course
Calculus Based Introduction to Probability and Statistics

May 2021

Nice and funny professor, though I don't know if one could take this class without prior experience with statistics. He's very chill (maybe too chill) and I don't think anyone would have a problem with him. That being said, if the concepts are new, I'd expect outside reading in addition to his notes to learn more. He also made sure not to talk too fast. He also liked to show us his dogs via Zoom video, Zoom backgrounds, and problem questions.

Apr 2021

Professor Rios is probably the funniest teacher that I've ever had, but whether we laugh with Rios or at Rios is very unclear: - For the zoom semester at least, he was often late to his own classes, and even when on time, would teach half of the slides in chat instead of speaking. Yes, in chat; the thing you use to individually dm randos in. What does this mean? If we compared this to a regular semester, it would equate to writing out his speech on post its and taping them to students' foreheads. - His test questions were incredibly unclear. His practice exams were great and trained us well for the content, but when we got to the actual test... the final was like one big question, but it had the most cryptic questions ever. These weren't hard questions, but questions that made no sense. He also may have made a 69 joke on the final (he claimed n=69 when n=62, and then corrected himself minutes before the final was due). Maybe that's just my inner Rios talking. - He went out of his way to make pretty funny jokes. He's like a stats dad with all the dad jokes. PLUS he often featured his dogs in class. - He is super super understanding. He is very nice and genuinely feels for his students. Either that or he's way too lenient. No no, I swear he's just really nice. - He often gave one word responses to emails. My point is, Rios is VERY unprofessional for a stats teacher, but whether that's a bad thing is for you to decide. If you need to get this out of the way as a requirement, it's easy to do well while having a minimally adequate grasp of material. If you actually need to learn it, RUN; there will be a lot of self teaching, excel-ing, anova-ing, and reading the textbook-ing involved.

Apr 2021

Robbins is a good, but not great, teacher who teaches statistics well. Pay attention and you'll figure it out probably. However, it was fairly boring I felt. Her lectures are clear that gets into some of the conceptual math, but tests are very straightforward and only test how to do certain problems. Calculus is barely used, and this felt mostly like a repeat of AP stats.

Jan 2021

If you care for your grades and learning Statistics, AVOID this professor at all costs. I believe I speak for many other students in class when I say I had no idea what he was teaching. Is it because of his thick accent or his inability to explain concepts idk. He also made the finals incredibly hard on certain specific topics that were not covered well enough in the lectures and they were nothing like the problem sets assigned. This was after coming up with a ridiculous request for us to print an academic integrity statement form (which he later rescinded upon realizing how unnecessary this was). He literally said: For those of you that don't have printers, just go get one. You have more than enough time to do so. smh

Jan 2021

He was chill but maybe too chill. He doesn't really teach the materials covered on the midterms properly. He took a week to respond to some emails, and he sometimes was late to zoom class. He didn't really take the class as seriously as he should have. However, he was pretty understanding of our current online situation as well.

Jan 2021

AVOID. Prof. Chong is a horrible instructor, in my opinion. He's really smart, and a very nice guy, but he cannot teach. My first complaint is grading and solutions: Prof. Chong always seemed to not care about whether solutions to homeworks and the midterm were clear or correct -- to the point where students were asking a couple of days before the final exam about the solutions to a homework problem (on the fifth or so homework, out of ten), and he was like "oh yeah my bad, those are wrong, I'll correct them rn". This might've been more of a problem with the grader we had, rather than with Prof. Chong, but still, Prof. Chong just kinda didn't care about that. On a similar note, we got our midterms back graded, but with no marks, so we had no idea where we got points off and it was such a pain to figure that out -- having to go to multiple office hours to figure it out. We were also supposed to use the statistics tables on the back of our textbook, and often times Prof. Chong himself did not know where to find the proper critical value, what value was used in homework solutions and why, or what tables were relevant. All of this was incredibly confusing up until the final exam, where he kinda cleared it up. Secondly: teaching and course structure. I know I'm not alone when I say that more often than not I'd be sitting in front of my computer watching him lecture on Zoom just thinking to myself "wtf, am I really this stupid or wtf is going on rn". Prof. Chong overcomplicates things unnecessarily, going through thorough proofs and derivations for a number of things before explaining in basic terms what it is we are proving and why. I know this is the case (and not that I'm just bad at statistics) because going to the Statistics Helproom Zoom sessions is where I learned everything I know about this course. Literally saved my life. The people in these help rooms were able to explain the things we were supposed to be learning in class literally so simply and so quickly -- I would take any of these students from the help rooms over Prof. Chong as an instructor any day. Thirdly: preparation for the final exam. For the midterm, we were told to go over the ~4 or 5 homeworks we had done in order to prepare, and the midterm was fairly similar. This was not the case for the final. We were told to review homeworks ~5-10, and the final was just completely different. Out of 8 exercises, maybe 3 were like the homeworks, the rest were something we had maybe spent a couple of PowerPoint slides on. Prof. Chong made up for this by setting a curve for our overall score (I wish I could tell you what kind of curve/distribution, but again, I barely learned anything in the course). Per the grade distribution sent out by Prof. Chong, I believe no one failed, and everyone scored a C or above. What is concerning to me is that after the final I was truly worried that I'd barely make a C- in the course, and I ended up scoring a few points below an A, which is chill and all for my GPA, but I can frankly say I do not know half the material from the class. Worried for when I take classes like econometrics -- rip.

Dec 2020

Professor Rios is a great person and funny guy. I wish we had in person classes this semester because I feel like the connection between him and his students would have been better. But this man is a god-awful professor. We learn things in class, especially how to do certain things using Excel, and then we can't use Excel on the exam. The exam has nothing to do with the homework you're assigned, what's taught in class, and what you do on the practice exam.. so good luck. If you want to actually learn statistics, take a different course or teach it to yourself. If you want a good grade, try your luck at this course because the only thing good about it is the curve. This course would have been good if what was taught in class, what showed up on the HW, what was used on the practice exams, and what showed up on the actual exam all correlated. Unfortunately it didn't so you're stuck guessing what could possibly show up on the exam and if the curve will allow you to pass the course. I feel like I should understand the basic statistical concepts better than I do right now after sitting in this class for an entire semester but I don't. I'm nervous to take upper level Statistics classes after this one because now I don't have a solid background.

Aug 2020

I took this course in the summer (one session), which was nearly not enough time to cover the required material. However, Professor Young went out of his way to present the material in the most digestible way possible. Maybe the student below did not realize how difficult this class was going to be or how little time we had to go through the course, but it is a grossly unhelpful and outright mean review. Stats is NOT easier than calc I or III. It is a tough course, dammit. Gabriel Young was great. I'm sure he's even better as a teacher during the regular school year. The exams were fair and somewhat difficult. The mean for the midterm was 74.8; the final was a take-home, and the mean was 84.1. Homework35% Lab10% Midterm25% Final30%

Aug 2020

I took this course in the summer (one session), which was nearly not enough time to cover the required material. However, Professor Young went out of his way to present the material in the most digestible way possible. Maybe the student below did not realize how difficult this class was going to be or how little time we had to go through the course, but it is a grossly unhelpful and outright mean review. Stats is NOT easier than calc I or III. It is a tough course, dammit. Gabriel Young was great. I'm sure he's even better as a teacher during the regular school year. The exams were fair and somewhat difficult. The mean for the midterm was 74.8; the final was a take-home, and the mean was 84.1. Homework35% Lab10% Midterm25% Final30%

Jul 2020

I had Professor Kpotufe for STAT1201 in Fall 2019 and the grading was split into 60% homework, 20% midterm and 20% final. Don't be fooled by the homework allocation, I spent nearly all my time on this class because all the questions were conjured up by him and not from the textbook. We had one TA and his OH would be packed. The math pre-requisite is understated, if you don't have integration, double integration and even some dated high school math concepts down pat, don't take this. The midterm mean was 65%, and final was 48%, yet the curve wasn't generous. The professor himself is really funny, but the lectures just introduce an insane amount of material really fast. Don't bother trying to copy down what's on the board, just listen and go over the notes posted on courseworks later.

Jan 2020

First two weeks is fine and pretty basic but after the add/drop period sh*t hit the fan and he screwed us all. Problem sets take incredibly long to do (5-10 hours) and most of it is deriving equations most other classes are simply given. Kind of hard to understand in class and he moves extremely fast without explaining too much. Midterm averaged 15/35 and final averaged about 42/70. Never, upon any circumstances take his class. He is undoubtedly the worst intro stats professor at Columbia ever.

Dec 2019

His class is a fair game. He tells you everything you need to know and writes the best notes on the board. No need to do the reading as long as you pay attention in his class. His accent can be a bit annoying but you get used to it after several classes. HWs are free points; his tests are never meant to trick you. He gives out extra credit opportunities once in a while. Easy A, and great intro class if you want to major in stats. If you're just taking the class to fulfill the econ requirement, he should be the easiest professor.

Dec 2019

The West African country of Togo is a small nation lodged between Ghana and Benin; this great land is the home of our overlord and statistical deity, Lord Samory Kpotufe. The common praise you hear of him is students saying "I like how his brain works." Although I would never purport to understand our Lord and Savior's mind, I can tell you this: he is the single best teacher of statistics that you will ever have. Once upon a time, I was in his office hours, and I foolishly asked him "were you good at statistics as an undergrad?" He smiled wryly and said "I dropped my statistics classes, I hated them. I only teach it now because I need stats to do machine learning." Befuddled, confused, lost, I innocently asked "but, are you naturally a good math person?" Less wryly, he now smiled and responded "No one outside of the US uses this phrase 'good math person.' I don't believe in natural talent. When I was in highschool, they didn't tell us math was hard, so we just did the homeworks and the material, and it wasn't hard. I didn't speak english as a young person, but now I do. I just learned how to do it – math is just another language that everyone seems to think is difficult." Holding back tears, I smiled in admiration and disbelief. His wisdom washed over me; in a sort of trance, I mumbled "Thank you" and stumbled out of his office. Samory Kpotufe is the single best teacher of mathematics/statistics that I have ever had. I cannot recommend him enough, seriously. Take his f*cking class.

Oct 2019

Literally do not take him. Absolutely the worst professor that Columbia has to offer. Way harder than all the other Calc based stats sections. Almost half the class dropped out before the first midterm. After the first midterm, 12 people were sitting in the class. You would be better off not going to this class and learning on your own if you take him because listening to him talk actually confuses me more.

Oct 2019

Might be the worst professor I’ve had at Columbia. He doesn’t explain anything that he talks about in class and simply just writes things on the board, solves it then says ok next and goes on to something new. Also, what he lectures in class is nothing like the homework so you are all on your own. I got a tutor and she said that the homework’s are similar to what she was doing in her 2nd year of grad school. He also is a tad difficult to understand and talks extremely fast. Would highly recommend not to take his section.

Dec 2018

As all other reviews have mentioned, Rios is a terrible professor. However, I would still recommend the class if all you are interested in is getting an easy A. First of all, you don't have to go to lecture. In fact, you shouldn't waste yout time doing so. Instead, learn the material from the textbook, which I guarantee will take less time, and should be enough to do the Psets. Most questions in the Psets are taken directly from the textbook, so it shouldn't be hard to find the answers regardless. Secondly, the exams are identical to the practice ones he posts beforehand. He'll change the numbers, but the problems are the same, so you can just memorize them beforehand. Finally, he curves the class a ton. I believe he does it so that it is 50% A, 40% B and 10% all others, but I'm entirely sure. In any case, the average on the exams was usually around 55-60, so anything beyond that should guarantee an A. Overall, Rios' class is a good option if you are willing to do all the work by yourself and have a good chance of getting an A. I'd particularly recommend it if you've done stats before, as that certainly helped me.

Sep 2018

The biggest statistically irreconciliable paradox here is that this woman puts you to sleep with an abnormally shrill voice. Her slides are ripped off from the textbook and she takes breaks during lecture by having us think about things. Don't take unless a gun is held to your head

Apr 2018

Rios is a terrible professor, probably the worst I've had at Columbia. His lectures are incoherent and confusing, often teaching material differently from the textbook and spending most of the class writing on the board rather than teaching anything. The problem sets are a similar story- very confusing and often unrelated to in-class examples. The problem sets are usually due before the necessary material has been taught, so he usually ends up giving extensions every week. The class itself, however, is quite easy. As long as you study from the textbook, the midterms should be easy and Rios curves the class a lot (I believe a 50% A range). I would therefore recommend the class if you have prior experience in stats and/or if you don't mind learning all the material from the textbook. Avoid this class if this is your first experience with stats.

Dec 2017

She's a pretty nice and approachable lady, but not a great professor. Her classes are painfully boring and she simplifies a lot of the material. She also doesn't really incorporate much calculus into the class. I found her exams more difficult than class problems, and felt that she didn't go over many of those types of problems in class. Would not recommend. In terms of workload, she only has one homework assignment due each week. It can be handwritten and submitted through CourseWorks. The homework assignments aren't too bad.

May 2017

This instructor is complete trash. He is an adjunct instructor who comes to Columbia for extra cash and cannot teach AT ALL. He will read off a powerpoint in class, be unprepared, and assign the hardest problems from the book, which defeats the whole purpose of providing students with practice material for the exams. I did not learn anything from this jackass, and it is a shame that an institution such as Columbia has such bad instructors.

Jan 2017

This woman was easily the worst teacher I have ever had, and I spent two years in community college before attending Columbia. She will come in to the class each day, read directly off of slides (which are copied word for word from the text book) for 75 minutes, do no examples, give maybe 5-10 questions to study, and leave. I approached her with questions several times, and did not receive satisfactory answers. There was one day that she was not present for, so the TA taught that class, and he was a far better lecturer than her. The class actually applauded him at the end. The icing on the cake is the fact that each day there is a "pop quiz" that covers the material being taught in class. That means that you have to have read and understood the relevant chapter in the book so that you can then come to class, have it read to you again word for word, and then be quizzed on it. If not for the fact that I had to drop the course to preserve my GPA (taking a bunch of other math classes and have never gotten less than a B+ btw) I would have filed a formal complaint with the school. She should not be teaching. Her contribution to the class is worth nothing. I highly recommend that you avoid this class.

Jan 2017

TLDR: Take him if you want to have a good mathematical intuition of stats and like challenges. If you hate math and thinking, then take the others. The Good: Professor Cunningham is the best professor to have if you're genuinely interested in Statistics. He makes sure that the class understands the mathematical intuition behind concepts like linear regression and hypothesis tests. He's extremely good at answering questions. I once asked a completely nonsensical question in class and his answer somehow made complete sense. His jokes are as dry as the subject material, but they're still funny. He's also always willing to talk with students. Stay after class and sometimes you can ask him about his time in Wall Street or general career advice that's very helpful. It's very obvious he cares about teaching and he goes out of his way to make very good practice finals and study guides. I've also heard that he's pretty good looking; so that's an added plus if that helps you pay attention during lecture. The midterms and finals are a set of easy questions (reworded versions of problems explained in class) followed by a question that nearly no one gets and requires you to extrapolate from concepts in lecture. Finally, there's a great curve. So even if the class is kind of hard, the class will still inflate your gpa. The Bad: The homework is really random and obnoxiously tedious. Zero tolerance for late work. Also homework had to be uploaded to courseworks which was a bother. You have no idea what your grade is throughout the course.

Dec 2016

The worst class I've ever taken at Columbia! First of all, the homework material does not reflect what we cover in class (when we asked him if we have to know the material that was covered in the homework, Cunningham had no idea what the hell we were talking about because he is not the one assigning the homeworks--the TAs do that). Secondly, he mostly covers proofs and concepts in class rather than solving problems. Although I am perfectly okay with that, as a consequence of his homework not being reflective of the material we must know for the class, we get absolutely no practice for preparing for the exams (Oh btw, his exams are probably one of the most hardest exams I have ever taken at Columbia so far). It's a sign that there's something wrong with the professor when he covers concepts like Poisson distributions, ANOVA, logistic regression that even people taking higher level statistics classes right now had not yet learned or had just covered them in their 4000 level classes. If you want to keep your sanity, avoid Cunningham. His class is five times harder than intermediate level CS and Econ. classes I'm taking right now, COMBINED.