not easy, and that's no fault of Professor Altug's. That's just what the material is like, and since there's so much of it, the class has to be fast-paced. Professor Altug gives many and very clear examples of whatever he's teaching. He goes through them superquick and often I wouldn't be able to understand them in class, but if you write them down and look at them when doing Problem Sets it'll make better sense. Professor Altug also encourages questions in class and will often stop and ask if everyone understands - but when you're in a room with highly motivated engineering students (and I am not one of them- go Barnard!), it's extremely scary to ask a question in fear you'll look stupid, so I never did. Also, he does not allow homework questions during office hours which is probably because everyone would then show up. I went once, only to ask about his thoughts on possibly doing the 3-2 engineering program, and while he didn't know much about it we still had a pleasant little talk about engineering. Exams were extremely difficult. This is what I hated most about the class, since I felt exam questions never reflected the questions given in class or on Problem Sets. Also if you did have a question on homework, you would have to to the Math Help Room which was not helpful and never had TAs. All in all, I actually thought I would fail this class and considered withdrawing. I failed one of the midterms, but I ended up getting a C in the class, which is a miracle. My bad grade isn't a reflection on Professor Altug, it's a reflection on my inability to to do Calc II. I also want to add that if you are an incoming first-year and tested out of Calc I with AP Calc AB, you really should retake Calc I here. Apparently this is common advice that I failed to receive until a week before the final.

Jan 2015

Ali altug is a great teacher! Takes time to explain things during class and makes sure we understand class material. He gives us the option of doing web assign or textbook because he assigns enough textbook problems. He posts sample and practice exams that are very similar to the real exams!! So practice those problems!! Calc II is a struggle but prof altug made is a little easier!

Nov 2004

After the first day of Calc 2, the amount of people in the class dropped by more than a half. You learn a lot in this class, however, it makes your life a living hell! dont take it unless you have to. Do all the webwork and homework becuase it might be the only way you will pass the course.

May 2003

Many students note that Cao's first language isn't English and immediately dismiss him as impossible to understand. While the man is certainly boring in lectures, I didn't find this to be a problem - he speaks very well, he just has an accent. As a communicator of ideas, you have to think like a math nerd in order to follow him. Students I know in our class who weren't wired for math had difficulty getting anything out of lectures. It should be telling that the other sections of Calc IIS in this semester had 70-100 students, and his started with 20 and dwindled to about 14. He is also quite absentminded, often unable to remember whether he assigned homework to be handed in, or other details about the class. From what I can tell, the best strategy for getting something out of his class is to read the sections in the book BEFORE he covers them in class. If you already have a passing familiarity with what he's saying, it will make a lot more sense. Sure, that's a little overachieving even for Columbia students, but it really will help. This reviewer found Cao's midterms to be easier than other students did; if you've taken the Calc AP exam, you probably won't have to work hard until the last few chapters of material. His final was quite tough, but he gave a review packet and was available for review, even on a Sunday. My impression is that he really knows what he's talking about, and genuinely cares about his students, but is a boring and absentminded guy.

Apr 2003

Prof Gallagher is one of those instructors where the students can tell that he truly enjoys his work. You can see the joy in his face as he figures his way through a proof. However, his enthusiasm for proofs sometimes gets in the way of going through the material and giving the students enough examples for them to understand it in a more concrete way.

Jan 2003

Very nice person, just the grandfather you want to take home. He is obsessed with proofs though, and sometimes reminds me of John Nash from Beautiful Mind. He answers any question you have, and will also give a proof to go along with it. Teaches ok, nothing spectacular, just normal. I do recommend him though.

Jan 2003

If you really resent having to take math class, Gallagher is not for you. But, if you like math and think watching it unfold is enjoyable, then I very highly recommend Gallagher's class. I thought he was an absolutely excellent teacher who was there to teach us, not merely to keep us in league with the requirements. When he began each lecture, he seemed to think, "Ok, what do these kids need to learn today?" and to just go from there. He knows what we need to know and how we can remember it. All of his examples were usually made up on-the-spot, and in watching him work through the problems myself, I could really get a sense as to how he thought about them (and all of his thoughts were generally outloud). Essentially, Gallagher shows a greater passion for math than any teacher I've had and I miss him this semester!

Jan 2003

hard to understand but very nice and always willing to help you after hours. I got an A but never went to class and just taught myself everythign. Hard homeworks, but livable if you have friends in the class

Jan 2003

Lectures are boring and almost unnecessary, but test are easy and the curve is amazing. Basically, you got to teach yourself out of the book.

Jan 2003

You can't help but feeling affection for Gallagher, a little old man who wears the (seemingly) same rumpled shirt every day. His duty is to teach math, whether the class is there or not, and though his lectures are pretty good (all from memory - he knows his stuff), they can get dry and watch out when he starts showing proofs that have nothing to do with what the course covers. Maybe math fanatics will like that, but the tangents seem to just cause confusion. He's a really nice guy and is open to questions, though if you don't understand it during the lecture, you can get left in the dust. Overall not bad, not too bad of a grader.

Dec 2002

Very nice guy. Lectures are clear and understandable, tests are fair. He was somewhat mean at the beginning of the semester but lightened up later on. I would definitely take another class with him.

Nov 2002

Great math professor who explains everything clearly. Just the facts, and a personal twist of humor once-in-awhile. Attend the lectures, do the hw, and ace the tests.

Nov 2002

Fall '02: On first glance, Professor Gallagher seems to be quite mad and an unsatisfying math professor. Yet in actuality he is very well-versed in mathematics (he attends class without any aids, and can prove pretty much any formula in about ten minutes, tops). His frequent digressions on proofs can get rather tiresome, especially since he doesn't test them, but they are always clearly presented and informative. His tests are not too challenging if you do the homework, and attendance at class isn't even necessary, though I always enjoyed his random digressions. However, not every student enjoys inanity in mathematics - if that's the case, then I suggest a different professor. Otherwise, Gallagher is an excellent choice.

Jan 2002

There's nothing particularly amazing about him. In general he follows the textbook's notation and formality in his lectures. He is very approachable and has ample office hours. The grading was fair bordering on generous on the quizzes. Grading was excessively harsh on both midterms, but he was very nice about sorting out problems with test grades.

Dec 2001

There is nothing great or awful about Professor Neumann. His lectures can be pretty boring. He does have a tendency to talk into the chalkboard so sit up front. You have to keep up to date on the material (do the homework/study each week) because of the weekly quizzes. The tests are challenging but not impossible.

Aug 2001

Professor Thaddeus seems to be one of the better math professors. He knows the material and is good at communicating this knowledge to his students, though he can go pretty quickly. His lectures are generally interesting (with the understanding that Calculus IIS is probably not the most fascinating of topics necessarily), and he tries to deter students from memorization, by teaching them the derivations rather than the formulas. He's an energetic and enthusiastic professor, and his random remarks can be pretty funny.

Apr 2001

Thaddeus is an excellent lecturer. Although he occaisionally goes rather quickly, he is always very comprehensible. He has a good intuitive understanding of the subject and of which topics the typical student needs more detailed explanation of. Many of his off-hand remarks are simply hilarious.

Jan 2000

Overall, he goes very quick in class. So, If you don't know what is going on, then your screwed. Otherwise, he knows his stuff. Midterms and finals are okay. As long as you study, you will be fine.

Jan 2000

A professor with a thorough knowledge of the material. His lectures are generally interesting as he asks his students not to memorize formulae but rather to know where they come from. He explains all the concepts in relative depth. However if you don't understand something, he may not stop to explain it but rather point you in the right direction and ask that you do the problem "in the privacy of you own home."