Professor Khan is great. His Stats course is challenging, and he assigned some dreadfully boring reading, but all he asked was for basic comprehension and many students complained about the difficulty of his tests even after he gave very clear, repeated explanations of the concepts. Khan does tons of preparation, and he lectures with a great deal of enthusiasm and energy. His lectures are very clear, and he is able to understand and respond to students questions very effectively in class. For required sociology courses, including Stats and Methods but also Soc Imagination and Evaluation of Evidence, Khan would be a great professor to take. More exciting and accessible than Ferguson, more organized and clear than Whitford. For courses in the Sociology department, Khan may not be the easiest prof but certainly the most rewarding.
If you are a sociology major in need of a class that fulfills the statistics requirement, take this class!! The class is based mostly on methods, only one assignment called for statistics beyond simple percentages. The bottom line is this...take Khan's advice on everything he says...EVERYTHING!! HE IS NOT OUT TO TRICK YOU!! He tells you from day one what he expects and clarifies his expectations for each and every assignment and quiz. Take advantage of that fact that he uses the class to spend time answer each individual's and/or group's questions for the projects. Also, take advantage of his office hours and his TA's office hours (since she grades, and he gives the final say). They truly want to prepare you for the assignments. If you ask questions, understand guidelines, and do the work, you will reap the benefits of the class.
Professor Gullickson is a fair teacher. He's mindful that statistics is not exactly what most students consider a fun time. His teaching style is purely conceptual, so he outlines how to apply theory in certain problem sets, but rarely delves into detail on how to solve them mathematically. It would be wise for you to take advantage of his office hours.
Avoid this class at all costs. Even if that means choosing a new major. I could not agree more with the previous review. Sobel has been, by far, the worst professor I have had at Columbia. Statistics/Methods is not the type of class that one ought to suffer through, but Sobel surely made this an absolutely unbearable experience. He was absolutely inept at teaching. The concepts we were supposed to learn in class are actually quite simple, but he managed to complicate them beyond reason. He is terrible at explaining concepts and, if asked for further explanation, he'll tell you that you should have been able to figure it out on your own. Going to office hours is a complete nightmare as he will offer no help whatsoever and will actually make you feel absolutely inadedquate. He is impersonable and does not care about his students. He is rude in and out of class. Despite being a 10 person class, the man did not know my name by the weekend before the final! I really could go on forever. Really, I know I must sound like an angry student. I've never in my life written a bad Culpa review for a professor, but this man really and truly the worst instructor I have ever had. Don't make the same mistake I made. Avoid him like the plague!
I agree with the previous reviews: Serban is nice, boring and an easy grader. If, however, you actually want to learn some statistics stay far away from this class. I learned more in my highschool AP class. Seriously, we covered maybe three chapters of the text book and none of it except finding the mean and mode is relevant to real-world stat use for sociology. Don't take this class if you plan on doing a thesis or any type of sociology where you would want to apply statistics. I was really disappointed.
Although Iorga may be dull in class and the material he is covering is boring, he is truly a great professor one on one. He is willing to grant extensions, and explain things one on one to students. Let's face it, statistics aren't meant to be fun. Bearing that in mind, Iorga does the best he can. Specifically for this course, it is a MUST to attend lectures (those who didn't come to lecture and read the book instead often did poorly on exams). Bottom line: if you go to lecture and study for at most an hour before the exams, it is an easy A.
This class was not horrible, though it was painfully boring at times. For a few sessions at the beginning of the course, we reviewed mean, median and mode. Basically a return to third grade math. The class gets a bit, but not much, more complicated than this. The key to doing well in this class is attending. Prof. Iorga gets upset that people don't come and it really is difficult to learn the material from the book. Also, he will be more willing to help you out and grade a bit easier if he knows who you are. If you are not a sociology major, this is a great class to take for a science requirement.
As a requirement for Sociology majors, this class is pretty painless because Serban is a nice guy who wants everyone to do well. His approach reflects the idea that everyone in the class is math-challenged, which results in a course with really clear objectives. He explains everything at length and with utmost clarity and maintains patience with students who are trying to make the material more difficult than it really is. He seemed frustrated at times only because attendance waned; you should go as often as you can because there are some things he teaches that are not adequately addressed in the book. I couldn't really say what Soc majors are supposed to take away from this class in terms of later application to Sociology but it's a very good way to acquaint oneself with simple statistical concepts. Serban makes the best of one of the more boring requirements for the major.
All statistics and no methods, this class was the reason I dropped my sociology concentration--it cemented my distaste for the discipline's often reductionist oversimplification. But if you're dead set on soc, then you're stuck taking this silly little class, and Serban's a good guy to take it with. He explains concepts VERY clearly, and since the course covers relatively little material, you're sure to know your stuff well by semester's end. Great for math-phobes. He's also a nice guy with a good sense of humor. I think it's impossible to like this class--the material is as dull as it gets--but if you have to take it, take it with Serban.