Organic Chem for Freshman

Nov 2017

Since Prof Breslow has passed away, and as someone who was once taught by him, I just wanna say RIP and thanks for everything he has done to Columbia, not just chemistry but other great things like making Columbia co-ed. Maybe no one would ever search for his name here bc it's just not on the bulletin anymore, but as one of his former student i just wanna tell people how great he is as a person

Dec 2005

Professor Breslow is a very intelligent researcher; practically every American Noble Award Winner has been his student - I am really not kidding about this one... He has a great command over his material. However, as a professor, he has no idea how to teach. He does not review the lecture notes he planned 20 years ago before class (a bit exaggeration here), but really, ask anyone in the class, including the TA, and you'll know that he doesn't know how to teach. For our batch, he rushed through 6 chapters for the first test, 7 for the second, and then had to crawl through 2 for the last midterm, because he didn't plan the course well, and b/c he didn't teach us anything from the 7 chapters. He is also not approachable - while he stays after class to talk for a couple minutes, you soon realize that the whole class wants to talk to him, and so you really can't clear up major problems with the material after class. He also doesn't have office hours, so you have to fix an appointment if you have questions, which is intimidating. Also, he is very boring during lectures, and it's very difficult to follow his material on board. It's very easy to prepare for tests, however. His tests are super-easy; as long as you do the homework and summarize reactions, you should be able to get an A in the class. The TA is also awesome. But don't plan on learning anything from the teacher; you'll have to teach the material yourself. Not a big problem b/c the book is easy. Class is great for pre-med kids, but if u r an engineering major student, reconsider your options and go into intensive general. It's a harder class and you'll learn material suiting to engineering in that class.