course
Intro to Statistics (B)

Jan 2015

Banu. Banu. Banu. The best and worst teacher you will ever have. Note: She will most likely not be able to run her class the same way. The department will probably make her grade differently. Unless someone tried really really hard, I doubt there were any Bs in her class. But for our class, which was her first class at Columbia, it was beautiful. Two midterms and a final, but she will drop your lowest out of the three. Our first two midterms were take-home, with extra credit, and many questions copied right from the book. Most of the class did not even go to the final. Homework also easy and mostly from the book with lots of extra credit. Annoying group project at the end but if you showed even the slightest amount of effort (turning in a draft), you were set. EASY EASY EASY. This class helped my GPA incredibly. For the downside, you will not learn any Stat. We spent the first month and a half on chapters 1-2. So she was stuck "teaching" the really difficult material incredibly quickly. (Today class, we will do chapters 5,6, and 7). Because of her grading policy, no one bothered to learn anything after the midterms. And since they were take home midterms, no one bothered to learn anything anyways. You're screwed for econometrics.

Nov 2014

Not bad. He may come off as boring. And well he kinda is. But this is stat. And the class did seem 3 times as big during midterms. BUUUUUT. As soon as I started going and paying attention beginning to end, I was really really really happy I did. He is a great guy with a strong grasp of material. He explains what he wants you to know attentively and clearly. He rights basically everything on the board. Most importantly though, he's very straightforward. No surprises here. Went to office hours once, he explains things even better. I definitely recommend using that resource. I was gonna drop the class in the beginning, glad I gave him a chance.

Jul 2014

Statistics is, significantly speaking, an uninteresting subject. However, Edward Whalen makes the course as enjoyable as possible for any student. I took his class last semester and although it was an 8:40 class, it was probably my favorite class. If I had to describe his class in one word, it would be genuine. Like other reviewers have mentioned, he truly wants his students to have the least miserable experience with stat. He pulls lectures directly off the Devore textbook and literally turns the incredibly dense paragraphs into easier to digest bullet points. Don't even bother trying to reread the textbook - it's horribly written and presented, and plus, he'll explain everything in class clearly. There's always a sample problem after each section, to which he'll go through step by step. He goes at a pretty reasonable pace, making sure there are no questions but not flying through the material. If you try a bit, he seems to be good with names - I went up to him after class about two times, and by the third time he knew my name. He clearly knows the material - sometimes he would even write complicated distribution formulas off the top of his head - but wanted to give the class to do the same. The TA office hours suck since they're held in the IAB building, but if you really find yourself struggling, it might be worth to visit them once - plus, I don't think Whalen holds office hours. I went only once the entire semester, but the TAs seemed to know what they were doing. Because he lectures straight from the text and since the class is at 8:40, most people stop showing up after the second week. Homework is also optional, as he puts a list of "suggested problems." However, I went to each class and found it to be really helpful, especially when it came to his tests. Whalen's test policy is extremely straightforward - he pulls his problems straight from his "suggested problems." I had a couple of friends who stayed up before each exam trying to do and then memorizing each problem, but to no avail. If you go to each class and do the corresponding problem each week, it comes out to about 3-4 problems a section, no more than 2 hours each week. If you spend a bit more time reviewing the material the night before the test, you'll be golden for the exams. Though you can easily Google the answers and memorize the answers, his tests are still on paper and you still need a pencil to write down the steps. Make sure to show your work - I knew someone who got every single answer correct but didn't show any work - trust me, it's not worth it. It gets annoying, but what part of stat isn't? Overall, Whalen is as easy and manageable as stat classes go. Your grade is all from the exams - 3 total, including 1 non-cumulative "final", as each exam weighs the same. He does also mention he tries to give everyone as good of a grade as he can give. In my class, it was divided around 50/50 undergrads and postbacs. After hearing how badly some of my friends got hazed by other stat professors in terms of workload and exam difficult, I'm pretty glad I took Whalen. I still don't care about stat and neither will you, but at least he makes class enjoyable and you might actually learn a thing or two that's interesting.

Jun 2014

What an awesome professor. His teaching style is very laid back, which is perfect for majors like economics and business that require, but are not heavy on the stats (you'll have to relearn everything for econometrics anyway). If you just want a B, the workload is as light as you want it to be, so it's up to you to make the most of your education. If you're looking to go above and beyond for the A/A- though, be prepared to read through 800 powerpoint slides before a midterm, which are lovingly provided. Highly recommended for the enterprising and self-sufficient.

May 2014

The worst prof I have ever taken, this woman should be fired. I've never met a professor who cared less about her class, was less approachable, or was less engaging. To the reviewer below me, I'm not going to argue that her class isn't doable. It is, especially since you get a cheat sheet and the exams aren't cumulative. It's just such a HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, experience: - Doesn't hold office hours, like ever. She says she isn't on campus except to teach so she only has OH for the ten minutes before and after class. - Doesn't give homework or problem sets so virtually no practice. Before each exam she gave us a number of questions in the book, but wouldn't provide us with the answers to these practice problems (only half of the answers were in the back of the book) - Most monotone voice ever. Basically reads from her slides without inflection. - She took attendance by having us take a 'pop quiz' every class. If you are complete shit at teaching, either learn to teach better or at least let people skip your class in peace. Talk about 75 minutes of hell twice a week. I'm guessing in previous sections no one showed up to her class so she instituted that. What bullshit. - You basically teach yourself everything... and stats is not a fun subject to teach yourself. I know plenty of people who took AP Stats in high school so fine you don't have to deal with this, but for people who have literally never learned stats before and have to do it (probably for econ requirement) it's pretty difficult. And then you have to go on to take econometrics and if you don't have solid stats foundation (and who could, if all you have is Kolluri's shitty teaching to go off of?) you're doubly screwed. - Grad level TA was totally useless. She was really nice... but she couldn't do some of the questions on the exams because she said "she only knew how to do those problems in programs" which is pretty unhelpful for a class where you have to know how to do things by hand. Undergrad TAs even more useless -- they didn't hold office hours, only came to proctor exams. Not sure how TAs are distributed among the stats dept. - Questions on the exams would be phrased in a way that they could be interpreted in multiple ways and Kolluri told me that "part of learning a subject is understanding which way to interpret the question" ... which might make sense in your head but really makes no sense practically. - She's totally lazy. Refused to give homework cause she didn't want to grade it. I had to push her to provide extra practice problems. And she refused to provide answers, and specifically asked the TA NOT to provide answers. Don't get that one. - I could literally go on forever about all the fucked up things she's said and done as a professor... but I'll spare myself the torture of spending any more time thinking about her existence. I hear the entire Stats department sucks, so maybe this one's the one to take. Maybe not. I personally would avoid at all costs.

Jan 2014

Kolluri's section is completely doable. Don't be fooled by the bumbling cries of the people who appeared to have staggered their way through the asphyxiating smog of their own inability to figure out how to take a stats class. You are taking a statistics course - it's different than your typical math course because there are a ton of equations but only a few relatively simple concepts needed to use them. Kolluri's section is the one to take, and this is why: 1. There are 3 equally-weighted tests and no final. 2. None of the 3 tests are cumulative. This might be one of the biggest reasons to take this section, as chapters 1-13 in the stat textbook comprise a lot of material if you take a look. 3. Kolluri gives you a good amount of practice problems before each test, and some of them just show up on the test, verbatim. The point is to do more than she assigns - this is not hard to do, since most problems are structurally very similar and not that hard. 4. The tests are short. You have the full class period of over an hour but many people finish in under an hour. 5. This section is not a can of worms. I have heard other sections can be. If you read the book, do the practice problems, you'll realize there is only ever 5-10 different types of problems that can be asked per test, so know how to solve the kinds of problems and you won't end up moping about how this professor is unfair. Because she's probably the most reasonable. 6. There is not a big emphasis on using Calculus. 7. You get to use calculators on tests. This means this class is not big on proofs. The emphasis is on word problems, which involve number crunching. 8. You get a sheet of notes to bring in to each test. Take this class. Kolluri teaches it well and it is as straightforward as it gets if you set aside the time to study.

Jan 2014

I have a mitigated opinion about Rohit. Obviously, Rohit is a begginer as a teacher: he would sometimes make mistakes and does not seem to recognize if the class is lost. However, if one listens during the class, he manages to explain the main concepts in a straightforward way. He is going very fast sometimes, so reviewing the book is useful. Rohit was really doing his best to make sure students would understand the main concepts: he was always ready to answer questions, and to repeat his explanations as many times as possible when people asked. Grading was really fair: he would always give points for trying, even if the solution is completely wring;

Jan 2014

I have to say that out of all the professors I have ever had, Prof. Kolluri was definitely the least dedicated to teaching by far. It was absolutely clear throughout the entire semester that she did not care about the students at all and was putting very minimal effort into teaching. Her lectures were directly lifted from the book. And when I say directly...I mean WORD FOR WORD...not even paraphrased or anything. Her lectures were actually like an audiobook of the textbook. And it always amazed me that she had so many typos/errors in her lectures. She teaches this class every single semester (sometimes she didn't even change the date on the title page of the lecture so we would get something like Feb. 24 2012 or something like that)! The fact that she doesn't even go back to modify very clear typos/errors that she surely must have noticed when giving the lecture in previous semesters is really indicative about her lack of care for the class. Some professors really are just interested in their research and teaching is merely a requirement that they have to trudge through, and Prof. Kolluri is definitely one of these professors. She also has an incredibly boring lecture style. She is not an incredibly expressive person so it was very painful for me to force myself to pay attention instead of surf on my computer or play on my phone (which I did anyways). She also had a semi-annoying habit of saying "right?" after her explanations in order to hammer in her point. But I digress... OH another incredibly annoying thing was the in-class quizzes. What the heck. There was a quiz every single class, which was incredibly frustrating. Most of the quizzes were really easy so basically they were like attendance points. But professor, if you are going to require attendance, shouldn't you make your class worth attending? Why require attendance if you are just going to read the book aloud to us? (as I said previously...WORD FOR WORD). Having said all this, I found the class to be fairly easy/straightforward. There are absolutely no surprises on her exams, and sometimes she even used problems that were almost exactly the same as ones from the practice problems. I ended up with an A+ without studying too much (but I am a math/science person). I only read through the lectures and did all the practice problems she assigned in the textbook (and I did no extra problems). However, I will also say that Statistics is not an easy subject for everyone. In fact, I believe a lot students really, really struggled with it and probably got very low grades. So your grade will probably largely reflect your natural aptitude for math/quantitative subjects.

Jan 2014

A class and a professor have never wasted my time as blatantly as STAT1211 with Sheela Kolluri. Her lectures are not lectures. They are storytimes during which Sheela gets to show off her comprehensive reading skills by literally reading 60+ slides VERBATIM at us. Oh and did I mention most of her slides (also posted on courseworks) are copied pasted DIRECTLY from the textbook? So basically you're paying some $150 per class PLUS wasting an hour an twenty minutes of your time twice a week to have the textbook read for you. I found this absolutely unacceptable. So why not just skip lecture and read the textbook yourself right? WRONG. Each class Sheela gave us "quizzes" (they hardly qualify as quizzes.. she would write a question or two on the board at the end of each class and we basically had to scramble through the slides to see which slide she wanted us to copy down.. whispering with neighbors was absolutely fine.. even if it wasn't we all did it anyway, she couldnt be bothered to care). These "quizzes" count for 10% of your grade.. basically Sheela's way of making sure she isn't reading to an empty lecture hall each class. The rest of the grade came from 3 noncumulative exams, each worth 30%, each covering anywhere from 3-5 chapters of the textbook. You're allowed a cheat sheet, 8x11 piece of paper front and back for each exam.. If I hadn't put nearly EVERYTHING from the textbook onto that cheatsheet I probably would have failed each exam. Basically studying for the exams for me consisted of making that cheat sheet starting like 2-3 days in advanced of the exam. Exams had some fill in the blank, some multiple choice, and some short answer. If your cheat sheet was good it shouldn't have been too much of an issue. That being said since I was basically just regurgitating information, I have very literally understanding of the underlying concepts and retained very little knowledge of statistics.. There is no homework but for each chapter Sheela, out of the goodness of her heart, gave us "recommended problems to do" out of the textbook. Some of these problems, you guessed it, were copied and pasted directly onto exams (yeah did you really expect her to come up with her OWN problems? Heavens no that would involve effort). I stopped paying attention after exam 1 (I literally brought my laptop to class and watched TV shows..) and I ended up with a B+ in the class. Yeah the stat department and Sheela Kolluri should probably work on getting their sheeeit together.. Terrible, terrible class.. If this is a major requirement for you like it was for me, I'm very sorry, you'll get through it! If you enjoy having your time wasted or if you're looking for a cozy lecture hall in the basement of Mathematics to watch Breaking Bad in, by all means take this class! Otherwise please run far and fast!

Jan 2014

I don't think I could have taken a more boring, useless class. Professor Kolluri does not teach anything, literally nothing. She reads off of the slides and thats it. We did absolutely no examples in class...not one example. She teaches absolutely nothing and so her exams are difficult because you have absolutely no idea what to study and her questions basically assume that you magically learned everything yourself. Worst professor. Worst class..oh and worst curve. She curved it so a c+/b-

Dec 2013

Rohit Patra is, in my opinion, absolutely unprepared to be leading an introductory statistics class. While he definitely knows his statistics, his ability to effectively introduce and expand upon basic statistical concepts was almost nonexistent. In most of his lectures, he would just put up some formula without actually saying what it does in terms of statistics and jump into explaining its esoteric properties. His teaching is, at times, impossible to follow for someone who hasn't taken a stats class before (theoretically everyone, as this class is 1000-level). He made countless mistakes while lecturing, some of which would render an entire example useless. His writing was nearly illegible, he moved at a pace too quick for much of the class, and his attempts to encourage questions/improve his lecturing always fell flat on their heads. Case and point: after going on a 10 minute tangent about some concept, he would often ask the class "any questions?" to which someone almost always replied "can you repeat everything you just said?" The textbook (Devore) helps a little bit, but I learned most of the Stats that I needed for the problem sets/exams from Google and Chegg

Dec 2013

Not a great teacher and really not that helpful. That isn't the issue though. His exams make up 95% of your final grade and he DOES NOT CURVE EXAMS OR THE CLASS. Our previous exam had a 60% mean and the other midterm had a 73% mean. This means that something like half of our glass is near failing... I literally don't know how he's going to get away with failing this many students buttttt WHAT THE FUCK. He isn't that helpful but the class would be totally fine if he made it fair by curving the class.

Nov 2013

I have never left a review on CULPA, but I feel I need to warn people of "Professor" Caridi. HE IS THE WORST TEACHER I HAVE EVER HAD, INCLUDING HIGH SCHOOL. He cannot teach at all. Unfortunately, I am a student who goes to his lectures. He goes through pointless PowerPoints the entire class and often incorrectly solves examples. He finally fixes the problem when a grad student points out his error. For the midterms he loves to say "If you have been coming to class, then you should be fine, if not, then good luck." WRONG. The exams look nothing like the examples or HW we do. The averages on the midterms are horrible and HE DOES NOT CURVE. All other stat teachers curve, from what I have heard. Pretty ironic that the worst teacher at Columbia does not. It amazes me how a teacher like this can be hired at such a prestigious university. All in all, AVOID FRANK CARIDI AT ALL COSTS.

Oct 2013

If you have no background in statistics whatsoever, even with a solid grasp of calculus, this class is difficult. If you have taken AP statistics in high school, it is much easier. If you have to take this class, and fall into the first category, be prepared to more or less teach yourself statistics; as mentioned in other reviews, the professor largely regurgitates information off of power point slides, which are more or less carbon-copies of the material in the textbook. If you are looking for rigorous proofs of specific properties of random variables, probability distributions and cumulative distribution functions, WolframAlpha, Khan Academy, and a Google search is your winning combination. My section of the class had only one TA, who was somewhat difficult to communicate with. It appeared as though the TA was performing said role for more than one section or course in the statistics department - overburdening as such led to less-than-thorough explanations of material and a general feeling of imposition when clarification was asked for. I'm unsure if there is a deficit of human resources in the statistics department, but it seemed to be the case.

Sep 2013

As a new student at Columbia, I have to say that I am disappointed at the professor's quality. Having taken college classes before (I'm a transfer student), I must say that this professor is the worst I've ever had. Terrible lectures, makes little to no sense, and his accent makes it even hard to understand. He goes through the chapters at lightning speed, yet it seems that nobody is understanding what he is saying. All in all, I would say reading the textbooks makes more sense to me. Often, I would walk out of lecture thinking that I knew less than when I started. Absolutely terrible. Honestly, if you take this class, I recommend just going online and watch youtube videos.

Jun 2013

Not as easy as previous reviews suggest, but probably the best option for intro to stat if you care a lot about your GPA and it doesn't matter to you if you're a little fucked for econometrics or the next stat sequence. whalen is a nice guy and genuinely cares about trying to help his students. he just doesn't know how. some people who show up to class are really stupid and cause him to go really slow. he says he takes attendance but stops taking it after the third week and nobody is really sure how that 10% really is calculated. he's not as stressful because your final isn't cumulative and is worth as much as the 2 other midterms, but you will not be motivated to start studying until the week before (or in my case, the night before) because he doesn't collect homework. that said, if you do all the hw before the exam you're basically guaranteed a B. if you do half of the hw, you're guaranteed a B-. going to class is useless and so is reading the book thoroughly. just do problems and you're all set. he went super slow with us and didn't end up covering like a good chunk of the stat curriculum, but compared to what i've heard in other stat classes, this class is your best bet grade wise.

May 2013

I had Professor Caridi for Introduction to Statistics with Calculus this past semester. I will try to be as objective as I can writing his review, but just know that bottom line: don’t take his class ever. His classes are 1) very boring and uninspirational 2) useless. You are not required to come to class, but he does take attendance for the record…which is kinda pointless. He stutters a lot and takes a lot of time to talk about one very simple idea/method/technique or he just talks about one concept for the longest time. Caridi’s favorite quote: “If you’ve been showing up to class, then you should do absolutely fine on the test.” ← WHAT? As a person who actually (sadly), went to most of his lectures, I can tell you that is not true because he doesn’t teach you anything. You just have to study off of the book and the practice problems, which also suck. The textbook that is used is really confusing because it doesn't explain much. It gives you a formula and basically you’re by yourself and NO CARIDI DOES NOT EXPLAIN HOW TO DO THE PROBLEMS. Also, for homework. The first 10 or so homeworks (out of 12) were agonizingly (and uselessly) with a required average of about 10-16 (?) problems per homework. AND THEN I think he realized he was being very inefficient and gave us about 3, 4 questions for the last two homeworks each…. I really don’t understand how this guy has been teaching at Columbia and he really just doesn’t know how to teach statistics. Yes, he does know statistics, but he cannot teach. Oh and the tests averages are horrible, but he doesn't curve them. He wouldn't tell us the statistics to the second midterm because he knew the average was crap and he should curve the grades, but again, very stubborn and just the worst enemy for a student. All in all, he is terrible. At one point he really made me angry at the fact that Columbia could have a terrible “professor” like him. If you can avoid his class, then do so.

Apr 2013

I had Caridi for Stats w/ Calc. The class is horrible. The book is the worst textbook I have ever used (no exaggeration); their is zero conceptual underpinning. You memorize formulas from the book, write them down for the test, and plug in numbers without ever knowing what you're really doing. Caridi doesn't help at all; most people don't show up to class because he can't explain things and when the students don't understand he gets mad and yells at them. (He writes before every test, "If you've been showing up to class, you should do fine. If not, then good luck." His perceptions of his teaching effectiveness are wildly inflated.) This class is the culmination of my disappointment with Columbia. We supposedly come here for the great education this school offers, but anything I've learned in this class I've learned through Youtube tutorials. I would advise against taking this class, but (in typical Columbia fashion), you're probably taking it as a requirement. Getting an A isn't too hard; it's finding an ounce of inspiration is near-impossible. I'm sure I'll look back on this class when I graduate and realize I wasted my college years.

Mar 2013

This is the WORST professor I've ever had in Columbia. You learn NOTHING in this class. Don't even bother coming to lecture. It's stupid and a complete waste of time. He sent out this so-called classroom etiquette announcement as followed. He should think about how he can improve the lecture, as it is his own faults that students don't stay until the end of the class. Subject: Classroom Etiquette Students, For those of you who did not hear what I said at end of class here it goes again. I cut you folks a lot of slack regarding attendance. It's not required. I don't make a fuss about people leaving before end of class as long as it is done discretely. Therefore, I expect the same consideration from all of you. Passing in front of the class in the middle of my lecture is distracting and disruptive to me and the rest of the class. In future if you plan to leave early for a good reason please give me a heads up at the start of class and sit on the door side of the room. If you anticipate boredom, frustration, anxiety or simply are someone who can not be patient till the end of class, have the good sense to sit on the door side. If you are not on the door side, then just tough it out till the end of class. Remember that you are always free to express your feelings about the lecture to me in private and in a more constructive way. Please observe this simple courtesy so we do not have any future misunderstanding. Of course, if you are suddenly sick or urgently need a bio-break or some other unexpected emergency arises that requires you to leave, then by all means take the shortest route to the door wherever you are sitting. Thanks for your consideration. FC

Jan 2013

I don't think Prof Kolluri is that bad. Sure she's boring, but Stats is a rather dry subject so it's kind of expected. On one hand, she just regurgitates her slides in lecture, but on the other hand, her slides are actually quite good and pretty much cover everything she expects you to know for exams. The exams test your knowledge of the concepts; no trick questions or anything like that. Do the homework problems and reading and you should be fine. Boring or not, Sheela is a fair instructor and grader. I was about top 25% in the class and got an A- so it seems the class is curved to about a B average. Also, I was in Calc II when I took this class, and there are certain areas of the course that require taking partial derivatives and double integrals (things taught in Calc III/IV). I picked up the techniques pretty quickly, but the more comfortable you are with Calc, the better. People who stopped taking math classes after Calc 1 may struggle.

Dec 2012

Stephanie is a somewhat typical Columbia lower division math/statistics instructor. Think messy handwriting, soft-spoken, helpful-ish but not passionate about teaching. Competent enough, but not a model teacher by any means. She's good about posting homework solutions, midterm and final practice tests, and generally keeping the class updated on important news via email. She teaches using a combination of powerpoints and the chalkboard, on which she works out example problems. Stephanie's an ok communicator, and the fact that she's a native English speaker is a plus. Still, Stephanie's not great enough of a teacher to really make it worth going to class. The textbook + Khan Academy tended to be more useful than her lectures. Reflecting this, class attendance was really low, probably around a quarter or a fifth of the class on an average day. The 10:10 AM class time definitely didn't help at all. There were two major problems I had with the course. First, Stephanie has a penchant for giving out a few abstract, or at least strangely-applied questions. This isn't a big problem for the homework, since most of the homework is usually out of the book, which is pretty straightforward. It does, however, become a problem on the exams. Some of these strange questions appeared on the midterm, and they probably comprised a majority of the final. I don't understand why she bothers assigning these questions in the quantities that she does. Hardly anyone receives full credit. Considering that the total grade ends up getting curved anyway, it'd make more sense for the class to use more appropriate questions and end up with a higher average than to use inappropriate questions and end up with a really low average. My theory is that Stephanie gets bored assigning and grading problems that, for her, are so elementary that she could do solve them asleep and writing with her toes holding a pencil. She consequently makes the class harder in an effort to make things more interesting. Too bad not all of us are as smart as her. Second, the course suffered from a misallocation of time. I don't think anyone really bothered to tell Stephanie why a lot of people take 1211. Almost everyone I met in the class was an econ major taking it to fulfill the econ core requirement. In particular, 1211 is supposed to prepare us for econometrics. With that in mind, I think it's a bit ridiculous that we didn't even learn regressions, which are a major part of econometrics. We instead spent way too much time on chapters 1-4, which are comparatively easy, and went through the more difficult chapters 5-8 too quickly. These issues were compounded by Hurricane Sandy, so maybe I'm being too harsh on Stephanie. But still.

Jul 2012

Devore is a visiting professor emeritus from CalPoly. He's been teaching stats for a long time, chaired the department there, and has written ~8 textbooks. That includes the standard textbook for 1211. He's taught at Columbia the past few summers. He's a very solid, safe lecturer. He teaches pretty clearly and knows exactly what he wants to do, and how he wants to do it. He won't necessarily communicate some of the fun, real world impact of the material, but he does a decent job of getting the information across. He requires everyone buy a course booklet, ~250 pages of examples, formulas, etc. The result is that he writes on the board less, and talks more. Particularly with Stats this felt like a great solution. It also makes taking notes much easier, a lot of the time. The homework is lengthy. It tends to be about a dozen problems (most with several subparts). By my estimate they take somewhere between 6 and 12 hours, centered ~8 hrs. The tests (2 midterms + final) are tough but not tricky. If you paid attention in class and did the homework, you know the sorts of problems he's going to ask. He lets you bring a sheet of notes & formulas into the exam (1 for the first midterm, an additional for the second, and 2 more for the final. So you have 4 sheets of notes in the final exam). You can put anything you want on those notes, aside from fully worked out examples. This is key, so you don't have to remember all the formulas. You'll also want to use a calculator; he lets you take anything, so that trusty TI-83 can be put into use again. Very, very worthwhile to spend some time getting quick with the stats stuff in the calculator. Can be super helpful to double check your math in the exam. The two midterms (but not the final) also have take home questions. These are lengthier than the ones he does in class, but they're close to free points since you have hours to work them out. Devore loves talking to students in office hours. Go on days when homework isn't due and he'll happily talk to you for a while. I don't think he particularly plays favorites with grading, but he'll definitely warm up to you if you take the time to introduce yourself and chat with him. If you want to take Stats 1211 you'd be lucky to have Devore.

May 2012

This class is extremely boring. Actually, no. This class is downright painful. The material, the lectures-- everything is so dull, it's difficult to be motivated. However, you're not going to be the only one who has no interest in the class. Most people in STATW1211 are fulfilling a requirement, and so the suffering is collective. That being said, Kolluri is really sweet and approachable. She seems to realize that most students are uninterested in the material, and makes the class as convenient as possible. Workload is minimal, and her exams are really straightforward. Towards the end of the class, the material gets more complicated, but Kolluri's exams stay simple. As long as you understand the concepts, read the book, and have done reasonably well on the homeworks, you can easily get above the median. The lectures are a waste of time, but I went sometimes when I felt like I had neglected the class too much. I've tested out a few other STATW1211 classes. Trust me, if you have to take it, take it with Kolluri.

Apr 2012

Professor Kolluri is a sort of a disgrace for a scholar lecturer. I have never met an instructor like her before; she really couldn't care less about how one performs in the class, or one's level of understanding of the material, or any question or concern that one might have about the course or the assignments. It simply seems that she performs this job because she must. Never even once showing a sign of interest in anything. She explicitly informed the class in the first meeting to not email her, as she simply does not check her email, ever! She reads off PowerPoint slides adding an occasional "similarly" or "conversely" to ‘spice-up’ the atmosphere in the classroom. I had to hold myself from not falling asleep during her tedious monotone reading of the slides in each and every class meeting. Honestly, I could have saved the $4176 that this course cost me and just not take it at all; or, as professor Kolluri loves to say, "conversely", I could have just taken a self-taught course, and would have probably achieved a much better understanding of the material. I developed absolutely zilch from this course, besides an awful taste of bitterness and contempt for her, and an extreme repulsion from statistics as a whole. Her lack of information-oriented personality and approach is a great measure of her sheer failure in trying to convey anything. When asked a question, when one taunts to challenge her boredom from the so-called ‘teaching’, she gives the vilest and most belittling look possible, then turns to the board and scribbles something impossible to decrypt, and in most cases, she never really answers the question, but rather goes around it and smoothly continues to read off her slides. When approached with questions about exam grading she always takes several long moments to answer each question, as if she encounters with it for the first time, and when finally coming-up with an answer it is always with a patronizing demeanor that makes one feel exceedingly unwise. It requires a prodigious unique lack of fortune to have matched a TA that is such a daunting meticulous replica of the awful style and approach that the instructor herself so greatly demonstrates. His utter ambiguity with the material is beyond eloquent; he simply has no clue to what is going on. When asked a question, he usually tries to mumble a word or two and then just says that he needs to check because he, admittedly, simply doesn’t know the answer to almost any of the questions posed.

Mar 2012

Kolluri is so boring and unhelpful. She reads her powerpoint slides word for word and does not explain the material. STRUGGLE to get through the textbook. Think twice before taking this class. Statistics is fairly straightforward but I don't know how you would get through this class without having taken a previous stats class or with a friend who has... or a tutor. Tests are straightforward. Do not bother going to lecture. I went to lecture expecting different results: 'Oh maybe she will teach something today or contribute some insight'... WRONG It was like being hungry in the middle of the night and checking the fridge after you have already looked and seen that nothing was in there.... disappointing and a waste of time.

Dec 2011

Basically what the previous reviewer said. The lecture's are boring and you will be hard pressed to stay awake, if you decide to show up that is. It should also be emphasized how little the midterm and final have to do with the homework question; both of them are highly theoretical. Our final didn't have a single calculation problem (which is what 80% of the Homeworks consist of). They are all incredibly theoretical. That said, if you're in this class, pay great attention to the practice exams and go to lecture on the day he explains them, because they are very similar to the real exams. It's a lot of theorem-based stuff. However, I wouldn't recommend taking this section of the class.

Nov 2011

Worst professor that anyone at Columbia could ever have. He has no idea what he is doing. He comes to class with slides that copy material directly from the textbook. The slides consist mainly of the formulas in the text with no concrete or useful examples to help you understand the application of the material. He is very laid back and calm,... while he flies through very dense and complicated calculus and material that other classes never see. The homework are composed of problems from the textbook while the midterm has questions that can not be found anywhere in the textbook? Do not take this class even if you have a statistics background because you will be doing a lot of textbook reading and learning on your own. There are WAY better teachers for this class!

May 2011

Professor Feng is not a very good professor. Granted, this past semester was his first time teaching STAT W1211, but his approach to the class was kind of ridiculous. Teaching is done mostly from the slides, with Calculus IV principles (namely double integrals) thrown around without explanation. The mathematical rigor of his class was much higher than that of other 1211 sections, with his midterm problems dealing mostly with variable manipulation (unlike most of our homework problems.) Brush up on summations, mathematical notation, and derivatives/integrals. My biggest issue with this class, however, is the way he treats his students. He purports to be open to all feedback and appears to have a laidback attitude in class, but he is mildly condescending and not very helpful during office hours. I'm sure Prof. Feng will have the class better under control by next semester, so I wouldn't completely write him off. The class is open note and open book, which you can take advantage of if you're willing to put in the time, and grading is very fair, as he uses at 10*sqr(your score) transformation to reduce variance and bring lower scorers up and then curves your overall grade at the end of the year. 10-15% of the class receives solid As.

May 2011

He was a very dry lecturer. Relied far too heavily on prepared PowerPoint slides that were mostly taken from the textbook. The lectures didn't give much value beyond reading the book. When he was asked questions (wasn't very often) he didn't have a good way of explaining things differently to make ideas clearer. He was a bit better one-on-one, but if you want to really learn the material expect to go elsewhere. Tests were open notes, open book, and he applied a generous curve to each midterm, so you had a great chance of doing well. He gave review sheets/practice tests for both midterms, and if you paid attention you had a very good idea of exactly what was going to be on the tests. The final exam had a small true/false section, a multiple-choice section, and five computational problem. Four of the computational problems were directly from the practice exam (with different values) and the fifth was a worked example from the lecture slides.

May 2011

Like all introductory quantitative courses at Columbia, Stat W1211 kind of sucks. The way the curriculum is structured, there simply isn't the time to explain concepts, so a bunch of unintelligible formula and theory is shoved down your throat. That's my impression, at least. Do you best early on to understand what's going on - not just the formulas, but the big picture. The textbook didn't do that for me; I recommend YouTube videos. Given that the course is rough, Heng is probably your best bet. Compared to the other teachers I sat in on, he has the best English and the most motivation to help you understand. His lectures are pretty focused and clear, and follow powerpoints that you have access to on courseworks. He's pretty reasonable, and just do you best and pray for the curve to help you out.

Jan 2011

Professor Zorych is a really nice guy. He always asked for our input and considered it, even when it came to the distribution of percentages for our grades and whether we wanted our grades to be curved or not. His lectures were incredibly boring though. He usually had a powerpoint with class notes, and examples which he usually worked out on the board. I would say there were 50+ people registered for his class but no more than 20 showed up on a typical class day. Can't blame this entirely on him though, as statistics just seemed like a really boring subject to me. Both midterms were really reasonable, but the final was much harder than expected. We were allowed to use calculators for all three. He also replaced our lowest midterm grade if problems in the final from those sections had higher scores. He assigned homework about once a week, which included around 10-25 problems. I was surprised with the number in many of them since most math classes I've taken at Columbia usually don't assign more than 10. He also dropped our two lowest homework grades. Overall I'm glad I took the class with Professor Zorych because he is a legitimately nice guy and if I have to go through statistic it might as well be with him, but his lectures are pretty boring. If you have a hard time staying awake during boring lectures you will likely skip (along with over half the class) and will end up having to teach yourself statistics.

Dec 2010

Sheela in a word: boring. Her powerpoints are really complete and structured and are posted on courseworks. That's all you need; she just reads them in class, punctuating the monotonous flow of endless formulae with the occasional "right?" Unfortunately, this is not enough and at times classes will be like hell if you try to understand the material. Though the class starts with some very easy material, high-school level for most internationals, it becomes increasingly complex. Sheela never gives real-life examples, so it's extremely dry. Actually, the course would be much more useful if we learned to use statistics software rather than see pages of code on a powerpoint. Despite that, she is quite nice and will probably try to help you if you see her after class... Many people didn't bother to show up in class, as attendance was at times painful.

Oct 2010

An extremely nice woman, she was always willing to take the time after class to explain what she had just gone over. She has a good grasp of the subject matter but still knew how to simplify things for a beginner. Her classes can be on the boring side as she tends to read from the slides--however if you don't understand what she went over asking her helps as she will be willing to stop and explain in another manner on the board. Tests were fairly straightforward and shouldn't be an issue if you read the lectures and know how to match up formulas to different situations.

Jun 2010

[This was my submitted course evaluation] Professor Emir is an affable man, and he does care what his students seem to think of him. What he brings to Columbia, though, ends there. Class after class, he showed a remarkable lack of attention to and involvement in the course. He seemed minimally if at all prepared, and was generally disorganized. He clearly is a good statistician, but he was unable to bring much of his knowledge to the classroom. Some examples: 1) He read verbatim from the stock overheads prepared by the textbook publisher, which just quoted verbatim from the book, thus rendering going to class, or doing the reading, redundant. 2) When asked to introduce an example that wasn't straight from the book or slides, Prof Emir would show how unprepared he was; he once went completely silent for six minutes as he brainstormed an example, finally asking a student for a copy of her book and using something from it. 3) When he did use the board to jot down an example or elucidate a point made in the slides (which happened maybe once per class on average) his writing was small and hard to read, and he was VERY reluctant to actually go through the steps of a problem, or treat multiple parts of a problem. (And don't let me forget the extra credit points he awarded to people who would do problems on the board for him!) 4) Prof Emir several times changed the grading scheme for the course, but only after the relevant quizzes or homeworks were taken or dropped, as the case were. For example, the two quizzes went from counting 5% total (per the syllabus), to counting 10% each (per a February announcement), and then to 5% each (per a March announcement), and as of yesterday, back to 10% each. 5) He also changed test formats more than once. The first quiz was multiple choice, but because a few students asked for a change, for the midterm he changed the format to open question. Then, when that format proved too time-consuming to grade, he went back to multiple choice for the next quiz. 6) Prof Emir was occasionally late for class, and occasionally would leave early, citing specific family/work obligations. This would be understandable if his only available times to meet with students weren't right before and after class. 7) Prof Emir blatantly just did not respond to emails. TAs weren't much better. Do not be misled by the unremarkable evaluations--many students are just happy to have found a professor who grades so leniently (I got an A with minimal work) and they don't want to rock the boat, or look a gift horse in the...you get it. But being ostensibly friendly and laid back does not make up for the lack of care Prof Emir showed. And as such I think it would be a shame if he were invited back next year without his promising to make some real changes, and put in a sufficient amount of work himself. Tuition is too darn highto be spending it on this mediocrity.

Jan 2010

"It's all in the book" as Professor Whalen likes to say, and I feel it's a very accurate description of the course. There is a lack of structure in the course. Professor Whalen gallops over the material, assigning one problem from each subsection and considers that section covered. Therefore, a typical homework consists of at least 5 problems one from let's say 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, and 5.5. No wonder you realize that for a midterm you supposedly covered 10 chapters, when the other sections covered only 5. Professor Whalen's teaching style consists of either trying to explain the concepts, which often gets him a lot of blank stares, or simply doing the assigned homework on the board. Neither of those help learn statistics. Now, the class is not hard if you at least attempt to self teach statistics and do the homework. The problem is, you could do well on the midterm because it is literally taken from the homework, and you could do well on the final because it is not only taken from the homework, but also solved in class two days before the final, yet you finish the class knowing little. It's a stressful class for the wrong reasons.

Jan 2010

Where should I begin... Ed Whalen is a really nice guy. But that said, it doesn't really help that he's nice when he doesn't teach anything in class. He tries, oh he does try, but pretty much nothing he taught us made any sense right until the review classes where he actually tried connecting the random bits and pieces he would choose to teach in class otherwise. That said, honestly, I had friends in other sections who had equally useless teachers and had much harder homeworks and tests. So even if he didn't teach us much, I have to admit, he was aware of that and set the homeworks and tests according to that. So that by the end, I thought I vaguely understood what we'd been trying to do all semester but really wouldn't be able to do it all by myself even then. If you must take this class to fulfill a requirement, I'd say go ahead and take it. Just try learning stuff from the textbook and applying all the gazillion formulas and you'll be more than fine in this class.

Dec 2009

Absolutely terrible teacher. The reviewers below are correct in that he is a nice guy, but that doesn't help. Even if you try to talk to him after class, that won't elucidate any of the concepts he failed to teach during class time. Don't bother going to lecture at all; it's a waste of time. He spends hours showing you how to use Excel when he should be teaching you, I don't know, something about statistics, maybe? My class was at 9 and it was impossible to stay awake. Don't bother with it. Just do the readings and try to learn things on your own as best you can. If you want to take another statistics class after this one, you will be woefully unprepared for it.

Dec 2009

Ed Whalen once came to class in what looked like pajamas, so that was cool. Then he told a bunch of jokes, and told us to look at some blue boxes in the book. Then he gave everyone A's and B's. That's about it... *As he's giving out the exam: "I'm switching up the version of the exam by row. It's gonna be harder to cheat off of the person in front, so your neighbor will have the same version as you do." I thought he was extremely nice, but that his class just wasn't that interesting. ...My review originally was too short, so... I think the issue some people have is that he doesn't "teach" you the material. I half agree with this - I don't think we did that many examples in class, and that's usually the best way for people to learn in math/stat classes. On the other hand, he does guide you to the relevant formulas/pages in class or via email and tries to explain those. Where it gets hard is that he doesn't always explain the formulas that well, and when it comes time to apply them, you either don't know how to or don't know exactly which one(s) to use.

Sep 2009

Doesn't teach the material at all. Instead made us do lots of readings on our textbook. taking his class is like self-studying

Jul 2009

I am a post-bacc pre-med student, and I was very frustrated taking Professor Kim's summer 1211 class. While he is a nice man and a fine person, and I appreciate his ability and desire to know everyone's name, his spoken English was very simply a hindrance to his being accessible to someone with an abstract question about this very abstract branch of mathematics. Forget about asking theoretical questions about the topics, or using any decorative language or complex clauses in your questions to discern the general point behind certain statements and theorems. I found myself simplifying the questions I asked in order to accommodate him, when it is he who should be accommodating the students. There are certain expectations I have of a college professor that Professor Kim simply lacked. After two weeks in the class, it was also clear to me that he does not appreciate it when questions are asked during his lectures. This problem is compounded by the slow pace at which he moves through the verbiage of the material. He spends an inordinate amount of time writing definitions--in admittedly beautiful handwriting--on the board, and his asking students to read passages and definitions from the textbook serves no purpose in a college course. If he were to move through the material at a comparatively quicker pace, there would be more time for questions and further examples of tough topics so as to increase overall class comprehension of the material. Outwardly he seemed annoyed by students' questions, both during class and during office hours, which I believe is unacceptable from a Columbia University professor. Never have I felt such a palpable hesitancy in the air of the classroom on the part of the students to ask questions on account of a professor's rhetorical abilities. In addition, Professor Kim's text of choice, Devore's Probability and Statistics for Engineering and the Sciences, is easily the worst college text in any subject I've come across. (I encourage all to read the reviews on Amazon.com; this text received a paltry 2 1/2 stars averaged from about 40 reviews.) As an English major, I was consistently baffled and angered by Devore's curt explanations of the topics, and the giant leaps in logic he takes when explaining the material. Such leaps create proportionally huge gaps in student comprehension. He has no qualms with laying a few theorems out before his readers, and then expecting them to glean all the innumerable nuances by reading his problem examples--whose solutions also consist of giant logical leaps that serve only to confuse a careful reader. The author strikes me as someone who enjoys reading his own writing--because he understands it better than anyone. But in so appreciating his own writing he forgets his audience. This horrendous text and Professor Kim's (in)accessibility were my main concerns. I can fully understand that certain students to whom tough math comes more easily are charmed by his general temperament and desire to incorporate harmless tidbits of philosophy, science, and history into his lectures. However some important professorial qualities--patience, rhetorical competence--are undoubtedly lacking.

May 2008

I disagree with all previous reviewers. I think the problem might be that people come into the class with the expectation that the only thing required of them will be to memorize formulas...but nope! it's actually hard work (if you want a good grade). Personally, I think very highly of her, and I think she's by far one of the most intelligent professors that has so far taught me at Columbia (let's say she pairs with Elmes...just brilliant women). Catch is: you do have to put a lot into it. and i especially disagree in that she has no teaching skills. given, she is not an entertainer, but i don't think Columbia pays professors to come make us laugh. too bad that she won't be teaching at CU anymore, i actually think the school is missing a lot by letting her go. See...thing is if instead of whining about her teaching skills throughout the semester you would have taken the time to actually study and UNDERSTAND the material you might have been surprised at finding that once you get the logic of the class, you are set (conditioned in that you study). Anyway, I liked the class overall. and if prof salzman was to stay i would highly recommend taking her class.

May 2008

Introduction to Statistics is not the sort of class that a stellar professor can make stellar. At best he can make it tolerable. Prof. Davis was the latter sort. He gave boring lectures punctuated by awkward and sweet-in-a-nerdy-way jokes and test that were just a tad too easy. He's probably the best you're going to do, but skip class anyway and read the book instead. Put every equation in the book on your cheat sheet. Trust me.

Apr 2008

Professor Pospisil was clear and straight-forward, but a painfully boring teacher. I dreaded going to class and struggled to stay awake. I would have skipped and relied upon the book (Probability and Statistics by Jay Devore) to learn the material, except the book was even worse at explaining different concepts in Statistics than he was. I was disappointed at the end of this course because I believe that Stat has the potential to be a really fascinating course that actually applies to real life, but after this class I would never take Statistics again. He made no effort to make the material interesting and instead just had us learn formulas. That said, he speaks good English (which is a treat for a Columbia math class) and his lectures were clear and organized - if you can stay awake for them.

Jan 2008

This was Prof. Salzman's first semester teaching at Columbia and undergrads. She previously taught grad students at Stanford University so she taught the material very quickly with little time for review. However, she was very open to the suggestions of students on how to improve, slow down and review the material covered. I recommend taking her class if you are on top of your homeworks (weekly) and can learn on your own, from the textbook. Attending lecture is very optional (only some 15 students attending my section regularly). Also the TAs didn't have recitation sections, only office hours. The midterm was straight forward and if you studied and did the homework it was fine. I have no comments to give about the final.

Dec 2007

I thought I had had my worst teacher at Columbia when I took stats 1111 but Ms. Salzman did the impossible and is now my worst teacher at Columbia. A first year teacher here at Columbia, her lectures are incoherent, utterly boring, and filled with cryptic abbreviations for EVERYTHING. I had to make many friends in the class in order to do the homework which was long and hard. The midterm and final were death. She told us to prepare for them by redoing the homework, yet the test was nothing like the hw. She admitted the the mean for the midterm was a 30%. The final was equally impossible but included 2 problems from the midterm. AVOID!!!

Dec 2007

If you're an econ major in the college, you will most likely need to take this course at some point. For those of you who are mathophobes, statistics will be a tough subject, and no teacher can really help change that. However, the good news is that Mladen is a very generous teacher. He will slow down with material if everyone isn't getting it. For example, the second midterm contained less material than a previous semester, but that material was then put on a take home final at the end. Also, his tests are open book, so there is no need to mindlessly remember formulas. Overall, I think more than half of the class received grades in the A range, so it's not so bad.

Dec 2007

This was Prof Salzman's first time teaching at Columbia, and it looked like as if it was her first time teaching in front of a class at all. I went to class the first day and all 68 desks were filled. Over the course of the next four lectures, each person I sat next to told me they were going to drop the class. My big lecture class turned into a nice seminar of 24 people. She tried explaining moderately easy statistical concepts in a symbolic math nature, which scared a lot of econ majors out of the course. When asked how to explain this in a different fashion, she was unable to do so. Frequently she would ask a question and no one would respond. However, she would wait until someone did to proceed in explaining material. She also had a syllabus that was the equivalent of 2 semesters of statistics at the university of Michigan that she wanted to get done in one. As the year went on she began to understand more what the class wanted. The syllabus was going to be impossible to stick to. She gave a midterm that had an average of 50% in my section and 33% in the other. As a result she offered an extra credit assignment and tried to explain concepts more slowly. She started giving more economics based examples in explaining concepts of regression to make the majority of the class feel as if the topic was relevant. With a semester of experience under her belt, I think she would be one of the more enjoyable statistics teachers to have. She's young, brilliant, and learning, and will make a solid teacher someday. Moderately easy A if you had AP stat in high school.

Dec 2007

She doesn't lecture very well. Hard problem sets (15%). Midterm (35%) and final (50%) are insanely difficult.

Dec 2007

Completely awful. Difficult to approach, no personality. Talks in a monotone voice. Doesn't explain things clearly. Goes way too fast. Avoid.

Dec 2007

This course is horrible. There is just no way to not say that - it is way too hard. Mladen will curve your grade to try and help, but if you are looking for someone to teach you the material look elsewhere. If you want to teach yourself the course, take this class because the final and midterm are the easiest (i.e. open book/laptop) - but I don't recommend it because the book is bad too. Good luck with this one...get a stress ball.

Nov 2007

I'm gonna write this early because her review is highly demanded here. Frankly, I don't really find her class to be that good. This was her first time teaching undergrads so that could be the reason. Until now she has only taught PhD students at Stanford. Anyways the lectures are really obvious and even though she said she won't follow the textbook, she follows the textbook all the time. She explains theories and proofs but the problem is that she doesn't usually use examples to teach. We had one midterm and the result was horrendous. The mean was 30 out of a 100 and only 8 kids out of 33 or 35 got over a 40. The midterm was really weird and had almost nothing to do with the homework problems or the problems that she sometimes does in class. Overall, the class sucks, but it's a requirement so you have to take it. I would recommend taking stats with Salzman just because everyone else will do equally bad and your grade won't be good granted you actually do the homeworks and read the textbook.

Nov 2007

It was obvious on the first day of class that Prof. Salzman had never taught before. Her lectures vaguely followed the book, but were mostly example problems that were of no help for the homework or understanding the material. Half the class stopped coming after the first week. The homeworks were moderately difficult and required lots of supplementary reading of the textbook, which I felt taught the material better than Prof. Salzman. The midterm was completely out of the blue. It covered conceptual materials while the class and homework covered computational materials. The class average for the midterm was around a 30 percent. I took AP stats in high school, and concepts that were clear back them are more confusing now after this class. Try to find another statistics teacher. Unfortunately, I've heard the other intro teachers are bad, too. Good luck

Nov 2007

Seriously, stay away. She knows the material doubtless, but moves really quickly, has a lot of trouble making the class interesting, and is a lot less clear than the book. Midterms are near impossible (though there is a heavy curve). If you take this class you will probably end up teaching yourself nearly all of the material out of the book. I know I did.

Nov 2007

An overall fair professor considering that this is her first semester. Make sure to go to class because sometimes she puts hw questions on the board which aren't posted on the online problem sets. She liked being vague on what was on the midterm, the means of which in her two classes were in the 30s and the 50s.

Nov 2007

If you can take Stat with another professor. DO NOT take this course. Salzman is really sweet, but her hws are extremely hard, takes forever to do. Her midterm is a killer. If you really care about your grades, then don't take this course.

Oct 2007

The class average on our midterm was a 30 out of 100. That wasn't a typo. 30. And after learning this, instead of inferring that perhaps something is wrong with her teaching style, or that the test was unfair, Salzman held that students should have gotten all the questions correct except for 1. Seriously, if you take this class with her you're just asking for it.

Oct 2007

Oh Julia! Julia Julia Julia. Julia is a new Prof who used to teach graduate students at Stanford. She clearly has yet to grasp the difference between Stanford graduate students of Statistics and undergraduate Econ majors at Columbia. No one understands what she says in class, and this is not because she can't speak English. She just can't explain the concepts very well. You can certainly teach yourself from the book, but going to class is important when it comes to the midterm. The average on her midterm was a 33 in one class and a 53 in the class that took it second (cheat much?). The material is not easy, and this is coming from someone who even did well on her heinous test. That doesn't really change from teacher to teacher. She may be the best of many bad options, which is sad to say.

Oct 2007

She is easily the worst professor I've had at Columbia. I really tried to give her the benefit of the doubt for the first half of the semester. She's new, clearly socially awkward, and clearly hasn't had much experience teaching statistics to people who aren't knowledgeable about it. I thought maybe she'd come out of her shell, become more engaging, or even just act as though she cares about teaching. Well, I was wrong. Lectures are horrible. I am one of ~8 people (in a class of 35) who attends each class, and I go only for the amusing dialogue between her and the rest of the class. Basically, she'll write something unclear on the board and talk about it briefly. It will go over everyone's heads. Someone will ask a question and she'll answer shortly as though the asker is disabled. Repeat. The most frustrating part is that she hasn't attempted to alter her teaching style despite the fact that she clearly isn't getting the points across to anyone. She just doesn't care. Generally the redeeming quality of a class like this is that all the material is covered in the text book. This is true for the homework - my homework average is something like 99% just because I read the book. HOWEVER!!!! She did not post a sample midterm, as she claimed that the midterm would be very easy as long as you understand all the homework questions. Well, this couldn't have been farther from the truth. The homeworks are largely computational, and any theoretical content is easily derived from the formulas. Her midterm, on the other hand, was entirely proof-based and required that you derive all the formulas. There was virtually no computation whatsoever. This would have been fine (maybe), only she gave us no indication that this would be the case. And then there are the TAs. I attended a TA review session to prep for the midterm. Within minutes of being there, the TA had announced that he may not be much help since he hasn't opened the book all semester. He also stated that he does not know how to integrate a lot of the time. Yeah, not very helpful. Honestly, I think that I'm one of the members of the class who likes Salzman the MOST. Most people seem to completely 100% despise her, and rightly so. I'm not usually one to write culpa reviews as I don't really care a whole lot about other people's fates, but in this case I am making an exception. I noticed that she is teaching again next semester.. STAY AWAY!

Aug 2007

Rachel is a grad student in Statistics and a competent instructor. She went a little fast sometimes but covered all the material and gave useful examples. She evidently puts a lot into her teaching and cares about how her students do. A solid section to take if you have a choice.

Apr 2007

your best bet for stat. she's dedicated and actually teaches, which is rare in the stat dept. she grades fairly and theres a decent amount of work, but any section will have that. her problems at the beginning of each class help clarify what happened last class, and her homework is a bit lengthy, but doable. the stat requirement sucks for econ majors, but this is a way to make it more manageable.

Jan 2007

So yeah. His english was not great (to say the least) which made understanding course material somewhat difficult. Some people made it by and did not show up to class (learning from the book), and in retrospect, I should have done the same. He uses the textbook for his notes and uses the same examples as the book, but his problem sets are generally straight forward and his exams aren't too difficult. The final was worth 50%, which ended up being a good thing since it was not that ridiculous. Despite his lack of communication skills, he's a nice man and is willing to help you if you want his help (go to his office hours).

Dec 2006

Ji Meng Loh does explain the concepts in this class fairly well but expect to spend a lot of time outside of class going through concepts he did not. This way be an introductory course but expect to spend a long time trying to figure out concepts and doing his long and tedious problem sets. I don't agree that this is an easy A. He tries to keep the number of A's he gives out to around 25 percent so I gather he curves to b-/b. Well, the quote of the semester would be what he said just before the final. 'If you have done your work consistently throughout the semester, you SHOULD not get anything LESS THAN a C-' - Ji Meng Loh

Nov 2006

Prof Kim is an excellent professor. He's truly a professional educator. Prof Kim strikes me as someone who could also teach English Literature as comfortably as he does statistics. I would not call his summer 1211 class an easy "A". The previous reviewer was in Prof Kim's 1111 class, but I know that my life was basically consumed for six weeks during 1211. It was very rewarding in the end. For students who've feared this material in the past, Prof Kim may be perfect for you. If you're not getting it, he will find a way to ultimately teach it to you. He was very patient with my class. Don't fall asleep or miss too many classes. He calls on students from time to time and he knows who you are. Out of nowhere he may ask you to read a theorem out loud to make sure you know how the symbols translate to spoken English. Class particiaption was not part of our grade calculation. I can't say enough about Prof Kim. Rarely does one see his style in an introductory undergraduate class. If he taught an upper level stats class in the future, I would defintely take it.

Sep 2006

This class was relatively easy. Straightforward problems sets and you can use cheat sheets on the midterm and final. I would highly recommend reading the book before lecture otherwise his lectures can be difficult to follow. Also, even though Calc 2 is the only math prerequisite for the class, you will be doing Calc that is not presented in Calc 1 or 2 (double integrals) and not only will he expected you to know it, he won't understand why you don't. I would recommend this class if you are taking it by itself and not as a prerequisite for anything, particularly if you are need it for Econometrics. Since he allows cheat sheets and teaches in an all-together confusing fashion you will come away with an A but not really knowing much, which hurt you greatly when it comes to Econometrics.

May 2006

Nice guy, but I had no idea what was going on in the lectures. I and all of the people I know learned everything from the book after class and doing the homework. I don't know what he could really do differently, but nobody wanted to stop and say "what are you doing?" because we were all beyond the point of having a clue what he was even discussing that day. A few people seemed to know what was going on though. The TA was available for help, but Gerardo's assistance out of class varried. Many people are terrified that we're going to die in Econometrics because we have no idea what the hell we just covered in this class. Nice guy, but I would take the course with someone else if you're really interested/need to know the material in the course. People looking for an easy grade would do well to pick him though.

May 2006

I thought Gerardo was very good in this class. He speaks good English, gives clear lectures, and is highly available on office hours to answer questions. The textbook for this class was a real negative since some of the problem set questions from it were poorly worded, but I thought he did a good job of resolving those difficulties. Best of all, on exams he allows you to have two double-sided sheets of notes! I would highly recommend Gerardo to anyone needing or wanting to take Intro Stat (B).

May 2006

Prof. Hernandez was very knowledgeable in his subject, willing to make himself available during office hours to discuss material, and was honestly an all-around good guy. Homework was paced very fairly, exams were more than fair and actually quite easy. However, two issues. His lectures are not very good. I'm a fairly good math student, and I've taken stats before, yet I was often lost. He explains much of stats by way of doing the math behind it, which lost me and didn't help me solve the problems. After the midterm, a good third of the class stopped going to his lectures; I often had people who recognized me from class come up and ask me if I knew what was going on (I told them no, I didn't either). Also, he's disorganized when it comes to course management. Homework was assigned in a very haphazard manner, and some of the study materials he promised us for the final were posted late or not at all. Although he is a good guy, if you can take this course with someone else, I'd recommend doing so.

Apr 2006

If you're going to take Stats 1211, take it with Jinfeng. Take Stats with him not because he's a brilliant teacher. Take it with him because compared to the other professors (read: J.Lo), Jinfeng is great. He actually cares about his students, he cares that we learn the material, and the problem sets and exams are very fair (though not easy!). He's very accessable both through e-mail and in office hours. In the other class, J.Lo covered a lot more material, irrelevant material for econ majors if you ask me. I've heard horror stories about the other class, in that the exams and problem sets are impossible, and the teaching style is totalitarian. Jinfeng, by contrast, was always sunny and accomodating. That said, Jinfeng speaks with a heavy Chinese accent, which sometimes makes it difficult to understand what he says, and sometimes the class got out of control. There were many times I wish he put a kibosh on the roudy GS students. The second half of the semester I stopped going to lecture and put in a lot of time and effort learning from the textbook. I learned most of the material from the texbook. All in all, this class is wasn't easy, but learning stats is a very useful tool for future class and indeed, for our entire lives.

Jan 2006

This course is fairly difficult and Professor Loh does nothing to make it easier. While it is not his fault that the lectures are boring (how could a stats lecture not be?), he is not a particularly good lecturer. His midterm is doable, as is the final. The weekly problem sets, however, were extremely time-consuming and long. What makes matters worse is that Loh's textbook is quite possibly, the least helpful textbook ever written. If you take this course, I doubt you will get lower than a B. However, I also doubt you will get much higher. Overall, I disliked this class and found Professor Loh to be a poor (albeit competent) professor.

Jan 2006

Prof Loh expects his students to put in a good deal of work. But he said this straight out on the first day. This is not an easy class, but Loh said he was trying to prepare us for Econometrics. The good news is, he is a decent teacher. He is organized, covers the material well and is very accessable. The good news is, if you are willing to put in the work--this class is an easy A. Tests are hard but the scale is good. Overall, Loh is a no BS decent guy. Good class.

Jan 2006

Jinfeng is a really nice professor and though his teaching may not be superb, his office hours were extremely helpful. He was willing to make time to meet with his students when they need additional help. I've heard horror stories about the other professor and I'm glad I took this course with Jinfeng. I met with him when I didn't understand something and it was well worth it in the end. Keep in mind that the material is difficult and this isn't a course that you can breeze through. The difficulty of the course should be taken into consideration when picking other classes to take concurrently since the material takes time to understand.

Dec 2005

Not at all recommended. Professor Xu is harmless and perfectly nice, but a horrible teacher. He stands at the board mumbling for the entire class and rarely actually teaches anything. His homeworks are fairly easy if you read the textbook (which is excellent) and his midterm and final were both open book/open note. The midterm was insultingly easy, but the final was extensive, and considering that we hadn't ever learned the material, difficult. Don't take this class if you actually want to learn statistics.

Dec 2005

Horrible teacher, "nice" man (not overly nice as some reviewers here would have you think). Not too willing to help his students. He chose horrible TAs. The solutions he gave to the sample final did not show how he arrived at those answers. 1211 with him is really bad. HUGE AMOUNT OF WORK ASSIGNED.

Dec 2005

There are no words sufficient to express the horror of W1211 with Ji Meng Loh, but I'll try: the homeworks take a long time, but when you get to looking at them for the tests, you feel that they're basically pretty doable. He gives a sample midterm and final that seem pretty doable as well- BUT, his tests throw a large amount of questions at you completely out of left field. He'll ask stuff he never went over. I'm not exaggerating, and please believe me for your own sake, this was the worst class I have ever taken in my life. He can't explain concepts in class. he's ok in office hours (nowhere near as great or nice as some people here are making him out to be).

Nov 2005

Although he's a very nice man and has the best intentions and teaches a class that SHOULD be easy, Professor de la Pena is a terrible teacher and will only help confuse you more about the material you read in the book. He also tries very hard to trip up students on quizzes and exams by throwing them curveballs. He doesn't realize that when most of the class is doing so poorly in introductory statistics, there's probably something wrong with the way the material is being taught. His grading system is also extremely annoying. Whoever was correcting the tests and homeworks just really enjoyed using their red pen and took off points when it was totally unnecessary.

Oct 2005

Professor Loh is a dedicated teacher who is easily accessible. The material in this course wasn't too difficult, just put in effort and you'll get a good grade.

May 2005

A no-frills professor who goes over all the topics in detail. The classes are quite boring, but hey it's stat so deal with it. He answers questions in class and is flexible with his office hours. Probability took up quite a few lectures. He has a sense of humor that sometimes shows through unexpectedly in class. The weekly required recitations are a hassle.

May 2005

This is how a class should be...go to class, go to recitation, do the homework...do well. I have never taken a class that is so strightforward. No surprises on the midterm or final. It was refreshing. In addition to all that, Martin Lindquist is the most amusing, engaging, and entertaining stats professors. If you take this course, take it with Lindquist. He will make it a pleasurable experience.

Apr 2005

I totally agree with the previous two reviews. I should have come this website earlier if I knew it when I took the class. I really don't understand why the statistics department can allow such a bad teacher to teach. I lost all my interest in statistics after this class. All I learned is how to put the data into a formula. Wang is not friendly and bad at explaining concepts, and her broken English make it worse. In a word, I will never never take her class again.

Jan 2005

Professor Loh seems like a nice guy. He posts all of the lecture notes online, and is welcoming to students. When it comes to teaching, however, he is poor. He spends a lot of time on abstract concepts, which are quite hard and confusing. He seems to think that his class is the only class that students are taking, and thus assigns a huge amount of work. Problem sets take forever, and are difficult. Tests are painful. Overall, take this class only if you need 1211, it is not a fun class and Professor Loh doesn't make it better.

Jan 2005

Oh god. Here's a clue about how bad this class was.........20 min into the final a girl ran out crying......yeah it's true. This class was so rough. We started the first week out easily what's an avg? what's a mean? Prof. Loh uses slides that he posts online and taught from the slides. Logical nice cool. Then the stuff got really abstract. Albeit I probably got a C in the class so if your'e not a strong stat student then you know where I'm coming from. The recitation's were the only way to be able to do the homework which took hours to do. My recommendation is to go above and beyond the call of duty. I couldnt' go to office hours but you kind soul must do all the reading AND read the slides AND go to lecture if you want to do well. There IS a good side though. He curves hard and strong. "I think very hard before giving a C" -J Loh

Jan 2005

I didn't really like this class. Prof. Loh did not do a good job teaching during class. The first part of the class is easy enough where a quick read through the book can fix the poor teaching, but towards the end of the course, the terms and calculations get very complex and Prof. Loh tends to understate the basic principles of such difficult concepts. I hear he's a good teacher during office hours, but I had another class at that time so I couldn't go. What's the worst about the whole class is that attendance is required for the lecture and the recitation. It makes up 5% of your grade, and missing one class means a reduction of your participation grade by one point, so if you miss five classes, it will really affect your grade. He teaches as is he's punishing us for his bad luck in being assigned to teach such a basic and boring class. Needless to say, this style doesn't help you learn and it only makes you fear Econometrics.

Jan 2005

Professor Lindquist is a great lecturer--very clear and organized. All of the reviews about him being an extremely nice, accessible, and informative professor are true. If you have to take Statistics, take it with Lindquist. The material is EASY, and if you do have a little trouble with it, he'll be happy to explain it to you in a very coherent way. Spend time reading the textbook and completing the homeworks--they are tedious but they will really help you when midterm and final times come along.

Dec 2004

J Lo is by far the worst professor in any department at Columbia. Never take this course, but if you are an econ major you will have no choice so avoid him if you can. Your life will be destroyed attempting to do his problem sets. The practice midterm was a breeze and the midterm was a bleep*. Time in class is best spent napping, that is if you can convince yourself to go. At times i concidered him a sadomassochist!

Aug 2004

Professor Loh is a nice, quiet man who is unfortunately easy to fall asleep in front of. His class was fairly straightforward and relatively easy to follow. He teaches from slides which he also gives you a copy of, so it is not hard to follow along, and if you miss a class, it is easy to catch up on the notes, since you have most of them already. Not particularly exiciting or engaging, but at least he shows definite interest in having the students learn as opposed to some Profs in the Math and Statistics department, who often couldn't care less about their classes.

Apr 2004

Solid teacher. Provides slides online. Fairly easy course with weekly problem sets. Willing to help student out in office hours.

Apr 2004

Statistics sucks. I don't think you'll ever find an enjoyable stat class. With that said, Ji Meng Loh make stat pretty painless. He's really nice, lectures at a good pace, and provides PowerPoint printouts of his lecture notes. Problem sets take some time but are mostly taken out of the textbook so they're not difficult. The TA I had blew chunks, but that didn't matter too much since Prof. Loh was quite sufficient in teaching the material.

Dec 2003

A nice guy, Prof. Loh is very accessible outside classtime if you ever need help. The course material itself is straightforward; even though calc is a prerequisite, you don't ever use it on the exams. He posts lecture notes online. The only negative is he takes attendance at lecture and at the useless recitation section.

Dec 2003

Overall a good no frills teacher. He is not really exceptional. Good lecturer, provides the slides online. Homework assignments are reasonable. The biggest downside is that he takes attendance in class and recitation. Everyone seems to do well in this course. Easy A

Mar 2003

Save yourselves!! I get the impression that every stats professor sucks, and Wang is no exception. She conducts the class like a nervous middle schooler, and her thick accent made me think that she was making up words (she actually isn't half the time). In the beginning of class she dumps a huge stack of homework in the front and then the class badgers her about grades and assignments. You won't understand the lectures, and most people didn't even go (including me).

Jan 2002

This professor has mastered one thing, if anything, and that is pointing at the board and staring back at a completely listless class. He prepares notes and all examples straight from the book, so there sincerely is NO reason to go to class unless you can't make yourself keep up in the book on your own. Just memorize your formulas, and the exams will pose no challenge at all. He tries to put one curveball on each test, but you may get lucky and have a TA like ours who decides she will give out hints and solutions as she proctors a test. In summation, yet another non-learning experience at Columbia University!!