course
Calculus III

May 2018

Shrenik is one of the greasiest professors I’ve ever had! He does an excellent job of breaking down difficulty concepts and he goes out of his way to help students succeed. He’s also a cool guy to talk to.

Dec 2017

BEST PROFESSOR. I'm happy I trusted CULPA on this one. Daniela De Silva is probably the nicest, most caring professor at this school. She is actually a fantastic teacher. She teaches the material in a very clear way, is happy to answer questions until everything is clarified, and spends the first 2 minutes of each class summarizing what was taught last class. She does not want you to stress. She is happy to see you in office hours even for the most trivial Calc I question and will tell you to email her to set up another time to meet if her scheduled hours don't work. This class is not easy. In my opinion her exams are really difficult, especially the last problem, no matter how much you study. However, she gives partial credit generously and curves the mean of the class to a B+, so it's possible to still do well. Every single one of my classmates had only positive things to say about De Silva because she is a great teacher and really shows she cares about her students. This was my lowest grade of the semester, and I'm not a the biggest fan of 8:40AM classes, but I still recommend taking Calc 3 with Daniela!

Dec 2017

Professor Jo is really funny and nice. She's a really fair grader. She can DEFINITELY make the exams a lot harder than she does, but she likes to see her students doing well and cares more that you understand the overall concepts rather than being able to do really tedious problems. There is a homework assignment due each week that takes a decent amount of time to complete, but isn't bad. The homework assignments are handwritten. Would highly recommend!

Aug 2017

Calc III is supposed to be a terrible class but Professor De Silva made it manageable and a lot easier. Her homeworks are all doable and although I wouldn't say her exams are easy, they're by no means hard (she doesn't try to trick you or catch you out on anything) and she curves so nicely. She also explains everything really well. 100% take Calc III with De Silva.

May 2017

I took di Cerbo for Calc 1 (even writing the positive review on December 29, 2016!) and I know his style pretty well. As someone who has gone through two semesters of him now, I wanna say that he's a lot, lot, LOT better for Calc III than for Calc I. He is far more approachable, answers questions in a solid manner, finishes course material well, explains individual steps and example problems capably, and even cracks a joke every so often. That all being said, he is by no means a perfect professor - he sometimes (not frequently, but enough to be aggravating) makes arithmetic/algebraic errors in example problems, causing him to backtrack. And his midterms and final are once again very, very reasonable - they closely match the practice midterms and homework questions. Really, overall, I'd say I had a positive experience, though not an outstanding one.

Jun 2015

Xiangwen Zhang is a decent professor. Yes, his accent sometimes makes it difficult to understand his words. However, I don't think that really detracts from his actual teaching abilities. He's very clear & thorough with his explanations. Of course, since this is a math class you can get by without going to class and just reading the textbook, but I often found his lectures were more helpful than the textbook. Problem sets every week, usually assigned weeks before they're actually due. No WebAssign (thank goodness). Usually not that long & not a lot of work. His exams are very straightforward. He has practice exams on his website, and almost identical problems show up on the actual exam. Also, if you only go to one class per exam, go to the review sessions. He'll give answers to the practice exams, but he DOES NOT put them up online. If you don't go to the review, you're not going to have answers. As long as you go over your problem sets and the practice exam, the exams shouldn't even register as a problem. He really does want his students to do well. The class bombed the first midterm, avg 21/40 (which made absolutely no sense to me since it was literally the practice exam with different numbers). He adjusted the second midterm so it was much easier and everyone did much better. This isn't a hard class, and again, you can always teach yourself from the book. Would definitely recommend.

May 2015

Before taking this class I heard mixed review about Luis and of course I came into the class skeptical of how it would turn out. After a semester with Luis, I would like to say that my overall experience was a positive one - yes, the course/materials was challenging at some point, but Luis made them really interesting and I ended up really enjoying the course. Luis is a very knowledgeable professor and he does a good job lecturing (he has a bit of an accent but this did not interfere with his delivering of the materials). The first part of the course (before midterm #1) was relatively easy and the pace was a lot slower compared to later in the semester. I also felt that we did less examples with problems/questions in class as the semester went on and sometimes I felt that this made it difficult for me to understand what we were learning; nonetheless, the homework problems help reinforce the theorems/formulas learned in lecture. Luis also likes to go over goemoetric representations and proofs - a lot of time I felt like he would just end up talking to himself because everyone would be lost a minute after he begins, but not to worry, these are to help you understand how to derive the formulas and it's ok if you don't know how to proof them yourself, you just need to know the forumlas for the exam. The homework in this course are pretty long compared to other section of Calc 3, there are normally anywhere from 15-20 questions and the TA will only grade 4-6 of them. The good thing is that we don't have to do any webassign :) Most people will end up getting around 10/12 or 11/12 on the homework and he will drop the 2 lowest homework grades at the end. The first midterm was relatively straight forward but the second was a lot harder - I failed the second midterm (literally) and I stilled ended up with a very good grade in this class so don't worry if you don't do so well on the midterm. He usually returns the midterm a week after the day it was taken and regrades are due the next class after they are returned. In terms of office hours, Luis is very helpful and he truly cares about the success of his students. He will go over any problems/questions you have in detail and if you don't get it he will try and explain it in a different way. Not a lot of people show up to OH so be sure to go if you need help. All in all, I really enjoyed Calc 3 with Luis and if I were take it again I would choose his section without any hesitation.

Jan 2015

Ovid, as he told us we could call him on the first day of Calc III, is a pretty great professor. I believe this fall was his first time teaching Calculus (at least in many years?), but he didn't seem rusty at all, though perhaps a bit bored with the basic and stoic material we had to cover. Either way, he taught extremely clearly and was willing to answer any question that a student had for him. He is funny, every now and then, though his lectures can get a little dry. It is mostly because he is so clearly brilliant that the class remains exciting. And it was pretty full, too. Not sure how many students were registered, but I would say about 2/3 were always there. Overall, a great and clear way to learn math fundamentals!

Dec 2014

His lecturing style takes some time to get used too. He doesn't explain everything outright - which I liked, because it always bored me half to death to have a teacher waste time on something that was obvious - and therefore always finishes class early. (We've even been let out after only 35 minutes - it was a short lecture.) Other times, his style can be confusing because he doesn't always explain what he's doing on the board, and if you can't hear him all you'll see are formulas scrawled on the board. He has good legible handwriting, though. Reading the book chapter beforehand, or reviewing your notes/asking him a question after lecture will help. I'd recommend him for students who are proficient to well-versed in math. If you constantly need a refresher before every lecture, then choose someone else, or get in the habit of reviewing lecture notes a little before class. He doesn't do WebAssign, which is a great bonus. WebAssign sucks. Instead, he just assigns a bunch of textbook problems. His midterms are the best part. If you're wishy washy about choosing a math professor, choose Zeitlin for his tests. No dumb True/False questions, no stupid multiple choice questions. He gives you just six problems, all short answer (three to four lines of math), and I've finished the whole thing in ten or twenty minutes before. Some problems are easy, but the latter problems do require a little bit of thought, so overall I'd say the tests are fair.

Nov 2014

This was Professor Zeitlin's first time teaching Calculus III, and let's say that it "really showed". I'll trust the previous reviewers who raved about his Calc I course, but I found his Calc III lectures to be pretty unpleasant. There were some good things about the class, namely: 1) The homework was very preparatory for his tests, and 2) His tests were relatively easy -- both midterms averaged a B- uncurved. What about Zeitlin himself? Well, he doesn't seem like a nice person. I wouldn't ordinarily critique a professor based on his personality, yet it really shows. He gets frustrated whenever anyone asks a question as if he's annoyed that we don't get it. At the same time, he frequently asks for questions! It's confusing...I think that most people in the class became too afraid to ask questions. He generally makes question-askers feel dumb for not understanding something and always talks about how "easy" and "obvious" the answers are. When reviewing our second midterm, he was legitimately dumbfounded how so many people in the class messed up question 4. Does he expect midterm averages to be 100% or something? In general, I would say Zeitlin is dismissive about student concerns. His lectures are essentially carbon-copies of the textbook (including his examples), which can be good or bad depending on your perspective. A significant portion of the class didn't go to lecture knowing that the textbook could provide the same information in a less convoluted manner. If lectures aren't your thing, you'll probably love this class because you can never go and still get decent grades.

Nov 2014

He's not the best lecturer in the world, but he was understandable on most days. Sometimes his accent got in the way. He doesn't always say what he's doing on the board until the end, so it'll just look like a jumble of formulas. He's a smart guy, but if you want to learn math, learn it from the textbook. What's great about him is NO WEBASSIGN, and a fair grader. There are homework psets from the textbook and his midterms are fair/borderline easy.

Sep 2014

I took Calc III with Professor Jeon class last semester (Spring 2014) and was thoroughly impressed. He always started class with a review of the previous day's material, which probably helped the class members for whom math doesn't come easily. If you're strong in math and think this would be a bit tedious, it was. However, mathematics is all about developing complexity from basic rules, and his teaching style definitely helped me remember the basic rules we were using each day. This was especially helpful on the first class of the week, considering 4 days had passed between classes, sometimes without homework to keep the material fresh. Professor Jeon accommodated questions well and was patient during lectures. His English had a Korean accent, but it wasn't thick enough to obscure the material. I could see how a student might have trouble with his accent, however. It mainly interfered with his understanding math questions, which are often asked without being terribly organized or coherent beforehand. However, he allowed other students to chime in if they thought they could help class move along. He would always use many colors of chalk to help communicate ideas to students, particularly when graphing equations. He was also funny. He made fun of his Korean-ness by asking a student to teach him British-accented English so he would sound smarter. He made a joke about Gangnam Style. He pretended to be a North Korean spy, which I can neither confirm nor deny. If a student would try to start some banter with him mid-lecture, he would usually play along and have some fun before going back to work. The only reason I would not give Professor Jeon a Gold Nugget is that he did not teach me how to think creatively in mathematics to prove new theorems. It is very hard to teach this, but if I were not initially mathematically inclined, I doubt taking his class would truly inspire me to love mathematics or teach me to think like a mathematician. All in all, though, I was very satisfied with my Calculus III experience. Professor Jeon was funny, clear, and diligent. His minor shortcomings should be no problem to anyone with any self-motivation to do well in mathematics, and would not detract from the grade of anyone less mathematically inclined. 9/10

May 2014

Much of what I have to say about Wei has been written in someone else’s review. Thank you for having such a good review of Wei Zhang! People like Wei are really an asset to Columbia University and to the math world. I am writing this review to let more people know Wei, who is without a doubt the best professor I have ever encountered in my years in Columbia and is indisputably one of the academic superstars in the 21st century, at least in the realm of math. He is like the Judith Butler or Geoffrey Sachs in math or something. I originally took this class rather unwillingly to fulfill my ECON credit, but it turns out to be the best class of my life! Wei is so inspirational! When he talks, you feel like you are transported to the world of mathematics. His class is fun even for people who are not interested in math or science, like me. During his class, you suspend all your disbelief about math. You just buckle your seat belts and get ready for the wondrous journey that Wei takes you! I probably won’t pursue math major in the end because Wei Zhang only teaches Cal 3. If he teaches more math classes, I will seriously consider majoring in math!! Def take his class even if you are a history or English major. This class totally changes my perception of math and science. It’s a treasure for all!

Apr 2014

Not being a math major, I do not share the same passion as the review below but I'll give my two cents. Im an econ major so Calc 3 was required. Honestly take Zhang. He doesn't do Webassign because he sees no point in it. He goes at a slower pace which is fine. He gives out practice problems before the midterms which are very similar to the midterms. I have only heard horror stories about the other Calculus teachers. He is very approachable and will make time for you if you email in advanced. He is nothing extraordinary but is probably the best section to take.

Apr 2014

Professor Jeon is honestly the best. He made me enjoy Calc again. Don't get me wrong - Calc III is hard. It takes effort to do well on the tests. However, going to lecture with Professor Jeon is the best. He always starts the day with a joke - and keeps making the class laugh in between his examples. He's a great dude, and he teaches well. He never uses notes in class - his whole lecture comes from him talking through definitions, examples, and drawings on the board (It's really cool and scary - he knows so much about math he can actually RECITE the textbook. I love it, because that means he already knows the information, so he always focuses on how the students are reacting instead of how he should be recopying his notes), but always goes at a great pace and always asks for questions. What's even more surprising is that if you ask a question he will actually take the time to answer you the best he can, and will be really receptive to staying after class if you have something on your mind. I would recommend supplementing his lectures with the book and his office hours if you don't understand something, and sending him an email at his math.columbia.edu account always gets a response within the day. All in all, he's a great professor, who knows what he's doing and is able to communicate it to his students. He is worth taking, and a great guy to get to know.

Apr 2014

Take his class, take his class, take his class. One of the most rewarding/intellectually stimulating classes offered here at Columbia. Wei Zhang is one of the most incredible mathematicians alive. He is a bona fide Ivy League professor who has unlimited knowledge of everything in math. He exudes such gravitas that we would automatically fall silent and clung to his every word the moment he walked into class, because he is amazing. Not only does he explain concepts in the clearest possible way, but he also does it in the most awe-inspiring way. Because of him, I'm now a math major. Throughout the semester, Prof. Zhang is very approachable and understanding. He always comes to class with a big smile on his face and is always willing to take questions. Not condescending as some other profs are, which is always a plus! Also, definitely make time for his office hours. It may sound intimidating given that he is such a busy and legendary mathematician, but once you walk in to introduce yourself, the legend becomes a normal human being who cares about you and your intellectual development. Prof. Zhang does such a great job explaining everything that you don't have to panic at all when it comes to exams. Just do the homework and study for a couple hours and you'll be fine. The fact that he does not yet have stellar reviews is the most atrocious thing I've encountered as a student. I'm sure Wei Zhang will get his deserved gold nugget in no time!

Mar 2014

During the very first class at precisely 11:39am, Cueto rushes into the classroom with damp hair, notes and chalk in hand. She looks at her watch as she frantically erases the 9 boards in Math 207. This short Argentinian woman wastes no time in getting down to business as she runs through 1.5 sections of math at break-neck speed. Your questions will be answered; but they better be well thought-out. Everyone once in a while she'll throw in a little bit of humor, but math is just about the only thing that's talked about. After the first midterm, I dubbed Cueto, Ms. Concept because her first test was shameless in stripping you of any procedural knowledge you might have gleaned from the homework, revealing that you actually don't know how to define that plane between those oh-so-tricky orthogonal lines. The average was a 73. The second midterm had an average of 59. The final's average wasn't divulged. The tests are hard and not for the faint of heart; review ALL lectures, notes, and homework and do the practice midterms and finals with a time constraint and without the solutions. Some test questions will be like the homework, but others will seem familiar, yet scary. Write out as much as you can because pity points exist- and can mean the difference between being above or below the average. For all the trauma, Cueto still had some redeeming qualities when it came to her tests; after I bombed the first midterm, I went to office hours and she offered to go through the entire test and answer any questions that I might have. But the grades! You want to know about the grades? I made a 39 on the final and finished with a final grade, "B." So you couldn't land Hom's Calc III. Don't feel so bad. Cueto is decent, but not great. She's probably better than Nutz, Urban, and Drewitz combined.

Jan 2014

Cueto seems nice enough and she really wants her students to understand concepts and theory. She covers a little bit of material that other Calc 3 classes don't cover (ie. cylindrical and spherical coordinates) and I think that scared off some students the first day. Her handwriting can be a little tricky to read at times, but overall is not bad. Sometimes she explains things in a way that is more complicated than necessary, and the textbook seems to be a lot clearer and is a great resource, although she does follow the textbook pretty closely. The homework is straight from the textbook and pretty straightforward. It's out of 10 points with 3 questions graded fully and some credit for completion. She does offer the occasional bonus question on homework for extra credit, which is nice. The midterms can be difficult, but they stick pretty closely to the practice midterms, so if you do those and understand the solutions, you should be fine. Final was pretty challenging.

Jan 2014

I actually recommend this section if you have to take Calc III. Yes, Prof. Urban has many teaching flaws. But for the math department, he's actually not half bad. He's relatively slow (could be a positive or negative depending on your own math abilities). A lot of times he reads straight out of the book. He has a heavy French accent (you get used to it pretty quickly). He never checks his email (big piss off). On the other hand, he's a really nice guy and will answer any questions you ask. He's pretty laid back and the class was relatively easy. The class itself I found to be a very easy A (I am pretty good at math though, so take that for what it's worth). Most of the other students in the class were econ majors who suck at math but needed Calc III, so that helped the curve. His test questions are all the most basic forms of the problems we go over during class. He dumbs it down big time. The problems on the WebAssign are way harder than the test problems. Don't even bother studying those. (On the second midterm, for example, there were two questions that were variations of, If you have points A, B, and C, what is a plane that contains them all? Could not be simpler.) If you take this class, this is what I recommend doing: set aside 20 minutes before each class and learn most of it beforehand. If you don't, you will sometimes find yourself completely lost and he doesn't repeat himself or elaborate much. Bring the textbook to class and follow along. Sometimes he uses notation I don't recognize that is explained in the book, and the book is also great at explaining concepts. Also, go to the Math room at Barnard if you have questions. For the exams, read over the textbook thoroughly and do the sample problems and you'll be fine. Don't skip steps on the test: I found out the hard way that if you get the question right but don't do it the way we learned (or explain yourself), he WILL take off points. (Most math profs only check your work if you get it wrong.) Also, it's really hard to argue for points with him, but I guess that evens out over the whole class.

Jan 2014

Overall, Marcel Nutz is a good choice as a Calc III professor. He may not be the best or most exciting teacher, but I am grateful I had him compared to some of the other Calc III professors. In general, Nutz is a cheerful person who arrived to his 8:40 class with an organized lecture plan and a smile, which I appreciated. Lectures consist of him going over topics from the book, which can get monotonous at times, but I found going to class more helpful than the book, which can be confusing at times. Sometimes, a word may be hard to discern, but he is very open to questions, pertaining to his handwriting or the subject-matter. Nutz will often introduce a few simple examples of the current topic and focus more on proofs, so I recommend doing extra problems from the book when studying for tests. Homework consists of ~14 problems from the book; occasionally, this will include more difficult problems, like proofs, that make you throw your hands in the air and say, "Why Marcel?" Midterms are fair and have a generous curve: in general, easier than the problem sets, but you should still study for them. The final is basically a longer midterm.

Jan 2014

Pros: - She is generally nice and her English and writing is mostly comprehensible - Homework is annoying as expected but it's pretty easy and straightforward Cons: - I spoke with other friends in Calc III and Cueto's tests are by far the hardest - She doesn't really give a great description of the information and expects the students to know everything, and when you have questions, she will sometimes answer them condescendingly, as if there is no reason in the world anyone wouldn't get the question right the first time. - Tests are usually impossible, final is quite difficult

Jan 2014

Nutz is alright. He is not the very best, but he certainly is not the worst. Like many of the other reviewers have mentioned, his lectures are pretty dry. He does tell a few jokes every now and then, but staying awake may prove vexing. He also sometimes rushes through the material, and you might be forced to learn from the book. But on the bright side, Nutz is a competent mathematician. I still went to class every morning, for he sometimes told us shortcuts and other neat tricks not found in the book. He was very helpful during office hours; do go visit him if you're confused. The homework can get very annoying, as some of the proofs take up a lot of time. You can't always expect to get help from the TA or the Barnard math help room. Visit Nutz during office hours if you're stuck. The best part about Nutz, though, is his exams. He does a decent job of reviewing all the material, and his tests are very easy, especially compared to the homework problems. The class is curved to a B+, so it's not too hard to get an A. Even an A+ is attainable with some effort.

Jan 2014

I will preface this review by noting that when I was choosing from the numerous Calc III professors, many of them had all over the place reviews, and I took my gamble with a professor who didn't even show up on Culpa. Hopefully, this review will give some measure of accurate picture as to what the class experience was like. (for a shorter review, please visit the last paragraph). The Good: There were, in short, really only two good things that she excelled in as a professor. The first was that she provided practice tests before each midterm, and all of her homework assignments were clearly laid out on her website. The second was that she always held review sessions that went over the majority of the material, so that if you missed a lecture, you could probably get a mini-lecture on it on review day. The Not so good: That website looks like it was made in the early 2000's, and there were no practice tests for the final, simply a giant list of book problems that were from each of the sections out of the book. Her reviews covered a lot of superfluous material and don't really map over to her tests as well as they could, and she often runs out of time on review day so only the first x% of the material is reviewed. For the most part, you could study out of the book and understand ~90% of the course material. Only a small subset of things does she teach that aren't in the book. In lecture, she has a variety of shortcomings that make her about as effective as the book. She spends a lot of time on things that aren't very important (the differences between the dot product and cross product in terms of vector algebra, what direction the gradient points to on a contour map, etc) and aren't going to be on the test. She clutters her lectures with notation that would be familiar to anyone versed/interested in math, but makes it a little harder to understand (one such example was her use of "R3" to describe 3D space. Little things like that). She makes silly arithmetic errors, and tells us she is terrible with numbers. It's a small complaint to have your math professor be able to consistently evaluate cos(30°) correctly, but she messes up like this quite often during lecture. Her handwriting is atrocious; there were numerous times I had to stop and ask people what exactly she had been writing. Her capital M's look like a square with the bottom side erased out, for example. I want to say she is from some spanish speaking background, though I might be wrong; this contributes, I think, to a slight accent and mispronunciation of some words that are kind of grating (subtract is pronounced "substract"). To be fair, these are all petty little things that make lecture feel a lot longer than it is, and distract from her teaching. I feel as if it is not necessarily that she's a poor teacher, but rather that she is a little oblivious. She evidently cares a decent amount about her students, but often times misses the crux of an asked question or doesn't realize that there is chatter in the back couple of rows, which, again, decreases from the effectiveness of lectures. She says things that are flat out wrong some times ("your final will be shorter and easier than your midterms have been. AHAHAHAHAHHA no.) On that note, though, I personally never went to office hours, because she had them before class started (when some people actually have class then. Brilliant idea). However, from friends who have told me that they have been to office hours that she is decently helpful there. The best way to talk to her is just to do it right after class, she is usually the most open then. Her homework is graded on time, though often times the graders make mistakes (egregious ones, too. "sqrt(4) = 3" -1 point. Thanks math TA's, good work). There are two midterms and one final. Her first midterm was relatively easy, and was similar in difficulty to the practice exam she gave. Her second midterm was definitely a lot harder than the practice exam she gave, and many people weren't prepared for that. Her final was absolutely much, much harder than anything she had given us. The averages (out of 100) on each of these tests went from ~75 to ~59 to, my guess is, somewhere in the 30-40 range. There are two problems with her tests. She writes all of her tests, and she is pretty terrible at writing questions. For example, on the final she gave us a kinematics style problem that asked where an object was at a given time. This time was after the ball had hit the ground, so the correct answer would have been something along the lines of "The object is 20m below ground at t=3s." Her ability to write test questions that competently assess your knowledge leaves much to be desired. In addition, her tests are a curious blend of spitting knowledge and equations back out when the question asks for it, and having to stretch your knowledge and use the tools at your disposal. When she asks for the former, the questions are easy, and when she asks for the latter, often times she expects far too much. This, I think, is the reason that her tests come across as difficult. tl;dr: What you should keep in mind when you make your decision: She is not the clearest lecturer for getting the information you need to know across, and her tests aren't necessarily easy. In order to get an A- or better, you need to put in the honest work to understanding each of the concepts she presents/are looked at in homework. By virtue of the way she set the class up, honest work is a necessity, but if you are okay with putting in less work, you'll probably get a lower grade. I wouldn't honestly recommend her due to all of the issues she has as a lecturer, but I'm sure there are worse professors out there.

Dec 2013

Marcel Nutz is your average Calc III professor. He is pretty boring, but he is solid at teaching. I will give him the benefit of the doubt since Calc III is a boring subject to begin with. This class is perfect if you are just trying to fulfill a requirement. He does not use Webassign. I went to a couple of his office hours. He is a nice guy and is very willing to help students out. I also appreciated his fast response when it came to emails. His homework assignments are long but that is pretty standard for Calc III classes. It took me on average 3 hours to do the HW. Overall, I am glad I took this class even though I did not do as well as I wanted.

Dec 2013

Marcel Nutz is a solid choice for Calculus III. Having sat in on Maria Cueto’s class and having had Alex Drewitz as a sub I can say that I clearly prefer professor Nutz to both of them. While Nutz might not be the most energetic professor, he has his own personality, and he teaches you exactly what you need to know in clear, organized lectures. I appreciate how he focuses on Calculus being conceptual rather than formulaic. For example, while talking about distances in 3D space, he emphasized that all these formulas come from projecting one vector onto another, and this was extremely helpful in understanding and remembering the formulas. I also appreciated his use of erasers, rulers, etc. to demonstrate 3D principles, which is helpful for someone like me who doesn’t always understand 3D drawings. His handwriting is mostly legible, but if you are confused, you can always ask him to clarify what he wrote and he will happily do so. If you don’t understand him in class, go to his office hours. I found him helpful and reasonable in office hours. He doesn’t give practice exams but the harder book problems are on par with the exams. He does a good job of reviewing and emphasizing what you need to know in the class before exams. The exams increase in difficulty, as does the material, but all of them are most definitely doable. On top of that, his curve is quite generous. About half the class stopped coming to lectures eventually, and you can definitely learn what you need from the textbook, but I find his lectures more helpful than reading the textbook. Overall I think Nutz is a solid Calculus III teacher who provides you with a good understanding of the material in a relatively low stress, fair, class.

Dec 2013

I haven't been to office hours, but I have asked Alex questions via email. He is very helpful and detailed in his explanations of concepts (sometimes, he responds within minutes of receiving the email). His answers to homework problems are also very helpful too - they are very detailed and step-by-step solutions. He even created a study guide and review questions about a week before the calculus final (versus other TAs from other calculus classes, who usually only grade homework). Overall, an excellent TA.

Dec 2013

Maulik is a decent math professor. At the beginning of each class, he likes to give a quick review of the concepts he went over in the last class. On the day that homework is due, he reminds students that homework is due. His teaching style is a standard lecture. Sometimes he'll offer a motivation as to why the concepts presented are important, and he'll offer proofs before going into specific examples. Usually there is a 3-minute break in each lecture (unless there is a lot of material to be covered). I thought that he teaches at a brisk pace, so it might be difficult to catch up with the proofs. However, his explanations of the concepts and examples are clear. Although I've never been to this office hours, he is good at responding to questions over email and seems willing to slow down and take questions during the lecture. Overall, he is a fair and helpful professor.

Oct 2013

So if you're taking this class and you've already done something equivalent in high school he really isn't that bad. HOWEVER, if you are taking this course because you actually need to learn things, you may want to rethink registering for his section. First of all, he has a heavy french accent which would be fine if he didn't speak at a subsonic volume. You have to sit in the front row if you want to hear anything that he's saying. He knows his stuff, but doesn't know how to teach it. He's an overall nice guy, but that only takes you so far if you're a mediocre teacher/have mediocre communication skills. The class moves at a glacial pace which could be good or bad depending on your calc background/abilities. It is a struggle to pay attention in this class.

Sep 2013

You will learn a lot in this course, and Nam is an great lecturer on par with most humanities departments. He likes to use colorful metaphors and write out everything in the form of a question and answer, so the pacing is better than most calc classes. There are review sessions in class before each of the midterms, and if you're good with the textbook, these are really the only classes you need to attend. The exams are too long for someone who's never taken multivariable calc to reasonably complete in time, even if you show up early, so there is a curve. Unfortunately, because of these aforementioned people, the curve is very harsh, and I got a B even being half to one standard deviation above the mean. He gives a distribution of grades after every midterm, and there were a ton toward the top scoring 95-100. The few people at the bottom leave after the first midterm. The review where someone said this was a good class for econ majors is true to some extent - it's not overly abstract, and there are plenty of computations. The explanations are also very clear and come up in later classes. However, the exams have relatively difficult proofs which are pretty useless for microecon and beyond, but I'd imagine they're useful training for higher math. I would recommend Hom or Anand if you're GPA-hunting, but Nam is better for learning and truly understanding the concepts. Overall, a solid choice for Calc III if you need it for the requirement. If you're an engineer, you will likely excel.

Sep 2013

Excellent teacher. Anand is incredibly friendly and extremely helpful. His lectures involve a combination of notes, which he often writes on the board, and going over homework/test problems. One of my favorite teachers at Columbia. Read the textbook, and use the lectures to clarify anything that might not be clear to you. He is very knowledgeable, provides clear notes and really makes the class more enjoyable. The tests are extremely easy/straightforward if you do the homework sets and practice exams. Also, make sure to use the Math Help Room if you don't understand the HW problem, because getting 100% on the HW can really boost your grade. The grade breakdown is: 20% HW, 15% worse midterm, 25% better midterm, 40% final. He tries his best to make sure everyone gets at least a decent grade. An A is definitely doable, and even an A+ if you are good at Calc and put in the time and effort. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS CLASS!

Jun 2013

Marcel Nutz is a very weak professor and very bad at explaining his lackluster scribbles of taken directly from the early transcendentals textbook. Nutz is a boring teacher, yes calculus III is probably not the easiest course to make exciting, but Nutz doesn't even try. He rarely attended office hours, ignored emails I sent to him, and whenever I tried to ask him for help after class seemed too arrogant to care. Nutz exemplifies the frequent mediocrity of teaching in low level math classes at Columbia, yet having moved from a different section I can clearly say he falls close to the bottom of the bucket in teaching aptitude. Although Nutz is likely fluent in multiple languages, his accent is thick and his handwriting is poor. All in all, you can tell that Nutz does not care about his low level undergraduate students and ignores their whims. If you plan to actually do well in this class, you are best suited learning straight from the book. You could regularly go to his class and get nothing out of it. I wish Columbia could find someone more motivated to teach this class.

May 2013

Pretty fair course overall. He taught pretty clearly in terms of concepts. He included some cute tidbits related to the topic of the day into the lecture. A lot of people had trouble with his accent. I rather had some trouble hearing him because his voice just doesn't project too well so I recommend sitting in the front and I didn't really have a problem with his accent. Take good notes of the examples in class because the proofs on the tests can be pretty tricky and I realize a quite a few were from class. Speaking of proofs, there are simple ways to do it but that was really the part where I had a lot of trouble. Homework: Problems were medium to difficult but nothing you can't do with the help of a friend or two. He also sent reminder emails which was helpful when you get thrown off schedule with breaks and such. Exams: He actually has review sessions before each test and gives you an outline of the things to be tested and review problems that you should most definitely do before the test. big plus in my book. In terms of the actual exams I thought they were medium to difficult, the final being the hardest of them all. A bit more proof heavy than I'm used to so it's best to really review the practice test he puts up. Over all really fair course of Calc III that I can't complain about.

May 2013

Anand is easily one of the most cheerful and energetic professors I have ever come across. He is genuinely excited to teach his students, accommodates students' queries and concerns and genuinely cares about them. He even devotes the class before each midterm (and the last class of the semester before the final) to a review of the material that will be tested on the upcoming exam. His explanations are clear and logical - he goes through what he's writing on the board slowly and carefully, even when deriving formulas that students are only expected to apply and not derive on tests. I would definitely recommend taking Calculus III with him.

May 2013

prof Nam Le is being very clear the whole time (his favorite question is "is it clear about this?"). and straight-forward about what to expect on exams. Many exam questions are related to the examples he went over in class or homework. He writes comprehensive and clear notes on the board (but sometimes might be difficult to see from the back, so if you don't have good eyesight, sit in the front) In terms of difficulty, I don't know how to describe it since I have no idea of the student body. But my impression is there is a pretty even spread of the grades (prof Le posted all possible grades for every exam). E.g. The average of our final is 55. There seems to be about equal number of people in all ranges, except at the two ends (90s or 20s/10s). He doesn't require using webassign, which is a money saver for me. In terms of theory/calculation balance, as he said, if you only want theory/proofs, you should go to an honor class. This class is more calculation based, but with a good balance of theory and calculation, in my view. About his accent: here are the two rules 1) he tends to under-pronounce s and/or the ending consonant. e.g he will say "use" like "u" , or "describe" like "decribe". 2) sometimes he mixes f with p, which is common among many other foreign speakers. Once you get the two rules, you should be able to understand him pretty easily, since there are not many vocabs in maths anyway. Overall, there is no surprise with this class You will most likely be fine.

May 2013

This class was very enjoyable overall. His lectures become dry after a while but he goes over important stuff not covered in the textbook. To do very well on his exams you need to go to his class or get very good notes because he tells you which problem is final or midterm material when he goes over them in class. Only tricky thing though is that he doesn't do difficult proofs in class but they do show up in the midterms and finals. His exams are also very long and will probability take up the full time. Overall, very funny and knowledgeable guy. 10/10 would take a course taught by him again!

May 2013

Anand may be the best teacher I have ever had. There was not one day that he didn't walk into class with a big grin on his face. The fact that he bring so much energy to the classroom, genuinely excited to present the material, gives me hope that there are actually professors out there, like him, who care. Better yet, he regards his students as peers, not just faces. He listens to what they want, asking them what he needs to do to prepare them for a test, asking them when they want him to be in his office for office hours (he's having them two hours every day for the entirety of readings week), etc. The class itself is pleasant and the material is enjoyable to learn. Two midterm exams (the one you score better on counts for more) and the final (40%). Homework counts for 20% and is by no means difficult. Take this class with Anand. Best class I took this year with the best professor I've had.

Apr 2013

As far as the Columbia math department goes, Woodbury is a gem. He's young, passionate, interesting, and speaks fluent English. His lectures are interesting, easy to follow, and appropriately paced. He's available for extra help, his tests are reasonably hard without being impossible, and the homework assignments and practice tests are very helpful in terms of test prep. He made the effort to learn literally every student's name (in a class of over 100 students) and sometimes tells funny little stories in the middle of lecture (not too distracting, but often a very nice break). The homeworks are intense (WebAssign as well as a regular written problem set) but are definitely doable. He scales well and drops the lowest few homework grades. I didn't have a strong math background going into the class but was able to follow it with little difficulty and definitely learned a lot.

Apr 2013

ANAND IS MY BOOOOO!!!! But actually though he is probably my favorite professor at Columbia so far. Such an adorable, likable character. He is so enthusiastic about the subject matter he teaches and breaks down even the most complicated of subjects making them very easy to understand. Even if by the end of the lecture you are still struggling, he is more than happy to help at his office hours. I took both Calculus II and III with Anand and could really tell that he wasn't just regurgitating information from a textbook or lecture presentation. He really wants his students to be able to understand the concepts and ideas behind the formulas. Basically if you're taking a math class and have the choice to take it with Anand. DO ITTTT. You will not regret it in the slightest and will come out with a clear knowledge of the underlying concepts of the subject matter. Did I mention Anand is adorable?? Also first week of spring semester he was stuck in India cuz the goofball lost his passport and visa LOL! <3 <3 <3 Anand!

Feb 2013

I found Professor Nironi to be very difficult to learn from. He spend the majority of class time proving the formulas and equations that will be used on his problem sets rather than giving examples of how these tools will be used. I found this immensely frustrating and aside from the first two weeks of class (which were easier and more clearly taught), I learned 100% from the textbook. This is no exaggeration. I would sit through class, pay attention, take notes, and grasp only about five minutes of lecture. I went to his office hours several times to ask questions and while he was very eager to help, his explanations often continued to go over my head. I ended up getting most of my help from the Barnard Help room. (Keep in mind if you decide to do this, only some of the TAs there are familiar with Calc III material so make sure to take note of when they're there.) Professor Nironi also offers a voluntary recitation on Fridays. I couldn't make it due to a conflicting class, so I can't comment. Furthermore, only one problem set out of nine were returned over the semester, making it very difficult to learn from my mistakes. He also doesn't believe in posting answers to practice exams, so you won't know which concepts you're getting wrong until you get your midterm back (i.e. too late). He writes his midterms to be longer than any student could complete and then grades entirely based on the curve. This seems intimidating, but actually can work to your advantage because on exams you can entirely avoid one topic that you just couldn't understand and focus more on the things you did understand. Also, no Webassign. On the whole, I would say that Professor Nironi is a fair professor who is ideal for the student who is absolutely in love with proofs and the more esoteric side of math. If all you're looking for a solid and clear understanding of Calc III, he's probably not the professor for you. Grading: Nine problem sets, worst two dropped. %20 Two midterms. Best one counts for %25, other counts for %15 One challenging, but doable final counts for %40

Jan 2013

I enjoyed this section because I love calculus, and I thought it was easy because Bohan tends to curve a lot. You don't even have to go to class! Just read the textbook and do practice problems. His accent is hard to understand, and the lecture notes you copy down from the board won't make sense to you later, so going to class is unnecessary. You would be lucky to get in his section, unless you like going to calculus class. I got an A so I was obviously excited about the class considering the amount of effort I put in.

Jan 2013

I was incredibly disappointed with this class. Mr. Fang's English is terrible. I was unable to understand him the entire semester. It is hard for me to believe he is an instructor at all, much less at an Ivy League school. I have grown accustomed to the typical math instructor at Columbia, by which I mean the tendency here is to have instructors who can't teach very well. Mr. Fang goes several steps beyond the typical socially uncomfortable professor. He is disengaged and unhelpful. Take this class only if you need no verbal component to classroom instruction, because you will not get it.

Dec 2012

Professor Hom acts like an adorable 10-year-old who actually does an excellent job teaching you calculus. Her class is pretty much all I could ask for in a math course: straightforward, fair, and curved fairly generously. She teaches very methodically, and even though the notes she writes on the board are fairly similar (if not identical) to the textbook, she does an effective job teaching you the material. I had never taken multivariable calc before (just BC calc in high school) so almost everything we learned was new to me. Yes, I'll admit the lectures aren't always the most engaging, but it's a math class – how much flexibility does the professor have in terms of being creative? She teaches the theory and then works out example problems. When things get boring, or if she makes a mistake, she tells us a Chuck Norris joke or a funny story about her niece. It's adorable. The exams are pretty fair. The first exam was definitely trickier than the second exam, which was as straightforward as you could possibly imagine. The final was definitely tougher than the midterms, with the average being around a 66%. However, there was a very generous curve for everyone's final course grade, as even people who had an average of a little over 85% uncurved ended up with A's. If you do your homework (which we affectionately referred to as Homwork) and actually understand what you're doing (not just copying from Chegg), you'll have no problem with the exams. I never went to Hom's office hours since I just checked my homework with and asked questions to friends of mine in the class. Overall, JHom is a great choice for Calc III. TAKE HER CLASS AND ENJOY THE CHUCK NORRIS JOKES!!!

Dec 2012

TAKE JENNIFER HOM!!!! She explains math like we are a class of 5th grade students, which is largely appreciated when the topic is multivarible calculus. For this same reason, she is quite adorable in class and commonly tries to integrate chuck norris jokes and stories about her niece into her lecture. Even if everyone is not a fan of her psets, they love Hom as a person. The book explains calculus rather well, and you can pass the midterms/do all the psets without ever going to lecture, but go to lecture anyway. She explains calc better than the book does, she goes over practice problems that come up in the psets but are not explained in the book, and you'll actually save time by going to lecture vs skipping. She rarely asks for student input during lectures and when working out problems. This is really nice as you probably forgot a lot of trip/calc I/Calc II, but she also reviews the calc I/trig needed for certain topics. That being said, sometimes her lectures are really fast (with absolutely no bullshiting!) and you can easily get lost. Thankfully, she will stop to answer any question. Once a student said "CAN YOU PLEASE SLOW DOWN!?!!!!!" and instead of being offended, Hom completely stopped where she was, and went through the steps very slowly, re-explaining each part. So if you don't get something through lecture, its generally your fault; ask questions, or she will assume you get it. Oh, Sometimes her classes get out early =) Office hours are very useful and she will hold midterm review sessions on some of those offices hours, going to one saved my ass on a midterm after I had skipped lecture for a few weeks. She doesn't use webassign!!!!!! WOO!!! Though sometimes the grading by TAs makes absolutely no sense; like once I got a 8/20 on a pset I thought I did genuinely well on, another time I got "bro, I can't read your handwriting" was rewarded with a 6/20 (p.s. I could read that shit!). Despite my horrible pset grades and bad final (understood all the material but didn't memorize the necessary formulas, did well on midterms) I still passed the class. You will have no clue what your letter grade for the class is during the semester and you are just going to have to live with it. One last note, there is no arguing about a grade on a midterm. I (and others) went up to her after the midterms were passed back to dicuss the partial credit we recieved and every response was the some variation of "well yes, but you didn't do that so this is the credit you recieve". Sometimes frustrating, but of no great consequence. If you want a calc teacher that explains the topic very well, gives a reasonable workload, doable midterms/finals, and is accessible, take Hom!

Dec 2012

Columbia has a lot of intelligent professors, but very few of them are good teachers. Woodbury looks hardly older than a TA, but lectures like he's been teaching for ages. He is a naturally gifted teacher who takes the effort to make sure that every student understands the material. He is approachable and welcomes student participation. There are times when he makes mistakes on the board - please correct him, he'll appreciate it. He may seem to be moving along a little slowly sometimes, but he ensures that he explains every concept in detail so that you understand. This is a good thing. With all the homework and his great teaching, you really don't have to study much for exams. You can tell that he's very passionate about math because he points out neat stuff and shortcuts all the time. Woodbury doesn't like formulas, preferring to derive them on the spot from concepts - this helps boost student comprehension. He is also a very nice person to boot - by the first month of class, he knew almost everyone's name (there were about a 100 of us). The first half of the semester was kind of boring as Woodbury did really basic stuff like vectors, complex numbers, conics and planes. The second half was much more engaging - he covered 3D geometry, quadric surfaces, partial differentiation, etc. The first midterm was painfully easy. The second midterm was hell because it involved a lot of tedious calculations like differentiating a complicated 3 variable function three times and finding it's magnitude to get the normal vector. The final was between the two. Woodbury is a fair grader - not easy, not hard. Homework was heavier than other sections because Woodbury uses WebAssign but not bad. Note that you must purchase the textbook for $110 to get WebAssign. The PDF of Stewart Calculus you got from a friend won't help you here. Woodbury is probably one of the best Calc III professors. I highly recommend taking his class.

Dec 2012

He's a nice guy and really cares about his students; he even learned everyones name within a few weeks (yes, all 100 of us). Nonetheless, he isn't that great of a lecturer. He often provides explanations that are confusing at best. In particular, I remember that he spent one entire lecture going over HW problems instead of new material… He also requires webassign (1 webassign and 1 written hw every week). I find that a lot of his hw problems are very tedious in terms of the amount of pure algebra required (especially when you get to CH 13). However, he drops the lowest 4 hw grades. He posts a practice midterm before each midterm but refuses to provide solutions--he only posts answers. However, he does post solutions to hw sets before each midterm. He also provides a detailed review before each midterm which is VERY helpful. I often find that his typed notes that he ocassionaly posts are much more helpful than his lectures. Exams/HW tends to be returned fairly quickly--1 or 2 class after it is handed in.

Dec 2012

Hom is all around a pretty good professor. She explains things better than the textbook and thus makes going to class worth it, even if you REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want to...which was me most of the time. If you take her class though, be prepared to really understand the material. No longer can you just memorize formulas. You have to really get it. Her true-false questions and sometimes-always-never questions on the exam insist on it. Her class is not an easy A. Her exams are kinda hard. Her final was soooo long. But whatever. Those days can suck. If you want to really understand calc III (but really though, why would you?), Hom is your lady. Long story short--I am not a math person. I did ok. You can too. Hom is a pretty good professor. She talks about her niece a lot.

Dec 2012

His biggest pitfall is that he doesn't take in to account that everyone learns things differently; that each student has a unique way of understanding concepts. I thought I was just bad at learning calc because I couldn't understand concepts like he did, but I realize that's not the case. I took calc 2 simultaneously with calc 3, and I did significantly better in calc 2 because that professor took the time and effort to explain concepts in different ways that suited my way of thinking. I'm not saying that my ability to learn solely depends on the teacher's ability to teach - the student also needs to show initiative and willingness to learn (which I do - I'm not throwing $60,000 a year to not learn). But there's need to be a balance; efforts need to be made on both sides in the right way. Nironi doesn't make that effort, either because he doesn't want to or doesn't know how to. No doubt he's an intelligent man, but not a good teacher.

Dec 2012

I thought I wanted to be a math major...until I took Nironi's class. He is a very smart guy and approachable, but he doesn't understand how to communicate with students, particularly students learning a subject for the first time. I went to his office hours for the first half of the semester, but I always walked out even more confused. Recitations weren't that helpful either. homeworks are useless for studying for exams (he said that himself). exams aren't meant to be finished (he said that too). he doesn't give solutions to past exams, so I struggled a lot when I tried practicing on my own and with classmates too. Other students may say that Nironi actually makes you learn real math rather than regurgitate theorems and formulas. But I disagree. I felt that Nironi could have done a better job of laying down the basics before throwing us into the deep end. I've never felt so discouraged about a class before. Please take this as a fair warning - if you want to keep your sanity and have a decent GPA, don't take Nironi's classes (at least the basic level ones).

Nov 2012

Professor Woodbury is probably one of the best math professors I've had. I shopped several Calc 3 classes before finally deciding to take his class. Although I had to withdraw from his class for personal reasons, I'm very glad I took it for the time I was in it. He's a Native English speaker (always a plus at Columbia), so no worrying about heavy accents here. The notes he puts on the board are very clear and very well organized. Something that I noticed that other professors don't do is that he never uses a method of notation without explaining it to the class, which is very good for students who got AP calculus credit in high school but didn't necessarily learn set notation. He is very good at making himself available to students--he asks for input on when he should have office hours or outside of class review sessions (which he does sometimes!) and he made an effort to know everyone's names. He is also very passionate about math, which makes the class that much more interesting. He gets very excited about the concepts he's teaching and, if someone is juvenile enough to ask what's the purpose of learning this level of math, he will genuinely respond with, "because it's beautiful."

Nov 2012

He's a new teacher, definitely, so this may be the only review on CULPA. Lucky for you, you'll get a very one-sided review of my dear old professor (he's not actually old - he looks like he's barely hit puberty). Yes, Professor Charest can be considered attractive with is boyish charm and nervous behaviors. However, that might be his only usefulness to you. His accent is understandable, but he struggles to express basic math terms, which is distracting and often confusing. He teaches directly from the textbook, providing no real "life" or insight to the material. If his lack of energy is not discouraging enough, consider this: he is entirely and utterly incapable of responding to a question. Often times when people asked for review on older concepts, like completing the square, he responded with "Yes, this is tricky. Its magic". No, I am not kidding, he has referred to concepts as magic. Lucky enough, his tests are easier than the homework, however, this leaves little room to really know what to study. Out a three chapter unit, he will provide a five question test, meaning that you may study hours to find that none of the concepts are being tested. With this being said, the grading policy is definitely fair. There's two tests and a final, with online and textbook homework. The homework altogether is 20%, two tests are 25%, final is 30%. The lowest homework is dropped.

Nov 2012

Ok, so I'm not going to say that she's the best teacher in the whole wide world, but she's probably the best Calculus 3 teacher at Columbia in terms of helpfulness and clarity. I really didn't catch on to her much (as a teacher) at the beginning, but she missed one day and another professor taught in her place, and suddenly I realized how lucky I was to have Hom. She's brilliant at math, and she is extremely helpful in her office hours. She assigns a lot of homework and her favorite problems are the "post-40's" in the math book, i.e. those towards the end of the chapter that are lengthy and conceptual, so at times they can be somewhat esoteric and difficult to understand. GO TO HER OFFICE HOURS IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING, SHE'LL MAKE SURE YOU GET IT. As far as tests go, her initial test averaged a 45/60 and her second a 51/60. In all honesty, the first one was pretty brutal but the second one was very straight-forward and easy to understand if you did your homework. Take Hom, she's not bad!

Jul 2012

Professor Nironi, or Fabio as we affectionately call him, is incredibly dedicated to teaching in the most basic sense: his goal is to make you learn math, not to make it easy or fun. I took Calc II and Calc III with him. He will put in many extra hours to help his students; he holds an optional recitation to do homework problems and frequently meets with students in his office. That said, while he works extra hours, so will you. My classmates and I spent a great deal more time working for his class than our friends in other sections. I really recommend finding a study group within his class, that was super helpful for me. Do not take Fabio's class if you are easily frustrated, entirely uninterested in math, or just want an easy A. I felt that grading was very fair, but the averages were brutally low, so much so that your raw score was basically meaningless. I got an A both semesters, but I worked really hard and enjoyed a lot of the math. As a person, Fabio is a wonderful, kind, eccentric, brilliant-professor type. I sincerely appreciated how he would be knitting an enormous fuzzy sweater during our midterms and some of his better comebacks when people asked annoying questions. He also never intentionally made me feel stupid (and I asked a fair amount of questions). He would never think of sending a student to a TA without helping him/her first. He didn't even trust the TA's (with good reason) to grade our finals. I'm really glad that I took Fabio's class, but it certainly wasn't easy. Best of luck!

May 2012

I wish I could say something positive about Fabio as a professor, but ..... he is pretty useless for students who IS NOT math geneius. His explanations are way too complicated and very theoretical. You can never solve a homework unless you read a book, get a help from tutors, and have solutions from previous years. His lectures are very demotivational and makes you hate math. Most of the people didn't attend his lectures at all and managed to get a better grades than some of those who attended. On the positive note, he is a friendly guy who is willing to help, BUT his explanations are way too complicated and very theoretical :) So this professor, definitely NOT for people with average knoweledge in math.

May 2012

Take this class if you are an aspiring mathematician (or masochist). Otherwise, there is really no reason to put yourself through this. Fabio is really easy-going and nice—he wears sweats and a power rangers shirt pretty much every class—but his explanations in class tend to be unnecessarily complicated and abstract. I found that I was better off learning from the book, except he likes to diverge from the book sometimes. For instance, he taught us second order Lagrange, which was not in the book at all. But the real trouble with this class is the exams. For the most part, the problems on the exams are nothing like any of the problems from the book. Preparing for his exams felt pretty hopeless for that reason.

May 2012

I like Jennifer! I mean, she's by no means the most inspiring teacher in the world, but she's very sweet and presents the material very clearly. More than that, she's very straightforward about what she's looking for from her students. I was a little frustrated by a few of my homework grades -- homework is graded on correctness, but only three of the problems are actually graded, so if it just happens to be the three problems you didn't know you're completely screwed. Also, the TAs grade, which obviously gets messy at times. However, if you are taking this class to meet a requirement, I'd definitely recommend Jennifer Hom -- you'll learn a lot with minimal stress.

May 2012

Nutz is totally fine. He's not better than fine, but he's not worse. His lectures are pretty dry at times. Toward the end of the semester half the class wasn't showing up. At times it felt like he was just reciting a problem to the board, and didn't care if the class was following along. However in office hours he was reasonably helpful, and had a good sense of humor. The homework was reasonable. Assignments were graded and handed back promptly. The exam was pretty well written, and he did a good job reviewing so you knew what he was likely to test you on. Definitely recommend him for Calc III if you don't mind uninspiring lectures.

Apr 2012

Professor Hom is completely adorable. She taught the material like it was a fifth grade class, which can seem unnecessary at times but pays off in the end. The tests in this class were very easy. The average was high both times, and I (by no means a math genius) was able to pull off above a 55/60 on both midterms by completing the homework assignments and studying minimally. Professor Hom was more than fair in her preparation and grading, and she told us exactly what to expect before both midterms and the final. However, a word of caution: since the tests are so easy, the class average was very high, and Professor Hom still curved to a B or B+, so I got an A- with an un-curved average of a 90%.

Apr 2012

His lectures are clear but if I got lost I had a hard time catching back up. He makes himself very available and is committed to helping students understand the material. I found the quizzes (every other week or so) difficult even when I understood the material but he's pretty generous about dropping the lowest quizzes and homeworks. Tests are written clearly and fairly, and he's reasonable about adjusting credit on everything if the TAs grade weirdly. He learned the name of everyone in the class quickly, and is a really nice guy.

Feb 2012

Really don't listen to the other reviews on this teacher. He is utterly reasonable. He gives you weekly problem sets, most of which have answers in Teacher's Manuals in the library and you can do with your friends. Also he gives you carbon copies of each midterm and final before you take them, so you know exactly what is going to be on them. He is, in fact, a terrible lecturer. It's math, though, and the book will be the best way to learn the material anyway. He is also willing to help when you have questions.

Jan 2012

Professor Horn is mediocre as a lecturer and extremely apathetic as a teacher. The reason why he earns a silver nugget is maybe because that the mathematics department lacks professors who are American to teach 1000 level class. As a result, he stands out among all the foreign professors who are either not very proficient in oral English or unfamiliar with American classroom culture. Having those reasons in mind, it is not hard to understand why he becomes the one to go for. It is nonetheless the tragedy of Columbia undergraduate mathematics department. But essentially, he is not any more sophisticated in terms of actual teaching and even less passionate about the class than a lot of other professors. He goes by a credibly rigid style which follows exactly the textbook and even uses the exact examples on the textbook. This is very unsatisfactory if you actually like mathematics. By the way, a lot of times, you will find textbook is written with more nuances and passion than he is. You can safely escape almost of the lectures, but still do perfectly fine for homework and exams. Of course, it could be a good thing depends on your purpose of taking calculus. He would give practice exams before exams, but those are all by other professors and he will reject to offer solutions because they are not by him. Excellent logic, huh? However, what really motivated me to write a review about him is an accident which really made me indignant. His homework component of the grade consists of 12 problem sets, each is 2.5% of the final grade. And he lost my last homework. I wrote to him, to ask if I can make up for it. He replied with a condescending and vague answer - "I wouldn't worry about it." I found it very rude. So I wrote to the chair of the department, and he finally gave me an explanation of his rules which go along the line that exceptions cannot be made in order to sustain the fairness of the majority. On the other hand, he neglected the fact that this could well be his or his TA's responsibility. The homework policy for almost other if not all Calc classes is that the worst problem set will not count. I smashed the final exam in the end. It is not so much about the tiny argument of grade, but is about how college demonstrates a real world by presenting to you all kinds of people. As a class taken at the very beginning of college, it might as well a critical time to re-calibrate your expectation of teachers as teaching in college to the instructors may come as first, second or even less significant.

Jan 2012

A fantastic professor. Taking her course made me consider majoring in Applied Math. Every day, she would lecture us by giving us clear, and helpful notes. Although her notes were very similar to the textbook, it was very helpful going through all of the material with her. She would also give us extremely helpful practice problems that were great when we were studying for the midterms and finals. Her class was boring at times, but it was definitely more helpful to attend her class than skip the lecture even though you could learn the same material from the textbook. I had to do this once, when I skipped a lecture, and I regretted it. Jen Hom is basically my home-girl. Take this class!

Jan 2012

Here's the thing: Dr. Horn is fine as a teacher, but nothing more. Like the reviewers have said below, he explains the concepts fine, his homework is fine, and tests are fine. But I guess with a silver nugget, I expected more from him. I went to all the lectures (probably because it was an afternoon class, so I couldn't justify sleeping through it to myself), and am not sure I learned anything in the class that I couldn't from the book alone. His lecture and assignment material follow so closely to the book that he seems completely unable to justify anything beyond the cursory explanations they have in the textbook (Whenever a question starts with "Why..." he'll stumble over his words for 30 seconds and inevitably end up saying "Well, that's just the way it is.") The nice thing about this religious devotion to the book is that if you can do the weekly homework problems, midterms and the final are pretty easy, except for a few more thought-requiring questions. As someone who really likes math, but is a science major, I decided to go the Calc III-IV route instead of Honors Math, and I'm not sure whether that was the best idea or not. The thing that makes me saddest about this class is there was nothing about it that made me interested in the subject at all. All through single-variable calculus, there were tons of little moments where the coolness (some more brave people would say "beauty") of the subject really came through. Those moments just don't show up when all you do is teach the book.

Jan 2012

I disagree with the previous reviewer in that Calc III is still a bit tricky if you're not amazing at math like so many here are, but I do concede that Fang is probably the easiest Calc III professor at Columbia. He is quiet and does have an accent, but his accent is completely understandable; he also stutters often. He may not show it, but he really does care about his students/teaching. I went to every class, but most didn't bother to show up (which was probably smart). I didn't read the book till before each exam (oops) and Fang basically just writes down everything that was in the book. That's basically every lecture. If you ask a non-stupid question though... don't bother because his answers will mostly be crap/repeat since he doesn't seem to fully understand what is being asked. He's very clear about what will be on the exams and what will not, though he doesn't like people asking about the grading/curves. Also, he'll tell you how difficult the exam will be compared to the practice exams that he posts-- usually they're about the same difficulty. Overall very fair professor, and easy course.

Jan 2012

Ollivier is a good professor. She makes sure to go over all the material in the book in an orderly fashion, sometimes adding her own methods when it makes it easier for the class. After she's done explaining the theory, she will go over examples similar to those you will find in the homework assignments. Ollivier sometimes gets confused and flustered with herself, and she slips up in her English which embarrasses her (but it kind of endearing), but that doesn't take away from her clarity. She is also sweet and very approachable; she will stay after class to answer questions, respond promptly to e-mails, and smile when you hand her your final. Which is important. As for the class material, it's boring and might seem endless. But this isn't Ollivier's fault- it's Calculus III's fault. And the midterms and final are much harder than the homework assignments or anything we did in class (except for the Review problems), so don't expect to get everything right. It will be generously curved. If you are like most students who are taking Calculus III as a major requirement (Econ, pre-med, something) then take it with Ollivier and pay attention. If you have an insatiable love for math then you might be disappointed.

Dec 2011

Ollivier is definitely not the best professor. I feel like her lectures got worse as the semester went on and I spent more and more time learning from the textbook. She really seems to know her stuff, but at times she seems to be so advanced in theoretical math that she doesn't know how to teach stuff like calc iii. She always tells us not to memorize formulas because she doesn't believe in that, which sounds good at first, except it's only because she can derive all the formulas whenever she needs to use them. Sometime during the semester she got a silver nugget which surprises me, but whatever. Her lectures were kind of useless and not really worth going to, except that she goes over some review sheet problems for the exams (and she doesn't put the answers to the ones she goes over in class online), and she mentions things in class that you need to know for the exams. She is really really soft-spoken and she has an accent, so it's hard to hear her if you don't sit in the front half of the room, but you don't need to be all the way in the front (although that definitely helps). She also uses some weird notation for things, which I assume is because she's foreign, that makes things harder to understand in the beginning (e.g. she does cross products really weird and doesn't explain it that well vs. doing it by matrices) but once you understand it her way is actually much easier. That said, the class itself isn't awful and Ollivier herself is a pretty nice person. She's really nice during office hours and also a lot more lucid, though she can be a bit impatient with repeating herself, etc. She's also a really nice grader (i.e. she gives most credit if you "seem to be going in the right direction" and you explain your work). Plus, the exams themselves aren't too difficult, they're largely based on the review sheets she gives out. The class averages on the midterms were both around 16/20 which is higher than the averages for other calc iii classes, I think, and she said she would curve that to a high B or a B+. For someone who is very much a liberal arts person I did pretty well in the class, and I'm glad I blindly picked into her section.

Dec 2011

Calculus III is one of the easiest classes at Columbia, and Bohan has got to be one of the easiest professors. My final asked one problem which only required you to know the quadratic formula and that sqrt(-1) is denoted as i. Really. My advice is to go to class 6 times during the semester: the first day so you learn where to drop off the homework, the day before each midterm, the midterms themselves, and the last day. He does a review class before each exam, and will probably point out something you forgot. If you have the ability to focus on the textbook for an hour and 15 minutes, you will get through a lot more than Bohan does in class, and understand it better. He's quiet and has a substantial accent.

Dec 2011

While Professor Hom is very nice, she is a horrible professor. Most classes are spent watching her copy equations directly from the book on the board with little to no student involvement. While she occasionally attempts to tell a joke or speak to the class, it is not rare to look around the room and see half of the students zoned out and not paying attention. If you're really good at math then you should be fine, but if your major will have almost nothing to do with ellipsoids, then you're probably better off taking another professor.

Dec 2011

First, let's be clear that professor Hom is a very, very kind person. Her teaching, however, leaves something to be desired. Classes go at a little faster pace than what most would like and most of the time it seems like she is just rewriting equations and steps from the book on the blackboard. Also, there is very little student participation in the classroom and it is VERY easy to zone out. If you're a math whiz who can get an A just by showing up for the midterms and the final, by all means take Professor Hom's class. If you're taking it as a prerequisite for Econ or something, don't even bother.

Nov 2011

This review is for students who struggle with math. Although Prof. Horn is a humble and kind man, he is an extremely unforgiving grader and lacks empathy for those who struggle in his classes. Don't get me wrong, it is easy to see why math oriented students love him because he does has have a very methodical and unintimidating lecturing style. As an example of what I'm talking about, myself and the student that sat next to me would not have passed his first midterm even if you combined our scores. I went in and spoke with him about it to see if anything could be done and he politely told me that the best grade I could possibly finish with would be a C and he suggested that I drop the class. I decided to stick it out and work my ass of for a P at least, but after Dr. Horn returned a flawless problem set to me with a full letter grade marked off because I didn't write my name on the BACK (that punishment was never mentioned in class or the syllabus), I decided to cut my losses and swallow a W before having to deal with a D or F. All problem sets as well as midterms were graded with little to zero partial credit, unlike all other math profs I have had at Columbia, which is the only thing that gets you through the semester if you are a math struggler. All in all: If you like math and don't struggle with it, enjoy Prof. Horn! Opposite? I HIGHLY suggest you find someone else.

Nov 2011

Very nice woman, but not the best teacher. If you're not in the first two rows, you have no possible chance of hearing her. She talks directly to the board as she writes down problems and speaks very softly. My class was about 70 people, so if you didn't arrive 20 minutes early to snag a good seat, you were screwed. She also got lost doing her own pre-prepared problems. There was a class on arc length (which isn't the most difficult concept) when she spent the entire class trying to figure out a problem. She finally asked if we would try it at home and explain it to her next class. She often said memorizing formulas was not necessary because most of the time, you can just figure them out. Unfortunately, she would take up half of our class time trying to remember simple formulas, like the cross product. I ended up learning mostly out the book, which didn't prepare me for the exams that well. The problems on the homework are all very simple. Exam questions are generally not reflective of the problem sets. If you're a math genius or someone who already took calculus III in high school, you'll do fine in this class. If you actually need to be taught calculus III, however, try a different professor.

Nov 2011

Dr. Horn has a really good classroom demeanor, making it a point to learn everyone's name (very noble/impressive given the size of the class) and is very patient in answering questions while still keeping the class moving, though sometimes not as fast as I would have liked. His voice is mellow and calming, not in the way that puts you to sleep, but in the way that keeps your mind clear and keeps everything simple. The way he works through examples in class is smooth and logical, and he knows you can refer to the textbook for the problem sets so he minimizes the copying of drawn-out mathematical definitions while still fully explaining things, which is nice. He's very likable from the outset, but his humility, frankness, and sense of humor makes him the type of teacher who really grows on you over the course of the semester. He's amusing in that natural, subtle sort of way that stems more from his fun, quirky personality than anything else--much preferred in a classroom setting to awkward, forced attempts to elicit laughs. Once you get to know the guy, the things he says will make you smile at least once per class, and I consider his class one of the more enjoyable I'm taking this semester.

Oct 2011

I love this man!!! I look forward to this class every single day and it is because of him that I am considering a math major. He explains things quite well in class and is very willing to answer questions that you might have. He calls you by your name (I was in a class of 105 people for Calc III and he learned every single one of our names by the end of the first month. I don't know how he does it!!) The homework load is not that crazy (not so light that you don't actually get any practice and not so heavy that you dread spending hours doing the same type of problem over and over again). He is always available during his office hours and if you show that you are genuinely interested in what he's talking about he'll love you! He is also really funny. One time in class we were talking about hyperbolic paraboloids and he pulled up this short simpsons clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUmGoKI0HE8&feature=related

Oct 2011

An awful awful teacher. She moves at an unreasonably fast pace, and is very rude and not understanding. She's not engaged at the slightest and seems to just be going through the motions. She sees the need to make examples out of people regarding any situation (homework issue, test issue, etc...) If you are very good at math, you wont have a problem with any calc 3 teacher because you can just study the book. But for the rest of us who expect a somewhat reasonable teacher, you wont find one in Jen Hom.

Sep 2011

After introducing new topics, he would go over many examples. His explanations were simple with clear diagrams of gradients and vectors. He was patient with all questions. My only complaint about the course was that he didn't finish the sample syllabus. He stopped about 2/3 of the way through. However, after taking more math, he only skipped the easy stuff and spent the most time on the hard stuff. The material he skipped was easily covered in Calc 4. He also introduced some concepts and terminology slightly outside the suggested syllabus and, 1.5 years later, I'm glad that he did.

May 2011

Although young (I thought he was a TA) and rather shy, Cautis overall is a really good teacher. His notes are very clear and logical. His assignments are really short and sweet. His lectures end 15 minutes early every class! Although his lectures are not the most exciting on earth, he really enjoys teaching and watching him teach is very entertaining (he is good eye candy). Overall, this class is definitely worth taking. It fulfills several requirements and is really easy!

May 2011

Nam Le was a good calc teacher. He's not as amazing as some of the reviews say, but he certainly is good. I feel like I learned calc in his class, but I also feel like it's the kind of class that you could do on your own. His tests are fair - pretty much re-writes of the review problems. The proofs can be a bit tricky, but only the ones on the final were hard. The final was harder than the midterms, which were really fair. It was still doable, though. He has a great curve; I think he curves to a B+. You can't go wrong taking this class, but you also won't be inspired (then again, it is Calc III).

May 2011

Nam's a very smart, entertaining and eccentric guy. He's highly competent and super knowledgeable about the material that we're learning. As previous reviewers have indicated, yes, he peppers his lectures with corny jokes, analogies, and many, many anecdotes (that are relevant to calculus 50% of the time). I didn't find myself bored at any of his lectures. The minute you start to feel drowsy, odds are you'll hear Nam say something either very funny or totally wacky and the whole class starts laughing. He's also a very friendly and approachable (albeit, he's sort of "out there") guy who's usually willing to help his students. Do keep in mind that he frequently responds to questions by making up elaborate analogies on the spot, which, like his anecdotes, don't always make complete sense to others. But he's helpful...most of the time. I found Nam's Calculus III section to be a "math for non-math majors" type of class. He takes complicated and abstract concepts and presents them to the class in a extremely simple and straight-forward way. He's very clear about what's on his tests, which are usually fairly straight-forward and don't involve too much tedious computation. While Nam's section is probably the most straight-forward of the Calc III sections offered at Columbia, that's not to say that there aren't some very difficult problems (usually proofs) on his exams that may require you to see a "trick." Here's the good news regarding the more challenging questions on Nam's exams: 1) A good number of the trickier problems and proofs on Nam's exams have been covered in class before (I would HIGHLY recommend you go to his lectures since Nam doesn't really follow the Stewart text very much and tends to put lecture material not covered in Stewart on his texts), 2) Nam allows cheat sheets on his tests, 3) The midterms and finals usually have a 15 point bonus at the end. The bonuses are sometimes surprisingly easy (extra 10-15 points at your disposal?) If you're a possible math major who's interested in the theoretical aspects of multivariate calculus, this may not be the class for you. If you're fulfilling a science major / econ / pre med Calculus III requirement and want the most straight-forward Calc III section (and an entertainingly wacky math professor), THIS IS THE SECTION TO GET INTO. Did I find this class to be mathematically enlightening? No. As a science major, did I find this class to be a fairly straight-forward way to ace a math requirement? Yes.

May 2011

Nam Le's a great professor! Yes, his accent is a bit difficult to understand at first, but you get used to it. His class notes are really good, and a lot of the stuff that appears on the midterms and final is similar to the examples he does in class. That said, you don't really need to go to class, and you'll be okay, as long as you do the homework. Also, he is one of the few Calc III professors that allows you to bring cheat sheets for the midterm and final. The curve is generous too, with about half the class getting A- and above.

May 2011

This class was terrible. I don't want to put all the blame on Weizhe because I think I would've struggled through Calc III no matter who was teaching it, but he definitely didn't make it any better. He is boring and hard to follow. He seems to hate answering questions; when he does, he sounds like he thinks you're an idiot for asking. The workload is reasonable, though, and he provides review sheets for the midterms and final.

May 2011

Excellent. Absolutely excellent. Prof Le is occasionally difficult to understand, but once you get used to his accent, he is truly a wonderful professor. His examples on Black-Shoals were great. Class size was pretty big, which was unfortunate. It was definitely helpful to sit toward the front of the room for chalkboard clarity and auditory clarity. He also manages to present the material with virtually zero unnecessary complexity, which is very rare for a math teacher. His jokes also show that he has both a left and a right brain, which is refreshing! He's a funny and caring guy, and he's brilliant at teach Calc III. What more could you want of a professor? (His office is a mess, though, so try to pick up your exam/homework in class, even if you have to wait!) Sometimes his extra questions are hard to do if you weren't in class or didn't understand one of the topics not covered in the text. Not a big deal though...some Googling is all it takes to put you on the right path to solving the problem...or digging a little deeper in your class notes! As in many math classes there seems to be a gap between what is on the exams and what is in the textbook, though not as much as in other math classes. Professors should coach their students on how to bridge this gap. Professor Le is excellent. In almost every way possible. Occasionally his handwriting is hard to read, but he writes every step out no matter how simple, so I can't blame him for this. Also, he never erases a panel until the whole board is full, which is excellent.

Jan 2011

Ok this is the first time I ever write on CULPA and i have to say this calc III section is absolutely a joke. Homework assignments are super easy considering that there are a lot of even-number questions so basically you can just use the solution manual to "check" if you got the answers right :) I stayed through the first lecture but found the pace of his lecturing tooooo slow. In the end, I only went to that classroom three more times:midterm one, midterm two and the final. And those exams are really easy and i can hardly imagine anyone who doesn't come out of this class with an A. So take Knapp's class if you don't care about math at all and all you want is an easy A! Just cram before each test and you will just do fine. But STAY AWAY FROM THIS CLASS IF YOU LOVE MATH AND APPRECIATE THE BEAUTY OF MATHEMATICAL KNOWLEDGE. As for me, i don't think i have learned anything despite getting an easy A which somehow makes me sad about Columbia and its record-high number of applicants this year....

Jan 2011

I would recommend Cautis for calc III. He talks clearly, writes clearly, and is very smart. He goes through material slowly but calc III does not cover much material so this may be more of a fault with the class than his teaching. He does do lots of examples in class. If you go to the lectures then the problems on the hmwks and midterms will be very familiar. An A is not difficult to get.

Jan 2011

To cut right to the conclusion: do not take this class. There are plenty of other better Calc 3 instructors out there, and you really want to avoid this class at all costs if you don't want your GPA to be screwed over and if you are looking for a helpful instructor that actually cares about his/her students. I know of many sob stories as regards this pathetic, utterly unhelpful class, and please, do not fall for the misleadingly positive review below as it seems to be a trap concocted by the sadistic Adam Knapp himself to alleviate the pathetically petty attendance of his class last semester.

Jan 2011

I was in the same class as the person who wrote the last review and I have to say, wow, I don't think we were in the same class. Mr. Le's class was not an "easy A" in was in fact rather hard. I might even go so far as to say it was among the most difficult classes I have ever had at columbia. All that being said. Mr. Le is a fantastic professor and he is quite approachable and kind. He does have an accent but it isn't difficult to understand him and he does his best to explain the material in a way that is easy to understand. But here is what I believe is the rub: the exams aren't so much impossibly difficult as they are very difficult to complete in the time allotted. I most surely would have done better on both midterms had I had another 45 minutes or so to complete them. This might not have been the experience of all the students in the class but it sure was for many of us...most people were still working on their midterms when Mr. Le told us to stop. My warning to a prospective student is this: yes, he allows cheat sheets to the exam but having a cheat sheet isn't enough, he tests only the most difficult material and you need to not just know how to do it, you need to know how to do it QUICKLY. Still, Mr. Le is a wonderful man and a terrific professor, but don't believe anyone who tells you his class isn't difficult, because unless you're already familiar with Calc III you'll be swimming.

Jan 2011

Horrible instructor. Do not take this instructor if you care about your grades. Does not reward hard work, although he gives long and difficult HW. Prevaricated about grading (said there was a participation grade which he shifted and twisted on: unclear how he assessed this). Seemed to be a petty person and combative with students' legitimate inquiries about scoring and assessments; although encouraged classroom participation. If expecting solid grades, take a more reasonable instructor, who accounts for the overall quality of classroom instruction, participation, consistent progress and industry. He seemed to wing through the class. Did not realize that providing practice midterms to students would help the class, until a student suggested it. He only provided a practice exam a day or 2 before the exam, and subsequently posted only answers and no explanation to the problems. Did not post any solutions to the HW, or exams after grading (unlike other diligent instructors); his lame excuse was that answers to his problems would be distributed everywhere (how petty, and endemic of lazy instructors).

Jan 2011

If this past semester is any indication, there's a good chance you'll be tempted to transfer out after the first lecture. Don't. Really, give him a chance. Sure, Professor Fang may look more like a student than a professor, and he may say things like "sabstraction" with a somewhat heavy accent, but if you can muster an ounce of patience, these trivialities become endearing rather than aggravating. By the second or third lecture, he starts sounding much less nervous, and you'll have no problem understanding his accent. He even cracks the occasional dry joke (or at least I think he was joking…). Better reason to stay in Professor Fang's class: he makes his expectations very clear, and if you follow them and do all the work, you should be able to get an A. His teaching style may be rather bland (he pretty much walks in and writes on/talks to the blackboard for an hour and fifteen minutes straight), he really does explain the concepts well, giving the proofs for most theorems, and he rarely skips steps. He writes everything down, to the point that it almost becomes tedious, but chances are you'll appreciate this more than once during the semester when encountering a new concept. He answers questions patiently, but you have to speak up if you have one. Professor Fang only assigns about six moderate to challenging homework problems a week, giving you the freedom to do or ignore the "concept building" type problems at your leisure. This past semester, the exams in this course were all quite manageable (the first was a bit of a joke, really) and were, for the most part, easier than the homework. Professor Fang is a genuinely good guy who wants his students to do well. He'll stay after class to answer a question or help you out, he posts practice exams before both of the midterms and the final, and he goes over the practice exams in class during a "review lecture" before each exam. Give him a chance. And maybe sit toward the front at first.

Jan 2011

Professor Nironi is a passionate professor and is very dedicated to his students. His love of mathematics sometimes results in complicated explanations, but (lucky for me) he is willing to spend hours in his OH explaining those concepts. He is approachable and genuinely kind, which is more than I can say for many other professors at Columbia. The work is straight forward, and he is a professor who loves assignments that force you to understand the material. His work is extremely unforgiving for students who love to memorize algorithms. All in all he is challenging, but not malicious nor pompous, which is what learning mathematics should be about. P.S.I AM NOT A MATH MAJOR.

Jan 2011

While I thought Sabin was quietly effective, the class material is soft to begin with, so there wasn’t much pressure for an outstanding instructor. That being said I learned solid material with relative ease and I think Sabin deserves some credit for that. Yes, he has an accent and he talks softly. But this isnt an issue if you sit near the front of his class, as I did. I thought his examples were nicely instructive even if they were straight out of the book. Some frustration owed to that his problem sets often had patchy resemblance to what he showed in class, so although they were short, they often took longer than I wished. Definitely not difficult though. If you took multivariate before, there's no need to come to class. I didn't, so the lectures were helpful and it helped to do extra practice problems. The one issue with this class I thought was that about a quarter of the class had taken multivariate before, so the class average was unfriendly to a generous curve. Sabin was, I think, as passionate as you can possibly be about multivariate. We finished much earlier than he anticipated so he showed us some linear algebra, some theoretical grounding for we learned as a way to give more intellectual zest to what was pretty rote material. He would often try to get us to “ponder” the reasoning behind formulas and such. He (half-heartedly) wanted to infect his students with fervor for the equation of a plane. I tried to appreciate it. I got the impression he was quite introverted; he's friendly in the not-social way. The first midterm was a breeze while the second one was a letter grade harder. Both were “cumulative” but not really so. The final was fair, and definitely worth studying thoroughly for if you don't have a background in multivariate. The curve was moderate.

Jan 2011

Lipshitz's calc III class started out really easy and entertaining, with him giving great explanations of vectors (dot product, cross product), and cylindrical and spherical coordinates. Also enjoyable were the lectures on linear algebra near the end of the semester, of which his notes were amazingly helpful and organized. However, he did not do an excellent job covering multi-variable differentiation. I personally do not mind the focus on rigor, but his proofs turned out to be somewhat handwavy and hard to understand at times. Furthermore, his lack of examples for taking limits in R^3 and his over-obsession with geometric visualization and interpretations of results killed almost all of us on the second midterm (the avg was a 55/75!!!). Matching 3-dimensional graphs with their corresponding equations would not have been too bad if the quality of the pictures were better than the crappy black-and-white photocopies provided. Also, his attempt at placating the stupid economics majors made him spend way too much time explaining Lagrange multipliers when he could have covered the theory behind the the chain rule better. However, he is a very friendly teacher who is willing to help and will always put on a nice cute smile, treating his students with respect and dignity. Office hours are a wonderful resource, so take good advantage of those.

Dec 2010

Coming from the perspective of a student who didn't breeze through this class, I'll have to agree with the review below me. Professor Alper is friendly, has good intentions, and uses a specific method of explaining a concept both through theoretical and geometrical example. This, I found was the extent of his good teaching practices. I think this may be partially the fault of having such a large class (no doubt because of his silver nugget rating), as he did mention that he preferred smaller class sizes. Lectures often consisted of a review of last class, followed by that day's new concepts and then examples. I am personally good with mathematical theory, but I often stumble over problems or make small, stupid errors. Sadly for me, so did Professor Alper on more than one occasion. I don't think he prepared problems for class, so we'd often spend ten, twenty minutes on his puzzling through problems that often remained unsolved and thus completely unhelpful. I stopped attending lecture as well, both because I understood the material faster with the book, and because at least the solutions manual actually solved the problems I practiced in the book. I started to get much better grades on the homework and tests, the latter being doable and a little more challenging than the assigned homework. I should also mention that my roommate was taking another Calculus III section at the same time I was, and her homework assignments were often half of mine. Alper isn't bad, but yeah, I don't know if he deserves that silver nugget.

Dec 2010

Professor Tosatti was a great professor who really keeps your attention during lecture and who is always nice enough to help his students during office hours. His lectures are clear and he has a vibrant personality while teaching, often bringing laughter to the class through his quirky reactions and demeanor. He likes to use the words "absurd" and "extremely important" a lot in class, often to great comic effect. His tests are entirely on what he teaches in class, so when he writes something down as "extremely important" it actually is just that. I found his tests to be fair and if you go to office hours he will go through all of your questions and won't stop until you understand the material. Overall, he was my favorite professor this semester.

Dec 2010

Cautis' class was definitely my favorite class this semester. Although his lectures weren't particularly interesting, they were straightforward and conveyed the necessary material to complete the homeworks and do well on the exams. He is clearly a brilliant guy, however, he often makes computational mistakes on the board, which might make it difficult to study from your notes. In general, his notes are quite complete and provide many examples to demonstrate the sometimes esoteric concepts that are covered in Calc 3. The first two exams were extremely straightforward and not difficult at all. The final exam was harder than I expected given that the midterms were extremely easy. However, it still was very possible to do well on all three exams. Overall, I definitely recommend taking Calc 3 with Cautis.

Dec 2010

I came into my freshman year of college considering a math major. Unfortunately, after this class, I have decided NOT to pursue that. I'm not sure if its the material or the teaching. First, let me say that he is a very nice guy. If you need help, he will be more than happy to help out by going over a problem or seeing you in office hours. However, both of these outlets are not of much help if you don't understand what the hell he is saying. He knows his math well, but we don't, and he is not very good at translating complex math into terms that are understandable to the people who are first learning it. He seems to assume that we know what he is talking about and he moves quickly through new material. He uses projector slides for his lessons, which are organized, but it makes the lesson go faster than it should be for it to be understood. Basically, in this class, you either get it or you don't. If you don't get it, it will be hard for you to understand his attempt at teaching it to you. I relied on the textbook the entire semester to understand what was going on, and when it came to the last 3 weeks where the material could not be found in the text book, I was pretty screwed. He really does try very very hard to make this class inspiring and understandable, but his effort falls short due to his mumbling, his easily distracted nature, and his niceness which is typically taken advantage of by kids who only show up to class for the exams. His problem sets are also pretty long, annoying, and detailed. However, they are mainly from the textbook. Also, he likes topography and making pictures of surfaces using his fancy computer program way too much. Not good.

Dec 2010

Underneath Professor Cautis' lush, bicep-rich exterior is a quite bland disinterestedness which I found rather unbecoming. Certainly I will allow that a mathematics' lecturer need not coo over his students like a loving hen, but Professor Cautis's approach is certainly less than warm. Despite these shortcomings, Professor Cautis gives example-based lectures that, while not always immediately graspable, were relatively straightforward. Then again my maths skills are about as poor as tiny Tim after a stock market crash, so perhaps he deserves more credit. In any event the gravity-defying workload makes up for everything previously mentioned, provided it does not make you lazy.

Dec 2010

I took Calc III after AP Calc BC in high school. Cautis is a pretty good instructor: he presents clear examples, gives useful homework assignments, and makes a point of trying to give the big picture when teaching strange concepts. This course certainly made my knowledge of calculus more complete, and that was thanks to Cautis. He was a good instructor; not too invested but presented everything in a very clear manner. Sometimes he would dismiss questions that weren't very intelligent during class, but he's always willing to explain things again after class. All in all, decent class, good instructor.

Dec 2010

Very straightforward class and teacher. However, I don't think Alper merits a silver nugget. Don't get me wrong - he is a nice guy and willing to help, but his teaching seemed average. After the first few classes I stopped going because I figured I could learn more efficiently from the textbook. Other people in my class that I talked to who went to class weren't raving about his teaching either. The course was graded very generously, so certainly no complaints about the class. I was able to get solid As on all the exams by just memorizing the formulas. The extra credit was really generous as well.

Dec 2010

Easiest class to take as a freshmen, especially if you took some sort of Algebra before in high school. He expects nothing from you, and teaches as if it were a humanities class. Its okay that you don't know how to do any calculations, if you somewhat know the concepts. The majority of the class was the same material as my high school Precalculus class, but dumbed down. The fact that he lets you take in sheets of note for the exams makes it ridiculously easy, since you can copy down graphs, forms, etc. I personally only went to class five times-- the first day, the day before midterm#1, midterm#1, day before midterm#2, and midterm#2. Walked away with an easy A+ This is definitely the Calculus III class to take, Every other Calc III class looks so much more difficult. (I have looked at the exam questions for the other professors... devastating)

Dec 2010

Nam Le is an amazing instructor and managed to make a 9am calculus class one of my most enjoyable moments at Columbia. He covered basically all the material with depth and was extremely clear in his presentations. He does have an accent, but you get used to it, and he is very approachable if you have questions after class. Sometimes, he goes a bit too far and makes strange statements about life as a grad student, or how he loves Paris, but it was usually entertaining. Whether you love calculus and are looking for a good professor, or actually hate it and are looking for the least horrible option, you should definitely go for Nam Le.

Dec 2010

I thoroughly enjoyed Professor Knapp's class. I felt that he presented everything in a clear, well-thought out manner. He was always willing to stay after class to answer any questions, whether they directly related to the material in class or not, and promptly responded to all e-mails. Although I never took advantage of it, he also made himself available on Skype at certain times during the week to supplement his office hours, which I thought was pretty neat. Oh, and since we're talking about the Math department here, it's worth noting that English is his native tongue and he's friendly and easy to talk to. That being said, he isn't for everyone. He's very knowledgeable about the material, but being a topologist, he would go off on tangents about how the things we're learning in class relate to topology and knot theory. He would also often extend techniques to working in complex numbers and quaternions, although he was always clear that he wouldn't test us on that. Being a math major who plans to specialize in topology and modern algebra, I found these digressions to be incredibly interesting, but based on the declining attendance through the year, I think many people just found them confusing and off-topic. Overall, I would highly recommend Professor Knapp if you are strong in math and want to learn about things that aren't strictly in the Calc III curriculum. However, if you're just taking Calc III to learn the material and move on to something else, he may not be the best fit.

Nov 2010

Cautis was great. I really enjoyed calculus because of him. He walks you through examples and writes very clear notes on the board. While he follows the book, his explanations give more insight on the conceptual side of things. He could answer every question we hurled at him. While some people don't like how he works out every question on the board rather than coming with prepared answers, I thought it worked out better because you can work along. The tests and homeworks are very reasonable. If you attend lectures you shouldn't have any trouble at all.

Nov 2010

First off, Dylan Paul Thurston is a really nice guy. He is approachable, understanding, and open to suggestions. He caters to students' needs and will go out of his way to help students understand what he's teaching (by building models, changing the way he writes on the board, etc.). He teaches with a powerpoint and prints out the slides for note-taking. He gets an A+ for effort. However, he is not the world's greatest teacher. He really knows what he's talking about and seems to forget occasionally that his students may not. He's terrific at math, but he often breezes through challenging concepts and new material. He is also not the world's greatest public speaker. He stumbles over words and is easily flustered by the slightest distractions. He is inappropriately quiet at times, and his delivery is completely uninteresting. In addition, he seems to be slightly nervous around women. If you're looking for an exciting teacher with great delivery and clear explanations, Thurston is not the guy for you. However, if you're looking for a teacher who will put effort into you personally, he is. Just make sure to approach him with your concerns and a smile. Summary: smart, not a natural at teaching, mumbles, afraid of women, but a really nice guy. Overall: B-

Nov 2010

Professor Tosatti is, in one word, amazing. He is the sweetest math professor you will ever have. I'll say that again: he is so, SO sweet. The way I describe him to my friends is that he's like a kid in a candy store. Or like a bunny bouncing around in a field of flowers. He's just always smiling and laughing at random things, and he is just such a nice guy. One time I went to office hours to ask him a question about the upcoming midterm. He answered my question and then proceeded to explain other things to me. I actually had to stop him from giving me too much information; he's just so eager to help! For most math classes, the professors you will have are very dry, which makes for very boring lectures. Tosatti always makes the class laugh at least a couple of time every lecture because he is just so goofy (in a good way). As for his actual teaching skills, those are great as well! His notes are very clear and often times explain things MUCH better than the book. His class is one of those classes where you will actually benefit by coming to class, listening, and taking notes. Obviously, if you study the book, you can also do well. But Tosatti's notes are so great that you don't even need the book (except for the homework problems). I actually don't really have anything negative to say about Tosatti. Good, clear lectures? Check. Fair grader? Check. Nice and eager to help? Check. There's not much more you can ask for in a math professor. If you have to take Calculus with someone, make your life easier and take it with Tosatti!

Nov 2010

Cautis is a good teacher. He's enthusiastic (in a quiet way) about the material (he wants to teach you how to think about math), and presents it clearly. He explains concepts in 3D by showing you how they're the natural progressions of 2D concepts. The class is a bit boring at times, but its math, so that's to be expected. his pace seems fine, and he almost always ends class 15-20 minutes early. the tests/homeworks are not particularly difficult. the midterms are straightforward--he doesn't give any problems you wouldn't expect from the homework or textbook readings. all in all, I recommend this class. Its an easy, simple way to learn Calc III and you'll come away with a good understanding of the concepts.

Nov 2010

Nam Le is the most amazing professor I've had so far. In one of his lectures he stopped and told us that Calc III is like Paris, and that you can tour Paris using a guidebook, our textbook, but that the lectures are like a A Movable Feast (an autobiographical Hemingway novel that discusses his life in Paris). He was right in saying so and I've somehow never missed any of his 9 am lectures just for that reason.

Sep 2010

I never understood what this guy was talking about. He's Italian and has a strong accent, and pretty poor English. At one point, we had to explain to him that "remainder" and "reminder" are different words. For some reason, his handwriting is really weird too. X's look just like N's, which can make taking notes hard. These communication barriers made class more or less useless. At the end of the semester, almost no one was even bothering to show up. Like, literally, three people. I always did for some reason, but I probably shouldn't have bothered. You can mostly rely on the book, but I would look for another teacher if, like me, you need someone to explain mathematical concepts to you before you really get them. I'm pretty sure I would have done better in this course if I'd had a professor I could understand. Personally, though, Professor Nironi is a really nice guy who's willing to answer questions and help people out. He's occasionally a little funny.

Sep 2010

I loved Szekelyhidi! And I think the below review is pretty on point. It seems like he tries really hard to make everyone understand things, the only problem being his lectures are so boring that there is almost no way to pay attention in class. That being said, if you are able to attend class and mindlessly write down all the notes he writes on the board, you'll be golden. His notes are possibly some of the best I've seen given straight from a professor; they are very easy to understand and you could teach yourself all the material just from reading them over later. He really tries to answer everyone's questions and I think his grading is way more than fair. He also gave quizzes (which would not hurt your grade if you did poorly, but would help your grade if you did well) after everyone did poorly on the midterm. If you take down all his notes and do the problem sets by yourself, you should be able to get an A in this class.

Aug 2010

If you have any desire to take higher level math classes, avoid Jorgensen at all costs. He does not teach all the material he is supposed to, and what he does teach is presented in such a superficial, unintelligible manner that its not even worth going to class for. I have never taken a class with someone less interested in doing his job. He is clearly just showing up so he can keep collecting paychecks. This class was the biggest waste of $4000 I have ever seen. With a month left in the semester, Jorgensen announced that he was finished teaching new material.

Jun 2010

I have to disagree with most reviews here.... everyone is always like "omg my teacher is foreign he cant speak english omg omg" but i usually end up understanding most of the teachers, no matter what. This is the very first time in ever that I actually couldn't understand a teacher. i feel he cant speak english too well. there were a ton of ppl who were constantly absent, and i found all his lectures very boring, to the poijnt i just stopped going to lectures. EVERYONE, and i repeate, EVERYONE used cramster for the hws. i feel he wasnt a good teacher at all, but in fact a very bad one. hes just a bad lecturer, seriously, you get too bored, cant follow... its so much easier to go back to your room and look on how to do examples. i was surprised about this class. In both mid terms i did about 20 points above the average, and was sure i was gonna get an A. in fact, i had a talk with le, and he told me i could get an A+. i was really pissed when i took the final, and ended up getting a 70, which according to him, was curved. this made me get a B+ in the class. everyone goes "omg omg 50 % of the ppl get a grade in the A range," well, i guess people here are much smarter than i thought, cause i now feel retarded. the final was pretty tough, and i felt very prepared. fuck, i actually didnt go to sleep, i stayed up all night studying (and no, i feel it didnt affect me that i wasnt rested). but w.e., i just wanna say i felt his lectures weere terrible and i wish i had taken one of the other teachers. oh yeah, btw, a ton of people who failed both mid terms or did bad or w.e. dropped very soon.

May 2010

Culpa is disgracing itself by downgrading Lipshitz to a silver nugget. The last review is completely inaccurate. My RA (a music major and definitely not a math junkie) took his linear algebra class and had great things to say (he rambled for 40 minutes about lipshitz on the first day of orientation (yes, that's how good he is)), which is what got me to sign up for his section. Needless to say, best course I've taken at Columbia thus far. It's the only class I never skipped whereas I went to this semester's linear algebra class twice all semester (sidenote: if you ever have munteanu for lin alg, you're better off skipping). Lipshitz is concise with his explanations, and will solve every type of problem that might show up on the homework and midterm/final during class. He does sometimes move a bit too fast, but you can usually figure out what he did in your notes after class even if it's a bit confusing during class. However, since he explains the material so damn well, it rarely is confusing. And when it is confusing, he encourages(scratch that; begs) for questions to be asked. He'll spend at least 2 minutes answering a question (no matter how dumb) usually providing multiple explanations and drawing diagrams. That at times could get annoying, but it's undoubtedly a good thing. His problem sets are slightly longer than standard length, roughly 10-15 textbook problems + 2-5 of his own, but he often assigns odd problems and all of them are doable. aka, he never assigns problem #78 proofs or those eight-part word problems. Lipshitz, unlike many other Columbia math professors, is in tune with how a student perceives various topics. He knows that most students hate delta-epsilon proofs (he tells 4 inspiration stories(seriously), creates a delta-epsilon game, offered additional office hours for the two lectures on delta-epsilon, and made the delta-epsilon proof on the midterm the easiest form possible), he knows no one actually remembers the order of the quotient rule, that we hate the chain rule, and that we like it when things magically cancel out. It's perfectly possible to get 100% on his midterms, though naturally difficult. What I mean by that is that the problems are medium versions of what he solves in class, but there won't ever be one of those 22 variable equations with eight lemmas to a proof type of monster problems that only the 4.2 asian geek gets. Speaking of proofs, except for the delta-epsilon stuff, which was a pain, he skipped all the multivariable that had proofs in them, and (except for the d-e stuff, never had a formal proof on his exam except for some very basic linear transformation stuff) Like an earlier reviewer said, he's a very petite man, very amusing, and he will stop in the middle of the class to wander off joking about his high school/college days. His ummm that he mutters is quite possibly the cutest human sound ever uttered. It's really hard to describe, and I know this sounds so weird, but it makes class so much more enjoyable. (hearing his ummm, as well as sala-i-martin's suits, 53rd st. chicken and rice, the varsity show, and bacchanal, are necessary for any columbia experience to be complete) He's really amusing, and just watching him mutter his ummm, while waving his tiny hands is worth attending class by itself. He's so down to earth, he's really friendly, will poke fun of himself a lot to make us feel better, and will describe parts of his work when it relates to the class (not like other professors, who'll just randomly go off on 30-min tangents about how impressive they are). I guess one way to describe him is as a helper elf (he's tiny, watching him carry a stack of all 120 midterm exams all by himself was pretty funny) . Also for the final, he spent a class writing down every single possible topic that might show up for the final. Some people (rather rudely) asked him whether certain specific things would be on the final, and lipshitz, unlike 99% of other professors, actually gave a straight answer whenever possible, which shows to his reasonability and kindness. Anyway, I'll just spend the rest of this review ripping apart what the person below me wrote. To the person: if you ever read this, no offense dude, but you're wrong. 1. the problem sets are impossible to do without copying I never copied, i did them alone, and I had a roughly 95% average for hw's. (another side note: don't do them the day they're due, I averaged around a 70% on those; duh) I have a 3.5 right now, so while i'm not dumb, i'm not one exactly a genius either. 2. lulled into a false sense of security for the first midterm probably the person's truest statement, the first midterm was really easy, 9% mean, I got a 97%, and I definitely didn't study as much as i should have for the 2nd midterm. though that's my fault, not lipshitz's 3. 2nd midterm, 55% mean the median was a 55/75 according to the email lipshitz sent out (btw, he sends out 1-2 emails a week with hw corrections/hints, general advice, etc.) Do the math to find that percentage, if you can't, then maybe follow the below person's review. 4. final 30-pages. i don't know if he/she's intentionally exaggerating or not, but given the stuff the person said earlier, he might just be delusional. For the record, the final was 10 problems. Maybe he had extra scratch sheets stapled to his final? The class is not easy, but I also feel like if I put the effort into the course, I could have gotten an A or A+. (plenty of people got an A or A+) Anyway, I originally wasn't intending on writing this review seeing as everyone else idolizes him. But I feel really, really (1000 words) strongly that he's absolutely one of the most superb professors at Columbia and that anything less than a gold nugget is an injustice. For the record, I got an A- in the class.

May 2010

Fabio Nironi is too brilliant for his own good. His lectures are complicated and hard to follow with an abundance of unnecessary notes. Stewart's explanations will usually do the trick though, so study out of the book when the time comes. The problem sets will definitely help to understand the material. Before each midterm and the final, he ran two review sessions-- not entirely a good use of time, but he occasionally drops a problem that might show up on the exam. He gives a good curve on exams and gives you credit for as much as possible, so write down everything you can think of even if you have no idea how to solve the problem. I got a 45% on the first exam and it was a B-, and a 61% on the second and it was an A. It's not the end of the world if you skip lectures but if you do, definitely keep up using the textbook. He's occasionally funny, but most of the time, lecture's a bore.

May 2010

If you take this class with Gabor, then you will certainly experience a tradeoff. His lectures are not colorful or even mildly interesting. If you go to class, everything is extremely dry and boring. He answers your questions, but will make you feel stupid in the process. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed his style. Almost every word he said, he wrote neatly on the board, which made for really good note-taking. If there was something I didn't understand in class, all I had to do was look over my notes, go through the steps again, and it clicked. His pace is almost perfect. His handwriting is neat and legible, and unlike many of the other Calc III teachers, his accent doesn't interfere with students' understanding of the material. If you can handle a class with no humor and unbearable boredom, then I would highly recommend this section.

May 2010

I don't understand a lot of the negative reviews, he was an okay professor. His lectures were a struggle but his exams were fairly straightforward and generously curved. Homework wasn't too bad and he was always available for office hours. Since Calculus 3 is relatively straightforward and definitely self-teachable I wouldn't shy away from taking Prof. Zheng based on the negative reviews here. There is also a kind of humorous and endearing quality about him.

Apr 2010

Fedorchuk sped through classes. He went too quickly to take notes or even understand the material he went over in class. I gained little from his lectures, but doing the homework was enough to do well on the tests. He assigns weekly problem sets (ten to twenty problems) that are pretty easy with one or two challenging problems at the end. He gives two midterms and a final. The midterms were not difficult, and if you study from the practice midterms and complete all the homework assignments you should be fine (even if you miss a few classes). I haven't taken the final yet, but I expect it to be fair. His class is not difficult, but if you struggle with the subject you might want to consider a better professor.

Apr 2010

Nam Le is a boss. His curve is fairly generous; 50% get As (including A+'s and A-'s). His tests are straightforward (on the first test he even told us all answers would be from the set: {-10,-9,-8,-7,-6,-5,-4,-3,-2,-1,0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,pi/6,pi/4,pi/3,pi/2,pi}). Do the homework well; it's the best way to prepare for the tests. If your foundation in math, and calculus in particular, is shaky, then show up to class and read the textbook. He allows you to use a cheatsheet for each test. I never found a cheatsheet useful for any of his tests, but I can see how many who did not have such a strong calculus background could find it useful. I might be biased since I took multivariable calculus in high school and didn't really need to show up to any of his lectures. I got a 98 in his class...an A+. But even my friends who didn't have such strong backgrounds in calculus found his lectures valuable and his tests fair. TAKE HIS CLASS! He's easily the best Calc III professor

Mar 2010

Robert Lipshitz is a very nice man. He has a cute smile, a nice hairdo, and some very colorful shirts. He's very friendly, outgoing, and eager to help you whenever you need any assistance. But don't let any of this fool you. DO NOT TAKE CALC III WITH ROBERT LIPSHITZ. I know, I know, he has a gold nugget and that's really cool, and it's actually what enticed me and my friends to take his class in the first place. We all readily agree that it was the biggest mistake of the entire semester, and was probably the biggest mistake of my life. I sat through that class each lecture and understood probably 25% of it. Maximum. He's ridiculously brilliant and tries really hard to help you understand, but it just doesn't click. There are portions of the class who are apparently naturals at this stuff and got it right away, but the overwhelming majority of the class had no idea what was going on. At all. The problem sets were ENORMOUS and often impossible to complete without asking for help/copying from four other people. The worst part of the whole deal was his examinations. You got lulled into a false sense of security after the first midterm because it wasn't too hard. Then he smacks you over the head with the midterm of doom, a test on which the class mean was barely above a 55%. The final was even worse, a 30-page monstrosity that was described by Lipshitz ex post facto as "really quite difficult." Uh, yea. The most frustrating part was that by the time the final rolled around, I knew all of the material cold (after 20+ hours of studying and much help from Cramster, Stewart, friends, and the answer key) and I still could not muster anything close to a good grade with Lipshitz and based on the difficulty of the other classes' exams, I probably could have gotten a whole grade higher elsewhere. So I repeat DO NOT TAKE CALC III WITH ROBERT LIPSHITZ. I regret the day I stepped foot in that class, and unless you are a math genius, so will you. Just take Lauda (or anyone else). Please.

Feb 2010

Nam Le is absolutely excellent - no matter who you are, if you are taking Calculus III, take it with Nam Le. His lectures are straightforward, useful, and (relative to most math classes) not very boring. He has a unique sense of humor and numerous adorable mannerisms that keep the class somewhat entertaining. He doesn't expect anything unreasonable out of students - his tests are all composed of exactly the type of problems that were done in class, he allows you to bring 4 pages of notes per test (6 for final), and all of the answers are always integers from -10 to 10. He also didn't make us learn delta-epsilon theory for the tests, which you will be grateful for. I really don't have anything bad to say about Nam Le. He will make your Calculus III experience substantially less painful.

Feb 2010

This man is terrible. How in the hell he got a silver star, I will never know. He blazes through lessons and makes frequent mistakes. Fortunately enough there are people who know Calc III in the class and are able to correct him. But for someone who has never seen the material, the class is too fast paced. You have to read the book. Additionally, this man is man has a horrible attitude-plain and simple. He speaks to students with an incredible amount of disdain. As an assistant professor he has no excuse to deal with students in such a manner, he let the power get to his.

Jan 2010

This professor... has good intentions. He is obvious new to teaching (if he's not, then wow), and he shows it a lot. Having learned Calculus 1-4 in high school under a very capable teacher, I felt no need to attend any of his classes, and after the first midterm, that's exactly what I did. The questions in classes are mostly for clarifications, and Prof. Greene struggles to answer even those. He was unsure on most of conventions (like parens for points, angled brackets for vectors), which confused some of the newer students. He's really nice, however. I feel like he tries hard for the students... it's just that the ability is not there. If you've already taken Multivariable Calculus in high school and are just taking this course to fulfill SEAS requirements, then I guess you could leave Prof. Green as a choice. But if you actually need to learn, then avoid Prof. Greene like the plague.

Jan 2010

Nam Le is a great professor. He explains the material very clearly and in an interesting way. He teaches the concepts that are in the book, but often will infuse his own ideas of how some of the material should be looked at, which was really appreciated. He also told some stories about students he has had in the past or other random bits of information which were funny and made the class worth going to in addition to his great teaching. The only negative is that he does have an accent that took a little time to adjust to, but once you do, you will be fine for the rest of the semester.

Jan 2010

This was Professor Lipshitz's first time teaching a Calc 3 course, as he usually teaches higher level courses. From his lectures, you can tell that he is extremely smart and knows what he is doing. He is a great professor that really cares about his students. His lectures can often be confusing and fast-paced, but it is only because he likes to challenge his students. Don't be afraid to ask questions during class. He encourages it and is excellent at clarifying things. There were 2 midterm exams, each worth 20% of your grade. The first midterm was pretty easy, while the second one was much longer and more challenging. The weekly problem sets were worth 30% of your grade and were usually pretty long; you really need to put the time and effort into them to get good grade. They are challenging, but you will find that the problem sets prepare you well for his exams, with the exams being even slightly easier than the homework. The final exam, worth 30% of your grade, was extremely long and challenging, but it fits right in with him loving to challenge his students. It was still a fair test. Professor Lipshitz is a petite man, but is a great professor. It is no surprise he has a gold rating on CULPA. I would highly recommend him to anyone.

Jan 2010

I have to disagree with the people who thought the class was "ridiculously easy" or for "stupid people." The class is very diverse with many people that are econ majors or might not be pros at math. That said, I think Lauda is best at communicating the concepts in a way most everybody can understand. He covers the material in the textbook thoroughly and if you can read the book and follow his lectures you should be able to earn at least a B. As a person that was not much of a math person, I think I can safely say this class expanded my knowledge in calculus and made me more of a "math person." Very comprehensive, some of the problem set questions will challenge you and so will probably one question on each midterm and final.

Jan 2010

He's a smart mathematician, with a frog-face that never stops smiling at you. He looks at calculus with the same awe that the average undergraduate looks a two-step linear equations and arithmetic problems, and because of this he often omits one or several steps, and assumes you have a firm foundation of calculus I and II. That being said, he doesn't teach much, and doesn't count a single midterm or homework, although he does return corrections and goes over them in class. My suggestion is take him if you're an ace in math, or if you're an econ major that doesn't really need to know a lot more beyond partial derivatives and optimization/local max. min. The final has 6 problems and it includes torsion/curvature, orthogonal trajectories and first order linear ordinary differential equations with integrating factors; three subjects not covered in any other calc III course. Great, because since he doesn't count midterms or homework assignments, you actually learn to solve the mechanics. He often puts harder ones on the homework and in class than on the exams. He doesn't mind in-class eating, only when its popcorn, and he HATES James Stewart's textbook. Troels spends a good time bashing the textbook..so if you're a student that prides on learning everything verbatim from the book, this will be a terrible class for you because Troels goes out of sequence and teaches his own format/style, which he asks to see on the exam as a way to see if one is attending lectures. He's also anal about "scribbling", he enjoys neatness on exams so its not too much work for him to understand. He doesn't use e-mail or update courseworks. You can ask him for help if you show up to this office on the 6th floor of math sometime between 10 and 2 on weekdays, as long as you've let him know the class before hand. Again, the midterms/homeworks don't count, only the final does. (but he won't fail anyone as long as they passed their midterms and did their homework assignments and showed up to class. He'll give you a default C. Not a bad exchange.) H

Dec 2009

Lauda's class was extremely easy and the curve was extremely generous. I have many friends who received A and A+ marks. His problems for the midterms and even final were straight from the textbook and fairly straightforward. Nevertheless, Calculus III is a difficult subject to make interesting. I attended perhaps 3 lectures all semester and fell asleep during most of them. However, his review sessions before a midterm/final are rather useful, as he outlines pretty much as much of what is going to be on the midterm/final without actually giving out the test ahead of time. I would definitely say that Lauda is the best available Calculus III teacher. He really makes an attempt to connect with his students, speaks clear English, and attempts to convey the theory behind the mathematics rather than rote memorization and hand exercises. Unfortunately, Calculus III is not particularly challenging nor intriguing.

Dec 2009

Jarod Alper. is. the shit. He was the best math teacher I have ever had. He explained concepts fully and had a talent for making really tough three-dimensional concepts understandable even when working with a lowly two-dimensional board. The class itself is still pretty difficult (see: tough three-dimensional concepts) but Jarod had a knack for making most things make sense (except for when he tried to re-derive Newton's proof of Kepler's laws -- that was an utter disaster). What I am trying to say is, if you have the option of taking Jarod Alper, then take him. That's really all you need to know.

Dec 2009

I disagree with the previous reviewer. This class was not extremely easy. I suspect that the class is easy for people who are math wizzes, but so would any calc 3 class. I don't care about Jacobian Maps - they don't fulfill my science requirement. Lauda is a good professor. Do not worry if you have him. His lectures are understandable, and he is very approachable after class. I like his argument that to truly understand calc a student must understand how to derive the concepts himself. I skipped a few lectures will no detriment. As long as you understand the homework the midterms and final are doable.

Dec 2009

This class was honestly a let down. I had not taken multivariable before, and I'm not an engineer, so this wasn't exactly a breeze. Greene seemed to never be prepared for lectures and ended up awkwardly stumbling for an hour and fifteen minutes. The only incentive for going to class was lunch at Hewitt afterward. Going to his office hours was useless, considering he would just read from the text and never answered any conceptual questions. Where did they find this guy? A DMV in Jersey? Oh wait, that would be Princeton. I'm sure he could be a great professor once he gets his act together, but until then, I would avoid this section unless you've done this before. It seems to be curved nicely, but who really knows. Take Nam Le, who I've heard is much less stressful, or even Lauda.

Dec 2009

The class is ridiculously boring and easy. Basically, he thinks that all of the students in his Calc 3 class are stupid and teaches as if he were teaching stupid people. The first half of the semester was basically review of vectors and complex numbers. Don't take this class if you want to learn any of the Calc 3 material; he didn't even teach Jacobian Maps. Basically after the second midterm for 3 weeks, all he taught was 2 sections of the book. (Lagrange Multipliers and Optimization) The tests are extremely easy and reward people who don't make careless mistakes. Basically, you don't need to analyze any of the questions. It basically just memorizing formulas and knowing how to use them.

Dec 2009

If you have a strong background in calculus from high school, this class is incredibly boring. You'll find yourself astonished at the kinds of questions your classmates will ask, and the awkward mumbling that Greene will do to try to explain the concept. The material is simple. To be honest, there's not enough content to warrant an entire term of class, which is why it seems to drag on. You'll do fine if you read the book and do the homework, although you should start the homework at least two days in advance since it usually turns out to be a little longer than you anticipated. The lectures aren't very helpful. Greene will try to explain concepts in class, but he tends to go with convenient explanations rather than detailed ones. He skipped over epsilon-delta limit material, which is a mathematical crime, but no one complains because epsilon-delta problems are tedious.

Dec 2009

Over the course of the semester, I had the opportunity to listen to many other professors teach the class, including Lipshitz and Greene, and I definitely liked Lauda the best. He clearly explains what the textbook often fails to clarify, and goes through the most relevant examples. If a student doesn't understand, he goes over it again, often trying to use a different way of thinking about the problem. I also find it helpful when he asks us to "prove" or "derive" the multivariable concepts by analogy to the calc I concepts. It's true that he makes plenty of minor mistakes like addition and subtraction errors or forgetting a negative sign on the board, but it doesn't get in the way of him explaining the concepts. It keeps me on my toes when following his lecture, if anything. Would definitely recommend his class because the way he teaches is quite engaging and helpful. Cool guy that is reasonable with grading and takes time to help you fully understand the content.

Nov 2009

His teaching style is what I expected coming to a university like Columbia. His lectures aren't dumbed down to where he merely produces equations that one can use without any real thought. But the lectures aren't hard to understand, either. He combines basic math concepts with some common sense to approach a conclusion. Generally, unless he deems it inappropriate, he shows the proof to how certain equations and theorems have developed, which I found helped me understand the concept better and thus have a better grasp at difficult problems. Greene's lectures are usually a little on the dry side, but he does have moments of funniness. There has been general discontent with the scores of the midterms, but there is a generous curve. On the last test, the score to get an A was only about 7 points (out of 100) above the median. I'm not sure what the other reviewer is doing in Greene's class, but there isn't much abstractness in this class at all. Very straightforward and clear. It is his first year, but there is definitely potential for him to get better at his job as a professor. Also, he geniunely cares about his students and how to teach better, so he shouldn't be someone to avoid.

Nov 2009

Let's keep in mind that this is the first time he's teaching. Although I don't particularly like his style, I think he does improve on his mistakes when he teaches the later section. About the midterms, the first was ridiculously easy, and multiple people got above 100%. The second was harder, but that helped to differentiate all the people clustered at the top. The curve is amazing. I got a horrible score percentage wise, but I was pleased with the letter grade that fell out of that. I don't see how one can complain about "abstract" or "theoretical" questions, because they force you to understand the material conceptually instead of just plugging and chugging. Besides, all the proof type questions were on the previous homework assignments, so there's no excuse for not knowing them. He is also very responsive to emails and questions after class, so really, by the time you're thinking of taking this, the clarity of his lectures should have improved, as should the level at which he sets his exams.

Nov 2009

I don't necessarily agree with the post below, and I'm pretty sure we're in the exact same class. Josh Greene is obviously new to the ropes and while he does not do a very good job explaining certain things, I really think the thing that slows the class down is the fact that the students in the class don't pay attention and then make him repeat himself like 100 times in class. Honestly, if you are going to not pay attention in class, don't make that everyone's problem. As of now, I don't particularly recommend Greene, but I have the feeling he'll become better at explaining concepts as he develops as a teacher. He does say some pretty funny things, which make the class more enjoyable than it otherwise could be. He's not particularly rigorous so if you aren't into math you should probably take this class. I do find it frustrating though that he asks the students to look the proofs up in the book rather than explain it to us–but on the flip side, I learn faster reading out of a book so it's not that big of a deal.

Nov 2009

I'm interested to hear what other people think of this class/professor, but I think they both SUCK(ED). (This class is still ongoing.) Josh Greene is a nice guy: he's quirky, kind of funny, and I guess sort of cutesy in that understated math-nerd kind of way. I understand that he's also brand new to teaching, and I'm pretty sure that this year (fall 2009) is his first year teaching at Columbia. Well, it shows. I feel that he's done a very poor job at explaining the material throughout this course. Not that he doesn't try- he just doesn't succeed. It's as though he's trying to be clever or innovative or something when he begins multiple threads of instruction at once,then sort of advances them simultaneously, then tries to tie them up together. I think he fails miserably and bungles the whole thing. Calc III in and of itself is not very difficult at all- but when Josh Greene teaches it poorly and then asks very abstract and theoretical questions on homeworks and on EXAMS, the course ends up being way more trouble then it's supposed to be. My advice: if you don't already know this material, don't be another guinea pig for the teaching experiments of Josh Greene.

Jul 2009

Let me start off by saying that I stopped going to class right before the first midterm (there were 2), showed up for review sessions before exams and for the exams themselves, and I did well. I tried out most of the other professors teaching Calculus III in Spring 09 and Lauda was the best, and STILL I could not sit through his lectures. Even though he was going through the material quickly, the pace was incredibly slow. He made a lot of mistakes when teaching, and sometimes would just stand in front of the board and mutter things like "Now how do you do this again?" or "Wait does that look right?" I'm not saying he was bad at presenting the material. However, Calculus III just happens to be an easier math class in general, so it's not hard to learn, and most of the people in the class were Econ majors or people who skipped Calculus II because it's more difficult. This is not a professor intended for people who seriously like math or any sort of challenge. After taking Calculus II with De Silva (look her up), I was disappointed and was resigned to teaching myself the material rather than go through such a frustrating experience.

Jun 2009

So I switched into this class based on past reviews and general unsatisfaction after sitting in on a couple of other classes and I have to say I did not end up regretting my decision. Lauda is clear, concise and very easy to follow. He teaches every thing in a smooth, systematic manner and goes through all the steps involved in getting to his conclusions and makes sure he puts everything down. He is always open to answering questions raised during class or to clarify even dumb queries. That being said, his homework problem sets can sometimes be really, really long as he wants us to get maximum practice (and grades only 5 random problems). His mid-terms were fair but towards the end of the course he started putting 'challenging' questions to show hard working students a chance to show their effort which was quite badly received by most of the class that didn't do well on the second midterm. He eased up a bit on the final but still it wasn't the easiest course you could take. But I would still recommend this class on the fact that his teaching style is a refreshing change from some other math professors here and he genuinely makes every effort to help students understand the concepts behind the material. I enjoyed this class and did well overall.

Jun 2009

Professor Perutz was generally clear and easy to understand in lecture. My math background is shaky at best and I thought he did a good job of covering the framework of a complex concept; there's just not enough class time to go through everything. I found that a combination of lectures, textbook readings, and practice problems usually brought the point across to me. Professor Perutz did a great job of taking and answering questions too. Never went to office hours, but I heard he was very helpful. Now for the exams. They were HARD. I guess they are that way to ensure that you study for the test, and in my experience there is no way to get around cramming for exams in this class. His test questions were mostly conceptual, not "plug in the numbers" autopilot problems. Test questions often didn't even resemble sample test questions. Needless to say, many people technically did not pass the tests. He curved scores generously, but its not a good idea to rely on them. Overall, I would say the class is great for someone who wants a good explanation of what they're reading in the textbook. I can't learn math from a book alone and Tim helped tremendously. I found it worth the effort.

Jun 2009

If you get off on mathematical formalism, this is the class for you. Classes consist entirely of proofs of the relevant formulae and theorems, the application of which you're expected to teach yourself out of the book (the homework assignments build on the lectures rather than repeating them). Tignor is excruciatingly precise in all of the work he does on the board in class -- there is no hand-waving or assertions that things are true; instead he'll define and demonstrate absolutely everything in the greatest detail possible, whether or not the class has the necessary mathematical background. Again, if you like that kind of thing, you'll enjoy going to class. If not, skip the lectures -- it's perfectly possible to get by just doing the homework and reading the chapter carefully. Everything people have said below about his strange mannerisms are true -- he would stumble in 10 minutes late every morning, start scribbling on the board without so much as a hello, wring his hands and moan quietly throughout the class and then leave as abruptly as he came. But hey -- this is the math department. Be grateful your professor speaks English. I will say that the complaints about his tests are completely unfair. They, like the rest of the class, were proof-heavy, but even the most complicated proofs turned out to be no more than 4 or 5 lines once you had the necessary insight. Naturally, they were all things that we hadn't discussed explicitly in lecture, but if you had a firm conceptual grasp of the material they weren't bad at all. For reference, the midterms all had the same format: 1 easy proof 1 hard proof 1 simple number-crunching problem 1 complicated number-crunching problem 1 conceptual question The final was just a double midterm. Tignor's class was probably tougher than most, but in the end Calc III is the easiest calculus course no matter how you present it -- there's just not that much material. Tignor at least forces you to learn the concepts, and not just the process.

May 2009

Previous reviews accurately described him and his teaching style in detail, but be warned that he always omits steps to reach an answer, so if you're not strong in maths or just don't remember what you have learnt in calculus 1 (& 2,) do stay away from this professor. The fact that you can't fail is something you might want to take into account though.

May 2009

Professor Perutz is a classy guy and a great teacher. Don't get me wrong, I did really badly on the first midterm (it was curved to a B, but still) and I had to work really hard for the rest of the semester. But I challenged myself by taking this course and learned a lot. I had found Calculus II as well as AP Calculus A/B very easy and manageable and had to put in a lot of work in this class to do well. But it was definitely worth it. It's not Perutz's fault that Calc III is so hard: it's weird visualizing stuff that you're probably not used to. Go to office hours and put in effort and you'll be fine. Perutz is a great teacher.

May 2009

Professor Hou is a great math teacher. After having taken classes with him over the course of 3 years, he is one teacher that I can rely on. His lecturing style may be quick but each lecture is very clear. He breaks things down and explains concepts thoroughly, plus he draws really awesome pictures/graphs to go with almost everything. He seems very conscious of his English skills, but he speaks clearly albeit with a slight accent. On the board he is not only legible (which, in the math department is hard to find) but he writes nice and big and always steps away for you to copy down the notes. Although he may make a few mistakes during class, he doesn't make many (always double check with the textbook). His courses are the few math classes where I studied more often from my notes than from the textbook. For all of the courses, he has a different strategy for grade breakdown, but it never strays too far from a standard h/w-midterm-massive final mold. His course website always is up-to-date with assignments, assignment solutions, and dates of tests/exams. He usually posts practice midterm(s) and final with solutions and gives a little review of topics before each. He may seem kinda awkward, that is because he is. Thus, he may seem unapproachable, but do not fear, you can usually find him napping/wearing awesome slippers in his office during office hours because nobody goes. He has office hours twice a week (for A+O an additional problem session on fridays) and he is always happy to explain things if you just ask! The bottom line: he covers material in a timely fashion, and he is organized. If you want to actually learn some math and not just stumble through a course, Hou is the man. It is totally possible to get a good grade in the course if you put the necessary effort in, and I would say the grading in the courses is consistently fair (curved to a B/B+ avg). If you have the opportunity, take Hou. (his vast collection of sweater-vests is also a plus)

Apr 2009

Run...just run. Worse professor in the world. Everything about him repulses me... from his teaching style to his profuse use of cheap cologne. Sound harsh? It's meant to be. I had to pass/fail this class. First exam was fairly easy, the next two were impossible. The homework sets are endless, and the problems he chooses are the last and hardest ones in the problem set. He covers topics in class only on a surface level, but expects you to know the topic inside and out. If you can, avoid him at all costs.

Apr 2009

Xiaobo was a great Calc III teacher. He made sure to teach everything in the book and everything that would be on the hw. His lectures actually do apply to the hw. HW was also not hard and the worst scores are dropped. Take him for Calc III for sure! In my class he even gave extra credit on the final cause on of the midterms was hard.

Apr 2009

Professor Tignor is by far, without a doubt the worst teacher I have ever had in my 19 years on this planet. First off he shows up about 10 minutes late every class and keeps you 10 minutes over. He doesn't stay after to address any questions. If you ask him a question, it is rare that you get an answer and a correct one at that. He teaches facing the board so you can't see or hear what he is teaching. You have absolutely no clue what he is talking about because he speaks in such an indirect manner and talks to himself. I seriously think he has no interaction with other human beings outside his class. Read the book as best you can and you might have a shot on his exams. After personally meeting with him about my midterm #1 (which i got an 8% on and half the class did just as bad) he admitted 2 of the 5 problems were nothing like what he taught or like anything we covered in the book with homeworks. I have 2 tutors for the class and still barely get by. I was good at math and loved my life until I took Prof. Tignor's Calc III class. Oh and there is no syllabus to give to your tutors to help you out.

Apr 2009

Taking his class is a bad idea. It really bothers me how so many people right great reviews about him and if I read those before hand I would have chosen to take his class. You guys need to pay attention to this review. I am a very good math student. In high school I had amazing grades in Precalculus and Calculus 1 and I retook Calculus 1 in my first semester and got an A-. I decided to take Calculus 3 with Perutz because I thought I could do well but wow was I wrong. Calculus 3 was such a huge change from calculus one and perutz doesnt give you midterms that are questions that appear in the textbook when you are doing your homework. He requires you to think outside the box on the spot during midterms with very difficult and long problems. If you cant figure out the first part you cannot do the rest of the question and it is horrifying. A majority of the class failed the first midterm but there was a curve which I guess is the only good thing about this class so far. If it weren't for the curve more than 50% of the class would fail given the numbers he gave us for the first midterm. Please just run away from Perutz and Calculus 3, calculus 3 is a big shock to kids like me who were great math students. I thought calc was just do your homework and youll be solid gold for the test, THIS IS NOT THE CASE! well for perutz at least.

Feb 2009

Worst teacher/professor I have ever had. I went to lectures the first 2-3 weeks and found myself having to read the sections in order to understand what the hell was going on. Eventually, I stopped going to class and only showed up for exams. I think my friends and I went to class about 7-8 times total the entire semester. His English is horrible, he hates being asked questions (mostly because most of the time he does not understand your question and will answer everything else besides the question you asked), and he makes you feel dumb when you ask something, because he just points to the boards and says, "Well it is all here, what don't you understand?" He was very disorganized, spent a lot of time on proving formulas, and no time at all on showing you how to use them or what they meant. Yet, he expected you to know what the meaning of every variable and every formula on the tests, without having taught it. There was a problem set every week, which ranged from extremely easy (will take you 20 minutes to complete and can fit it on 1 page), to ridiculously hard (will take you up to 10 hours and you will write 20 pages). However, he did not weigh them according to difficulty, so each problem set was worth the same, which is unreasonable. The first midterm was "too easy" as he put it, since the mean score was a B, so he made the second impossible, with an average of 60%. After much deliberation, we somehow convinced him to curve it, so he made the average a 70% and said that this was reasonable. About half of the problems he hadn't covered in class, and the people that got them right said they had basically memorized the entire book. He made the final possible, but only if you studied your ass off and knew every definition and every proof in the book. He curved the final grades but only because he had to. Without the curve, there would have been about 5-6 A's (all the grades were public) in a class of over 70 people (and those were the people that had taken Calc III before). Overall, if you can avoid taking him, run as fast and hard as you can, because this man will make your experience miserable. I felt like I never even had him because I basically taught an entire year of Calculus to myself. He did not help whatsoever.

Jan 2009

I took this course 3 years ago and remember it as the primary reason I decided not to do a math major. I used to love math, but somehow this class sucked all the fun out of it. I don't know, maybe it was because it was my first big math lecture, maybe it was the fact that Prof. Thurston talked to the blackboard and was much more interested in topology than a few hapless freshmen and sophomores in calc 3, maybe it was because I never made a move on my study buddy, or maybe I just don't really like university-level math. In retrospect, it was fair enough. Midterm and final reasonable, unbearably tedious problem sets that were nevertheless straight out of the textbook, no complex proofs or anything inappropriate for the level. Just totally uninspiring. It was a while before I took linear algebra and started liking math again.

Jan 2009

What a joke. I went from having an A/A+ to a B during his 1 hour final. Made a few algebraic errors and there went my A. He's a bad teacher who grades unjustly.

Dec 2008

Very straightforward teacher and class. He followed his own syllabus to the point, and we never really lost pace. Alper really does try to explain examples and concepts fully. This was his first semester teaching so it kinda seemed like he might be a little nervous at first, but it got better throughout the semester and did not affect his teaching. Not sure about the curve though, the class was generally easy so a lot of people did get high. Easy A if you're a math person I would say. I recommend taking Alper if you can.

Dec 2008

Excellent professor. Professor Alper (or Jarod, as he encouraged us to call him) was brand new this semester, having just completed his Ph.D. last year, and I hope he stays at Columbia, because he was one of the best instructors I have ever had. Unlike many other teachers, Jarod has a genuine desire that his students learn and understand the material, which means that he will periodically stop during class to make sure everyone understands what is going on. He teaches according to the book (and which Columbia calc professor doesn't?), which is good, because both he and the book are straightforward and easy to understand. If you pay any attention in class at all, the homeworks will be a breeze. Not only are most of the problems similar to example problems or similar to problems in the solutions manual, but he gives a lot of extra credit problems (8 points or more per assignment is typical). It is very easy to get an average of over 100% on the homework, and these were worth 20% of our final grade (the same as each of the midterms), so it was a valuable way to pick up points. Professor Alper promised to make the exams similar to our homework problems, and he more or less stuck to this promise, which meant that if you understood all of the practice problems he gave, you would get at least a fairly good grade on the exam. (The second midterm, which Professor Alper tried to make 'difficult', was a fluke, and ended up just being too long for the time allotted). This is not to say the class was easy - I know many people who did not do well. However, the difficulty in the class comes from the difficulty of the material, not from unclear teaching or unfair examinations, which is one mark of a good class. I hope Professor Alper does not change anything about the way he teaches his class - I found him to be clear, fair, and approachable. The TAs who graded the homeworks and exams this semester were abominable (making mistakes of 10% of a final grade or more), but that's a separate issue and not the fault of Professor Alper who tried to fix these errors wherever reasonably possible.

Dec 2008

Jarod, especially for a first-time teacher, is gifted. Lectures consist of him explaining concept on the homework, so reading the textbook is not required. Midterms are challenging but manageable, as long as you don't get behind. Given the stereotypes surrounding mathematics departments, it was nice to have a native english speaker teaching the class.

Dec 2008

"Please dont ask any questions when I'm teaching". Wow. That was my reaction along with the 15 odd students that were enrolled in Calc III over the summer. I had a very unfavorable experience in her class. The average on the first exam was a 45. Not surprisingly a few people decided to preserve their grade point average and dropped out which left a few of us to endure the pain. Ive never known a professor or teacher thru college and high school who didnt like it when her students asked questions and specifically asked them not to ask any. As for the truly brave and curious. Well, their courage and curiousity kept chipping away as the semester went on. Oh and she didnt care much to explain the concepts or theories after class during office hours either. I was appalled by her lack of interest in her class. Please steer clear of her of you dont want to feel small and\or cheated!

Dec 2008

While I understand that most Calc III professors are frustrating on some level, I would still tend to steer clear of Prof. Zheng. His lectures are boring and confusing, consisting almost entirely of proofs. While explaining these proofs, he tends to make large jumps between steps so that even if you bother to pay attention to what he's doing, his work doesn't make sense. What was nice about this class was that the textbook was great in terms of preparation for the tests. Use it as your study guide because class notes are useless. His midterms and final are harder than any other Calc III class, so be sure to understand the book's examples. However, don't stress too much over this because the tests are tricky for everyone. I will admit I got an A in the class, but that was after what looked to be a massive curve on the final grades. So, if you are a skilled calculus student who can manage difficult concepts without thorough explanation, take this class and don't bother going to class on regular days. Otherwise, find another professor.

Dec 2008

Professor Liu teaches straight from the book, often using book example problems as his class lesson. His lessons are relatively boring, but will basically ensure that you can do the homework. His accent is not difficult to understand and some of his mistakes are quite amusing. The exams are based on specific book problems, so if you do the homework, you'll likely do well on exams. The sample exams help even more, since problems are exactly like the exams, though be careful and don't become too focused on any version of a specific problem.

Dec 2008

Xiaobo is what every teacher at Columbia should be like. He teaches directly from the textbook which makes it easy for you to refer to it when you don't understand something. During lecture, you just mindlessly take notes. You won't understand what he's teaching and where he's getting at, but when you do the homework, you'll understand everything. He gives breaks during lecture. As far as tests, he gives a sample midterm/final the week before with solutions. The actual test will almost be exactly like the sample. All questions come from the textbook.

Dec 2008

Don't take this section if you plan on pursuing math further. This class is a complete joke. Tests are easy, but only the Final gets counted. Jorgensen is a cute professor but cannot explain anything.

Dec 2008

He is quite easy as far as the Calc professors go. Not exactly eloquent "Um... so uh the uh cross-product" but at least you can understand him (native English speaker, or at least unaccented English speaker). Randomly absent, he has TAs teach those days, and they are terrible. At least the one we had the 4-5 days he was absent. The first midterm was easy as pie AND had an extra credit. Not very proof-based in the hw but he randomly will put a proof on the exam so watch out and don't completely zone out when he randomly does proofs (although they are 70% unecessary). If you can find a friend who took this already you will be in luck since he repeats question types (or exact questions!). Second midterm was harder but doable. Make sure to go to the days when he reviews for exam, it is useful. I rarely went otherwise.

Dec 2008

Troels is a wonderful teacher with a great sense of humor. His lectures are well-paced and he loves to answer questions. His tests are short and made up of easy homework problems.

Sep 2008

very hard to understand his points. spends a lot of time drawing diagrams, which albeit are incredible and look computer-generated, really did not help me when it came to the exams. Likes to put difficult questions in exams, and he admits that he will put a question on the exam that we haven't necessarily covered during class- he wants to use this as a way to distinguish the stars. caused me too much stress, even though I put a lot of effort into this class. a nice guy, and the grade gets curved immensely. but it doesn't feel good to settle the default ivy-league curved B.

Aug 2008

AMAZING. He knows his stuff and can actually EXPLAIN the material. Such a nice guy, too. He cares about his students and he gives examples you can follow. He made Calc III an enjoyable experience, even for people who fear mathematics. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME WITH ANY OTHER CALCULUS III PROFESSOR.

Jul 2008

Prof. Perutz is a decent and fair teacher. He writes most of what he's talking about on the black board and requires that we are only responsible for what he has taught in class. Having said that, however, I learned most of the material from the textbook (the standard calculus book that everyone uses.) Perhaps it is not entirely his fault (calculus isn't exactly the most interesting material) but I would always have to go back and read the text and do the examples to be able to do the homework assignment. But again - he's a fair guy. He doesn't test you on material he hasn't covered in class and doesn't give you obscure, ridiculously long and hard questions on the midterms/final. I would go with Prof. Perutz if you're taking the class for the Econ requirement. Don't worry about who your TA is for this class - it seems like Perutz does most of (if not all of) the grading (he's good about grading too - he returned the midterms within a week and had the final grades posted the day we took it.)

Jun 2008

He was a really good professor, and he was always available to help. The class itself was not too hard (actually the first part was the hardest, it got gradually easier as the semester went on). I would highly recommend Professor Perutz for any math class.

May 2008

If you have to take Calc III, take it with this professor! After reading other reviews about how horrible the other professors were, I decided to take the class with Perutz and never regretted it! He writes down everything he says on the board, and he tries to explain everything in as simple terms as possible. There was weekly homework, and sometimes it was pretty complicated or took a while, but not impossible. The tests were also fairly easy, and they were all given pretty generous curves. The most important thing for me was that I feel like I actually learned the subject well. And as a professor, Perutz is very approachable and does his best to answer any questions you have. Although the class isn't a guaranteed B or whatever, you WILL learn what you're supposed to, and Perutz teaches in such a way that the information is fairly easy to understand, so it's not hard to get an A. I highly recommend this class.

May 2008

Be prepared for the easiest course you're ever going to take at Columbia! As many have stated below me, Troels Jorgensen is an incredibly nice and sweet old man but a terrible teacher. The fact that he is the only teacher who has not handed me a syllabus on the first day should tell you something. Troels' class consists of him doing problems and examples on the board and explaining how they relate to math. But make sure you copy these down exactly the way they appear on the board. I found that although he would change up the parameters for the problems on the homeworks/midterms/final, the general procedure that he uses in class to arrive at the answer is exactly the same. So do yourself a favor: go to lecture, copy down exactly what he does on the board, and memorize the steps he does for each kind of problem. I guarantee that you will do well. I'll warn you now: the only grade that Jorgensen will count is the Final Exam. So make sure you prepare for it accordingly. But in case you somehow manage to screw it up, as long as you did all your homeworks and took all the midterms Jorgensen will have mercy and give you a C instead of failing you.

Apr 2008

I love this class and this professor. Tim Perutz is really really nice guy and cares so much for his students. He's a little timid but is much more confident when explaining mathematics. If you've done research on him, you'll see he's written on some pretty brilliant topics. Even so, he's still really excited to teach what is probably amazingly boring for him. He wants everyone to do well. Definitely take this class, utilize his office hours if you need to. I'm taking his ODE class next semester.

Apr 2008

so, Tim as we like to call him, is BY FAR the worst math teacher at Columbia. He is incapable of speaking in front of a classroom, he spends his whole class stuttering, and if you try to ask him a question, good luck, you're not getting any answer. He is extremely boring, repeats himself most of the time, and no, the English accent is NOT cute and sexy. Please do not take a class with this guy, he will most probably eradicate all interest you have in math.

Apr 2008

Behrstock is a good teacher. He writes literally EVERYTHING on the board so it is easier to follow what you are learning. He tries to give geometric and algebraic arguements for a lot of the concepts he teaches so that we can have a better intuition about what he is teaching. It is calc 3 - the stuff is not at all interesting but he is probably one of the best teachers you will find for this class. He is an american and speaks english well and thats always hard to come by in the math department.

Apr 2008

Perutz is good. He does stutter a bit, but overall, his lectures are coherent and he really does aim to please. He offers 2 or 3 office hours throughout the week, and I've been several times. They're extremely helpful, he's good at making things clearer. Very amiable and greets me by name. A solid professor that I would recommend with no reservations.

Apr 2008

This class was extremely thorough. Perutz explains every topic in at least six different ways so that everyone will end up understanding the material by the end of class (no matter how long it takes to get through the chapters). His midterms and homework assignments are fair, if not easy, but he is always readily available for help. Overall, he was a very good teacher, and I would take a class from him again.

Apr 2008

Perutz is somewhat of a peculiarity. Initially, you'll find that his lectures feel somewhat disorganized, and he has this penchant for coming up with little catchphrases that'll make you chuckle. He's improved over the course of the semester, and is fairly receptive to input. Midterms are fair, and he isn't excessively harsh with the curves. While not a brilliant teacher, Perutz does try his best to help you understand the lesson, and you shouldn't have too much problem with him. Note: earlier in the semester he did have a habit for including time-consuming problems not found in the textbook, but that seems to have been done away with.

Mar 2008

I enjoyed his lectures, which were very comprehensive, and he writes everything on the board for you. But you do not need to go to class to do well on the midterms. Just study the textbook, and he gives a review the class before the midterm. The problem sets were annoying, sometimes difficult, but otherwise doable. Your lowest grade on the pset gets dropped. A pretty easy class overall.

Feb 2008

Professor Daskalopoulos is very nice and helpful. However, her lectures are right out of the book so it is not a necessity to attend lectures. She can be dull and boring at times but you will learn the material in class. The midterms and final are not curved. The means were in the low 70's to mid 80's. She's probably middle of the road in terms of all the Calc 3 professors, do keep in mind though this is a 9:10-10:25 class, so if you enjoy getting up early to listen to math lectures then this class is for you, otherwise pick another professor.

Feb 2008

Professor Behrstock is the only professor I have had at Columbia who seemed nervous in front of students. It didn't matter for most kids though, since most didn't show up for lectures which was fine, as long as you read the text book. The Midterms and the final for Calc III were a relatively easy, especially the first midterm. He's not a great professor but he's better than some of the others in the math department, so I guess you could do a lot worse.

Jan 2008

Prof. Liu is a very relaxed teacher. His lectures are pretty much straight from the textbook and he's very boring. However, he is clear and thorough and gives you a short 5 minute break in the middle of the class. He's also open to seeing students with questions and he has been very approachable. I went to see him to go over one of the midterms(I hate going all the way to Millbank math help center) and he was very patient. Midterms and finals are pretty much identical to the sample he gives in class to help you study. A good teacher if you want a good grade and just know the basic operations in Calc 3. However, not really a good choice if you'd rather have a dynamic teacher who challenges the students a bit with proofs or intermediate level questions.

Jan 2008

Manolescu is an ok professor, but I guess he's just like every other math professor. His lectures are a bit dry, but he's very willing to answer questions, both in class and at office hours. His midterms can be extremely hard, but he grades on a curve, so his grading is fair.

Dec 2007

Professor Jorgensen is exactly what the rumors say. Genuinely nice guy. Miserable teacher. Pros: 1)One hw problem per class. 2)Tries to make problems come out nice and not messy 3) He won't demand anything remotely challenging. 4) No reason to go to class 5) Really wants his students to do well. 6) Is always willing to meet with students. Cons: 1) Can't explain anything for his life. 2) Does not teach the concepts at all- just teaches the methods. 3) You just read the book to understand what is going on. Basically, if you want to go into mathlearn math, don't take him. If you want to fulfill a requirement for econpremedwhatever and don't care a lick about math- take him.

Dec 2007

This guy is not a good professor. At first I enjoyed the class and the material, but he ruined that for me. He seems so unsure of what he is teaching. I've never seen a teacher lack so much confidence. When you go to him for help, he cannot even answer your questions, you're better off going to the math help room. The TAs did a better job than he did. Moreover, he had the audacity to assign homework during the reading period and it was NOT a review for the exam. Speaking of which, he would always say that he would make practice exams for the midterms and final, but he never did. Once, he gave us some extra problems from the book, but I could have done that on my own. He is somewhat nice and the course is not impossible, but you really do not need to go to class to do well.

Dec 2007

Prof. Behrstock is a good math teacher. Goes at a good pace: not too slow, not too fast. Does full reviews the class before each exam, answers questions, works well with the textbook. Tests are very moderate, not too detailed. The problem sets took me a while because I often needed help from TA's, but by the end of the course, after you study the textbook in detail (covers 3 chapters), you know the material pretty well. may not have gotten as far as some other courses.

Nov 2007

Um Uh so uh um so so uh um. Unless you can decipher this sort of speech, you will not learn much from this guy. He stutters endlessly, becomes lost in proofs, forgets what he has taught and regularly makes mistakes during his own examples. He will demonstrate a formula incorrectly and realize it half way through class. Also, he missed at least 5-6 classes and had a TA teach (She was much better than he was). Forget about taking this class if you are an Economics major. There were regular requests for examples with econ applications, he never demonstrated one. I am not out of line on this either. Check him out on ratemyprofessor.com in Utah. Same guy, same problems. He should not be teaching at an Ivy or any other school for that matter.

Sep 2007

I took Prof. Tignor's Calc III last Spring and I could not disagree more with the preceding review. The course was challenging to be sure, but I definitely learned more in his class than from my previous professors of Calc I and II combined. He was extremely helpful and nice during office hours and is an amazing teacher.

Aug 2007

Nice guy and energetic in class but if you don't understand the textbook chances are you won't understand all the multivariable stuff he's writing on the board. he write copious notes, theorems and proofs, but it's mostly by the book. class size is usually large (90!) so there's not much time to address individual questions. if you don't understand something, better go to the TAs or his office hours. NO LATE HWS (weekly!) and Weekly quizzes but no sweat everyone does poorly. Exams are difficult even if you study, unless you remember the theorems and happen to be really REALLY good at math. So, don't take this class unless you have to.

Jul 2007

Alright, here's the deal guys. Mu Tao Wang is an awesome professor. Just too hard. If you are not a proof based guy, get the hell out of this class. If you like proofs, Wang will be fun and challenging. There are a lot of other professors that teach the same course and people get easy A+. Unless you're brilliant, chances of getting higher than a B+ are very slim.

Jun 2007

This was the worst teacher I have ever had. I think he might have even been autistic. In class he never addresed the class and if anyone asked a question he would say "ugh, ugh, ugh" and then go back to writing on the bored. When i emailed him with a question that needed an expanation he simply wrote back "yes". His midterms were so hard that on the 2n one a 33% was an B-. Unless you are very good at reading texts books and understanding them and want to put hours each week into studing I would not suggest taking this class.

Jun 2007

I took Sesum in the Fall and I found her to be the best math professor I have had at Columbia. Her accept is not strong although she does speak softly if you're sitting in the back. That doesn't matter, though, because she clearly writes out each step and figure on the board for you to copy down so my notes were fantastic. I pretty much just studied my notes when reviewing for tests and homework although the book does a fair job of showing some examples when doing the problem sets. The sets themselves are not that hard and I usually finished them in less than 2 hours. The midterm and final were more than fair as they covered the key concepts only. I feel I have a strong grasp of Calc III. Overall good course and good professor.

May 2007

This prof seems okay enough teaching the class. The usual fare workload with weekly homeworks, but he sucks when it comes to being responsible outside of class. The whole time he talks to the board, and runs as soon as time is up. It's hard to catch him. When you do, he'll be nice though. HOWEVER, remember to check homeworks with him. He's quite irresponsible with handling homeworks and losing them. So you might end up with 0, and that's just too bad because he ignores you after that and never tries to fix stuff. Mainly, if he made a mistake, he will avoid you for as long as he can. You'll never find him. Take him if you want easy homeworks and tests. DONT take him if you are one of those people who will cry after finding out half of the things you did were lost by the end of the semester

May 2007

This class was insane. If you went every day, got enough sleep, paid close attention, went to office hours and preread, you would do well in the course. This class requires 2-3 hours of calc studying every day, as stated by the professor himself. He is brilliant; my math major friends find him wonderful, and he knows a lot about proofs, but unless you love calc to death, DONT TAKE TIGNOR. I'm dead serious. Literally, no more than 7 people of a class of about 30 something got more than a 30% on the first midterm. And the class is that small because so many people dropped it. A very large chunk of the class got less than a 15% on the second midterm, and only 3 people showed up for class when we didn't have to turn in hw. Calc 3 as a subject is NOT hard, but Tignor made it very, very difficult to care because of his poor teaching skills and EXTREMELY difficult midterms. He made the final much easier but by then it was too late for me. I think he passed me out of the kindness of his heart. I took advantage of his office hours towards the end, and that helped a little bit. I would recommend Tignor for a higher level course, but definitely not if math isn't your forte. But then I'm in engineering and I still had serious problems...

May 2007

Professor Gallagher is a very nice man who is clearly very brilliant in math. My only problem with his teaching style was the number of proofs which he decided to include in the course. Basically every theorem we learned was followed with a proof, some of which found themselves onto his tests. In terms of personality, Gallagher is one of the most approachable professors I've encountered at Columbia; he is always willing to answer questions or even look again at grades on tests that students felt were incorrect. If you are taking Calculus III for the economics requirement, I would stay away because this course is quite in-depth.

May 2007

A few facts: Gallagher is an eccentric man - his non-sequiturs are not only hilarious, but relevant in ways you might only understand months later. He wears sweet sneakers. He doesn't use Courseworks (which can be REALLY annoying). I took the class as a marginally possible premed looking to take his last math course ever. This class had its pros and cons. In retrospect, I wish I had kept up with the material; the way that Gallagher leads you through all of the proofs and hands you the material on a silver platter you won't have with many other professors. On the other hand, some people walk out of his classes toward the end of the semester not knowing what they just sat through. As classic Gallagher does, he is more concerned with the different proofs of all of the core concepts of the class. And he doesn't even need many notes. Also, geometry is a very big part of this class.

May 2007

Dr. Hou offered an ideal Calc III experience, for the first fifteen weeks or so of his class. When I alighted in the basement of the Math building at 9 AM for his first lecture, I was charmed by the clarity of his presentation and by his accent, which adds rather than detracts from the class. After conquering the first few problem sets, I stopped going to lecture, but was able to score reasonably well on the problem sets (which he either gives you a grade or an exemption from if you turn in reasonably late) and exceptionally well on both the midterms because Dr. Hou's expectations were so transparent. With the confidence of James Cook on the Big Island of Hawaii, I sailed into the final on three hours of sleep, having spent the last night packing my boxes and wishing my floor would stop playing Mario Kart so I could go to bed, sat down next to a shifty, distracting TA, and found myself completely overwhelmed by a test that was significantly harder than either of the midterms. I handed my test in with a modicum of confidence, thinking maybe a particularly voluptuous curve would save me from Captain Cook's fate, but two days later, I was rewarded for my sloth with a very gentlemanly grade, thus fucking up my entire semester academically and making me look like a quantitative doofus to future employers. Ah, what could have been.

May 2007

Professor Gallagher is a brilliant, eccentric man. He is the stereotypical elderly math professor who loves to prove everything. I felt honored to be able to take a class with him, even if it was only Calc III. I appreciated how he helped us think through the theoretical framework of the material, rather than listing theorems and formulae and plugging numbers into them mindlessly. In fact, he dislikes/fears numbers with a passion and will avoid them whenever he can... He is very respectful to his students and directly and kindly answers every question. He's also available outside of class to take your questions. Despite writing meticulous (color-coded) notes on the board, he still manages to neatly tie together every class. His self-deprecating and math-nerdy humor is the finishing touch. His many eccentricities and sheer intelligence will win you over. He's adorable and one of the best teachers I've ever had.

Apr 2007

More of a theoretical class than your typical slack-off class where you get easy word problems, this class is for people who are good at math and physics, or adept at logical reasoning. Be confident of your math skills if you want to take this class. Highly stressful, as the averages were low but the curves weren't very helpful because of math/engineer people who scored very high. You may not learn much if your foundations are not solid and if you don't really want to add to your theoretical math knowledge.

Apr 2007

Patrick Gallagher is the best math teacher I have ever had. True his proofs and hard homework may seem daunting at first, but he provides a real challenge for those interested in learning rather than just earning a grade. Plus he is very passionate about what he does. He genuinely cares about the quality of his class. He is hilarious (prepare to laugh), his midterm is fair, and his homework is managable. PS. Im an econ major and i didnt run

Mar 2007

Professor Sesum was truly excellent. In fact, reading some of these negative comments about her actually pisses me off. Taking Calc IV now, I appreciate her even more, because I see that all the things she stressed, including a few of the proofs we were encouraged to learn, were really important. This was simply a no bullshit class. She covered a lot of material, and her tests were definitely challenging, but then she didn't go out of her way to throw all kinds of curveballs at you.

Mar 2007

Do not let his thick French accent deter you! Try to get used to it for the first few classes before you switch out. He is a very clear lecturer if you can understand him, and he writes everything out clearly on the board even if you can't. Problem sets are pretty easy and not very time-consuming, and if you can't get a problem just go to the help room you should be fine. The weekly textbook assignments are useful if you are confused about any topics, and I would HIGHLY recommend looking at them before exams, because he bases many questions off of them. The exams are doable, like more difficult versions of the problem sets. There were very generous curves on them so the final grades were very inflated.

Feb 2007

The thing with Professor Wang is that you have to 'get' him. I had a tiny bit of a nasty shock going in because he teaches Calc III like he does the honours math course -- lots of proofs and theorems along with the 20 examples he goes over every class period. I admit it is sometimes like running next to a motorcycle trying to keep up with him, as most of the 75-minute lecture consists of frantically scribbling down his notes on the blackboard (each of which he reuses at least six times during the period). Still, it is not fair to say that the class was unpleasant. Wang was always punctual, prepared and ready to lecture. He speaks perfect English with a bit of an accent, though it took me a while to figure out that 'reco' meant 'recall'. He has that dorky math professor type humour and even took a stab once at the annoying kid we all wanted to shoot spitballs at. Definitely a sure way to pass the time quickly. Lectures are really important. I felt like I would miss out a lot if I skipped even one lecture, since he covers so much. Also, Calc III with Wang is more difficult than with other professors -- there is a LOT of mathematical theory that requires you to have intrinsic knowledge of to not get lost. Other classes covered more, but I figured Wang was going for depth and understanding more than a finish line. He is crisp, articulate and very very organized -- and he actually wants you to LEARN something, not just solve equations robotically (hence all the theory). He's also extremely nice in his office hours. The only annoying thing is the weekly quizzes, which are really difficult. Luckily, they don't count for much. Curve and final saved my less-than-mediocre quiz and midterm grades.

Feb 2007

Run from this man if you are an econ major. I sat in his class not knowing what he was talking about as he ambled from proof to proof. Then i went home and sat at my desk for hours trying to do his complicated proof loving homework. He is double the work, he expects you to know all the random proofs he goes over in the lectures and then go through the book on your own. Again run. fast!

Jan 2007

Prof. Wang was an excellent no-frills mathematics professor. He was very focused and well-prepared, lecturing from notes while ocassionally adding extra insight. Obviously understood his stuff and was able to communicate it clearly to the class, step-by-step. He answered questions thoroughly and also reviewed a bit of the previous class at the start of every new lecture, which was very helpful. Although some have complained his lectures went too quickly, I found them just fast enough to stay challenging and keep you on your toes. There were also some moments of surprising hilarity that livened up the class once in a while. Prof Wang's lectures will teach you the material, and reviewing the textbook afterward is all that's needed to reinforce key concepts. He's very good and you'll learn what you need to know about calculus.

Jan 2007

very sweet old man. you will not learn more than is mandatory for him to teach you, but if youre looking for a calc with not a lot of coursework throughout the semester, a heavy bearing on the final, and a guy who is willing to take any excuse, by all means.

Jan 2007

Professor Wang was, all in all, a very good teacher whom I would take again. His accent is nothing to worry about, very easy to understand, and his writing is clear if you miss a word or two. From what I heard, he was a bit harder than many of the other Calc III professors, and moves a rapidly through the material without using many concrete examples. However, he is good at explaining the principles, and willing to help if help is asked for. He also tries to make the class a bit fun, cracking the occassional joke when it gets too serious. A word of warning, however; he sets down basic guidelines and intends to follow them. Late homework is not accepted.

Jan 2007

Considering that Prof. Tignor is a new professor, he did a really good job this past semester. Beware, his class is definately harder than other calc 3 classes. The class only feels more fast paced because he goes into much more detail about the concepts. If you don't really care at all and don't find the details interesting, you will not like this class. However, if you want a detailed (and sometimes furthered) understanding of the material, definately take his course. By the end of last semester, he has probably fixed up his notes so that you won't have to wait during class for him to figure out his own proofs. Make sure to go to almost every one of his lectures because he introduces supplementary material that you won't find anywhere in the textbook. On the two midterms and the final (which are extremely difficult), he included the supplementary material in high point-valued questions. Overall, if you find math interesting and would like a challenge, take his class.

Jan 2007

Melissa put lots of effort into my class. Even though it was only her first semester teaching, it was easy to learn from her. Her accent is not that hard to understand; however, it is often hard to ask questions becuase she sometimes has a hard time understanding what you are asking. Despite that, she was the most organized teacher I have ever had, and was also the most available for office hours. She cared emensly about the class and went so far as to memorize each of our names, by the first week of class. She returned test's often day of (there were only 14 students in the class). Overall she was a great professor.

Jan 2007

This guy is great. He knows his calc and he's very funny too. Definitely one of the better TAs in the math department.

Jan 2007

This class was pretty easy. Problem sets are due every 1.5 weeks. Sit up in the front since his handwriting is barely discernable. His accent is pretty heavy as well. Besides those two complaints, he is an excellent teacher. I still got an A in his class. The midterm was easy but the final was definitely not cake. Just look over old problem sets and old exams he posts.

Jan 2007

Igor Krichever is the cutest little russian man ever. He is really nice and he is a little hard to follow sometimes but I think that he's probably one of the better foreign math teachers at columbia. It's much easier to just teach yourself the material and just go to class for the weekly quizzes. He's a good teacher and explains most of the material really well there are just certain topics that he doesnt explain so well.

Jan 2007

Mu-Tao is actually a pretty good teacher. You should sit in the front though because with his Chinese accent you might not be able to understand him that well and it'd be better to sit up front and take notes. He writes everything down on the board, but most of his notes are just proofs. He opens up towards the end of the semester and really just wants you to learn Calculus, so no matter what, raise your hand if you have a question. As long as you put SOME effort in, really listen in class (or at least take down all his notes), and do most of the HW and all of the practice midterms/finals, you can pull off at LEAST a B in this class.

Jan 2007

Bellaiche is a decent professor. Definetely not great--his notes are often drawn out proofs that have little relevance to the problem sets. I ended up learning most of the material from the book and a genius who lived on my floor. I found the examples he gave in class and the problem sets either incredibly easy or incredibly hard. This was the same experience on the midterm and final. With this in mind, his curves are extremely generous. For our second midterm, he just added 20 points straight up to everyone's grade-- so a lot of people had over 100. Also, he gives an extra credit (which was incredibly difficult, made 0 sense, and my response was complete B.S.)- but I still managed to eke out the 3 points to your average that he promised. Overall, I wouldn't reccomend him if you actually want to learn Calc III. However, if you are a student who just wants to get this class over with for say an economics major, then it won't be too hard to do well in the class.

Jan 2007

i didnt really like his teaching style. i thought he was really hard to follow at first but then i realized that i could learn everything out of the textboook. i NEVER went to class. only for the scheduled weekly quizzes. i managed to get an A- which i think is pretty good considering. HEs not hard at all, but make sure you read the chapters.

Jan 2007

Everyone wrote that he's great so I took him. He's not bad but not excellent. He's quite approachable. And his best quality is his lack of strong accent. He is clear with his examples and he curved to a B.

Dec 2006

This class was pretty easy. I never went to the lectures so I can't really tell you much about his accent although I think it's not that hard to understand. His tests are very straightforward and as long as you keep up with the homework problems attendance is absolutely not necessary. Also he gives you a review before the midterm and he uses a lot of the problems on the test from this review. So as long as you know the homework problems and the review problems you're set. It's a pretty easy deal. I never studied more than an hour for his exams.

Dec 2006

Teaches straight out of the textbook (which is horrible at explaining concepts). His 1 hour 15 minute lecture is simply copying pages of notes while he explains. Accent does not pose a problem, but his speed does. It is best to read the material in the textbook to learn anything. Supposedly his section is easier than other professors', so if you are willing to work hard, you will do very well.

Dec 2006

I really enjoyed his class this semester, and am taking his calc IV next semester. I found the lectures to be quite clear: he moves through the material by introducing the concept and giving several examples. He does have a Russian accent, but I did not have any trouble understanding him at any point during the semester. Things were very amusing at times (in a good way), including, but definitely not limited to, "I graded your exams, and I feel like I have failed. I have never had something like this happen to me. The average was 90." On the second midterm, however, the average was around 68, if I recall correctly, and he curved 68 to a B+. The weekly quizzes are no problem if you do the optional homework. Also, don't forget to listen for the hints he drops in class, such as "A typical quiz problem could be like this..." Note that he loves cross products. Rather than giving problems that require a memory of all the different integration methods (for example), he tests on the material that HE TEACHES, with test questions coming almost straight out of the lecture examples. During the reviews before each exam, he works through example problems that show up on exams with nearly no modification. A typical "Igor Moment:" Student: "Will polar coordinates be on the exam?" Professor: "Well, not really, but I like roses." I would recommend his class next semester, even though it's at 9:10.

Dec 2006

Igor is a solid teacher. Though it was at 9 in the morning, I choose to go to every class, and I was able to resist the siren's call of sleeping in at 9-- all because I found him to be thorough and, most important, very funny. He's not unpredictable. What else could you ask from a math professor? In terms of the difficulty level, if you are prepared at the basic level you will do well on the quizzes. The difficulty in exams progressively gets harder though. The only negative part about this course is that people would always complain when there was the slightest challenge. Here's a little suggestion, folks: have some genuine interest in this course, and perhaps occasionally look at the proofs for what you're mechanically memorizing?

Dec 2006

As compared to the other calc 3 professors during my semester, Prof. Wang was by far the hardest. The homework was hard, the weekly quizzes were hard, and the two midterms were hard. On the upside, he is a great professor who really tries to get students to understand. His english is fine-- also a bit amusing when he says alpha or delta. About 30-40% of the students dropped out of the class. The curve is slightly on the bad side because all the smart people stayed in the class... The really nice upside is his final was very easy, so easy makes me wonder if he has something up his sleeve. He has a great sense of humor, that corny teacher humor. I'm not sure if I would recommend him for the average columbia math student. decided for yourself.

Dec 2006

Professor Bellaiche is one of the better instructors in the Math Department. Yes, he has an accent, but you'll get used to it. His boardwork is clear, and it makes sense - most of the time. It usually helps to review the concepts in the book before going to class. Also, he has a nice curve. When you make a B on a test it curves up to an A-. If you have to take calc 3, pick him !

Dec 2006

His class was really easy. That's the first thing that comes to mind. I never studied more than two hours for the midterm. He reviews the class before what problems there are going to be on the midterm. So if you study those well, it should really easy. I didn't feel the need to go to class. It's at 9:10 in the morning so it can be a pain, but attendance is not required. There are quizzes on Tuesday and so I went to class at about 10am to take the quizzes. If you want a really easy math class, take Igor's class. It's minimum work and I only wished that my other classes were like this.

Dec 2006

I'm not sure if Igor is a good teacher, or Calc 3 is a pretty easy class, but in any case, Igor is not like some of those awful professors you hear about in the Math department. It was kind of annoying that I took this class at 9 in the morning and had to go because of the weekly quizzes. Overall experience - decent.

Nov 2006

The review above isn't quite accurate. I have been in his class the entire semester, and for the first week he said "uh" a lot, but he was fine after that. He's extremely smart and will teach you some really crazy proofs, but his tests are very hard. The average for the two midterms were 60% and 52%, which is ridiculous. Fortunately, there is a curve. If you are looking for an easy Calc III class, this is not it, but you will learn a lot.

Nov 2006

Melissa Liu will give you the most straightforward and organized lectures you will see at Columbia. There's no trickery involved in the testing it's just "learn how to do this, this, and this, because these will all be on the exam." She's young and seems to be newer to teaching than most professors, which I guess is actually a good thing. She has an accent but is never difficult to understand. I'm unsure what the curve will be like, but I think the math department is pretty standard with its B/B- at the mean.

Nov 2006

He's a new professor, and so the stuttering got better as the semester went on - he even inserts some witty remarks into his lectures. However, this class was ridiculously hard. We went at twice the pace of any other calc III class. He assumes you completely understand the material from the book, and then skips examples and explanations of the basic concepts and goes right to proofs of what seem like semi-tangents, using crazy technical notation. You are expected to fully understand and remember these proofs, and be able to regurgitate them in a re-worked form on the tests. This means that if you don't go to class and have a solid calc I (and probably II as well) background, you're screwed. You also get no formulas during the tests. He tries to be helpful, but he sure wasn't helpful enough.

Aug 2006

Excellent teaching compressed into a short summer session. I joined the class a week or so late and was able to pick up and do well. His explanations and accessability made this a great class.

May 2006

If you can stand a constant droning, go ahead and take his class. If you really want to learn and feel semi-engaged during class, choose another teacher. Thurston mumbles a lot and writes illegibly on the board. Most of what he teaches in class can be learned from the book and what isn't in the book will not be on the midterms or finals.

May 2006

Awesome professor. A little boring, but he really knows his stuff. Problem sets were not too hard neither were the midterms. Best part is: he speaks english. You will certainly learn alot in his class.

Apr 2006

The majority of this class is taken up with his nervous noises and words like "um" which he could easily say 20 times in once sentence. Dylan is very difficult to follow unless you're a major math mind. Sure he speaks english, but I'll agree with two of these other reviews, english does not make you understandable. If you speak with him, he is by no means mean, but if you ask for an extension on your problem sets, expect to get one, just don't expect to get full marks, he'll still take 5 off. His miderms aren't overly hard (they certainly are if you don't study like myself). I have yet to take his final but I'm sure it will be similar, just longer. There are mostly smart people in Calc 3 so be carefully if you expect a huge curve. The average on our midterms have been between 41-43. He said there will be "some kind of curve" but who knows what that means. Major points of this review, very tough to follow even with the easy subjects. He speaks english but doesn't actually explain anything he's writing down, he just reads what he's writing. Use the text, it's useful for this class and because the topics aren't too hard you can mostly teach it to yourself but it takes time. Only take this class if it's a must, just make sure you put the work in.

Apr 2006

Professor Neel is the best math prof. I have ever had -- and could ever imagine having. His lectures are clear and organize -- your notes will be great if you follow along. He uses great examples, and is always open for questions. He has a fantastically dry and mathematical sense of humor, so if you open yourself up to it, he is entertaining too. He cares that you get the material. The homeworks are fair, and VERY doable if you go to class and do the reading. I am going to take another math class, just for the hell of it, because Professor Neel allowed me to love math that much. I think he's an amazing teacher and would have no hesistation in recommending him to any type of math student. You should really avail yourself of his AWESOME teaching. He made Calc III fun!!

Apr 2006

Professor Neel is excellent.

Apr 2006

Professor Neel is a great professor. His lectures are very concise and not confusing. He doesn't confuse his students by making concepts harder than they actually are. The material in this class isn't that difficult to grasp either. His lectures come straight from the book basically. I found myself not going to some of his lectures because of it. But there are a few things he goes over that isn't found in the book directly so it's good to go to class. The only downside I would say is that he doesn't give as many examples as I would like. He also makes a couple mistakes here and there, but nothing that confuses you completely. A student usually corrects him anyway. Other than that, he's a very nice guy, very approachable, and he speaks perfect English so there are no problems understanding what he's saying. I would definitely recommend this teacher for any Calculus course.

Jan 2006

Of all the classes I took, this one is hardest to evaluate. First off, the class itself is VERY tough, so don't go into it expecting it to be otherwise. Professor Hou is a relatively young instructor, he just finished his Ph.D from MIT. So clearly he's brilliant. He is amiable, wants his students to learn/do well, and has a extraordinary grasp on his subject. However, he likes highly theoretical aspects of math, and this is somewhat reflected in his teaching style. He forgets sometimes that he's teaching undergrads, and that not everyone has his level of mathematical knowledge. His speech is a bit accented still, but nothing that actually causes problems. He does not put proofs on his exams, which is a huge blessing. His problem sets however are quite difficult, and sometimes feel they have little to do with what shows up on the exam. Although he is a good instructor, and will become better I believe the more he teaches, I'd steer clear of this math class if you can, especially if you aren't a math major. If you are a math major, you'll probably love it.

Jan 2006

Professor Sesum is a nice person, but not the greatest teacher. When explaining a problem she tends to list the steps, but never explain WHY you should take them. A typical explaination will sound like 'and then this happens and then this happens and then this happens and we get the answer". She tends to wisper into the board in a medium accent, and it is hard to read what she writes on the board. In brief, I recommend trying to find another calc professor.

Jan 2006

He's a nice guy and is quite obscure sometimes, which is pretty funny. It's not a good idea to miss class because if you miss a class, you'll miss his explanations of the problems from the textbook, which are basically models for how to do the homework and the problems on the exams. You just need to be careful because, as previous reviews said, your grade is based on what you get on the final. Other than that, the little to none work that he gives, makes your overall workload easier to handle.

Jan 2006

A nice man with very weird quirks. He doesn't want you to show work on homeworks and takes points off if your handwriting is not neat or if you showed TOO MUCH work. His class is extremely stress free until the final. My biggest complaint about his class was that he didn't tell us how the grades were distributed until the hard final exam where he told us that, low and behold, it counted for 100% of the grade. Considering I went from an A+ to a B- in the span of 3 hours, it was a pretty frustrating class. However, I recommend this class based on the low stress it causes. Just know that the final counts for everything and prepare accordingly.

Jan 2006

Zuoliang is a great teacher and really looks out for his students. I personally was falling into the great Satan of laziness and homework-neglecting and Zuoliang was still able to find mercy in the crevices of the walls of his office during office hours. That's all there is to it. Just do the easy homeworks in groups, go once in a while during office hours, and work with the man: his ability to give bad grades is about just as bad as his english. Oh, and the english: don't even bother going to class - I just read the textbook and the study guide for Stewart (a must have!) and got more out of that than the class itself.

Jan 2006

Professor Hou's Calc III class is tough yet very fair. The pace is fairly quick and students may become lost if they do not read over the material before class. This said, the class follows the textbook exactly and many of the homework problems may be found in the text or solution manual. It really pays to attend class since Professor Hou goes through a good deal of very helpful example problems. The problem sets are usually difficult but you have all week to work on them so they shouldn't present too much of a problem. The midterms were easier than the problem sets but they still required an understanding of the material, rather than mere memorization of formulas. Make sure you keep all of your psets and midterms. The final is comprehensive and fair, and Professor Hou provides very nice review materials. Overall, Professor Hou is a very fair grader and an enthusiastic teacher. He is very conscious of his accent, despite the fact that he is understandable. Professor Hou also makes an effort to answer any questions and to help students during office hours. He is a very decent professor overall.

Jan 2006

I disagree with "the most amazing teacher" ever. I'm pretty good at math, and did well in the previous calc sequence courses, but this guy blew me right out of the water. I couldn't understand this guy. I learned almost everything from the book. He also stutters a lot when he talks in class, and especially when he answers questions. So he is one of the few who does speak English. That does not mean he is understandable. If you wanna do well in this class, simply read the book. It worked for me. I have to admit, though, he's very friendly with office hours and adds more when he thinks people need it most. He is also a little flexible, and cares about what the class things somewhat in terms of when the midterms will be, when homework's due, etc. However, it is precisely this that is his weakness. Sometimes he is very disorganized, and you will find that his practice midterms aren't too insync with the actual final, and he won't even post the answers until the day before the midterms and final. The problem with this class was too many smart people. The average for our two midterms was a 40/50. So, warning, if you get stuck with a bunch of students who go to class and participate, it means they are either very hard workers or extremely smart, so make sure to do everything, and understand everything.

Jan 2006

Professor Sesum is absolutely wonderful, she's really nice and helpful during office hours...she's also very fair with the grading. She responds within minutes of having sent an email. You MUST sit within the first 3 rows of the class to hear what she is saying, she speaks good english. The problem sets aren't that bad, and neither are the midterms. I thought i bombed the final but i actually got 7/9 problems and I ended up with an A-

Jan 2006

Bellaiche is a good professor to have for Calculus III. His accent is definitely penetrable and his teaching methods are clear. It is true that he does not make eye contact, but he is very student-friendly if you see him during office hours. Make sure you do the non-graded homework assignments in addition to the psets. Most of the midterm and final are literally questions from the book with slight modifications. Also, do the extra credit! It's a very generous 4% points added to your final grade. As long as you understand what he says in class and understand the homework, you will have a good experience in his class.

Jan 2006

Hou is an extremely kind person who gives very fair midterms and a final that I found extremely easy. However, he is not a very effective lecturer. He is not confident in his ability to speak English and he often taught concepts with minimal explanation or examples. I feel I basically taught all the course material to myself by reading the textbook. However, I did end up with an A+ in the course so his grading is obviously not too harsh.

Jan 2006

He is easy to understand and not terribly difficult. He is the first math professor that I could understand at Columbia (he speaks clear english). His tests are not difficult and he gives practice tests that mimick the real ones. If you have to take Calc III, save urself and take it with this professor.

Dec 2005

At first I did not like Ms. Sesum but by the end of the semester I thought she was a very good teacher. Be sure to sit in the front of the class. Sometimes she has a tendency to speak softly but she learned to project her voice more effectively throughout the semester. In high school I had only taken Calc AB so I only had knowledge of Calculus I material but the class was manageable. She always asks the class if we are aware of prerequisite material and if we did not remember she would quickly rehash the material for us. She goes over the methods to solve problems very well though at times the proofs for all the equations were tedious to listen to (luckily she didn't make us derive any of them on the midterms or final!).

Dec 2005

oh terter. the most entertaining professor of this year. pretty good professor - he teaches the material pretty well, works straight out of the textbook. you honestly could not go to class, because everything he does is from the book, and if it's not, he posts supplementary notes. but not only do you get a good professor, but also entertainment as well! with precious gems such as "terda" "kakurus" and "LAAgrange MurtiPRIers" the class is great. his cool recovery from constantly tripping over the lectern in the corner is also a great source of humor. take hou.

Dec 2005

He's one of the best professors I have had at Columbia, because he actually knows how to teach in addition to being a genius. Prof Bellaiche does have a thick French accent, but if someone like me (who has never had to deal with French in all my life) can understand him by the end of the second class, anyone can. His handwriting's neat on the board, and he writes practically everything he says, so even if you have problems with the accent, it won't matter. Prof. Bellaiche never gets lecture notes to class, but he still explains the chapter on the board in such an organized fashion that the problems become a piece of cake! Prof Bellaiche really draws the students into math, and he is a very nice person too. He is very approachable - he has very regular office hours, and you can always find him there. I would definitely recommend taking him for any math class (or french class, for that matter :)

Dec 2005

If you had Calc BC in high school, you have nothing to worry about. Professor Sesum is nice, but soft-spoken and she writes lightly, so sit in the front if you can. She has a slight accent, but her English is excellent and completely understandable. She's also very approachable and willing to help and re-explain stuff on the boards. In addition, she does a review session in class before every midterm and final, so you get a sense of what she'll ask on the exams.

Dec 2005

Natasa Sesum is really a sweet lady and I'd recommend her as a multivariable calc teacher to anyone! This course is really straightforward and predictable, just like a calculus course should be. She covers the multivariable stuff comprehensively, but I suspect that's because she speaks without pausing and writes faster than anyone I have ever seen! Unless you can understand new concepts on-the-spot, you should probably skim over relevant sections before class. Prof Sesum has an accent and can be a bit soft-spoken, but once you get used to it, it's no big deal. A bit about the Psets: if you do them, and if you make an effort to understand the ones that you couldn't solve (ie: by going to office hours), you'll do well on the exams. Also, make sure you write down equations & show your work on the tests!!!!! Prof Sesum is an exceedingly fair grader, so if you add or integrate something wrong, she'll still give you most of the points, provided you ask nicely and aren't an indignant jerk about it.

Nov 2005

Dr. Hou is a really good teacher. He is very approachable, knowledgable. Overall, a rather nice fellow. He assigns a very doable problem set every week. His class is easy to follow. Although his pronunciation of tilda resembles an amphibious mutant ninja, he is a swell man. Take Calc III with this professor. He's real fly.

Nov 2005

This class was amazing and everything that I expected. Not only did Natasa clearly explain concepts that were foreign to us, she presented challenging psets and exam problems. It is true, she expects you to know your calculus I material and if you do the homework earlier in the week, lectures become more understandable. Overall, Natasa is a very nice lady and does a great job in presenting the material. The only bad part about her teaching is that she writes SO FAST. I remember the first day, I couldn't believe how much material we covered in one lecture. If you copy everything she writes, its a good 6-7 pages of notes per lecture. Study your ass off for the exams though, they are tough. but they should be... it is calc 3, its not supposed to be THAT easy. Also, I am in college, not engineering, so I am going to say that college students can do as well as engineering students in this class if they enjoy math/put a lot of effort.

Nov 2005

I completely disagree with the previous review. Maybe it is because I was blessed with truly amazing math teachers last year at Columbia, but I think Thurston is awful. It is true that unlike most math profs he speaks English. But just speaking English does not translate to a great teacher. Thurston is perhaps the most nervous man I have ever met(the amount of material he could cover in each class would probably double if he could cut out all the nervous stuttering) and while he seems extremely intelligent, he has trouble explaining things to people who aren't of his math level. Often times in class it is very difficult to follow what he is explaining and if you ask, sometimes he doesn't know the answer and actually has suggested you ask a classmate for the answer instead. Overall, he does seem like a nice guy and I really think he wants people to do well, but at least for me, I think he is one of the worst teachers I have had. Going to his office hours for help is frustrating since you can spend a half hour with him and he will barely provide you with any help before he has to rush off somewhere. This class has been a very frustrating experience for me after acing Calc 1 and 2 with no problems. I have trouble believing that I am struggling in this class solely due to my own abilitiy if I generally find math enjoyable and easy. Calc 3 is supposed to be one of the easier classes in the calc sequence and in my experience, I would say that is not so.. Also, he is very psuedo-organized. On the surface he appears organized but he really isn't. He doesn't post problem sets until a couple days before they are due even though he promises to give them out a week before they are due. Often times he states the sections from the text we will be reviewing for the next class, only to read those sections and have him discuss something completely different.

Nov 2005

Zuoliang Hou is a thorough teacher, although he doesn't stray from the book at all. He's always willing to answer questions and help out. He's a very charming chap. If you are able to follow along in the lectures and do the homework, you should get an A. However, the real reason you absolutely must take Zuoliang Hou is not his teaching ability. Rather, it is his outrageously hilarious accent. It really sounds like something from a badly dubbed foreign film. The Calculus III experience was taken to another level when I heard him say "tirdur" or "cyancoolis" (you can guess what these words are) Take Zuoliang Hou, you will learn Calculus III and also pick up a great deal of material for your stand up comedy act. Big up Dr. Hou!

Nov 2005

Natasas is a very nice woman. But if you are going to take her Cal III class, you must have taught yourself the material before taking this class, because she expects you to know it. I am an Applied math student, and I really like her class. However like the other person said, it is true that the engineering and applied math students do really do well in this class because they already (emphasize on ALREADY) know a lot about and love Calculus. If you are trying to learn from her, then you are in the wrong class, because you wont. you will only end up getting a C or a D. In fact, when you look at the exam results on her website, you will notice some people getting Fs. Take this class at YOUR OWN RISK!!

Nov 2005

AMAZING. By far your best bet for Calc III. First, he is UNDERSTANDABLE. Sure, just like any math guy, he has some barriers with explaining things, but with english as HIS FIRST LANGUAGE, he is probably your best bet just for that reason alone. Secondly, he is a sweet man who is always willing to help you out, arrange review sections, and give you practice problems/midterms. Lastly, his tests are EASY. Trust me, I am a Calc kid by no means, and I was able to get through it problem free. Not to mention, he is also a brilliant mathematician well on his way to coming out with some famous ridiculous theory, so go with him. Trust me.

Nov 2005

If you are an engineering student, then this class is a breeze. If not, you are not going to do well in this class. The other day, a frustrated (non-engineering) student made the following comment: "If only it was possible for the professor to split the class into two sections. One for the engineering students and the other for non engineering". She expects you to understand what she's going to teach before you come to class. Her exams require physics, analytic and conceptual answers. Some of the questions will leave NASA mathematicians scratching their heads. Even some of the TAs at the Barnard Help room were at a loss as to some of the PSet questions. It is a good thing that she will curve the class, if not...

Sep 2005

It's basically feast or famine, you either get the stuff that Hou teaches or not. I did great in Calc II and then bombed Calc III, which says a lot. Going to class helps somewhat, but doing his problem sets and practice tests helps the most. Basically his tests are the hardest questions from the practice tests and problem sets, so if you decide to go to only a few classes, go to the ones that he shows you how to do the practice tests. If you know how to do the practices, then you'll do fine.

Jun 2005

Professor Bellaiche looks to be like one of the most nervous men ever while he's teaching. He will rarely turn away from the board, which makes him even harder to understand, on top of the fact that he has a very thick French accent. Despite all this, Professor Bellaiche is a very thorough professor who is definitely understandable. His accent takes some getting use to, but he explains things inside and out, almost to the point of monotony. We actually didn't get as far as we should have in the material because of this. It is almost pointless to ask him questions in class as he has a hard time understanding what you're talking about. He is however an extremely smart man. He lectures without notes and proofs are done on the fly. He is extremely nice and has a HUGE curve. I mean really really big.

Jun 2005

Zuoliang Hou is a good teacher. He grades very leniently, explains the material quite well, and is very accessible. And he grades the final the same day, so that people can argue for more points if they need them. Although he gave a couple of people the points they needed to pass, when I found the single point needed to earn an A+, he changed the curve. So up until the day after the final, I was quite enjoying the class.

May 2005

Professor Bellaiche is an organized and thoughtful teacher. It takes a couple of classes to get used to his accent, but it's worth it. He does the whole class without notes - it's all in his head, but it comes out well. Unlike other teachers, he goes over the main concepts and then gives examples in a very organized manner. He's very approachable and doesn't mind questions in class (either about an error on the board or further explanation though of course it IS a lecture, so there aren't many questions). He's very understanding and willing to help. My main complaint about this class was the logistics. The TAs were pretty bad, and Professor Bellaiche could have done a better job taking charge. We didn't get our second midterm back until after classes ended (and I still don't have mine which hasn't yet been resolved).. Also, Professor Bellaiche didn't write our final, and the math department had to come up with something last minute, and one of the problems was on something we didn't go over (though it may not be counted). But the problems abouot the final were understandable because Professor Bellaiche had a death in his family and had to return to France. This is more a complaint of the math department's handling of the situation.

May 2005

Hou is a great guy, very approachable, concerned about his students' needs, well organized and efficient. But he ain't easy. I call him "the express train," because he's quick, efficient, and speedy in his lectures, so either you pay close attention or fall behind. And the weekly problem sets are usually harder than anything you'll find in the book. Exams aren't bad though, if you keep up with the homework and study. Hou is the kind of professor who really forces you to learn the material. Should you expect an easy A? No. But by the end of the class, you'll understand Calc 3 better than you understand why Raskolnikov killed those two women.

May 2005

Like another reviewer said, the negative reviews have no real basis. I've had Hou for a full year, and I really enjoyed the class (and I'm not a math major). His explanations are usually clear and understandable, despite the 9AM class time. There are two midterms: the first one is somewhat easier than the second. His reviews give a pretty good estimation of the actual test. Be prepared to think rather than just spit out formulas. No "real" HW, but weekly quizzes straight from the suggested problems. Just a tip: if there's one problem you can't seem to get right for hours, there's a 99% chance he will put it on the quiz (so find a friend!). Listen to his lectures carefully, and you may be able to catch gems like "verse visa" and "choose arbitrary".

Apr 2005

I took Hou for Calc 3 and Calc 4. I generally disagree with most of the negative statements about Hou thats written below me. He is a young MIT graduate who just started teaching here. He's extremely intelligent and a really nice guy. Of course there is a language barrier, and his spelling is off here and there but he doesnt mind stopping during lectures if you have questions. I have heard of some horrible stories about other math professors, but Hou is a fair man. Don't expect to breeze through this class, you will have to study and you will have to do your homework, but one great thing about Hou is NO WEBWORKS. For both Calc 3 and Calc 4, I found that his first midterm was significantly easier than the second midterm, so you should probably do as best as you can on the first midterm. His miterms are fair, and his reviews do help. He will discuss the major topics that will be on the exams. He's a really nice guy, which is why I dont understand why all these people are hating on him. Most other math professors are terrible, which is why i decided to take Hou again for Calc 4.

Apr 2005

His accent is really horrible; worse than his sometimes illegible handwriting. But he is a really good guy who knows his math. I recommend this class to anyone who likes physics; he tends to put lots of physics applications on hw and exams. Proofs too, sometimes. But generous grades. Odd habit of literally running out of class before anyone can talk to him, though. As if he were scared of his students.

Apr 2005

Peter Bank is a nice guy, but that doesn't make up for the fact that he can't teach the subject. He is hard to understand, his handwriting is hard to read, and he often gets...flustered (for lack of a better word), when writing on the board. He also tends to overly complicate what should be a simple subject. The problem sets are hard, but if you spend enough time on them and actually get the answer they can be quite fulfilling. If you don't get something in class or on either of the midterms, he will be happy to spend time to explain it. He is very approachable, he just can't to a class

Feb 2005

Extremely nice man. Not a great teacher but HW isn't terrible and is an extremely good curver.

Jan 2005

Prof. Neumann is a calm professor and unfortunately, this can regularly put you to sleep during his class. This isn't realy an issue, however, because if you keep up in the book there is really no need to attend lecture, as he merely reviews the material and does examples. All in all a fairly easy grade if you keep up in the textbook.

Jan 2005

He's very nice guy. but you gotta be smart to do well in his class because problems on his exams require are very creative and very different from the ones in the textbook. he emphasized alot on application of what you learned. I personally never went to his lectures and relied entirely on the textbook to study.

Jan 2005

On the first day of class he scribbled his email address on the board, something like "jbellaiche@free.fr" or something. Someone asked him to explain the scribble that stood for "free," and he replied, "Free, like ze number." Although he definitely is a nice guy, who helped me many times in office hours, the language barrier was entirely too much to deal with, and I should have transferred out. I really have no idea what I was supposed to learn in Calc III, I guess I didn't really do any work for the class during the year except to cram for exams and that's why I got burnt.

Jan 2005

If you are an economics major, Troels Jorgensen is the man for you. Not only is he a terrific guy, but he teaches the material in a "simple and straight forward manner". Troels cares if students are learning and is very approachable. Midterm grades thus are not a major factor in your final grade. They are just a gauge of whether or not students are learning the material. Attendance at class, the quality and "neatness" of homework, and a good showing on the final exam are essential to doing well in this class. Troels does make it clear that he does not hand out many A's, but rather thinks "B or B+ is a good grade for Calculus III." I'm in agreement, and if you are an economics major looking for the easiest way out of the mathematics requirement, Troels provides the best option.

Jan 2005

I absolutely love this guy. He is very comprehensive and, while he does tend to go at very fast speeds, you do walk away from his class feeling like you've learned. Before each test, he gave a sample test and held a review session. He is always available via email and he clearly cares a lot about his students. He has a pretty good sense of humor and he's just a great guy. Regarding the lectures, he is a fast lecturer, so it is easy to get lost sometimes. But he is always responsive to questions, you don't have to worry about that. If you need him to slow down and go over something, he will; however, I did find that his lectures, as a whole, weren't too confusing after reviewing the notes for the day. He does pack a whole lot into each lecture though.

Jan 2005

Professor Hou really knows his stuff, and really wants students to do well. For a non-native speaker, his English is actually better than he thinks it is, but he's very timid about his language skills. As a result, he usually isn't quite loud enough to be heard throughout the room. His teaching is okay, but not great. He posts his notes after class, so that people can get away without writing down everything he puts on the board. If you do the homework, and use the book, you can probably follow along. He's also pretty good about helping students during office hours. You just have to be willing to reach out to him...

Jan 2005

He really knows what he is talking about, however, the language barrier sometimes inhibits his communication. Yet he always mangages to thoroughly answer student questions. He does his best to give us as much credit as possible for our work and is understanding in his assignments. For example, he initially assigned me two physics extra credit problems, and after I emailed him back and explained that I did not know very much about physics, he assigned me two other extra credit problems. He is a really nice guy who tries to help his students out as much as possible.

Dec 2004

Anton is a great person, very approachable, very concerned with his students. He is very good with office hours and very responsive to emails. BUT I don't know how much all his attention can help unless you're already familiar with the material or are really passionate about what you are learning. His hw and tests are very hard. He always holds extra review sessions before exams and provides practice problems. His final was hands down the hardest exam I've ever took (other students agreed and you know we all take hard exams at Columbia). He always answers questions, but sometimes his answers create more questions.He's a great guy , but you definitely need put the extra work in his class.

Dec 2004

If you can get past his thick accent, poor hand writing, and difficulity explaining complex problems, his class is tollerable. He is a very nice guy, but its hard to make up for his boring lectures. He only expects you to know material out of the book, so if all else fails, save time by studying the sections in the book and skip the lectures.

Dec 2004

Heavy French accent. Lectures to the board. Nice Guy. Way too much physics in this class, especially for those of us who want to learn math not physics. You need to attend all of the lectures to do well in this class. He spends a lot of time on the geometry and then did not get through all of chapter 14, which includes an important section on Lagrange multipliers that our class skipped entirely.

Dec 2004

A man with an accent yes, but he's clear, concise, and linear in classes (besides his occasional forays into proofs). Very easy. I never read the book, went to most of the lectures, and did very well. As others have said, just doing the homework and the training exercises for his tests will be all the studying required to do well on the tests.

Dec 2004

Yes he does he have a pretty thick accent, but who doesn't have an accent in the math department. His classes were usually taught a very fast pace (often he was doing one problem, and youre still writing down the last problem). However, Professor Hou knows the material very very well. At first he might not appear that approachable, but it's just the fact that his english is not that good and he gets kinda frustrated when you don't understand him. He was always willing to explain difficult concepts during his office hours. Tests were pretty difficult, however, do-able. Overall, an average math professor and a pretty average class.

Dec 2004

I have to dissagree with some of the other reviewers. Professor Bellaiche is a great teacher. I never read the book, but I went to all the lectures--at 9:00am. Even though the time was incredibly early, I managed to get up every day and the lectures were good enough to keep me awake. His accent is bad, but easy to get used to if you go to class regularly; plus it kept me attentive at the early hour. True his handwriting is pretty bad, but it is not so horrible that it detracts from the value of this class. I do feel as though I have learned a great deal from Prof. Bellaiche. And for the small amount of work I do, I am getting a very good grade. I would reccomend this class without reservation.

Dec 2004

I liked Neumann a lot. He's not a fabulous lecturer but in class he presents the material clearly and in an organized fashion, so if you go to class you don't have to read the textbook. He's an extremely nice guy and helpful if you're having any problems. His midterms and finals were very easy, requiring only basic manipulations and understanding of the material. I would highly recommend taking Calc III with him if you can.

Dec 2004

One of the worst math teachers I've ever had. He's boring, talks awkward, and grades horribly. Randomly takes off points on homework, and the tests have no structure grade-wise. In short, I'm going to be screwed next year in Calc IV

Dec 2004

Not a terrible teacher, but wouldn't be one I recommend. He tends to block the board while he is writing the notes which makes you have to work double time to copy down what you need for the exams. He also doesn't explain concepts too well, and is often baffled when you have a question. The Calc III material is not TOO too difficult, as long as you are willing to go to class (although Hou does post his notes online, or at least tries to) and do the homework. Overall mediocre teacher with a rather easy workload.

Dec 2004

A nightmare. Difficult at best to understand what this man is doing at the board. His English is terrible, his handwriting is sloppy, and he just mumbles through his explanations of things. Eventually, I just stopped going to class because it was a waste of time. He posts a syllabus online and teaches pretty much parallel to the textbook which means that if you don't mind learning math by the book, you can get along just fine, as the text is decent.

Dec 2004

Oh, Troels. If you're going to take more math classes later on, do NOT take his class. You will not learn enough to make it in higher levels. But if you're just taking it to get BC Calc advance credit, definitely this is the way to go. He is cute - awkward and all over the place, but funny. Learn to laugh at the class, and you'll be fine. He does not ever explain why or what exactly he is teaching you, but copy down the steps on the board and eventually you'll realize why it matters later on. The tests are easy - exactly what you'd expect. If you can do the homework problems, don't even study. He is not coherent - he'll stop himself in the middle of a sentence to hand back homework. We learned about half as much as the other Calc 3 classes, but at least we learned it well. Don't bother asking questions in class - he won't understand what you're asking anyway. He is the kind of guy you want to take home, put into a cage, and watch all evening, but not really learn from.

Dec 2004

Peter Bank is a nice guy. That said, you'll learn much better from the text book. His lectures are quite useless even when you get over his messy writing and german accent. the homework and tests tend to ask more interesting questions so you do learn from them but if you're looking for an easy A, Bank may not be for you.

Dec 2004

He has a heavy french accent but he is generous man with massive curves. I almost never went to classes because there were people from my floor who went for me and I basically got their notes. For midterms and final, he gives extremely helpful midterm and final training problems. (a few of them are always on the acutal exam too!). Take this class if you are not going to class, but you can learn out of books. Just take a brief note and write down formulas to study for exams and you will easily get above 85. I personally had a very easy math class this semester.

Dec 2004

Joel is foreign like other math professors. However, his writing on the board is mostly clear and note taking is not a problem usually. After you get past his accent, the lectures are informative and help with completing the work. His grading is fair ( tests are curved pretty steeply) and the workload is manageable. 2 midterms, 1 final. Bellaiche is nice/approachable and quirky/funny because he's foreign. I was satisfied with this class in general and highly recommend Joel for Calc 3.

Nov 2004

Great TA, very helpful, regularly attends office hours and is willing to answer every question patiently. Fair grader.

Nov 2004

Anton Dzhamay is an incredible professor. He is one of the few professors I have seen who actually cares about his students and whether or not they really understand things. He begins every class with "does anybody have any questions?" The first week may seem intimidating because it seems like he is teaching too fast and he is hard to understand, but once you get a good grasp of his accent, it is easy to follow him. Also, he makes visualizing tough concepts easy by showing pictures on the computer.

Nov 2004

He has a pretty heavy accent but writes most things on the board. His examples are sometimes way too easy to be helpful. Problem sets usually aren't too hard. First midterm was easy, but second was quite difficult... he curves fairly though. Not recommended, but if you're good at math, he's not too bad if you're stuck with him.

Nov 2004

I stepped into his class the first day and found myself understanding 40% of what he was trying to articulate. I found it hilarious and thus, stayed on. Bad mistake. Well firstly i must say that Prof. Bellaiche is REALLY nice. I mean, he entertains any questions beyond his office hours and tries his very best. Finding a math prof without an accent seems pretty impossible here in Columbia, so i do think that Prof. Bellaiche is the lesser of the evils amongst the other Cal III profs. So by all means, take his class. It is not THAT bad despite the accent.

Nov 2004

Don't be intimidated by his foreign last name and appearence. He is an absolutely amazing person who can speak close to perfect English(just a slight accent). He might go at incredible speeds at times, but if you ask him to slow down and explain something, he'll do it immediately or get back to you later. He teaches the material well and prepares everyone for the exam. Sometimes Calc III gets confusing with visualizing all those 3D 4D diagrams, but he is extremely proficient with maple, thus enabling him to plot the graphs on screen and show it to the class. He's also a pretty easy grader, if you make an effort in the class, you'll get a respectable grade.

Nov 2004

LOL. Peter Bank isn't that bad at all. Peter is new this year, so the least you guys could do is finish the class before you bash him. He is a tiny bit tough to understand sometimes, but he jokes about his accent and will gladly repeat anything. There are always seats in the front every day (where I sit) - so don't complain about not being able ot understand him if you haven't tried sitting at the front. It makes a big difference. He is very funny in class, and he gives tons of examples, and proves everything. There have been a couple of classes that were tough to follow, but then again I don't read the book before class or do many of the optional assignments, so I doubt they would be tough to follow with a little prep. 9/10 of his classes are easy to follow. Judging by the grades on the first midterm, most of the people taking Calc IIIA from Bank are terrible at math. His midterms are harder than I thought they would be, but still not that hard. Quit whining, everyone. I have learned a lot in the class. Our book is great, Peter isn't that bad, and he is more than willing to explain anything you want, just ask. We have one assignment a week that is somewhat difficult, but only a few problems. Two midterms, pretty tough, he hasn't said if he would scale them or not. Haven't gotten to the final yet, so no comment. There are probably better math teachers out there, but if you are at all talented in math his class isn't even close to the horror story these people are making it out to be. Don't shy away from him, he's hilarious, nice, and thorough.

Nov 2004

I think that the other reviews on this page have been pretty unfair to Prof. Neumann. He is an extremely warm man who loves the subject that he teaches. I've never experienced any sort of disorganization on his part--the syllabus and all of the problem sets are posted online (pretty straightforward, if you ask me), and the sets are always graded and ready to pick up within a week of turning them in. His TA is definitely a difficult grader, but Neumann himself does not seem to be so harsh (he graded my midterm, and I didn't get points taken off on a couple of questions that the TA graded wrong on others' tests). I understand everything he teaches us in class--there are plenty of examples, and he will stop to answer questions. He is probably one of the only Calculus III teachers who speaks English without a horrible accent (his is British--very easy to understand). Additionally, his exams are (so I've gathered) the easiest out of the entire Calc III department--most of the questions are easier than those in the assigned book work! I would absolutely recommend taking Neumann for Calculus III.

Nov 2004

Wow, how this class sucks! I love math. Absolutely love it, but this class is terrible. The lectures teach you nothing at all. I just don't go anymore. It's very sad really. It's such a waste. So sad. : (

Nov 2004

In all fairness, Professor Bank is very nice, dedicated and approachable. If you have any questions he will patiently go over them with you until you understand the concepts. Along with his accent and lecture style, he's funny in a quirky albeit apoplectic way. Most of the times it feels like he's just muttering to himself and enjoying his own lecture instead of actually teaching. I strongly recommend that you read the book before going to the lectures, because it's impossible to understand the material from just listening to him.

Oct 2004

Peter Bank should NOT be teaching mathematics. I'm sure he's an excellent mathematician, but teaching does not seem to be one of his stronger skills. I like math...or at least I used to. However, after about eight weeks of calc III with this professor, I've learned to loath it. Going to this man's class is the equivalent of hearing a more complicated version of the text book recited in a thick German accent. Dry, boring, uninteresting, and unimaginative teaching. I've actually given up on attending the lectures because I always end up leaving far more confused than I would be had a I just slept through it and read the material from the book. Don't get me wrong-- it's not an unpassable course. It's just that if you do want to pass, you can't go to class. If you like math, don't take this class. You'll just learn to hate it. One plus side is that the workload isn't too bad. It's usually one assignment collected per week, which takes maybe an hour or two, three at the most. Add on a few hours to teach yourself the material that the professor failed to, and you're looking at maybe five or six hours per week. Maybe more. In summary, DON'T TAKE THIS CLASS.

May 2004

Cao is a decent professor. His teaching style is nice, he explains decently and he gives many hints about the exams along the way. His english is not very good though it is entertaining to listen to and understandable. He curves amazingly well and very strangely. His exams are challenging yet very doable if you study and do the homework. Explore your other options first, but Cao is a very good option.

May 2004

If you enjoy sitting through a class laughing the entire time, take this class! You won't laugh because he makes jokes (he doesn't have a good sense of humor), but you laugh because his accent is so funny! "Ze lance of vecto B" means "The length of vector B"...and "larmda" he says often, that translates to "lamda"...now for the best one: "za weeoh and emmanually paht" means "the real and imaginary part"..it gets ridiculous sometimes! He gives very good notes and you learn a lot in this class. His midterms are decent, and if you study a lot, you will do very well. The final is very very difficult, but no worries, his curve more than makes up for it. I ended up with a 72% in the class and received an A! I also have friends who got 94% and received an A. He curves to a B+.

Sep 2003

I agree, very difficult professor. All in his own world. When he says that the mean grade will be a B-, he sticks to it. I wouldn't take this class unless i was naturally good at math, which i'm not.

Jan 2003

Professor Cao is a very nice guy. He is always willing to help, and he cares about whether we understand the material. He is the kind of professor who cares to learn his student's names and who notices whether you attend the call or not. Although people complain about his accent, it isn't nearly as bad as some other professors. Boring lecturer? Agreed. Professor Cao is a generous grader who is always willing to give his students to benefit of the doubt. Don't worry if lectures go over your head. They do for most people, however the curve on the exams more than make up for this lack of understanding. Overall, a mediocre professor. I recommend you check your other options first.

Nov 2002

This class will be very difficult if you don't study the material before each class. His quizes are very different from the homework problems, and he's very theoretical. If you have a hard time with math, I don't suggest this course at all. Only take it if you already have some background in the material, otherwise you'll be swimming in a sea of distorted diagrams and very fast-paced problem solving.

Jun 2002

They say he's an easy A, and this may be true for tests but not the final grade. A seemingly harmless man, but when you don't get a syllabus or grading strategy it's hard to argue with him when he gives you a B in the course after having gotten all A's!!! on all five midterms! (wow, that was a downer). He says he "does his best" in grading. If two people have the same answers and show the same work, he'll mark the person with more notes and calculations lower. What kind of system is that? I attempted to receive clarification on problems only to be turned away. He said, "Don't you have better things to study for?" Well, if you want to be patronized, waste 30 K on your education to a man who wants to avoid responsibility, and is also partial take this class.

May 2002

This class is probably the easiest math class in columbia. He only makes you learn how to do the simplest of each kind of problem, and will do about 80 examples in class that are exactly like the tests except with different numbers.

Aug 2001

An extremely BORING teacher, Sean Paul bring the life out of math (not that there was much to begin with). Occasionally, Sean tries to make math interesting, but the attempts almost always end in a fireball. For example, he tried to explain cross products by doing a trick with his arm that made no sense and he felt was too complex to explain, but thought it would be fun to do. He also teaches completely irrelevant information that he cannot provide any insight upon, confusing the student as to what to know and what not to know. His midterms are pretty horrible in that they often focus on weird proof-like problems, and it usually takes several sparks of inspiration if you want to get an A. The decent thing about Sean Paul is that if you attend every class, you'll be able to follow what he wants you to know on the tests, and what not to know from the textbook. Other than that, most students think (including myself) that he is absolutely horrific.

May 2001

Don't take this. Please, if you have any interest in Calculus or math whatsoever, it's like he'll vacuum it from your soul and laugh (really wierdly...) at you.

Jan 2000

Bayer's great. His tests are fair and reasonable; they test the material you've learned, and if you do the homework, you'll do well on them. Don't be afraid to improvise -- you'll get credit for wacky ideas, as long as you write them down. His lectures are clear, coherent, andenjoyable, and he draws a LOT of pictures, which is really great in a Calc class. He's enthusiastic, friendly, and interested in his students. Take a course with him if you can -- it's definitely worth it.