course
Calculus I

May 2021

It's very clear that Prof Daskalopoulos thinks we already know a lot of the material. She went very quickly and many of us were often left to learn a lot from the book. She pushed for engagement but didn't really respond well to questions... or answers. Her exams felt really hard when we took them, but the median was normal (usually mid 70s) and she ended up giving a slight curve on our term grades. I'd taken high school calculus relatively recently but the class was still high effort, so maybe consider a different professor if you are new to calc or haven't taken it in a while!!

May 2021

Professor Dragomir is a wonderful professor who wants everyone to succeed. He is always willing to help his students to understand the concepts, even if he has to explain something over and over. He holds additional office hours prior to exam days and replies to emails and questions fairly quickly. He also gives opportunities for extra credit - 7% in total: 2% in 2 Bonus Assignments on WebAssign and 5% in an Applied Project or some more complicated questions (up to the student to choose). He also has two ways of calculating your final grade and uses the one that gives you the highest grade. However, it is needed to say that his class is indeed challenging and one has to work hard to be able to succeed in his assignments and exams. I believe that he is looking for the conceptual understanding of the problems more than just applying a formula to solve a problem. I definitely recommend his class, but be ready to be challenged!

May 2021

Professor Dragomir is a fantastic professor who just wants the best for his students. Yes, this class is extremely challenging and he does not make it "easy" on you. However, he is always available to explain things over and over, he holds many OH and is always willing to help. Midterms and the final (especially) were hard and not so much like the practice exams he shared beforehand with us. Especially the final, we had to do a lot of critical thinking to figure out how to do the problem. But if you are unable to solve it using math, he gives you generous partial credit for explaining your thought process in words. He also gave 2 Bonus Assignments that were somewhat hard but solvable on WebAssign and they were worth 2% extra credit on the final grade. Additionally, he gave an Applied Project that if you solve you could earn up to 5%, totalling 7% extra credit. I would definitely recommend this class and Prof. Dragomir to anyone who wants to expand their math knowledge and critical thinking as well who is willing to put in the time. Again, not an easy class, but definitely worth it!

Apr 2021

Before college, I took Calc 1 and 2 in high school and got perfect scores - but I didn't take the AP credit, so I had to redo it as a freshman. I had the great fortune of having Woodbury my first semester. To this day, it was one of my most difficult classes at Columbia. Calculus 3? No problem, easy A. Calc 1 with Woodbury? B... after the curve. He's a great teacher and highly intelligent. However, the course is more difficult than it needs to be (particularly the exams). I do very high-level math on a daily basis with my major. More days than not im doing pages worth of calculus - and I do it well. Despite that, I would still avoid retaking this class. That said, apparently, his Calc 2 class is really great. Why the difference? IDK but it is what it is. All that in mind, Woodbury woke me up to the realization of college and got my ass into gear. So I'm thankful to him for that.

Apr 2021

Worst teacher ever. SO HARD FOR NO REASON. He treats this class like its for math majors and gives the hardest possible exams ever which are nothing like we have learned in class or any of the review sessions. Ive often had to ask my friends who are MATH MAJORS for help and they couldn't even figure it out. On every assignment and every test I cried so much. Hes a nice guy and he doesnt have bad intentions hes just the worst teacher and gives the most amount of work with the hardest material . His class should be 5 credits. He doesnt even use regular functions on his exams, its jsut trigonometry functions that he doesnt explain and the most complex identities just to ruin peoples lives.

Mar 2021

Literally avoid this class at all costs if you don't really care about calc but just passing. I took calc 1 in high school and did well so didn't expect this class to be terrible... I got bodied. Alessandrini just assumes you know the material. Can't read his handwriting or understand what he is saying. 100% unlearned calc in this class. Problem sets were hard and long. Somehow passed but only bc of the massive curve due to everyone struggling.

Jan 2021

Professor Sengupta was super kind and always willing to thoroughly answer questions during lecture and office hours. He also spent a great deal of time reviewing necessary pre-calc concepts in the first third of the course. Homework was very helpful for success in the class but manageable. I noticed that a lot of people in the reviews say that they took AP/IB Calculus in high school; this will definitely make the class easier, but I was able to get an A- without ever previously taking pre-calc or calculus. Do not let your previous background with math discourage you! I worked hard for my grade but it was still VERY manageable (and I say this as someone with horrible time management skills). If I can do it, so can you! I would suggest really taking your time doing the homework! If you struggle with a problem, make sure to do a few similar problems in the textbook. Don't spend too much time trying to understand theoretical concepts; practice problems are most important.

Jan 2021

I took calculus I during Fall 2020, which means it was an online class. I have no idea what things would have been like if classes were in person, so take this with a grain of salt. Toti is a lovely teacher. She makes herself available to help students and answers questions very patiently. She was very mindful of international students in different timezones, especially regarding the final exam, and always did revisions in the class before any examination. She's also very friendly and she talked a lot about how she used the stuff she taught us in class in her research, which, at least for me, made the content more interesting. This was the first time Toti taught Calculus I. She's used to teaching higher-level classes. Because of this, sometimes she assumed some things were obvious to us or solved things in a very different fashion from what high school students are probably used to. This made some explanations confusing, but this only happened a few times, mostly in the first classes, before she understood what pace worked best. I think something Toti still has to improve is that she often had typos or little mistakes in her class notes or while solving some problems, so we lost at least a couple of minutes of class every now and then because of that. Still, it was okay and sometimes her mistakes helped me not repeat them in exams lol. Overall, I really liked taking this class with her.

Jan 2021

Akash Sengupta was a really nice teacher. He was understanding and always wanted to make sure the class understood. This class was a lot of lecture that could be tough sometimes to digest with so much content. The class was easier if you took AP/IB calculus, but still a great class either way. There was not too much homework, it was graded on work and accuracy, and students were encouraged to work together. This is a great calculus class with a lot of support. The tests reflected what was taught in the class so take notes, and you should be okay. Also, You cannot get more than an A in this class.

Jan 2021

These CULPA reviews really do Alessandrini dirty, and I'm here to tell you that his class was totally fine. Disclaimer: I did take Calculus AB in high school, but I found that Alessandrini's class was easier and covered less material than Calc AB. We didn't even start calculus until a couple of months into the Calc I course; it is largely just a review of functions that you will have learned in high school (this type of work includes exponential functions and inequality problems and the like. Algebra and pre-calc). Then, we go over basic derivation and integration and how they relate to graphs. Pretty chill stuff. Midterms/the final occasionally had tricky questions, but honestly, it was mostly pretty straightforward. And his lessons are very straightforward. All it really takes to get an A in this class is making sure you've wrapped your head around the rules for each type of problem. He doesn't throw much-unexpected stuff at you. Alessandrini allows a cheat sheet during exams. His curves are *extremely* generous. He drops the two lowest homework grades. He writes pretty short exams and gives you ample time to complete them — I tend to struggle with time management, and I never had a problem with that in this course. It's one thing to not enjoy calculus or to not find it easy, which is totally fair, and to each their own. But I do think that Alessandrini does a pretty good job of making your life as easy as it can be with his relatively gentle grading and willingness to answer any questions you have about content.

Jan 2021

George Dragomir is a fantastic calculus professor who cares about his students. He wants everyone to succeed and offers a plethora of opportunities for this to happen. He offered 6% extra credit to be added to your final grade, listened to piazza concerns about problem sets and exams, and made himself available for extensive office hours (I spoke with a few times at 10PM EST). The homework assignments + online quizzes are easier to do well on. You have five attempts per question on the homework and three attempts per question on the quizzes. The problem sets are difficult, but Professor Dragomir offers a lot of help in his office hours if you need it. The first midterm wasn’t too bad while the second midterm was slightly more challenging. The final was three hours during exam week and completely doable. The average grade in the class was an A-. Professor Dragomir’s course is probably more intense than other Calculus I classes. He tries to incorporate a lot of material into each lecture, and the assignments force you to critically think about mathematical concepts rather than relaying what you learn from the textbook. With that said, the grading on the assignments is lenient, and you can request a regrade on all major assignments. He also curves the midterms and final. TLDR: I certainly recommend Dragomir’s Calculus I class. It isn’t too difficult, and you will feel prepared for Calculus III if that is the next course you will take.

Jan 2021

Fair warning: Took this class in Fall '20 (all online thanks to COVID). Homeworks and exams are straightforward. The lowest two hws dropped which is generous! Akash seems nice but like others have mentioned: horrible handwriting and lectures are SO boring. I opted to just learn the material on my own and skip the dry lectures. Final grading was curved DOWN; "A" range was 97 to 100.. like.. wth? B+ is 90 to 93?

Jan 2021

Kevin was a good teacher for me, but not for some students. Basically, I came into the course with a pretty solid calculus background, so a lot of the material was a review for me. For students with a very little background, I get the sense that the class went a bit too quickly/was too in-depth on certain things. Kevin is highly organized and takes very good notes. He keeps a website for the course that tracks all the due dates, class topics, etc. If he says he'll do something, he does it. He also offers a 5-minute break each class which is very nice. The 2 midterms went very well for our class. Kevin created practice exams that were almost identical to the actual exams, if not slightly harder. BUT, the final was an epic dumpster fire. The class average was 51% lol. It was WAYYYYYY harder than the practice exams or anything we'd done in class. He ended up curving our final grades for the class significantly, so it didn't ultimately matter but sent us all on an emotional roller-coaster over winter break. Don't count on it to raise your grade. One thing to know: Kevin is a fairly harsh grader. I don't think he's unfair, but he does take a lot of points off for small mistakes. Again, the class is curved so it's not a huge deal, but don't be surprised when you get your work back and see lots of deductions. He gives partial credit, but won't take off less than 1 point per error. In other words, the first midterm was out of 26 points. If you forgot to label a graph, that's automatically -1, so you drop from a 100% to a 96%. If you also make a small calculation error, you lose (at least) an additional 1 point, so you're now at a 92%. Kevin does not budge on regrading/negotiating over points. Kevin is a really sweet guy. He cares about his students and doesn't do anything unfair. He might seem a bit serious at first, but he does have a great sense of humor and occasionally adds fun questions to the class/exam.

Jan 2021

I took this class as a freshman with Pre-Calc in high school. He is definitely one of the better lecturers. In terms of understanding the course, he is very clear with his class instruction and I did not have to depend on the textbook at all for the whole course (The textbook is needed for weekly homework assignments) On top of his lectures and office hours, I depended solely on his in-class notes and additional notes he uploads on canvas to do the questions. I was able to do the weekly homework assignments and midterms/exam successfully which really adds to his credibility as a professor. He is really understanding of his student and tries hard to clarify concepts in class. When I get stuck, piazza was the way to go and his explanations (and TAs) were clear enough for me to get through the question.

Dec 2020

Professor Toti was an amazing professor for Calc I! She usually teaches higher-level math courses but somehow she ended up teaching intro Calculus this year and I would definitely recommend taking the course with her if you can. I would say, in general, the difficulty level and time commitment associated with her section is on par with other sections of this course. However, she tends to focus more attention on the “conceptual side of the material rather than pure “computations. For example, her lectures included a lot of “mini-proofs, very unrigorous induction reasoning examples, that illustrated concepts. Her exams incorporated a lot of these types of problems. If you aren’t someone who excels with more ‘abstract’ manners of thinking about math and logic, while this course is certainly doable, I would recommend taking this class with someone else, where the instruction sticks to calculations & non-conceptual applications. We had weekly homework for the class that took at most 2 hours per set. TAs graded with a fine-tooth comb but since it was only worth 10% of the final grade, it wasn’t too big of a worry. As for assessments, we had two midterm exams, each worth 25% of the final grade, and one final exam worth 40% of the final grade. Exams were not on the hard side and were graded pretty generously, with extremely liberal amounts of partial credit given. The means for the three exams were as follows: 87.8, 86.1, and 86.9. I thought these numbers were a bit on the high-side which definitely reflected the previous two factors (I will say Zoom proctoring was not very strict so draw your own conclusions). As for the Professor herself, she has a great approach to teaching! Her lectures were always clear and she definitely takes the time to stop for any clarifying questions and is very responsive to requests for further examples. She is extremely helpful during office hours and if the pre-set schedule doesn’t work for you, she takes the time to set up extra times to talk. I really appreciated that she enjoys teaching, even if it is for such a rudimentary course, and actually makes an effort to connect with students (she is almost chatty in OH!). It’s really refreshing to see someone in her academic rank to make such great efforts for teaching!

Dec 2020

Really good professor. Great lectures / good at explaining Calc concepts. Is a harsh grader.

Dec 2020

If you are good at math, you'll do fine in this class, but this is for all my fellow dummies. Somehow I got into Columbia with an almost negligent education in math and calculus (#publicschoolproblems). Also, I do not have a natural inclination to like or understand math. Now... I am fully aware that "being good at math" is a social construct, but I am also lazy and find math to be possibly the most impossibly boring (yet difficult) subject, so I am not putting in the hours in the library to correct the fact that I never fully learned the unit circle in high school. Why am I taking Calc I then? I took Calc AB, so my advisor told me to take this class. I am also trying to major in econ so I can get the "good jobs". We all are coming from different places, so now you know is mine. Okay, so Prof. Sengupta seems like a nice and understanding guy, but the lectures (I suspect especially over Zoom) are extremely dry. There is zero flavor. The lectures are like a midwestern mom's salt and pepper over roasted chicken breasts that stayed in the oven a little too long. It is extremely difficult to focus on his monotone voice and chicken scratch handwriting when you aren't in a classroom to keep you at least a little bit focused. At the same time, he goes pretty fast. His method of teaching is using examples, rather than explaining concepts and methods. Like reading the textbook is really one of the only ways to understand the backgrounds of the examples. He posts written concept explanations on Courseworks, which are great but it becomes difficult to follow where he is going when he switches between OneNote tabs. Both methods are valid, but this is useful to know going in. Overall, I would not recommend it for someone who needs a more thorough explanation than just going through examples. If you are someone who is a little weaker in Calculus (but your advisor doesn't tell you to take pre-calc), I would advise looking into another professor. TL;DR-- Nice guy. Fair courseload. Fair exams (second midterm significantly harder). Terrible Zoom lectures.

Dec 2020

It's a shame that the reviews here don't do Professor Drini justice. He's a good professor, just suited to the needs of a specific student. I took AP Calc AB Senior year, and didn't do quite well enough to be exempt from Calc 1. Because of that, I sought out a course where the professor would talk fast, and not slowly lecture over a bunch of details, Khan Academy style, that I already knew. Professor Alessandrini does exactly what I wanted. He assumes you already have a basic understanding of the subject, then turns to his blackboard, and in a quick Italian accent, explains the topic of the day. The homework will be harder than the lecture problems, and this is clearly stated in the syllabus. He wants students to understand HOW things work, so they can solve complicated problems. Students are encouraged to meet together to go over the homework and discuss what they didn't understand. I also sought out Youtube videos and went to office hours every week, and with that help, always got A's on the homework. Students who did not do that, or started the HW the day it was due, instead of days before, had a harder time. The course is much less difficult if you do those three things: start HW early, go to office hours consistently, and review the homework before turning it in with classmates. Here are my two major qualms with the course: 1. As much as I enjoyed his lecturing style, sometimes he doesn't explain topics in as clear as he could. Going to office hours is key to understanding whatever it is he was trying to teach in the last 20 minutes of the lecture. 2. The tests are HARD. I studied for hours on end but barely passed both midterms. They dragged down my grade, and that was disheartening. This is exacerbated by his confusing system of grading. On the scored test, he will give you your actual grade, and then a letter grade he thinks you'll get in the class in the end. He doesn't actually curve the tests themselves, he'll curve your final grade in the class. The curve is strong, (~25 points for me) but the uncertainty of not knowing your final grade in the class is unnerving. To be fair, it is Calculus, so it's not like I should have expected it to be easy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Overall: You can get a good grade, as long as you put in the time.

Oct 2020

Disclaimer: I took Calc 1 in Fall 2020 during Covid-19 so all instruction was online. Professor Sengupta is a really nice person and a really patient teacher. However, I definitely struggled having him teach Calc 1. His handwriting is truly illegible and that makes things incredibly difficult to understand at times. Just looking at his notes is impossible and often times, students are simply asking him to clarify what he's written. He moves through concepts very quickly and I found that he generally doesn't explain them very well unless a student asks him to clarify. It's obvious he's very good at math but as a result, he assumes that concepts that are very clear and natural to him are also clear and easy to his students. He seems like a really nice guy and he definitely cares about his students, but I just wouldn't recommend him if you think Calc is something you may struggle with.

Aug 2020

After reading the other reviews about Professor Casti, I was nervous to take his class and didn't know what to expect. Well, I must be a total weirdo because I actually enjoyed his class very much and thought he was hilarious. There were so many times I found myself laughing out loud during his class (this semester was over Zoom), and I was thoroughly entertained by his jokes. Maybe we just have a similar sense of humor. On an academic level, Casti is a genius. I can see why others would have a difficult time with his class. He's really into physics, theorems, proofs, and is extremely careful with the way he words things so as not to make any misstatements, but this can be confusing or difficult to understand if you don't speak the language. Much of his teaching style consists of laying out theorems and proofs then doing a few worked examples. For most students I think this should be supplemented with reading the chapters independently and perhaps watching some tutorials online. Casti is generous with his time, and I could tell he really wanted all of us to succeed, but we had to work for it. Not an easy A, but an achievable A if you put in the time and effort. He held office hours twice per week and always did an extra review session before each exam. He'd often stay after class to finish working through a few more problems if we wanted him to. Additionally, he uploaded practice exams from years prior for us to practice with and assigned additional problem sets that we could do for practice (no grade, no EC). If you want to pass the class, doing the homework and exams working from his notes could get you through. If you want an A, you need to put in more effort (not because of Casti, just because this is a difficult class). I would read each section/chapter of the book and watch additional tutorials online to gain a deeper understanding of the material because it was difficult for me. I recommend doing some trig review prior to taking this class because he sure does like trig and expects you to know basic angles, the unit circle, and special triangles. I did not know these things prior to taking this class but I did a lot of review outside of class and finally got a grip on them. Also, pay attention to the theorems because he likes to test on them (ex: "explain why this theorem applies or doesn't apply"). This is great because once you understand the meaning of the theorems, everything makes sense and the concepts become much easier. Overall, I found Casti to be quite endearing and I really respect his knowledge and experience. You will have a better time in his class if you enter it with an open mind and are ready to work hard.

Aug 2020

His classes are painful. He is not good at teaching. Very condescending and has a clear preference for the men in the class. Incredibly rude. Thinks he's funny but simply isn't. Holds you overtime every single class. He crammed the last 5 lectures out of 12 into 1 because we were behind on the syllabus so we went over the content of 5 lectures in one class two days before the final. He also crammed the homework at the end because we were behind on the content. Basically, we had 4 homework sets, and a final the last two weeks of class while learning the last many topics in a rush. He is not patient and doesn't create a comfortable environment to ask questions. Assumes you will learn a whole concept just by seeing it once as a side comment.

Jul 2020

Can I just say that if you are considering taking Calc 1 with Woodbury, Don't! He is easily the worst professor ever. Period. He does not know how to teach! He might be passionate, he might want you to learn a lot, he might want to help, but the bottom line is HE CAN'T TEACH! In order to explain a topic, he would take the HARDEST route ever. For example, I took calc in high school and so did most of the class, BUT MOST OF US DID NOT UNDERSTAND LIMIT IN HIS CLASS. After going to the TA, we realized what he was trying to say is not that difficult, but Woodbury just can't explain it well. He has a brilliant mind, but he can't really communicate his brilliance which causes the class to be extremely frustrating. I have not talked to a single student from the class who appreciated his teaching. AND I TALKED TO A LOT OF STUDENTS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE HELL WAS UP WITH THE HOMEWORK! Talking about homework, they were the worst thing in the world. They were just so complicated, so unnecessary even, that even the TAs and math tutors in Milstein were lost. He says to go to office hours, but when you go, it's the same thing! HE CAN'T EXPLAIN WELL. In classes, there were so many times when we would keep asking him the same questions, and he would be pissed because he just explained it, but his explanation did not make sense so no one understood, and asked the question again, in hopes that he might explain it better the fifth time. He even told us to stop asking questions once because we have asked him the same question for three days straight in class. Now he did have a piazza for class but I didn't find it helpful, cause it was just a repeat of the class, complicated, doesn't-make-sense explanation. He uploads a PDF of the topic we are gonna go over in class a couple of weeks ago and expects you to read and understand the topic before you get to class, but based on my review so far, it should be fairly obvious that those pdfs are the worst explanations ever. Now on another note, his midterms are reasonable, and he is also a fair grader. There are curves so that was nice. He also gives extra credits. He has review sessions that are super helpful for both midterms! If you end up taking the class, definitely attend those. In conclusion, just don't take his class and reduce your life span.

Jun 2020

It’s probably not fair to judge any instructor on Spring 2020, but here goes. Going to Zoom classes really separated the good instructors from the bad instructors. This was Cailan Li’s first time teaching (he’s a PhD student), he was clearly uncomfortable in front of the class. Zoom just it 10000% worse. Pros: He seems to care how/if you learn. His written notes and communication are good. He seems like a nice guy and is fair. Cons: His excuse for not getting things was always that he was “busy. Well, guess what, we’re all busy. Terrible in front of a class. Not great at answering class questions in lecture, would eventually hand-wave it saying we needed to move on. Going to Zoom did not go well at all If I had known how Spring 20 was going to go, I would have switched sections to a more experienced instructor’s class.

May 2020

I took this class freshman first semester and took Calculus BC in high school and found it to be very manageable. He is very helpful and is willing to work with students patiently answering questions during the entirety of his office hours. Overall, a good professor to take Calc 1 with. The midterms were both fair but the final was harder than both the midterms. Disclaimer: I studied a lot for the tests and got an A and the people who complained about the class did not dedicate much time for the class. So if you're willing to study then you should get an A in the class.

May 2020

Clearly a brilliant mathematician and nice guy but has absolutely no ability to effectively communicate ideas and concepts to those whose understanding doesn't match his. Rarely engages the class so when he asks a question the room fills with dead air. Poor teaching skills forced most of the class to teach themselves from the book and internet. Too much work for too little understanding. Leaving the course with a passing grade after 12+ hours of work every week but no understanding of its application. Not worth the cost per credit hour. Find a different instructor with actual teaching skills.

Apr 2020

A super chill math professor! Goes through concepts, asks questions, very approachable. I took Calc AB in HS and got an A- in this class, granted that I didn't really study enough for the exams. Would recommend.

Apr 2020

I found this class to be quite difficult. As a GS student, I hadn't taken precalc in over a year, and during this course I found myself struggling. You should have a pretty strong concept of Trigonometry and College Algebra, or it will feel like you are drowning. My complaints with Akash is that his handwriting is horrible and he teaches relatively quickly. So if you are trying to follow and are confused, you may find catch yourself lost and unable to catch-up. Often times the class is interrupted, because someone is asking about what it is that he actual wrote on the board; his hand writing is often illegible. His fours and nines look the same, and he likes to abbreviate a lot. He also skips mathematical steps when going through the problems as if he assumes you know what he is doing. Maybe since it seems so natural to him himself that he just assumes that we should feel the same? On a positive note, Akash is very willing to help and is a very friendly instructor. He is very intelligent and a positive individual.

Apr 2020

Will was a great instructor! Lecture can get a little monotonous sometimes (as math lectures do), but Will is immensely helpful during office hours and really great at explaining things if you get confused! He's down to Earth and easy to understand during lecture, although sometimes his lectures aren't paced fast enough to finish by the time class ends. Students are free to raise their hand during class and ask questions, and the homework he assigns is always manageable. Definitely would recommend! He also has really cool t-shirts.

Apr 2020

I have heard a lot of negative things about Prof. Florea and while she is bad for a certain sort of student, she was great for me. She is incredibly clear and efficient; she walks into the classroom the second it starts, says quietly "Well let's begin today's class" and immediately launches into lecturing. While at times her pace can be a bit too swift, she will answer your questions clearly (albeit with a soft little smile on her face if she thinks it's a stupid question) (I got that smile a lot) and is also helpful in office hours. If you need someone who goes slow this maybe isn't the class for you but I really enjoyed this section of Calc I.

Jan 2020

Goes through the material at a relatively normal pace, but some concepts he goes through more quickly. His handwriting is sometimes difficult but using the book to study should be all the information you need to do well on the tests and midterms. I took Calc BC in high school and found the content of this class to be very doable for first-semester freshman year. Much of the content was repetitive but there were some new concepts that were not too bad. I got an A in the class but did study a lot for the midterms and finals. Others who did not study as much complained about the difficult, so overall if you're willing to study, this class is great! He is very helpful during office hours and overall a nice guy.

Dec 2019

Although this is an introductory Calculus I course, DO NOT take this class if you have no experience in calculus!!! A lot of people in my section had taken calculus before in high school, but we still felt very lost in the lecture due to the complexity of his (rare) examples and the strange way he would define/prove concepts. In general, I don't recommend him as a professor. If you are going to take this class: I want to begin by saying that Professor Alessandrini is clearly very gifted in math, but this does not mean that he is the best professor for students taking this intro course. His understanding of math didn't always match up with the way his students view it, and although he tried to answer questions and address what people didn't know, his explanations were never really that helpful. He tried, but he was hard to understand and hard to get ahold of. Also, his handwriting isn't the best (his a's look like o's) and he sometimes used words we weren't used to because he wasn't a native English speaker. However, you can definitely get used to this. I fully relied on my calculus knowledge from high school, and I know a lot of people just followed the textbook instead of showing up to lectures. However, I don't suggest this, since the "unique" way he would teach were at the same difficulty as the problems he would include in the weekly assignments and the midterms/finals he made. I feel like although he generally met what needed to be taught in this course, a lot of his students, if not all, felt very frustrated because of him. He also wasn't very good with returning grades, which stressed a lot of people out since a lot of us felt very lost in lecture. For example, it took him more than two weeks longer than he said it would for him to grade and create a curve for our second midterm. I’m not sure how someone with no previous calculus experience would keep up, but I learned more about the proofs behind concepts and I gained exposure to complex applications to calc I concepts. He didn’t exactly follow the textbook or use problems from it, but I think he expected us to read it although he never assigned anything. I spent a lot of time teaching myself content to solve the assignments. He would teach the basics and assign difficult problems so we could figure it out for ourselves, I’m assuming.

Dec 2019

For the love of god, DO NOT TAKE CALC WITH THIS MAN. He spends too much time on things that are unnecessary or even counterproductive to understanding the actual concepts. Take it with literally anyone else and you'll have a great time.

Nov 2019

Appalling does not even begin to describe this class. If you are the type of person that just wants to simply learn calculus and get a good grade, I am literally BEGGING you not to take this class. Please do not do this to yourself. This man simply cannot teach calculus in a simple way. He insisted on teaching us the "theory" behind calculus, which, according to TAs and PhD students, resembles more closely calculus 4 material. You will learn how to prove the squeeze theorem using a unit circle, but not how to use it. I can honestly barely tell you what we have actually learned in class because I still don't really understand the theory. I think he might be allergic to doing actual math because for the entire semester I can probably count on one hand how many actual math problems/concrete examples he did. Our midterms consisted more of short answers describing why you're doing the math rather than actually doing the math. He gave us the questions beforehand and everyone still did so terribly that he offered a regrade. Then he gave us questions for the second midterm and didn't choose from them. I would've been better off not studying at all for that than wasting 5 hours studying his "guide." Unless you really enjoy mathematical theory and want to be required to attend a class that does nothing to further your understanding of how to do calculus, steer clear like the plague. There's just no reason for this. For reference, I will likely get at least an A- in this class because of his hard-on for participation, regrade options, and my decent exam scores, but oh my god it was not worth it.

Nov 2019

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! He overcomplicates everything! In lectures, he only defines concepts and talks about theorems. He almost never does examples in class and when he does, they are very simple and do not resemble anything on the homework he assigns, much less the exams. Coming from someone who had already taken calc before, he was very confusing and hard to follow most of the time.

Jan 2019

I was very happy to ended up in professor Woodbury's class. Profesor Mike is your classical mathematician, you can feel his passion for the subject. He is endlessly patient with questions and will do all he can to help you understand the subject. He will also offer a chance to improve your midterm grades. Basically, a very friendly guy. The class is interesting but requires you to do the work. I'm not sure what else you'd expect, but if you're after a section with the easiest exams, you may want to keep looking. This being said - I very much recommend Calc with prof Woodbury.

Dec 2018

I'm honestly mystified as to why Dr. Woodbury's reviews and course evaluations (accessible on Vergil) are so terrible. His section is by no means the easiest of all Calculus 1 sections, but it's also nowhere near the hardest, he's easy to understand, and he puts a lot of effort into improving the course. He gave us take-home midterm regrade opportunities for both midterms and extra-credit questions on the actual midterms. My understanding is that he usually teaches a few calculus sections each year but his main focus is mathematical pedagogy, and it definitely shows. He created a Piazza question partway through the semester to solicit anonymous feedback and gave very thoughtful responses to everything posted. I would definitely take more math courses with him and would recommend his Calculus 1 section to anyone looking for a reasonable but rigorous review of basic calculus.

Dec 2018

Professor Flores is amazing. Her lectures are very clear and she does a great job answering questions. My class had a lot of people who were not particularly math inclined and she was always willing to answer their questions. Her answers were always short and to the point and it seemed like this was very effective. She is an extremely sweet person and is excited to help students that go to office hours or stay after class. A great first semester math course!

Nov 2018

Rough. Roesch, while a nice guy, spends the entire class going through proofs of concepts, making simple topics really convoluted and hard to follow. HW is nearly impossible to complete without help. He doesn't let you write anything in your notes during office hours (!!!!!!!). Midterm 1 was really hard. He gave us a practice test for the 2nd since so many people complained, but does changing ways 2/3 through an extremely frustrating class make a difference?

Nov 2018

The class is mostly proofs of basic calculus concepts. Seems pretty unnecessary for a low-level math class. The homework is obnoxiously difficult. Often the TAs in the help room can't even complete his written homework. His tests are similarly difficult. I took calculus in high school, but I was far from prepared for this course. I do not recommend especially if you're not considering a math major.

Aug 2018

I'm a little conflicted in my review and opinion of Professor Casti - probably because my personal opinion and academic opinion are also slightly contrasting. Let me explain: He is absolutely brilliant, probably one of the more intelligent math professors I have had the honor studying under. And, despite having a monumental family crisis, my advisor falling off the face of the earth, and missing tons of class time, he was extremely empathetic and understanding. He went above and beyond to accommodate my being able to stay in the class. Not a ton of professors will take that extra step. With that being said, he is an extremely tough grader (and so are his TA(s)), his lectures are difficult to follow, and he doesn't respond well to questions, in or outside of class. Personally, I don't think he means to be condescending, but it often comes off that way. He sorta expects you to just understand the material without much reinforcement, which leaves most of the learning on your own time. The class is comprised of 10-11 homework assignments, a midterm and a final. Though both exams have the hardest examples of anything possibly done in class - which would be fine if you got partial credit, but you don't. Very difficult class.

Feb 2018

She's actually funny in class, clear in instruction, and sets reasonable exams

Jan 2018

Chao Li is an excellent teacher! He teaches the lecture in a straightforward manner and breaks down the concepts very well. He writes down his notes on multiple boards, so you do not have to rush take notes. His notes are very thorough, legible, visually appealing, and comprehensible. He emphasizes the most important things during the lecture and usually puts a summary at the end. His exams are very straightforward and tests the exact same concepts and is in the exact same format as his practice exams. His online web assign and written hw are harder than the exams, especially the written, in which many of the questions I had to look up online to help me. If you listen to his lectures and do the hw and practice exams, you will do well in his class.

Dec 2017

He is easily one of the worst teachers I have had in any subject. He does not introduce new topics, or give lectures on new material. He barely gives out partial credit on exams, and his exams often send a couple people out of the room crying. In additions his exams do not reflect the homework at all, you will look at a problem and be wondering how it's related to anything you've covered so far.

Dec 2017

From the opinion of one student who had taken calc AB in high school and another who had only reached pre-calculus, Ila Varma is an incredible professor. Unlike our perception of the rest of the math department, Ila is genuine and realistic in her presentation of concepts. The occasional error (which is always fixed quickly and with amusement) reveals the easygoing nature of the class, while still being stimulating. She has been eager to help students, and has been entirely understanding throughout the semester: this semester she allowed for the final exam grade to replace any of the two midterm exams that it exceeded. For anyone who is looking to fill a math requirement, we heavily stress taking calc I with Ila. She is the best. A great add on is that if you go to lecture, she usually waves when you pass her in the street. TAKE HER CLASS.

Dec 2017

Do not trust these earlier reviews!!! He was the worst teacher I have ever had. The reviews are all from three years ago before Woodbury's "transformative" trip to Germany. He now only uses a "special method" involving no lectures and spending all of class going over one or two homework problems. Class was not at all relevant to what would be on the tests since he would only focus on 1-2 problems from a 12 problem homework or talk about his research. It was incredibly boring, but if you didn't go you would miss the in class pop quizzes which can kill your grade. Each midterm was absolutely terrible. His midterms are never what you prepare for since he believes you should be "able to put the pieces together to show you understand." The homework took forever and was always not relevant to exams. All the other Calc 1 teachers are better than him. Don't do this class to yourself.

Nov 2017

Michael "Mike" Woodbury is a really nice guy. And impossible teacher. His main teaching style is: do the homeworks/learn the material by yourself and "go over it" in class-- which is really just a waste of time. The homeworks (2 problem sets + 1 webassign/week) are generally not too challenging, but the harshness of the grading really varies. He expects you to know your stuff, and he will force you to think about math. If that sounds good to you, take the class. If you think that sounds good, but then realize you forgot everything you thought you knew about Calc and now want to cry after demolishing into a stress-fueled rage (what? me? never.) then DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. You are not as smart as you thought you were. Look out for your GPA and go take an easier class.

Jul 2017

This is not so much a review of the class (which was very, very good+understandable+fair) but of Yu-Shen himself. Yu-Shen, if you are reading this, please try standup. You are very funny. Also, please never let your TA teach this course. On the days you were not here and let him teach, I learned not one thing and instead spent the entire time writing my name in bubble letters in my notebook. Take this course if you want an easy, basic calculus class to fulfill your requirements and also an entertaining reprieve in our slow, often unbearable march towards death.

Jan 2017

Luis Diogo was NOT a good teacher. He explains most things conceptually and if you never took calc before his class is incredibly challenging. I took calc and even I had a hard time in his class. The only good thing about his class is he curves the final grade. So although I failed both my midterms i ended with a B. If you actually want to learn calculus don't take this class

Jan 2017

Chao is amazing -- he is entertaining, engaging, and good at explaining concepts. I will definitely miss his class. As far as the exams go, they are extremely easy. He tells you exactly what will be on them, and he does not try to trick you. Paying attention in class and understanding the homework problems is enough to do well. I would recommend taking Chao's section.

Jan 2017

Super boring, but really, really nice and gives really good grades. Drops the lowest midterm grade.

Dec 2016

As someone who previously loved math, the fact that I am relieved to not take another calc class tells you all you need to know about Cerbo. First- Cerbo does not know how to teach. I gave up showing up to class after a month because I honestly got nothing out of it. He is very awkward and does not seem to know what is in reach for the class. Apparently he got better near the end of the semester-- I wouldn't know. All I know is that the class got crazy difficult from the second midterm on. The second midterm was a nightmare, plagued with mistakes only corrected via email from an absent Cerbo in real time. And the final was on a whole other level. My friends from higher levels of calculus were surprised they couldn't do a single one of the problems from my practice final. Although the class was curved, I would still appreciate being taught how to do the questions I'm given. The assigned homework was very deceptive, nearly all of the problems extremely easy compared to the final. I will say, his practice exams are decent indicators of what you need to know for the final. If you do take his class, don't assume he's making them easier than what's on the actual test. If you want easy A, do not take Cerbo, even if you've taken AP calculus! If you want to learn and truly understand the material, do not take Cerbo! Just don't take Cerbo lmao.

Dec 2016

Disclaimer: I took Calculus BC in high school and did well in the class. Alright, the first thing that you need to know is that di Cerbo is a bit of a mixed bag. But the dude knows his shit. Seriously, go to youtube and find his video on birational geometry. If you can get past the 20 minute mark, get the hell outta Calc I and go to Honors Math. Anyways, di Cerbo is a pretty average math teacher. When talking about Mean Value Theorem, or the FTC, or Intermediate Value Theorem, or Squeeze Theorem, he always does a proof. This can be either good or bad - if you find value in the proof of a theorem, and that helps you understand, then great. If not, you can just snooze for 20 minutes in the classes where he introduces them. One plus point: He always brings a lot of examples to the table in class. The structure will almost always be "Prove the theorem, example problem, example problem, example problem...." These examples increase in difficulty and correlate very closely to the homework problems. That all being said, he has some negatives too. He tends to rush through his algebra, which can leave some of the class behind. He's got no problem skipping 2 or 3 algebraic steps every so often. But it doesnt happen enough to be a serious issue, so I wouldnt worry about it. He can assign ridiculously tedious homework (one of them was 10 problems of finding the first and second derivative, inflection points, concavity, asymptotes, intercepts, the works) and his TAs can be dicks with the grading. But the midterm and final aren't horrific, so I'll give him a pass. Honestly, he isn't stellar, but if you're stuck with him, know that he won't try to screw you.

Dec 2016

Professor Diogo is incredible. He makes every concept easily digestible in an interesting and concise way. I really enjoyed going to class. I would strongly recommend him. If you do all the homework you will be in pretty good shape for the exams.

Dec 2016

Honestly, nothing special, his tests aren't difficult, he's pretty clear when it comes to teaching. That being said he's not boring but he's not super exciting either. His tests are pretty straight forward and he curves the average grade to a B.

Dec 2016

Awesome teacher! Ila's such an awesome person (and educator). She's funny, her lessons are organized and clear, and she always has an open line of dialogue with her students. She likes to assign a pretty solid HW load- nothing that can't be completed- but still a solid number of questions from both WebAssign and the book. She's incredibly humble despite her math brilliance, and very down to earth unlike other pretty aloof educators at this university. Her tests aren't tricky or too long- so there's always ample time to finish and review. All in all, Ila kills it and I'm really happy I took Calc I with her.

Nov 2016

I had him for my first semester Calculus I. I had taken Calc AB before. A lot of people struggled with the class (and dropped) but I liked it. It's a kind of 'lecture optional class' in the sense that if you get what you're doing skipping class wouldn't hurt you that much (he basically teaches the textbook) - but he drops hints (useful but sometimes confusing) regarding the midterms and goes over hard homework questions (before they are due). We had weekly WebAssign (low key pain) and Textbook Homework (2 lowest ones are dropped from each). Aside from that we had 2 midterms and an exam. No calculators on the exams, but you can bring in an index card (front and back) with whatever you want on it. Weighting: Homework (20%), First Midterm (20 %), Second Midterm (25 %) and Final exam (35 %) He knows a lot about math, but his accent can be too much for some. He is funny and quirky though. Very fair grader. No complaints on that end. Overall, great class. Good teacher. Easy material.

Sep 2016

Wow. Totally assume. He can draw a figure 8 knot with one hand and trefoil with the other in real time.

May 2016

Workload was more than any other Calc I class, exams were harder than any other section, curve is pretty significant... From what I hear go with Chao Li lol

May 2016

Chao is by far the best Calc 1 professor you will ever see in your life. He was also the easiest section this semester. Chao is unbelievably reachable (Responds to every email withing 10 mins). His HW is pretty straight forward from the class notes and his exams are the same as the practice exams with only different numbers. Still, he is a perfect professor, Harvard PHD, who will help you have a solid base in Calc. I would recommend this class to anyone !!

Jun 2015

I took him Fall 2014. I forgot to write a review then. -good teacher -open to feedback -go to help rooms -skips steps in example problems -he curves the final grade so the average is about a B

May 2015

Prof Siegel is funny, good natured, and someone who'd enjoy a beer and discussing Star Wars and Comic-Con. That being said, I would NOT recommend him for anyone who has no previous experience with Calculus. Much of his lectures are a combination of "Math-speak" and pretty complex "examples" which seem more for his amusement than to teach foundational concepts. If you've read any other reviews, his weekly written homework will make the math tutors at Milbank 333 cringe! Honestly, the written HW takes up a lot of time and I didn't learn a thing from it since he often includes material that you'll never encounter in Calc I (e.g. Hyperbolic functions). If you're a math major and just have to take calc again, go ahead and take this class. If you're anyone else (like me), you'll end up watching hours of Khan Academy or YouTube to teach yourself! Which by the way, check out Professor Leonard on YouTube -, he's an instructor at some small college in Georgia, but his explanations are clear and concise. If it wasn't for him, I would have failed this class miserably. And lastly, Prof Siegel is not very organized, if you have to ask him something, talk with him before or after class or during office hours. I emailed him multiple times over the semester but never received a reply.

May 2015

Rob is a darling. He teaches calc in a very straight forward way. The main benefit of going to the class is seeing all the examples worked out until it gets arithmetic-y and he just circles the "good enough for him" answer. Thank god, because I hate arithmetic. He's definitely a math nerd, and I mean that in the most endearing way possible. That being said, he doesn't like or allow calculators and thinks they are crutches. And, considering that I remember nothing from my calculus that I took years ago WITH a calculator - he may be right. I was a previous Cog Sci and History major at my past schools so I spent a lot of time memorizing cool stories and fun brain stuffs. I did not do math for forever and used a calculator to add single digits to check myself. He also doesn't allow cheat sheets. It's really tough to remember all the formulas correctly, and I prayed for the final that he'd allow just a teeny post-it, but alas...no cheat sheet (post it, etc.) allowed. I missed signs on the final but really started to think about the concept behind it to see if I could infer the forgotten signs (some SERIOUS math was going on in my head) but my feeble mind kept getting distracted by how cold it was in the room. He's really super available and open during office hours - but (as I'm sure you know from all your other classes' office hours) you'll get the most if you come loaded with questions. I know some people came for recapitulations on the last week's lectures that they missed - but he will tell you to go read the book if you come for that. He doesn't help you get exact answers on homework. He'll help you figure out your next steps or see where you went wrong if you show him your work. He is a high-level explainer -but if you ask him to break it down in baby steps, he'll do that for you. But I actually have heard mixed opinions about that from other students. For me personally, he really spent a lot of time with me patiently explaining everything I didn't understand, but I am not one to pretend I understand something when I don't. I probably was the worst/slowest learner in the class. I think he knew this and took pity on me :\. He's surprisingly social for a math guy, has a really bright smile on all the time, and can take a piss on himself (I dunno if that translates correctly in English - I mean he can joke at his own expense). This is sooooo helpful in making the class time and subject easier to swallow. The workload is a little painful if you need a week to catch up because you fell ill or got caught up in something. You have to stay on it. When I was in the hospital for a week, I had to keep reviewing while going through treatment, or else I knew I'd be far behind. To drive that point home, I know several people in the class who sat through a columbia calc class last semester or took it at a CUNY the summer before before they took it for a letter grade here, and they said it's definitely easy to fall behind especially the weeks the written homeworks are assigned. Written homeworks are sick and twisted. Sorry, you will spend an ungodly amount of hours staring through the paper. But luckily there are only 5 or so of them and they're spread out reallllly well. Go to office hours those weeks. And not just the class before they're due. Go as soon as they're assigned. Or hit Math help room at milbank. But don't let them do it for you. Those homeworks will make you want to puke but it's sorta cool to get an 80% on them knowing you actually got through them yourself (with a little bit of guidance.) Webassign is weekly and annoying. But that is the nature of webassign. PS, if you suck at trig stuff, doing the webassign only won't prepare you for the quizzes and especially the tests. You have to knock out problems in the book to get used to the types of questions asked on the tests. I thought in the beginning that webassign would be enough - my understanding improved significantly after I opened the book. As far as test grading and curve... it's a Columbia Calc course. I think they're all the same so I've been told by numerous students and advisors. Don't beat yourself up after you've failed - everyone fails a little. The tests though, I wasn't afraid to speak up and say that the prep-midterms were different than the midterm we had to take. I think he takes our comments to heart. For example, the practice midterm had a whole bunch of polynomials and easier functions to manipulate, but ours was full of exponential variables to the exponential variables to the e to the ln of the absolute value of whatever.One thing a classmate mentioned to Rob that would be helpful is to focus his examples on solving more difficult sorts of these problems - lo and behold his examples were like 75% e/ln/multiple levels of exponential variables and things. In summary, Rob is good at what he does. He's very sweet and helpful, but I get the feeling that you have to be proactive about asking for help. He's super young (looking, at least, I dunno how old he is) so he has a lot of energy and passion for math. I think he knows that it is unlikely that anyone in the class was a real math major and rather just needed the course for a pre-req to something else, but he still wants to give you the solid foundation you'll need when you go on to calc 2 or 3, etc. He can come off aloof so I've heard from others, but I've not experienced that at all. I think he's very warm, welcoming, and happy if you treat him like a human and not just someone who is there at your mercy. Buuut, my dad is a math PhD and my ex-boyfriend is en route toward one, so perhaps i'm just used to it. Sorry for the dissertation length review. PS memorize that unit circle and trig identities!

May 2015

I'll get the important stuff out of the way first: Unless you are a math (or related) major and/or coming fresh out of an exceptionally rigorous AP Calc course, do not take Calc I with Paul. Now that we have that out of the way, here's the "nitty-gritty." Paul is an exceptionally nice guy, he's very approachable, and he hasn't been grown to hate teaching yet. He really loves math (and fun dorky jokes peppered throughout his lectures). But if you don't know from experience already, mastery of a subject doesn't always mean that you can impart this knowledge in digestible terms to newcomers. The beginning of the course is a fairly comprehensive (albeit, short) review of key pre-calc and trig concepts. If you don't know them already, don't expect him to take the time to stop and explain it to you. Not only will you most likely end up more confused than you were, but you'll also be leaving less time for him to explain the heaping pile of material he crams into one period. Your best option is to scribble a note about the things you don't understand and take care of it on your own time. About that "own time," though: don't expect to have too much of it. Written homework and WebAssign problems are assigned every week. The WebAssign problems are annoying (due to the strict syntax you have to use when inputting answers), but shouldn't take you more than 2 to 3 hours, max. The written homework is an entirely different animal. On average, I spent 7-8 hours on written homework, per week. Rather than enforcing newly-learned concepts through repetition and slight variation, Prof. Siegel likes to use problems that are "exceptions to the rule," or that hinge heavily upon identities that were either, a: never introduced in the class, or b: brushed over during a lecture. As a result, you most likely will not completely learn the course's material unless you spend a lot of time practicing it in your free time. I can hear you already: "This guy writing the review is an idiot. There's no way the class demands that much time." An idiot I may be, but I can safely say that I was among the majority in experiencing these difficulties with this class. When he posts homework, a deluge of his students populate the Math Help Room, and they steadily comprised the majority of the population for the entire semester. The TAs in the room constantly comment about how difficult the homework problems are, and often, THEY have trouble solving them. On more than one occasion, a group of us have worked through a problem with a TA for over two hours. It got to the point where I was greeted with groans and "oh god, I'm sorry..." when they heard which class we needed help with. Difficulty aside, the other main problem with Professor Siegel is his lack of communication. Emails go unanswered for weeks, his office hours are so densely populated that they turn into a pseudo-tutoring section (which is sometimes extremely helpful, but more often serves to confuse), homework isn't handed back for weeks (usually after the exam for which it would be most relevant), and the grading policy is as clear as a puddle of mud. He explains at the beginning of class that the entire course (not individual assignments) will be "curved somewhat," but doesn't explain what it will be curved toward. Given that the average grade on the first exam was a "D-," and the second only improved to a "C," hopefully the curve is pretty generous. Regardless of the curve, this should be a big blinking indicator that your students are struggling. I'm sure that if you have an extremely solid foundation in calc, Paul is an instructor who will challenge you and help you to investigate the less common components of a calculus curriculum. If that doesn't describe you, find another professor. I have never encountered a more demanding course.

May 2015

Dr. Deopurkar is the best professor I have had at Columbia (1 year). Dr. Deopurkar has the uncommon ability to take a seemingly abstract and/or complex idea and break it down into steps that are understandable. The pace of the class is slow so if you are passingly familiar with calculus you will do fine. Most importantly, there is a high correlation between what is taught in the class and what is on the exams. There are no curveballs. He will definitely ask you the most challenging version of a concept SOMETIMES (IE, a more difficult limit vs. an easier one) but it is all stuff that was either on the homework or covered in class. By the time that the test comes, if you can do the homework and get them all correct without having to get help, then you can get a 100% on the exam. Quite doable. Other professors in other departments don't have as high of a correlation between material on the exam and material covered in class. Just want to stress again that he didn't have any curveballs; this alone makes his class worth taking because you know what to expect. He puts out multiple practice midterms and finals for each test so there is no shortage of material to practice with. On a downside, he seems fairly busy and doesn't seem to make a whole lot of time for students, as far as I can tell. I never really sought out his help but I know that other students have had a hard time getting a hold of him. However, the math help room can answer any questions you need answered so honestly I don't think this is that big of a deal, unless you're just trying to get face time with him or something. The average for midterm 1 was 68% +/- 18% and the second midterm was very similar, I think 70% +/- 18%. Don't know about the final yet. I would take him for any class I needed. I am sure that his teaching and class administration style carry over from subject to subject.

Apr 2015

I am not a math person and I dislike calculus, and the only reason I kept showing up to lecture was because Dave is hilarious. He's young and nerdy and ridiculous. I would just laugh at him all class. He makes the best jokes which are usually very out of the blue and bizarre. He also is quite a good teacher, definitely one of the best math teachers I've ever encountered. Although I got a C- in this class, it wasn't anything he did wrong (I just hate math). He was available and helpful and friendly during office hours, and always answered questions during class. I think he's a great professor for a hard subject. Always in a good mood. Google him and you'll find his page about himself and it's absurd. He's such a goof in the best way possible. Clearly a very smart guy.

Mar 2015

I don't know why the other guys have said so many mean words, but as far as I know, Hektor is a great professor who really commits to his teaching. Although occasionally I find it a little difficult to follow his accent, in general, his lectures and coursework materials are really helpful for someone who wants to construct a sound basis for calculus. What I like most about his class is that he has a lot of bonus questions in the homework as well as exams, which can boost your grades up to 50%. Even for a lazy student as myself who never starts doing assignments until the last minute, the outcome of homework and exams were very well. BTW, Prof. Chang likes to use graphic tools in homework, which is really helpful to build up a graphic understanding of Calculus. He also gives us a lot of supplementary materials like history of mathematics (not a must-do, though), which I find both fun to read and learn. During office hours, Hektor is very laid back and likes to help students with their questions. He is not the sort of instructors who will ask how're your parents doing, but he is really friendly and tends to foster a close personal ties with his students as long as you are willing to ask him. Just to do him justice, no committed professor who harbors the least respect for mathematics has the obligation to design a class, even as fundamental as Calc I, to suit the need to "get an easy A", let alone there are 30% bonus points you can get in the exams to higher your overall score. (Personally all my midterms and final are over 100%, thanks to the bonus questions) Actually, Prof. Hektor gives every opportunity for students to get an amazing grade, it's not him to blame if you don't take that.

Mar 2015

Hector is a great professor who really commits to his teaching. Although occasionally I find it a little difficult to follow his accent, in general, his lectures and coursework materials are really helpful for someone who wants to construct a sound basis for calculus. What I like most about his class is that he has a lot of bonus questions in the homework as well as exams, which can boost your grades up to 50%. Even for a lazy student as myself who never starts doing assignments until the last minute, the outcome of homework and exams were very well. BTW, Prof. Hector likes to use graphic tools in homework, which is really helpful to build up a graphic understanding of Calculus. He also gives us a lot of supplementary materials like history of mathematics (not a must-do, though), which I find both fun to read and learn. During office hours, Prof. Hector is very laid back and likes to help students with their questions. He is not the sort of instructors who will ask how're your parents doing, but he is really friendly and tend to foster a close personal ties with his students as long as you are willing to ask him.

Feb 2015

I took Calc I with Sachin three years ago. Since then, I've taken Calc II, Calc III (also with Sachin), and Linear Algebra. Looking back and comparing my experience with Sachin with my experience with other professors, Sachin is absolutely gold. He is incredibly clear, precise, and actually gets to know his students by name towards the end of the semester. I've had at least one other good math professor here at Columbia (shout out to Davesh Maulik!), but Sachin still holds a dear, dear place in my heart. A+ Right now he seems to be teaching more advanced courses in Math, which I'm excited for him about, but many other people are missing out on taking the initial math classes with this gem of a professor! If you're looking for a Calc I, II, or III professor who will be rigorous but fair, speedy and comprehensive but willing to help students out, and will truly prepare you well for applying math outside of Math courses themselves, Sachin's your man.

Jan 2015

I took Calculus I with Dave and it was amazing. I was extremely surprised when I went on Culpa and did not see any reviews written about him online. He brings a friendly atmosphere to the class and is 100% approachable in class as well as during his office hours. Dave really knows the material and occasionally adds interesting math problems and topics that diverge from the syllabus required concepts, but helps you think of math in a completely different way. They also show he has a genuine interest in what he teaches. Some of the teachers I have seen so far struggle to engage with the class or have a strangely tense atmosphere warding off all potential Calculus I students or students who just have an interest in math (not that only students who love math should take this class anyone and everyone should). He would often make random jokes here and there that always made the class laugh. The class goes over what you would expect Calculus I to be about: limits, differentials, integrals, the works. As long as you attend class, do the homework, and study you'll do great. We also did not need to use Webassign, which was amazing for any of you guys that do not like the idea of submitting complex answers online and having to buy the expensive code for the website. He allowed the class to use a one page sheet of paper with any notes or formulas for the final exam. WHO DOES THAT?? IT WAS DOUBLE-SIDED TOO!!! I highly recommend this class for anyone who needs to take Calculus I or just wants to take a class taught by him in general. Definitely a gold nugget or at least a silver nugget.

Jan 2015

I took Gorsky first semester and overall he is a good teacher. He does not go too in depth into calculus (he stops around using integration to find volume of simple figures) and for the concepts he does cover, he focuses on you knowing the concepts and not doing extremely difficult problems. His accent is a little difficult to understand initially but you will soon get the hang of it. If you have taken Calc AB or BC in high school, this class should be a breeze, but I can imagine people who have no experience in Calculus having a little trouble with some of the concepts, but because he does not go too in depth any difficulties you have can be solved by using google or simply asking him a question. As for grading, he is more than fair. Each exam has extra credit so you can score above a 100, and if you hand in the online homework early you also get 5 extra points on it. The class is an easy A if you keep up and go to class and make sure you understand all the concepts.

Jan 2015

Please, please, please, for the love of your own well being, do not take this class. Hektor Chang makes Calc I much more complicated than it needs to be and doesn't curve as much as he should. He assumes that everyone in the class has taken calc before and, based on what most of my friends in other Calc I classes were tested on in the final, he went further into the book than he had to. I had a bad time in this class.

Jan 2015

Take Hansen's Calculus I course - you won't be disappointed. He's friendly, concise, precise, smart, good-looking, and all that but above all he's a truly good lecturer. Most of the time, he's done with lecture a little early even after always encouraging questions from students in the class. He speaks and writes fast, but never to the point where you can't follow, and you will almost always leave the class actually UNDERSTANDING the material - which I quickly discovered is rarely the case with most other professors in this Ivy institution. He always comes into the class with full command of the material and gives you just enough - never too much or too little. Dave's method is intuitive - a good mix of visuals and proofs. I sat in a few other sections prior to settling on this one, but it was only in Dave's where I felt like I was following the whole class. But the real success of his methods is probably the wealth of examples he goes through in class. They usually progress from simple to quite complicated, but this really helps you understand the materials because he's putting you in his shoes. Homework is quite straightforward and he's always willing to help during office hours or after class. Right before the midterm, he will post sample midterms and generally you'll glean a couple clues about how to go about the midterms from the sample. All in all, I was really pleased - I never took Calc before but he was such a good instructor and I got an A. He makes you want to do well and doesn't turn your life into a nightmare. Take his class already!

Jan 2015

I really enjoyed having him as a professor. If I could, I would take him for Calc II and so on. He really makes you sure the class understands what he is explaining and the class never felt overwhelming at any point. He's kooky-goofbally in a good way. He was also always open to questions right after class. I RECOMMEND HIM

Jan 2015

I am rather tardy to the party here in my review of Prof Casti's teaching chops. I took his Calculus 1 class, summer 2013. I write this because I think BY FAR Casti's class is the best I have had at CU. Mowch's Bio class lectures were good, but her exams are unfair compared to Casti's. He isn't personalizing the course to such an extent that it leaves out students who do not approach learning the way he does. This is not the case with Mowsch. Its her way or the highway. But, I digress.... I'm now about to finish my postbac premed courses, and well, Casti still takes first place. Mind you, I hear there are great profs to be had if you are at CU proper and taking the Core classes. Sadly, I am one of those people you see at the airport running to catch a red-eye with one foot wedged in the closing airbus door. My life has been one of so much curiosity that I find that career-wise, in the world we live in, I must now get serious, and hence, I am an older student with no time to take the classes I would really like to take from the utterly riveting profs out there, which I enviably here exist. I'm treating my time here as a sort of technical school; so I can make enough money to write my poetry. May I not be struck by lighting for this. Now about Casti: everything is written out on the chalkboard. So unless you are asleep (which you cannot be because he's very animated, funny, and engaging), or have some sort of deficiency (hand-eye coordination, broken arm, personal calamity, etc.) there should be no problem keeping up with his lecture, which is crystalline in its directness, authenticity, accuracy, and detail. He is very generous of heart. How can anyone not appreciate that?! The man is sweating through his shirt every lecture because of the effort of writing across the board all class period. He does this because he believes this is the best and only way to truly learn calculus. There is no Powerpoint slide. He isn't lazy in any sense of the word. His exams are fair. If you did the homework and understood his emphasized concept in his lectures you should get an "A" in this course. There really is no reason not to, because believe me when I say that this isn't my forte; and if I can do it, you certainly can. It is possible to get a 100 on his exams. This does not mean the class is easy. Please don't misconstrue what I am saying here. You have to work for the A, but this you should know from being at CU, no? I didn't have to read the book. In fact, I would have stopped after Chapter 2, but I'm way too uptight for that. So I gave the book a cursory nod, reread my notes a couple of times and redid a few key problems (which will become apparent to you after rereading the notes and having done them once prior). You must do the homework to do well. All of it. Casti really knows his calculus backwards and forwards, and I understood everything he gave in class just from his explanation and my notes of his lectures. If I needed clarification, I stayed after class and asked. This is a professor with a plan. He knows exactly what he's going to do each day, and it gets done efficiently. You are expected to participate; shy people you will just have to get over it, and you egotistical lot (myself, sometimes included here), you will have to check yours at the door. Looking stupid or giving a wrong answer means nothing to this professor. He has your best interest at heart, and you will never be made a fool of. He simply is too down-to-earth for that sort of pompous lack of generosity. The final is cumulative. But so is his review session. He gives extra time on the exams. It's not about rushing through and getting it wrong. He isn't trying to trick you. He's a very reasonable person.

Jan 2015

I'm not sure that Paul Siegel is the best Calc I teacher, but I would definitely recommend him for taking Calc I. I came into the class having taken High School Calculus (which is easier than AP Calculus AB), so I had seen about 80% of the material we learned in class. However I did not have the greatest grasp of it. The class starts off with a long review of pre-calc and at times for me this felt very roundabout. However maybe for others with no calc experience this was helpful... The class starts with pre-calc and ends with integration (volumes, polar coordinates, substitution). There are two midterms. The first one is on pre-calc and limits. The second one is on derivatives (derivation rules, implicit differentiation, related rates). No midterm covers integration and this part of the class is brief. Because of this integration is the most challenging subject of the class. However Paul is a great teacher that actually cares for his students and he doesn't want anyone to fail. His office hours are the best for HW help and he's willing to talk to/work with struggling students. Paul gives written and online HW; the written HW is hard (however if you look online you can find solutions to the problems.) One note is that the TAs for this class are completely useless. The only place you can reach them is in the Math Help Room, however once you go there it's hard to recognize they are the TAs for the class because they don't distinguish themselves from the other helpers at the Math Help Room. Sometimes the TAs would not even know how to solve some of the problems on the homework! Worst of all the TAs grade the homework and seem to arbitrarily grade. Paul would show one way to solve a problem in office hours, then the TAs would mark the problem wrong without indicating where points were taken off. This class was definitely harder than my high school calc class. There may or may not be a curve at the end of the class. For class we had a slight curve. I had an 83% raw grade which was given a B+. I know this isn't the best, but I'm going to try harder for Calc II.

Jan 2015

Hansen is the Calc Teacher you want to have. Recent PhD. student graduated from Brown among other top universities. Perfect English speaker, gives very good notes, and easy homeworks. He also rounds out your homework grade to a full 20 percent even if that is not your actual score on the homeworks. He is funny quirky, and a Steve Jobs wanna-be in terms of his style. On numerous occasions he also has said "I know none of you are Math majors so there is just no reason for me to complicate your lives by teaching you this." Understanding and considerate, and very patient with non-english speakers. The question is not how good Hansen is... it's if there are Math teachers worth taking other than him? My workload was 10 times easier than some of my peers in other sections. Note: Easy A if you took any Calculus in High School. Good GPA cushion.

Dec 2014

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. I had this prof for her first time to teach a class ever, and this was a huge mistake. She's incredibly bad at time management, often only getting to the important content five minutes after lecture had already ended. She was available for extra help but after several prodding emails. She really does try, but she doesn't have the best English. It makes it difficult not only to understand her, but more importantly, for her to articulate complex ideas or answer questions. She is a tough grader, but if you go talk to her in person, she will sometimes give you a few points back (not many). Expect trick questions/random questions thrown in on exams (they do help lower the avg though). Overall, she means well but is a HORRIBLE teacher.

Dec 2014

Let's be honest, the Math department at Columbia is not that good. But, I can't say anything bad about Professor Gorskiy. His assignments were a bit of a pain, but I managed them thanks to the help room and Khan Academy. He was also helpful and straightforward with any questions in class and office hours. Most importantly, his mid terms and final had no surprises in them. He gave good review problems beforehand and examples in class. He also curves fairly and gave test results back very quickly (first midterm was back within 24 hours!). He reviews any homework problem you had questions on in class after the assignment was turned in, which I personally liked a lot. The book is truly terrible, so consulting him about the material is a huge help. Also, another thing I really appreciated in the class was his approach to trig; he goes over it a fair amount and does not test it very difficulty or expect you to know any beforehand. So, if trig is not your thing, don't worry too much here. He has a bit of an accent, but it wasn't to the point where I had trouble understanding anything he said. All in all, you really can't go wrong with this guy for a fair Calc I class. It's not a breeze, but it's far from impossible.

Nov 2014

...by far the most incredible math instructor I have ever had. If there is proof of God's existence anywhere on Earth, I'll be damned if this man's teaching ability is not it. I have a newfound appreciation for mathematics and I've never considered myself good at it.

Nov 2014

I audited four Calc I classes this semester - all with different professors, and Prof. Gorskiy's was by far the most organized and focused lecture that I attended. He is efficient and doesn't waste lecture time on superfluous topics beyond the ken of Calculus nor digress far from the lesson. At the same time, he is relaxed, approachable, and the work load is more than reasonable. Plus he offers many opportunities for extra credit in both homework and exams. The course requires a WebAssign account, as do many of Columbia's math courses, but the site has many helpful tutorials and includes online access to the book. I believe that the same book is used up through Calc III, so it is a good investment. I highly recommend his class and hope that he teaches Calc II.

Jun 2014

Disclaimer: I am not a natural by any stretch at mathematics, and was taking Calculus I after many years hiatus from college. Avoid taking a course from Robert Castellano at all costs, which are extensive at Columbia. Rob is a grad student in the Math department (yes--you will pay Columbia top dollar to be taught by a grad student). Lectures were not lectures, they were Robert repeating what was in the book verbatim as he drew examples on the board, again, directly from the book. There is no point in going to class when the most instruction you're going to get is a smug automaton of a teacher (if I can call him a teacher). When seeking help during office hours (and there were frequently several people regularly looking to him for help during office hours), he would get this wry grin on his face when we were all stumped as to how to get from A to B on a problem, at which point he would just say "come on, you know this", which of course, none of us did. He wouldn't offer help, he would simply smile at our bewilderment, as if it were amusing to him that we were encountering difficulty with the material. When it came to exam time, the contorted expressions he put in front of us required expert skill at unlocking in order to even begin to show that you can do the Calculus. I have never worked so hard just to turn out completed homework assignments, and then have the exam put in front of me and have it resemble nothing like the species of problems we'd been doing from the book. His exams were written to punish, and I failed every one. If the rest of the class had done much better than me, I wouldn't have passed the class. I received a C-. I've never been so proud of a crappier grade.

Apr 2014

Professor Altug is one of the BEST professors I've had at Columbia. Do not take any other Calculus II class over his. Honestly. I sat in on many other Calculus classes which my friends thought were good, but his is by far the best. I took him for Calculus I and II and he was great. He gives amazing notes in class and explains everything very slowly and extremely well. His homework is very relevant, with a few somewhat tough questions at the end, but he gives you a lot of questions to choose from, and you have to submit approx. 15 each week. The homework takes around 2 hours maximum each week. His exams are extremely fair! He gives hints in some questions and some bonus questions too for extra points. He really really cares whether his students are learning and is extremely accommodating. He wasn't planning on using Webassign but some students wanted it so he gave them a choice to do some questions on Webassign and handwrite some, or handwrite all. (His class does not have Webassign compulsory, which is great!) You need to study about 8 hours for the midterms if you attend the classes and do all the homework. He always posts sample midterms that are very very similar to his midterm.

Apr 2014

I found him to be extremely helpful. He's very laid back, goes through the material very thoroughly, and isn't a dick when people ask for help. He's also pretty lenient on homework as far as offering assistance and turning the stuff in an hour after the due date (you know, the stuff that makes homework at Columbia suck so much), etc. The homework is hard and the book sucks ass at answering your questions (so take good notes!), but you get a lot of points on the homework (and we all know about Khan Academy) and the midterms are definitely easier than the homework questions. In essence, you'll learn from a younger dude who isn't stroking his ego every class (and I should know about people stroking egos considering my 8 years hating life in the USMC).

Feb 2014

Luís is a great teacher. He follows the material given in the textbook almost exactly but doesn't at all rely on it in order to lecture -- he gives his own examples and proofs, which make sense with what's in the book. He doesn't pre-suppose any knowledge on his students' part, which is especially good for a class like Calc I with a wide distribution of previous experience. He is the most patient professor I've ever had and will explain something a thousand times until the student asking a question understands. He's also incredibly kind and approachable -- he was always helpful in office hours. He's also (sometimes unintentionally) hilarious in class, so that always helps. Sometimes it seemed like he went heavy on the proofs in a manner that was impractical for most students, but he cares about explaining mathematical underpinnings and wants his students to know why things work the way they do. He's always clear about when we do and don't have to know how to prove things. He's not a punitive grader and gives a lot of partial credit for showing work on exams. Overall, a really effective teacher -- people without a lot of math background won't be lost and people with more math knowledge/curiosity will appreciate his rigorous approach.

Jan 2014

People are extremely biased on CULPA and you should not take everything these people say as granted. Altug is a great teacher and as long as you do most of the homeworks and try to understand them, as well as practice some questions from the textbook before tests you'll do great. He is very concerned about his students and his explanations are very clear. This class was great. As long as you aren't some slacker you'll think the same.

Jan 2014

Just to let you guys know these culpa reviews are very Biased and should not be the main basis which you use to select your classes. Altug is a great teacher and makes it clear that you can let him know whether to slow down or speed up his teaching. He asks questions that help to make sure you are paying attention. As long as you practice some questions and attempt the homework making sure you understand it then you will do well. He is very lenient. He even gave a makeup for the midterm for those who wanted a better grade. His pace is perfect and explanations clear.

Jan 2014

I took this class with him last Fall. I was a freshman and did not take calc in high school. This class is ridicouslously hard for somebody who has never taken calc before (there were a good amount of people in the class who had already taken calc in HS). He is not very great at explaining things in class (he's a lot better at explaining things in office hours). Every lecture would go from extremely easy examples and then all of a sudden extremely hard examples. The homework problems were significantly harder than the material that was actually covered in class. The curve was very generous but I really did not learn anything in the class. I believe he curved in my class so that the average was a C+ (55). I should have dropped it...but I stayed and ended up with a P.

Dec 2013

I hated math in high school, but calc with Paul was actually fun. You can tell Paul is passionate about math and teaching; he actually wants you to understand the material well, understand how it's applicable, and do well. He's also funny. That being said, this class was not by any means a breeze if you aren't already comfortable with calculus. Even with his Big Lebowski quotes ("You can't just do whatever you want. This isn't Nam. There are rules."), sometimes I just didn't know what was going on. Paul loves abstract math. He loves the theoretical and conceptual. I never understood these sometimes long-winded explanations, but he would always follow up with many, and different problems to showcase the concept. The WebAssign was fair - if you can do the WebAssign, you'll be fine for the exams. The written homeworks were a different story. Paul makes them up himself, and many of them are proof-based, so good luck trying to google the answer. A few of them were okay, but most of the time they were a joke. I went to the math help room a few times, and none of the students could figure out Paul's homeworks. Go to Paul's office hours for help. He will help. You will be fine. The first exam was mostly precalculus and some limits, somewhat tricky. The second exam was absurdly easy. Paul told us himself he wanted it to be as predictable as possible. The final was reasonable. Paul also gives practice exams which were extremely helpful in preparing for the exams. Paul might be too smart to teach calc I, but he's an awesome teacher nevertheless. I will definitely try to take his class if he ever teaches calc III.

Dec 2013

This course was fine, but definitely not great. Professor Siegel believes in giving very challenging homework, and very easy exams, and I'm not sure yet whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. Monday nights before the homework was due were incredibly aggravating. Office hours were held in a tiny room, so some students got a seat in the room while other students would line up outside the door as Professor Siegel essentially taught a whole class on how to solve the written homework problems. Every so often, he would rotate students out of the room who had been there for a while and take more students from the hall. A few times, my trip to office hours took over an hour despite having one tiny question about a problem. The math help room was usually extremely helpful (often more helpful than office hours), but sometimes the TAs there could not explain as well as Professor Siegel. Professor Siegel encourages students who cannot come to office hours to make meetings with him privately, and apparently he is an amazing teacher individually! Nonetheless, the exams were great. The first exam came as a surprise - I ran out of time and definitely could have studied more effectively. However, the second exam and the final were super easy (and I swear, I am not a crazy math genius - I did take part of Calc. I already in high school though, so I had already been exposed to the material before this semester).

Dec 2013

Prof. Siegel is a good professor, though if you had a decent calculus experience in high school, it really isn't necessary to attend his lectures. The class starts off in a really slow pace (almost half of the semester was spent reviewing pre-calc material) and then the actual calculus topics are rushed at the second half of the semester. Prof. Siegel really tries his best at teaching, even tries to make jokes here and there. No matter how entertaining he tries to makes the class to be, it's always going to be dry and boring. Try to sit near the front of the room so that you can actually see the example problems he is scribbling because that's what he is going to do the entire class. It's the effort that matters, right? His written homework are literally so ridiculous. About half the class goes to office hours, though every time I go, I leave almost just as confused with the HW as I was coming in (lectures don't help with the hw). The math help room is usually filled with his students trying to figure out the written hw. Sometimes you're better off just scribbling some equations and derive some equations in an attempt to receive partial credit. The online HW were much easier, though they become more difficult near the end of the course (partially because the end of the semester and the actual calculus material feel rushed). His midterms were the exact opposite of his written HW. They were easy. As I've said, if you've had a decent calculus background, you will most likely do well on his midterms. If you don't, focus your studying on the practice exams. He always posts practice exams which are very similar to the actual exam. If you can do those well, you'll do well. Because this is calc I, there really is a large range in the class: some have never taken calculus and some have a good calculus background. He tries his best to help those who are having more of a hard time (hence why we spent so much time with precalc) so he offers extra credit to students who received below a B on the midterms. He is a great professor overall, though I just hope he planned the timing of the course better so that we could have learned more calculus.

Dec 2013

If you need to take Calc, take it with McDuff. I honestly never went to lecture, but she's really great in office hours and is very good at explaining things. I'm sure lectures would have been great if I had been awake for them. : ) I instead used Khan Academy to learn the material, supplementing Khan Academy with office hours. It worked out really well for me and I did well in the class. I have to agree with the previous reviewer that her WebAssign usage is heavy, though. WebAssign is frustrating. On the bright side, McDuff is extremely understanding with extensions, so as long as you don't overdo, you can usually get a 24 hour extension on WebAssign.

Dec 2013

DO NOT TAKE HIS CLASS (especially if you haven't taken calculus before). He is a terrible lecturer and he assigns way too much work. His problem sets require you to go to office hours and explain them because they're all geometric proofs of random examples. I took calc I as a way to get an easy A since I took BC calc in high school and this class required way more effort than I wanted it to.

Dec 2013

Paul was great, but definitely we suffered because of his Calculus IV background. The lectures were coherent, but our examples were quite difficult from the get-go and thus some concepts are going to be hard to learn for you if you are not familiar with calc prior to this. The written homeworks were impossible, and resulted in 30-60 (ranging each week) of us going to his one two hour office hour session. These homeworks definitely led to a lot of academic dishonesty because they were so difficult. WebAssign was decently easy, 1st midterm ridiculously hard, 2nd one average. Yet to take the final, but hopefully fair. TAs are VERY generous on homework. I just don't think Paul has realized how hard he makes the material in his class sometimes, especially when none of us have seen calc before. I feel like I haven't learned as much calc as I'd like.

Nov 2013

He's a nice guy, and means well, but is not a particularly good math teacher. He teaches out of the textbook and does not clarify questions particularly well, as he will simply restate the definition or do more practice problems. That being said, my class was also incredibly shy and wouldn't ask questions, so though he didn't explain questions well, many people simply didn't ask questions and blamed him for not initially explaining topics well. Anyhow, he's a nice guy and if you take your time on the web assign and take practice midterms, an A is not that hard to get.

Oct 2013

I don't know where to start... And neither does he. He goes through material like the morbidly obese goes through slices of cake (read: fast), and if you don't understand something and ask him to explain, he gives you this look like he's so surprised that you don't get it and then basically repeats what he said before verbatim. I'm generally good at picking up mathematical concepts, but his class made me feel like I was a sloth trudging through quicksand. So, I did what any person does if he/she pathetically doesn't understand the schoolwork -- I got a tutor, who graduated from Columbia with a major in physics (read: math-heavy major). My tutor? My homework made him frustrated too. MY MATH HOMEWORK FOR THIS CLASS CONFUSED A PHYSICS MAJOR WHO HAS WRITTEN MULTIPLE BOOKS ON STUDYING/ACING MATH AND SCIENCE. I couldn't find any reviews for Altug on this site when I signed up for this class, and I wish I had, so let me do all you prospective Calc I students a favor: DO NOT TAKE CALCULUS WITH ALTUG.

Jul 2013

He is a wonderful professor who can explain the fundamental and gives good examples to understand the concept. His exam is a bit tricky but manageable if you fully understand the basic concept and attend every course. If you work hard enough, you will get a chance to have A+ from his course. He always gives very good review showing which questions will appear in the exam and there is no "math olympic" style questions. He sometimes makes jokes (Not very funny though).

Jun 2013

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS WITH CHAREST. Yes, as other reviewers stated, Francois seems like he's passionate about math, but perhaps his actual mathematical ability is lost in translation. He made very simple concepts seem extremely confusing, so you can imagine the frustration once the concepts began to increase in difficulty. Yea, he's a nice guy. But that can only go so far. Even in office hours he made concepts seem difficult. The midterm and final were NOTHING like the practice problems we did and when I went to ask questions about the midterm, he flipped through the exam and simply I said I need to review concepts.... gee... thanks. Save yourself the time and effort and FIND A DIFFERENT PROFESSOR.

Jun 2013

This professor is nice but his class sucked! The webassign was manageable because of the "practice another version" and the "Watch it" and "master it" videos, but the exams were hard. If you want a good grade, don't take his class. He puts a lot of trigonometric problems in his exams even though the homework only focuses on MOSTLY algebra type problems, therefore no matter how much one studies, one is still unprepared for the exams. I took hours to complete the written homework - it was crazy! To add to the frustration, when the exam comes around the homework does not help!! Take his class with caution!

May 2013

I would highly recommend taking this class over the other Calc I courses. He doesn't have web assignments and his test questions are apparently alot easier than other teachers' exams. He believes "why give you a curve ball when we are just talking about the fundamentals?" He does expect you to know everything up to calculus (trig identities, etc) He is also always available to help you, just give him an email before and he will try to work around your schedule.

May 2013

Professor Charest is clearly passionate about math, but has left our class struggling to figure out the material all semester. While homework problems and weekly WebAssign sets are easy and tangentially related to the material covered in class, the two midterms were on completely different material and felt like a foreign language as a student not already well versed in calculus. I felt like I struggled to sneak by in this class, even though I had no problem with the homework problems, because of the unpredictable nature of the material covered on exams. If you're looking for a professor who lays out the basics of calculus in a user-friendly way, look elsewhere.

Apr 2013

I am going to have to three way the past two reviews to say this -- marc is a nice guy - yes thats true - but when it comes to teaching he simply is not that great. i had to basically teach myself through extensive review of the text, online sources etc because he does not teach in a way that a student can establish the fundamental concepts. so at the end, my gpa was shot down, but because I resorted to other sources and made the extra effort to actually learn the subject properly, I do GET the topic. not sure if that made up for the dent in my transcript, its a sad reality- but if I were to advise anyone, i would say, take the course from someone else, regardless of whether you really want to learn or whether you are afraid of a-bombing your gpa. you can find another venue to get to know him if you really want to.

Apr 2013

He is such a sweet heart and it seems like he really cares about math. Unfortunately, he teaches you one thing in class and then gives you an exam on completely different material. Calculus 1 was more of an Applied Mathematics course than anything. The weekly WebAssign and Drop Box Homeworks had absolutely nothing to do with the exams. I totally understood the material but ended up always getting half of the problems right on the exams. Professor Charest just hasn't figured out how to teach properly yet. You should only really take this class if you're literate in calculus. If you're a newbie, you definitely need to go somewhere else.

Feb 2013

I was not looking forward to taking calculus (it was a requirement for my degree) so you can imagine my surprise when I ended up really loving the class. And I know that my fondness for the subject matter is due in large part to Prof. McDuff's class. She is a clear, concise lecturer (it was a big class but it felt more like a "classroom" than a "lecture hall") who comes to class with prepared lesson plans that move at a manageable pace. I went to her office hours regularly and found her to be very helpful (I would ask about a particular problem, and then she would take the time not only to help me answer the specific question at hand, but to make sure I understood the reasoning behind it). You can tell she really cares about her students and wants everyone to do well. You *are* expected to come into the class with some basic precalc and trig knowledge - it had been a while since my last math class, so I did have to do some prep work on my own time to make sure I was up to speed. But in general, the workload was manageable, and the test questions (two midterms and one final) came pretty much directly from the HW problems (on Webassign, which gives you a few tries to get the right answer) and from examples presented in class. Prof. McDuff also posted practice midterms and finals on Courseworks prior to the midterms for additional practice. If you have to take calculus (like me) --- take it with McDuff. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Jan 2013

Professor Zeitlin is an amazing professor. I really enjoyed his class and it seemed he was a very good professor, our average was consistently higher than the other classes. He was extremely dedicated to the course- he would come in at any time (I met with him a couple of times at 9:30 pm) and really was committed to helping students. He also became very good at teaching- at first he had a couple of issues, but it was his first year and he quickly fixed them and listened to student concerns. Our class seemed to do well and I strongly recommend him as a professor!

Dec 2012

The previous review is SPOT ON. This professor does not understand that math does not come easy for everyone and there are students in his class that simply need a class like CALCULUS I to fill a prerequisite. A class at this level should not be hard at all - yet his class seemed impossible most times. I felt like the entire semester I only worked for his class. Seriously, his homework took me ALL WEEKEND. I neglected other classes because of the workload in this class - and what did it get me? B- !! His class is seriously made for students with an advanced calculus background. BASICALLY:--- DO NOT TAKE CALCULUS WITH MASDEAU IF YOU DO NOT KNOW CALCULUS ALREADY BECAUSE HE WILL NOT TEACH YOU.

Dec 2012

Do not take this class unless you have taken BC Calculus and got an A+ or a 5 on the exam. Maybe not even then... Marc is an extremely nice guy, and he devotes a lot of time to the class, but he is a terrible teacher. He spent entire lecture hours explaining one concept, but it was extremely unclear and he taught way too fast, making it impossible to copy down notes and understand them at the same time- something that shouldn't be impossible for someone who goes to COLUMBIA especially if it is feasible in other classes. Also, he made a lot of mistakes while doing problems on the board, which is not his fault but it made it even more confusing when we had to stop and redo entire problems. I had already learned most of the material we covered in class this year, and got an A in high school calculus but Marc confused me to an extreme reteaching it and I will be lucky to end up with a B in the class- but this is only with the curve! I should actually have a 55%. Do not take this class if you can avoid it!! It's really just not worth it.

Nov 2012

I could not agree more with the review below this. Coming from High School, I had a solid B average in the class. But let me tell you something, this class has become the death of me and is making my experience here at Columbia an incredible rough one. He is by far one of the worst Calc professors there has to be. I ADVISE YOU: DO NOT TAKE MASDEU'S CLASS. If he's the only professor available, wait till next semester. You will thank me. But if you have to, be prepared for wasted nights on Homework that has no relevance to class, wasted nights stressing about if you will pass or not, and wasted nights reviewing for midterms that will ultimately be COMPLETELY different then what you studied. I am currently enrolled in this class, unfortunately, and I cant take it. He does not listen to anyone, he talks way to fast, and he assigns so much work. Dont get me wrong, he seems like a "nice" guy, but as a Calc Professor, by far the worst. Weekly Webassign and Written Homework. = 5+ hours of work. Lowest 2 scores dropped 2 Midterms= extremely difficult. The class average was a 40%. 40%!!! Yet he blames us...clearly there is something wrong with your teaching if its this low. Final=I have no idea what to expect. All in all, avoid this class like the plague. Otherwise you will seriously regret it like I am. This was supposed to be a booster, but now could do serious damage to My GPA/Transcript.

Oct 2012

Let me be honest. Marc Masdeu is hands down the most terrible Calc teacher I've ever had-- and that's saying something. I came from an incredibly challenging high school where I aced AP Calc (with what I then thought was a "terrible Calc teacher"). Since I don't want to major in anything math-related, I took Calc 1 as a grade booster. Grade BOOSTER. Jesus that was a bad idea. Masdeu somehow manages to talk the entire class period without teaching you anything at ALL. I honestly still fail to see how it's possible that he's managing to unteach me everything I thought I knew well, and then reteach it to me in a horribly confusing way that lands me in a worse position than I was when I started the class. And don't even think abou trying to just skip class and do the homework-- his homework does a really great job of "branching out" from the Calc book, which means that you're forced to teach yourself from the internet. This is not what I'm here for. He did ask us to tell him what to change about his teaching, and I wrote him a long message that he so far seems to have ignored entirely. What the other reviewers say is true, he's a nice guy, but I don't care about how nice he is-- I want someone who can teach. I know it's easy to read the reviews on culpa and think that it will be different for you, but trust me, I'm speaking for the solid percentage of the class that spends all their free time in the helproom, the solid percentage that I see with 30-40% class averages, and the solid percent who did the smart thing and dropped the class after the first midterm. All I can say is do. not. take. this. class.

Sep 2012

If you take calc I for prerequisite and you're not a math genius, McDuff is the professor to take. Don't settle for anything else!! I went to two other sessions and could not figure out what the hell the professors were talking about. The combination of their horrible accent, unbelievably fast pace and horrible examples made my head spin and my soul to die inside. Until I got into McDuff's class. Prof. McDuff is one of those rare professors at Columbia who cares about teaching students, she actually enjoys teaching and don't see students as a pain the ass on the way to do some research. if you don't understand something, you can always come to her office hours and she is incredibly nice and actually encourages you come and ask more. "it's great that you want to know and ask questions" is one of the thing she said to me. She's so nice! As weird is it might sound, I actually enjoy Calc with her. I know, it's crazy.

Jul 2012

Avoid Corrin like the plague!! In all my years as a student, from kindergarten until this very moment, I have never experienced an instructor as horrible as Corrin Clarkson. Her lectures were, at best, confusing and, at worst, a complete waste of time. She moved so quickly during her lectures that she left no time for anyone to digest what she was saying and when she was asked questions about what she was doing, she would become condescending and wouldn't even answer the question. I would prepare for class by reading the chapters and would feel somewhat confident in my knowledge of the material only to walk out of class feeling completely confused. She is such a HORRIBLE instructor that I had to pay for a tutor to make sure I understood the material because her lectures were useless. Her homework assignments were complicated, bordering on the obscene. Twice per week, she would assign 15 to 20 core problems and additional 3 challenge problems, in both cases picking some of the most difficult questions from each section. She expected a minimum of 12 hours per assignment for the core problems, but it would take an average of 20 hours in total. The messed up part is that she only graded a random selection of 10 of the problems and 1 of the challenge problems. What's even worse than that is that she had homework due on both the day of the midterm and the final and the material on the homework was covered in the exam. She had scheduled the mid-term for a Thursday and most of us in the class asked to see if she could schedule it for the Monday so we could do the homework and have time to study and she refused. She didn't want to reschedule it because her mom was coming in to town and because the curve would even it out. REALLY?!?! I thought the point of school was to learn. I guess not in Corrin's class. Two specific incidents sealed Corrin as the worst instructor ever: 1. She, out of whatever small amount of kindness exists in her heart, assigned the homework, due Monday, and the final homework, due on Thursday (the day of the final) the weekend before the final so that we could complete it and have time to study. She hadn't lectured on the material. I was able to complete both assignments over the weekend. I walked in to class, confident that I knew the material. I walked out of class feeling like I got hit by a confusion truck. I realized that she made no sense and that she has no idea how to teach. 2. She gave us practice exams for the final (which were not good indicators of the final). We asked her if she could solve one of the problems on the board, as the answer wasn't given in the solutions. She tired but she couldn't solve it after trying to work through it for about 10 minutes. How is it that someone who teaches calculus can't solve a problem from one of her own practice tests? Bottom line: Corrin is neither a fair grader nor a good teacher and has no redeeming qualities as an instructor. She really should not be teaching.

Jun 2012

I'm not sure how to describe Sachin other than saying he was an okay teacher. But, considering almost every other Calc teacher there is, that might not be half that bad. First of all, the first day of class was full with more than 100 students. The last day of class only had 17, of 51 that hadn't dropped out. Throughout most of the semester, only about a third of the class ever bothered to show up. The general consensus was that he was a bit confusing, and I myself often left the class not sure of what was going on. Many thought the lectures weren't even necessary because ***he posts all of his notes online***. However, I've heard horror stories of other people's Calc teachers, and on second thought, Sachin is actually quite a decent professor. He held office hours constantly, and was quite available outside of class. He could have been better on this front and regarding e-mails, but all-in-all he made the effort to explain further if necessary. He was a really nice guy and, though a bit awkward, approachable and willing to help. He somehow managed to learn the names of most of the students (even those who didn't go to class often), which I think demonstrates his effort and is always a nice touch. Sachin was encouraging after the first midterm (when more than half the class dropped out) and promised our grades would not be affected as much if we did better in the second midterm. He made sure that we knew the material (though most were too scared to confess we actually didn't), and he ***spoke English relatively well*** (other than a weird way of pronouncing "h", he was fairly understandable, though I'd recommend sitting close up front... he tends to speak a bit low). Most importantly, he was VERY FLEXIBLE in his grading. He made clear from the start that the median grade would be curved up to a B+ at the end of the class. Moreover, at the end of each test, he'd always add anywhere from 5 to 10 *extra* points, apparently in a merciful act of boosting our grades (I had originally gotten a 60% on the first midterm, but he added about an extra two points to each exercise, so I got a 70%). Indeed, the median and average grades were always in the high 50's to mid-60's, but you could tell he was lenient enough to boost our grades in the end. After the second midterm, he gave an optional, BONUS quiz (that could therefore only *improve* our grade). Not sure how that would work out given the curve (median grade in the class gets a B+), but nevertheless it was nice and proved he cared about our grades. He graded everything *very* quickly (final was corrected in a day, the midterms in about a week each), and was very responsible with our homeworks. The homeworks, though, were REALLY long and annoying and stressful. Many times the homeworks had exercises that were nearly impossible to solve/ not discussed at all; I would be lying if I said I didn't rely HEAVILY on Cramster and Woolfram Alpha to get good grades in them (he grades each, dropping the lowest grade out of 11 homeworks). Most of the times they involved reaching/demonstrating some formula using calculus (eg. proving the formula giving the volume of a cone using integrals and a bunch of variables, etc.). In the end, I'm not sure I can recommend any one way to study for the class. I mostly just dedicated two entire nights to doing the weekly homeworks, and then looking over all my notes, homeworks, the book, the study guide and previous tests to study. In the end, you're mostly just stuck with relying on the curve to get a good grade. A's and B's are definitely possible without the curve, but I wouldn't stress out too much after each test, the median is always in the 50's and 60's. Surprisingly, there weren't any mega-geniuses around to ruin the curve or anything. So, to sum up, Sachin is not a stellar teacher, but he gets the job done and makes Calculus I (which is usually not the most exciting topic, especially for math teachers used to more complicated things) as bearable as possible. He's not the best teacher around, but he's certainly not the worst, and I can say with fair certainty that you don't need to run away from his class at all. Given all the other teachers in the Math Department, I'd say he's a pretty good, safe choice.

Jan 2012

Professor Masdeu is incredibly nice and helpful. I thought he did a good job of explaining the concepts and emphasizing the accessibility of his office hours. He did have little patience for people who were just scraping by, or taking the class because it was a prerequisite, and didn't care about really understanding the material. Masdeu expected some measure of interest and commitment to the material, but was then an excellent professor. As someone who took Calculus only to fulfill the econ prerequisite, I still thought Masdeu did a great job helping those people who asked for it!

Jan 2012

I had Prof. Vela-Vick for Calc 1. I took Calc 1 in high school, and expected this class to be a nice review over what I had learned before (READ: easy A). Vela-Vick seemed to almost over-simplify terms and concepts, but after getting used to his teaching style - he labels everything that he deems important as "definition" or "theorum" or "tip" and occasionally even states "this is very, very important". He is not very approachable in office hours (semi-standoffish), but is overall a friendly person. Sit in the front of the class - he can be pretty soft-spoken at times. Vela-Vick gives practice exams before the test (posts about a week before the exam), and then posts the answers (with work!) about 2-4 days before the exam itself. The practice exams were very indicative of the actual tests, with maybe one or two problems thrown in from WebAssign or the homework. I found the midterms to be very fair, and are extremely do-able with some studying beforehand.

Jan 2012

Professor Snyder is an amazing person; he is extremely nice, especially during office hours, and really does try to help you once he knows who you are. This class is a breeze for anyone with previous experience with calculus, and the tests were pretty straight forward. Honestly, no one should really complain about this class because he is VERY FAIR with grading and tests. I mean, come on, he drops the two lowest homeworks (one on webassign and one that is written) and pretty much e-mails everyone in the class the basic outline of the midterms and the final AND during lecture he actually gives hints as to what he will put on the test. His lectures I didn't find them the most useful BUT they definitely weren't boring only because he stops often and makes little jokes to liven the class. The curves aren't too great, but it all depends on the class. The class average was generally high, which is why there wasn't a high curve. I came out of that class with an A and I had calculus AB two years ago, so I found him to be generally good. I would 100% recommend him for calculus. OH and possibly one of the greatest things is that he is one of the very few calc teachers at Columbia that doesnt have an accent, so even if you disagree with this entire review of him, you can't really complain about his accent.

Jan 2012

I’ve been told to take Culpa with a grain of salt. After a semester of Calculus I with Wei Ho I understand why. Wei Ho is not a good teacher. This might come as a surprise, after reading the other ridiculously good reviews she has. Actually, it led me and some of my classmates to believe that these reviews were not written by other students… There are many things to consider before taking a class but for the sake of this review I’ll consider only the most obvious two: The teachers’ pedagogy and your ability to get a good grade. Calculus I is not such a hard subject. Self-studying from the book (good), utilizing Khan Academy (God), and the help of friends and the math help room will put you in a perfectly fine position. Wei Ho is exceptionally smart but in the end she didn’t really contribute much to my knowledge. On the rare occasions I could’ve actually used a bit of help and went to her office hours, which she’s exceptionally stingy with, all I got was an alien look followed by her directing me to the math help room (so why do you have office hours?) Moreover, if you’re struggling with the class and go for advice the only response you should expect is just to drop the class. (I guess she'll also help you cover the fees). Now we get to the painful part; your ability to get a good grade. I’ll actually ignore the homework part, even though many people complained, because that part is up to you. If you work hard and compare with friends you'll get good grades. I’d rather concentrate on the exams. Wei Ho’s exams are extremely difficult! Yes, I know I said Calculus I is not that hard, but I did not say it was easy either. At times I felt as if Wei Ho just wants to ruin your life. Why? Well, not only are the exams are extremely hard, but Wei Ho does not provide you with any practice exams or preparation sheets. She claims “she doesn’t believe in them”, I say she’s lazy, and if I pay more than $1300 per credit I don’t really care what you believe in, I want something, anything to help me prepare for an exam. You might think that solving many exercises from the book will help you, but this is not true as Wei Ho’s questions are as far removed from the book as possible. To "help" us a bit more she held review sessions during the last class before an exam (this meant it was 10 days before the final exam), not really sufficient time to go over the material and ask important questions. Also expect an average of two minutes per question, on questions that should take 10 minutes, in the exam. She kept saying we "should not memorize but rather understand" the material; don't listen to that if you actually want to finish most of the exam in time. It’s true that all the exams are curved and easier exams would be easier for everyone but at least you’d know what to expect and where you stand. So, Wei Ho’s teaching doesn’t really matter and her exams are horrible, why would you want to take this class? You wouldn’t – stay as far away from this class as you would from fire.

Jan 2012

RUN! RUN! RUN! if you don't have a background or haven't taken AP calculus in high school DON"T waste your time with this guy! He goes over problems a few times giving lame excuses that he didn't "learned yet how to teach them".... Yes. that what he said in class. Find his own mistakes the next day and corrects them half class time... Absolute waste time.You won't learn anything in particular. Exams are fair.Grading awful.

Jan 2012

If you come into this class with prior knowledge of Calculus from Calc AB or Calc BC in high school, then the class will be fairly easy. He goes through lots of examples in class, so as long as you write them down and review them some time after class you will be fine when the exams come. The midterms and finals are not that hard because he reviews the material that he is going to put on the test in the last day of class before the day of the test. Something that I found slightly annoying on the tests were the conceptual questions. For instance, proving how (x^a)^b is equal to x^(ab). However, you can use simple logic to think these questions through. All in all, I would definitely recommend this class to anyone looking to take Calc 1.

Jan 2012

Not good. He spends all of class going over proofs and theory, and only did a few real examples all semester. Even so, you should go to class because he will tell you certain things that will be on the exams. Even if he only tells you one or two things, it is extremely helpful because midterms are 8 questions and the final has 16. I took calc in high school, so I thought I didn't need to study...then I took the first midterm and got a 50%. After that, I prepared for the other midterm and the final by reading the instructional part of each section and doing all the odd review problems for each chapter. I ended up getting a B, which was good considering he told me I would fail the class. He seems like a nice person, but is pretty stubborn about agreeing with his TA's grading. You have to buy an online program called WebAssign, I forget how much it costs but you only use it to do about ten problems per week. It's a waste of money if you ask me, but it does boost your grade because you will pretty much get 100% on every assignment. He could be worse, but he could definitely be a lot better. Written homework, 10%; webassign homework, 10%; two midterms, 20% each; one final, 40%.

Jan 2012

Professor Ho is a really good teacher; I mean really good. She's absolutely brilliant in her field and also when it comes to teaching, which I find is rare in most colleges. She explains the material fairly well and is spot-on when answering questions. I've never had a math professor who answered questions so clearly before. The only thing is that her exams lean on the creatively difficult side. The two midterms were fairly easy but don't expect anything straight forward such as: "derive this" or "integrate the following." There were problems that required a degree of comfort with the material as well as a mastery of it that was a wee bit beyond me. I definitely recommend studying like mad for the two midterms so even if you bomb the final, it's fine. Honestly, I struggled a bit throughout the class but that's just because math and I are like oil and water. I learned a bit but not as much as I thought I would and I found the tests extremely challenging though I've spoken to some people who described them as cake-walks. It depends on the student I suppose. Overall, a great professor. She teaches the material and answers questions and she's super nice to boot. I guess if her tests were easier, she'd be too perfect of a professor. ;)

Dec 2011

You're not gonna learn much here. He teaches what he likes, without much order, and makes going to class very unattractive. The tests are easy, but that makes it extremely hard to get a good grade in the class. Every point you get wrong severely limits your chances of doing well in the class in terms of a letter grade. Homeworks were easy. However, interestingly enough, even after comparing my answers to the textbook solutions, I still got points off. That basically means that Stewart himself wouldn't get the homeworks right. In office hours, I found it quite difficult to get Snyder off the game he was playing on his computer in order to focus on my questions... Really, there's not much more to say about this guy.

Dec 2011

No complaints about Wei Ho. She is a very intelligent Professor who is skilled at effectively teaching the material of the class. Her classes are very straightforward. She first highlights the new concepts, defines the necessary terms, and then goes through several examples. Pay attention to the more difficult problems because these are the ones that are highlighted on the midterms. The homework is very manageable, but some of the problems can be especially tricky, so I would recommend first trying to complete all the problems yourself, and then going over the problems with a friend or group of friends. The midterms tend to vary. In my experience, the first midterm was very challenging; the class average was around an uncurved 50%. The second midterm was much easier, with the average somewhere around an uncurved 75%, but this was followed by a final that was close to impossible. You will definitely succeed in Wei Ho's class is you are able to fully understand the concepts behind the problems and not just a list of steps to help you solve them. One anecdote about Wei Ho is that, occasionally, she will go over a problem that requires a third of the class time, and all of the chalk boards at her disposal. After ultimately coming to an answer, she will nonchalantly conclude that "This is really just some basic algebra and a little manipulation...you all should be able to do this."

Dec 2011

I really looooved this class! I admit, I have taken a calculus class before, but even to those who are new to the topic, Penev does a great job at explaining the material. I think she is a graduate student and has an accent, but it's not very heavy. I was still able to understand her. Also, she assigns light problem sets that shouldn't take more than an hour to complete. Most of these sets are like 5 to 6 questions long. Her exams are also fair. She does not give out complicated questions, and sometimes throws in an extra credit question. I've talked to friends with other calculus 1 teachers and seen their exams, they all seem much harder. Also, the main reason why I picked this class was because it's very small compared to all the other calculus classes. Most of the other lectures/professors have classes with about 60-120 students, but Penev's class is only 30 students! She does have a low voice so you might have a hard time hearing her, but you can move up if you want. Also, the small class environment allows people to ask questions freely. She seems to be a little socially awkward but I find it amusing. I definitely recommend her.

Dec 2011

I absolutely hated Calc in high school, but after taking this class with Professor Ho, I began to really understand the material and to appreciate the applicability of Calc. She approaches the material in a very straight forward manner and never fusses around with any difficult information that you won't need to know. She is also very tuned in with the class, and if she senses that students are confused, she will always stop and go over a few more examples or explain how to approach a problem differently. After taking Calc I with Professor Ho, I feel more than confident that I am prepared for Calc II or Calc III. The only con is that the TAs do grade the homeworks harshly, and sometimes even incorrectly. Having said this, the TAs are extremely approachable and helpful, and if you ever think that a grade on your homework needs to be changed, they are more than willing to meet with you. Bottom line: TAKE THIS CLASS!!!! It is absolutely painless (and sometimes oddly rewarding)

Dec 2011

I had this class at 6:10 and found myself more focused on how much I wanted food than on Calculus. That said, Penev is a genius. Very, very, very quirky, but a genius. She can explain any question you have in a way you'll understand. Her midterms were also really, really easy if you knew what you were doing, and the homework is a good example of what will be on the midterm. Class is boring though, and the extra two minutes she always tacks onto the end of class are the most painful two minutes of the day. Still, good teacher. Worth taking. Don't be stupid.

Nov 2011

He is a nice guy and incredibly smart but does not realize that math does not come easily to everyone. He is always surprised when someone asks him to repeat a step or to go back and explain something. He doesn't seem to process that you may not immediately understand and will usually skip multiple steps while solving problems out on the board which makes it a lot worse. The homework often takes an unreasonable amount of time to complete, not so much because there is a lot of it but because while doing the homework you will realize that you learned nothing in class. He spends too much time trying to explain the concept and not enough on doing actual math. You'll leave the classroom with an understanding of what a derivative is but no idea how to actually calculate one. The homework problems and class examples were misleading. If you can do 70-80% of the questions in the textbook, there is no guarantee that you'll pass his tests. His tests are very much based on your ability to recognize a random substitution at a very specific time, so if you don't remember to substitute (sin x) / x for 1 at the right time, you will get the problem wrong. Do not take math with Masdeu unless you are extremely math inclined.

Nov 2011

Prof Snyder's lectures are pretty solid. He's engaging and dynamic, and clearly puts a lot of effort into the design and lecture. I understand that some students have trouble picking up his lecture style, but I really enjoyed it. He's helpful in office hours, and a friendly guy. He makes studying for his exams quite easy, by pretty clearly stating what you need to know. He was great about grading quickly, returning them fast, and providing info about how you did and how he expects you'll do in the end. I found the midterms to be totally reasonable, and people who felt like they understood it largely did well. I think Professor Snyder is a bit wasted on Calc I at Columbia. He's incredibly into mathematics as a concept, and has a deep intuitive sense. However largely the students taking Calc I don't care, or don't know enough to really get some of his references. I supplemented lectures with Khan Academy and videos from the text book's website, but I think that says more about me than Snyder.

Sep 2011

Literally the best professor in the math department. Her lectures were clear, and she would always slow down and spend as much time as needed to make sure a concept was understood. She was great at office hours and would walk me through a lot of the homework problems and guide me to the right answer. Her tests were very fairly graded, the homework was manageable. She drops the lowest homework grade which was good. I won't take another calc class unless she is the professor.

Aug 2011

Really great guy with a natural kindness to him. He is helpful in his office hours and willing to go above and beyond to help you succeed. However, I recommend not taking Calc I over a summer six week course. It is way too much material in a very short amount of time. I struggled in the course but it was in no way Luis's fault. As with all COlumbia math courses, there was a generous curve (I got a B on the midterm with a 62).

May 2011

Prof Snyder is a really nice guy and pretty funny/relatable while teaching, however he is a pretty below average teacher for calc 1. My high school teacher was a lot better at introducing the material, and because of his cloudy explanations, the class average stayed nice and low, making it a pretty easy A if you have any calc experience. The first exam was a joke, I got a 41/41 and the class average was a 31 [He really was not the best teacher for someone with no calc experience] the second exam was pretty tough, average was a 30/48 i think, above 40 was an A, and final was pretty straightforward, he told us what we needed to know the class before and then most of it was on the test. He included one tricky question about sigma notation, but if you study/do practice problems from the book enough, overall it'll be an easy class. You have to buy webassign for a weekly homework, which is really annoying and expensive for such a short homework assignment that pretty much just changes constants in the questions from the book.

May 2011

Awesome Professor. she is for the most part very clear about the subject matter. she is easy to understand and very personable. she always starts out class by asking if anyone had any problems with the homework thereby ensuring everyone understands the material before moving on to something new. she does have a tendency to assume that the class has some basic knowledge of math so every once in a while the class had to ask what a quirky symbol meant or how she got to a certain answer because she will take short cuts so don't be afraid to ask.

Feb 2011

I disagree with all the "great for non-math minds" reviews. On a personal level, Prof Stein was great. He had a great (though infrequent) sense of humor and he was very approachable. He was also fairly no-nonsense in the classroom, which I appreciate. If you understand the material, his class I'm sure is very enjoyable. That said, I thought his class was harder than it had to be. I never had a problem with math and tested into calculus 1 with a nearly perfect placement score. But I was always, always lost in his lectures. Class consisted of him flying through problems on the board. Sometimes he'd skip steps without explaining, sometimes he'd just erase portions of the work and fill in the new numbers (which sucked when you're struggling to copy the problem and don't have time to rewrite what he is doing.) He is also one of those math teachers that thinks the harder problems are the "fun ones," which was really unfortunate on tests and homeworks. Like I said, personally, I like him very much. If you're entirely confident in your calculus skills, take his class. If not, find another way. Or make a worthwhile investment in calculus for dummies. It saved my grade.

Jan 2011

He went quite quickly. Quirky and nervous on the first day, but you will hear subtle humor here and there. He is MIT and Harvard educated. Young Russian guy. Go to office hours and let him learn your name. I learned the grades on HW, midterms, and the final were all "negotiable", so fight for every point because he doesn't always agree with the way the TA's grade. Tests are much more straight forward than other classes. Overall, I'd definitely take him again. Got an A for Calc I with him.

Jan 2011

A very good teacher who is approachable, knowledgeable, and caring. I was initial scared I wouldn't be able to understand her, but she is very clear, although sometimes quiet. She explained calc 1 in a way that made me learn it far, far better than I did in high school. All in all, the class was challenging, but doable, and my favorite one of the first semester. I feel confidant moving on to calc 3 because of her class.

Jan 2011

Professor Ho is very young, but she knows her stuff, and wants you to succeed. She really wants you to understand the material conceptually, and to test your full grasp of the subject she often puts tricky true/or/false questions on the test. The homework of the course was extremely tedious and harshly graded; however, even with a low homework grade you can still manage a B or higher in the class. If you get Wei Ho then you may as well stay in the class. Not the very best math professor I have ever had (granted this was her first time teaching), but certainly nowhere near the worst, and you can survive even with no prior knowledge/understanding of calculus.

Jan 2011

I was in class for two days. That should be enough for a review on this "professor." This is what I learned: "You know when cartoons get into a washing machine and they get dizzy from the spinning, well if they got back in and spun the other way, they would not be dizzy anymore. Makes sense?" (Masdeu, 1st day of class). "God created the natural numbers 1,2,3... maybe 0" (Masdeu, 2nd day of class). This class is a joke! -'nuff said

Jan 2011

The first time I saw her, I thought ,"Gosh...just how much calculus is going to come out of that tiny flip-flop wearing thing?" Well, I'm glad to say Wei proved herself way beyond her size and rubber flip flops. She genuinely tried to make material easier to understand and was always open to helping during her office hours. At the beginning of every class, she would go over important points from the previous session so missing class wasn't too detrimental. Her curves weren't too bad either- with some effort, anything over a B+ is very possible. The only thing I wasn't too fond of was her assignments. They always had a couple of unnecessarily long and annoying problems therein. To be fair though, my distaste probably stems from the fact that I'd generally start my homework a few hours before it was due :/. The final was no piece of cake either, but judging from my grade, it must have been generously graded. Wei was not half bad! If I had to, I'd definitely take her class again!

Dec 2010

I found Woit's lectures pretty unbearable, sometimes actually a detriment to my learning. Everything mentioned in previous reviews- distracting stutter, dry approach, and chicken scratch chalkboard tactics- held true. The class material is pretty straightforward, though, so the class isn't impossible to get through- about halfway through the term I decided that the textbook was a better teacher and my grades improved accordingly. I survived, but I would recommend taking the class from a more highly reviewed professor, if possible.

Dec 2010

PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS IF YOU HAVE A BAD FOUNDATION IN CALCULUS. I took AP Calculus last year in high school thinking that this class would be easier because I had previous knowledge of the material. I had Professor Ho on T/Th in the mornings. I attended all the classes and did all the homework but this is not an easy class. Professor Ho teaches by the textbook and only by the textbook. She plans her lessons out by copying from the textbook and explaining the book to the class so attending class was not a big deal (attendance is not taken). The class consisted of about 90 - 100 students and I found it extremely difficult to learn in such an environment (lesson learned) esp. since there were some students who did not belong in the class. She'll ask the class if they understand and students will blankly stare back. She'll explain the easy problems in class and then assign the hard problems for hw, maybe because she wants to see if we really understand the topics, but how am I supposed to the hw if she explains the easy ones in class and I'm faced to the hard ones by myself?! On top of that, the TAs grade the hw's harshly as if they were a quiz - if you make a little mistake, you get points taken off. Her tests were ridiculous especially her finals which she made outrageously hard for no reason. Most of the things she teaches in class is not on the test. Honestly, I did not learn much from this class. Her office hours are on Tues. mornings from 9-11 am and she is very nice but I feel that if you want to really learn calculus, choose a diff. teacher. And yes, she speaks in a low, sweet voice so sit in the front if you choose to attend this class.

Dec 2010

The material he covered in class was not relevant to the homework, the homework and review sessions did not prepare us for the exams, and neither the exams nor the comprehensive extra credit review he assigned could have prepared us for the final. In class, it often seemed as though he utilized the least direct problem solving strategy possible, making it even more difficult to process the material he was presenting in order to gain a strong grasp of the material (that of which he did actually cover, of course). Furthermore, there were instances in which, despite having prepared his solutions, he struggled to solve the very problems that he himself had assigned. I'm not sure anything could ensure success in this course, but a masters in math might help. Or better yet, just don't do it!   

Dec 2010

He is a very nice guy but he is an awful teacher. I believe he once told me that I was not going to learn anything from him, thats what the text book is for, and he was right I learned nothing from him. The homework is not terribly difficult, once you teach yourself how to do the problems that is, and this can be very misleading when test day comes. I was able to do every problem in the text book but somehow struggled immensely with his tests. His questions do not simply ask you to know the math, but how to apply the math he "taught" you, and since I am not a math person (nor is anyone taking calc I) I had a lot of trouble. Do not take a class with him if you can avoid it, he will make your semester very unpleasant.

Dec 2010

Nice guy, competent, very quick to grade. Decent in one-on-one. Has a lisp, stutter, thick Chinese accent and quiet voice, so don't bother coming to class. Or even taking the class, come to think of it. Seriously - I could not understand a word he says. He often skips steps too and assumes we understand. Just buy the textbook and do some problems. He works very directly from the book, chapter by chapter (by Stewart). He will sometimes curve the exam and sometimes not, depending on how well people do.

Dec 2010

Professor Munteanu is a super nice man who is very nice when you approach him during office hours. His tests are straight forward and follow his practice midterms and finals pretty closely. He explains things very clearly, and he picks out the important things for his classes. He doesn't care for optimization or approximation or related rates, which makes everything easier in his class. The curve in his class is super nice. The tests aren't difficult, and it should be pretty easy to get an A. His examples in class are pretty helpful, and he picks problems directly from the practice tests, homework, and examples. There are no curveballs.

Dec 2010

Calc 1 is difficult if you've never been exposed to the theory of calculus. Professor Masdeu focuses a lot on the theorems involved, and how to use them, and not much on actual "plug and chug" mathematics. This can either be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on how you learn, because if you never understand the theory, you won't pass his exams. You also have to implicitly know how to do the basic mathematics, because it is assumed you will be able to solve the problem after he shows you how to apply the theory. He also forces you to think mathematically, not just as a problem solver. It was difficult at first to get used to the style, but after the first mid-term, you realize that you have to focus more on how to learn and apply the theorems to calculus than how to actually arrive at an answer to the question asked. Masdeu is a really nice professor, and seems to enjoy teaching, though I'm not sure if the realizes the incredible difficulty of his exams. He is very eager to give partial credit, if you look like you have a clue as to how to answer the question, in this I disagree with the previous post. Personally, I enjoyed the class, because it literally made me interested in mathematics, not as a problem solving device but as a tool to understand how the world works. Most people in his course, however, would likely disagree. The workload is rough (though I'm not sure it is any worse than any other Calc class); I spent about 6-8 hours on Saturday working on an assignment, and then would go to the Math Help-room for about 2 more hours during the week to complete it. The exams are honestly very difficult, but if you understand the theories and how to apply them, he will award partial credit. There is also a big curve, which means that you don't have to worry about your grade. If you got a 30% on the exam, that means you knew 30% of the calculus that you were supposed to have learned, not that you will fail the class. In all, the class is challenging, but it is "real math," and for that, it is interesting. Masdeu is a good professor, because he focuses on the math and theories, which is fundamental to understanding calculus. I do however, recommend the help room, and office hours; there you can learn more the steps to come to an answer for the problem, than just the theory taught in class.

Nov 2010

I had Calculus I with her and went into it a bit intimidated, especially since I don't have the strongest foundation in math. I have to say, getting into her class was especially difficult because there was a sudden fever for this professor. But, for GOOD REASON. I can confidently say she was one of the best math teachers I have had. She has no accent...which is nearly impossible to find in any university math department. She is clear, concise, teaches you exactly what will show up on your midterm and final, and gives plenty of examples of how to work out certain problems. She is so so so NICE, easy to talk to, and accessible. She returns emails promptly and if there is a grading problem, she is happy to regrade the material. The class is an easy A, but I recommend showing up to lecture. The curve is pretty generous too. Class average on the 2 midterms was each time about a 42 out of 70, and anywhere from a 50+ she makes an A. Only complaints: her TAs are merciless when grading homework. Not graded based on completion. Basically treated as a mini quiz and they dock points on any little mistake you make. Sadly, I can gaurantee it will be your homework grade that brings you down, not your test average. Then again, homework isn't worth much anyway. Also, she has a soft voice, but don't freak out, just express your inner geek and get a seat in one of the first few rows. nbd. GOOD TEACHER. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. FOR SURE THE BEST CALC I TEACHER COLUMBIA HAS TO OFFER.

Nov 2010

First, let me start off by saying he's not a bad guy which makes the entire class even worse due to its horrendous difficulty. He got his degree recently and he is incredibly smart and I think that is what is limiting him. He seems to have issues with the idea that calculus is difficult if you don't have a math degree. Almost all the work will be incredibly theoretical and so when you get to the mid term (we had two the first had 7 questions and the second 4) you will find yourself spending a significant amount of time blathering through things. The homework is incredibly difficult, just because the explanations given are quite scanty. He is more interested in theory, but a slight language barrier means that he spends 50 minutes describing something that could be done in 10 or less. This leaves little time for problems and those he does do, he doesn't clearly explain each step. As a result, you will think you get the material and then, come exam day, he will throw weird items at you in a problem to make it nigh impossible to do in the alloted time. Also, he gives nearly no partial credit unless you were practically right anyway, something that is not helpful when the theories involved means that there is a significant chance that you will have no idea how to do a problem at all. I would not recommend this class unless you are a math genius by college standards, not high school, have a significant amount of time on your hands and are willing to sacrifice your GPA

Sep 2010

I am going to be perfectly blunt. Ms. Huang is a nice lady, but an absolutly ineffective professor. First of all, she doesn't cover the homework in a meaningful way in class. That is to say, she will go over some simple examples, which she will explain in a convoluted and confusing way, then assign problem sets which far surpass, in terms of difficulty, the examples she goes over in class. She also has a nasty habbit of going over the homework after it's graded, and says things like, "oh most of the class missed these questions". But it never occurs to her that of course the class missed those questions, SHE NEVER WENT OVER IT IN CLASS! She did the same thing with her midterm exam. Instead of doing a comprehensive review before the test, she spent an entire class - after the exam was handed back - going over the questions that most of the class missed. Second, her english skills arent the best. And I feel bad saying this, but it was a bit of a problem. Especially when someone would ask a question in class and she didn't understand the question and gave an answer to something completely unrelated. Third, the TA's were worthless, and she was just as bad. At one poit I was having a problem with one of the HW questions, which wasn't covered in the text, and emailed the TA, who - not at all promptly - emailed me back and essentially told me to figure it out on my own. When I emailed Ms. Huang, she never responded and when I approached her in class she directed me to he TA and when I told her the TA's were of no help she told me to consider getting some tutoring and suggested that I wasn't studying hard enough. Most of the class quit attending the lectures as they were completely useless, and I am fairly certain that a significant percentage of the class was using a website called cramster, which is essentially a website that enables cheating. I didn't use it and felt a feeling of helplessness thoughout the semester, had I not had a good friend who knew calculus and helped me though it I probably would have failed Ms. Huangs course. I would suggest you do not take this woman's class. In my opinion she shouldn't be teaching until she A.) learns how to teach and B.) significantly improves her english.

Sep 2010

I am writing this review 2 years after having taken Calculus I with professor Munteanu. After taking 7 math courses with 6 different professors here at Columbia I have a decent ability to gauge math professors abilities. Professor Munteanu is an excellent professor; he has a very understandable accent and his lectures are clear and concise, he teaches at a reasonable pace, he blends the perfect amount of proof/theory and practicality, and he gives a very reasonable workload. Munteanu tends to go over an example of all the tricky types of problems that will show up on HWs/exams, so there are rarely any surprises. Furthermore he always gives a practice test before any exam and the real exam has practically the same layout/types of questions with different functions and numbers. My roommate was in my Calc I class and also took Linear Algebra with Munteanu last semester and said he taught it in a very similar manner to Calc I. The only con I found with him is that he is not very receptive to questions during lecture, however he is very nice and helpful if you go to his office hours. One thing to also consider if you are thinking of taking a class with Munteanu (which I suggest you do if he is teaching a course you need) is that he has been a professor here for-I believe- three years now, the majority of professors teaching intro math courses like the first few Calcs are usually fresh out of grad school and have little to no teaching experience (or reviews here on CULPA), so its a gamble when you take a course with them.

Jul 2010

Dr. Fusco knows Calc well. But that does not mean that he teaches well. Every class was straight out of the book, so if I missed a class, all I had to do was read the section. One thing that was very frustrating (as a precursor I will say I dont know if this is because he's foreign or something although that would be a lame excuse) is that he made you feel stupid for asking questions that were obvious to him but not to anyone else since mostly everyone was taking Calc for the first time. Each midterm and final were fair, but with two TAs there were grading inconsistencies which was frustrating. His office hours were 'after class' when he didnt seem to interested in trying to help you. It seemed like he was tired and wanted to go home. I asked him a question about a homework grade and he brushed me away and told me to talk to the TA. I saw someone else ask a question about a midterm grade where he did the same thing. Yeah, TAs grade the stuff, but you are the teacher; you make the grading standards. Homework was the best part since the cumulative homework score counted 20% which was as much as a midterm.

May 2010

Calc I was one of my favorite classes in that I went about once a week and still received an A. In general, Sabin is not the best lecturer. He's quite hard to hear and to understand. In class, he moves extremely slowly, making it unpleasant to attend. His examples, however, can be used as blueprints to solve almost every assigned homework question. The class was very straightforward - there was nothing on the homework or exams that was not covered in class. Sabin is also a tad bit absent-minded when it comes to rescheduling exams (I had to reschedule my exam, and he "forgot" to tell me when the makeup was AND originally told me that I was not allowed to take a makeup). Sabin is a nice guy though, and it is easy to see that he's possibly brilliant. Perhaps Calc I was simply beneath his talents? His jokes are a little dry, but he tries pretty hard. In summary: Not the most interesting class but very straightforward and fairly easy.

Apr 2010

When I chose to study calculus 1, I knew it would be like diving into icy water. What I didn't realize was that Lan's class was frozen solid; I came out of the first two weeks with a mental broken neck and an unconscionably useless understanding of limits or whatever the hell it was we were learning back then. Lan's spoken English is not perfect, which can cause some confusion when she doesn't write everything down on the board. Frankly this made easing into her class most difficult, and I found myself skipping lectures about a month in or so simply because I didn't feel I was learning anything. The first midterm was absolutely brutal; 26/50 was a B. Plus Lan spent half the term giving us double-sized problem sets; no fun. The math help room in Milbank became my weekly haunt, which will always be an option: regardless of whoever teaches your section, the TAs are really helpful and explain everything with remarkable clarity. They'll tell you the book is straightforward and you should just read that but they're lying. Strangely, about halfway through the term I came back to Lan's classes and started warming up to them. While what she teaches won't seep through in one go, the TAs will explain all that you don't understand. Plus Lan's stories about ancient Greek mathematicians and blunt addresses of Asians' propensity to allergies are amusingly cute. In the end I am a fan of Lan's, although perhaps only for her quirkiness and not for her ability to teach calculus.

Mar 2010

If you were enrolled in Professor Schertzer's Calculus I section in the fall of 2009, there are a few things you should know: Professor Schertzer resigned at the end of the semester after a relatively short run at Columbia. Schertzer created conditions that would make grading final exams easy and painless for himself, because it takes little time to grade exams which are predominantly incorrect. This saved him a lot of time in the few days he had to post grades. He also very effectively lowered student expectations so grade disputes would be minimal. He created a final exam that included material not covered in class. One optimization problem accounted for 11 out of the total 80 points on the exam. This section (4.7) was expressly omitted from the syllabus during the semester. Schertzer effectively cut final exam time to 1/2 of the allotted time by showing up 30 minutes late and cutting over an hour off the end of the exam time. This in a time universities have strictly enforced policies allowing students with learning disabilities EXTRA time to complete examinations - beyond the university-wide three-hour allotment. If you were in this section of calculus, you should know you have rights. You can dispute your grade officially by emailing the undergraduate mathematics department chair, Patrick Gallagher, at pxg@cpw.math.columbia.edu and demanding a regrade. You must do this soon because there is a statute of limitations for a grade dispute. If you get no response, talk to the Ombuds office and your advisor. The university has conducted section-wide regrades in the past. Registration for one of the many calculus sections at CU should not be the academic equivalent of playing russian roulette with your GPA. There should be some standardisation between sections. Let professor Gallagher know the math department will be held accountable for hiring unprofessional instructors and allowing them to wiggle out of fair grading and exam administration policies at the expense of student grades. Finally, many students, undergrads and post-bacs alike, have adapted to the code of silence that surrounds ivy league education. Express displeasure with your experience and your grades if you feel they've been recorded unfairly. Silently concealing your disappointment with an exam or your grade will serve noone's best interest and will only give you a greater challenge in raising your GPA later in your education. You should share this information with your colleagues. You should expect more from Columbia University.

Jan 2010

He knows what he's teaching and what to expect from students of that level. Rotated his shirts and khaki pants in three-week term. You can count, that's another fun taking a class from him. A genius, very nice and kind, open to questions. I'm majoring in math after taking the class from him. Homework: all in the big textbook. Exams: fairly easy and also difficult. Easy because questions that appear on exams are mostly from the textbook with slight changes in numbers. If you do your homework (not relying on websites and etc), you will know how to solve them. Difficult: He likes experimenting with one very tricky question which is labeled as 'extra credit' question at every exam. If you do score it, you'll get A+ (or guaranteed A). Compared to other Cal1 classes, I'd say it's medium to heavy load. But he is quite generous in terms of grading (on my transcript it says almost 50% of the class got As-including + & -). You won't have any problem taking Cal 2-3-4 if you take 1 from him. Solid foundation.

Jan 2010

I picked Peter Horn's class because Dr Horn's first language is English. But it turned out to be a great class for other reasons as well. Dr Horn's lectures are clear and organized. But that doesn't mean they're boring: he's extremely enthusiastic about the material. He came in one day and said "I was so excited to be teaching related rates that I put on a tie this morning." He was only half joking—he really likes teaching related rates! Dr Horn tells math jokes and his final exam had two extra credit questions on it. That's not something you see frequently in a college level class, and I really appreciated it. His test questions are fair. They're not easy, but they don't come out of left field either. He wants you to succeed and doesn't fill them with tricks that only mathletes will catch on to. He learns all his students names and is very receptive to questions. There were tons of students in the class who had already taken calculus. Unfortunately, I think that's quite common. But all you really need to succeed in this class is a solid understanding of logs and trig—at this level the subject matter is very straightforward.

Jan 2010

Boring lectures but come on, it's calc. Not that hard to understand him despite his accent, trouble will be not falling asleep. You don't have to go to lectures though and as long as you submit the weekly problem sets and turn up for the midterms and final you'll be fine. Rumen is actually a very nice guy and holds frequent office hours during which he gives you all the extra help you need. Go to his review classes because he covers all the topics you need to know for the upcoming midterm/final and often gives hints about what not to study.

Jan 2010

deriving so much takes little integration some such clear lectures I took a horrendous AP Calculus BC class when I was still in high school, and I was terrified that my professor at Columbia would be equally incompetent, going off only examples from the book and leaving little concepts for clarification. However, my experience with this class was very much the opposite. Professor Cautis is indeed soft-spoken, but I sat in the back of the classroom for most of the semester and was able to hear him clearly. He does only go off examples, but I found his explanations of the thought processes behind calculus before delving into those lent me a much stronger understanding of the material than I had previously been taught. Some of the examples are obviously developed to lengthen the class time, as we often would get out ten or even twenty minutes late, but this is more of a testament of Cautis's ability to get to the point of each lecture rather than ramble on. As a new professor, he obviously has flaws in being stuck in that distant didactic lecture style, but he showed an obvious passion for mathematics and often showed it through the way he talked about the concepts. Also, his style was very appropriate for calculus, though still in the rough, especially at the beginning of the semester, when his lectures seemed more muddled, but he improved over the semester. The two midterms were relatively easy. The final, however, was a bit harder, and I'm guessing it was extraordinarily curved from the difference between my semester grade and what I got on it. I went to lectures usually to listen to the first twenty or thirty minutes before they got too dry, then after that I would do something else and then pay attention again to copy down his very clear notes. It is also of note that some of his examples were also on midterms and the final.

Jan 2010

I would encourage anyone to take a Professor Horn's calculus class! He is an all around great teacher and great person. If you know the material, there is no need to go to lectures. Keeping up with homework and webwork is more than enough. If you don't know the material, it's good to go to lectures to get that extra help and ask those pesky questions. He's great about answering questions in class and during office hours. He's also great about getting to know his students. He knew most people's names and even what they were struggling with, even though there were 100 people in the class. The material is tough and the workload is tough -- but very enjoyable if you like math. For me, it required hours and hours in the math help room. That one-on-one attention with TAs is essential if there's something you're just not getting. The workload (problem sets and webwork) is heavy, but is perfect preparation for the exam. As you're doing it, you realize you're not just doing it for the grade, you're doing it to prepare for the exams. The most annoying thing is the webwork because a lot of the time its on material that has not been covered yet and its due before the material gets covered. Also, some of the problems are unreasonably hard-- even the TAs struggle with them. But you can get away with finishing them easily, by getting help from others. The exams are tough, but if you sit through them and think things over and if you've kept up with your work, you can do well. They're also very generously curved. Overall, I would suggest this class to anyone that wants or needs to take Calc I.

Dec 2009

He does his best to teach the material to the best of his ability. He has a thick accent, but he is understandable, which is more than can be said about the majority of the Math department. He responds quickly to emails, gives credit for problem sets even when they are late, and is a fair grader. He has office hours frequently, more around exam time. He curves pretty generously at the end of the semester (not for individual tests). He's not spectacular in his teaching abilities, but you have to essentially teach yourself Calculus anyway. All in all, a good guy. Plus, he gave out candy during the final.

Dec 2009

Professor Piechnik is a very good Calculus professor. She is very clear in explaining the concepts and is lively enough to keep you awake and interested. The course material covers very basic limits through the applications of integrals. Weekly homeworks from the textbook helped reinforce concepts and a few pop quizes thrown in throughout the course makes sure you know the material. There are two midterms and a final. If you keep up and understand the material, it is pretty easy to do well. The tests are not meant to trick you, but rather to make sure you know the materials. If you don't understand the material, she holds several office hours and extra help opprotunities. Overall, Piechnik a very good teacher who is organized, clear, and truly wants to see her students succeed.

Dec 2009

Great professor who speaks English fluently (at least above the usual math standard). Very funny, he clearly comes very well prepared for class and his lecture/notes show. Dr. Horn is very friendly and approachable: he learned everyone's names in a matter of 2 weeks. The man is very patient in answering questions the students have. Although that occasionally slowed the class down a bit, I'm sure some people appreciate that. About the class: not very difficult if you took calculus before. Could be quite challenging however if you hadn't. We moved through the first 6 chapters of Stewart's textbook (a speed some could consider break-neck). The principles and applications of differential and integral calculus were all covered (only minimally though, as this is calc I). Dr. Horn is all in all very understandable of students' situations. Very caring as well, as he wrote detailed comments on exam results, in addition to grading them very quickly. Great teacher and mathematician, even though this is his first year at Columbia. I recommend his class to anyone, both the beginner and the advanced (although it might be more advantageous for the former).

Nov 2009

Cautis is a very good professor, especially considering it's his first time teaching here at Columbia. He does talk low, but after the first day no one complained about not being able to hear him. He bases his lessons off of examples, and is always willing to do more if someone asks. Approachable, has a slight sense of humor, and organized in a simple way. Meaning, he collects/hands back homework in two folders: Last name A-M and O-Z. Keep in mind that you can see your grade on courseworks, but homeworks are posted on a specific website he gives you the first day. And don't leave homework in his mailbox, he doesn't like that. Overall, I would recommend him to someone taking Calc I.

Nov 2009

Terrible teacher, awkward, cloudy, just horrible teacher. Grad student. Need I say more? He doesn't use a textbook, he writes MATH PARAGRAPHS instead of in blocks, his method of teaching is extremely difficult to understand, and his grading methods are just ridiculous.

Oct 2009

Sabin Cautis is a nice, albeit slightly awkward professor. His voice is slightly low so you might wanna sit in one of the front rows so you can still understand what's going on. Even though the course was on the large side, he always took questions, although in the beginning his explanations were sometimes lacking and not as clear as they could have been. I have the definite feeling that this improved over time though.

Sep 2009

As mentioned by the other reviewers, Thibaut really is a cut above your average Columbia math instructor. I've had my fair share of graduate students and professors as I've worked my way through 6 math courses at Columbia and I'd have to say that the only instructor who came close to Thibaut was Robert Friedman. Thibaut has a rare combination of great organization/preparedness (he clearly put a lot of time into the course, even creating his own course materials), genuine mastery of the subject matter (he can explain things n different ways, if need be), the rare ability to map ideas from the head of a math practitioner to a layman (he doesn't just throw theorems and ideas at you, rather he mixes them in with the right mindset) and he just plain appears to enjoy both teaching. My experience in his course was great. If I ever had the opportunity to take another class with him I'd jump on it. I see he taught Linear Algebra at some point: I must say that as I slog through it now with an "average" Columbia math instructor, I truly wish I'd known and taken it with him.

Sep 2009

Great professor, very Woody Allen-esque, minus the constant barrage of self-deprecating wit. Stein does launch an occasional joke every couple of weeks that usually cracks the class up. He's reasonable, and approachable, and very smart. You really get the sensation you're understanding the mechanics of calculus with his strategy of highlighting theory before getting to the gross mechanistics.

Jun 2009

Professor Wang is awesome. He's a good calculus teacher, a fair grader and is available to his students for at least an hour a week where you can work out homework and class problems on the board, one on one. He's also well organized. The class had a flow to it and he was clear and concise in his teaching. Another nice aspect of the course was that it was small (only 20 or so people) so it wasy easy to ask questions and have a class discussion. He also graded exams immediately--I often found my grade posted that night. I was so scared to take this course having not taken anything math related for six years, but he made the transition easy and I have been able to use this foundation for my science courses in working derivatives and integrals. One tip--go to class often and get to know him because with such a small group of students, it's easy for him to see who's trying and who's not.

May 2009

Nam Le is funny, sensitive, and really cares about what his students are getting out of the class. He moves quickly, but he makes sure that the class always understands concepts before moving on. Open to questions, extremely available and friendly at office hours, and good at explaining concepts, he is worth choosing as a Calc. professor. Also, he starts almost every class with a math joke or funny story.

Apr 2009

Professor Le is one of the sweetest prof i know at Columbia. He really tries his hardest to make his students get everything, and in the exam he doesn't waste time and energy by making us do impossible calculations. He tests the main idea and concepts with relatively easy functions to solve. His class is funny because he tries to keep it lively by cracking jokes. Although he has a strong accent, you can understand everything easily. Plus he writes what he teaches on the board systematically so note taking gets easier. I would highly recommend him for Calc 1. He is a really nice man, and because he is so prepared for what he wants to cover in each lecture, on most days he leaves us about 5 minutes early. He gladly answers questions and doubts in class. He also gives u sample midterms to practice before the actual midterm, and his midterms are based on the samples.

Mar 2009

Phenomenal. Many of my classmates and I were surprised to learn that it was his first semester as an instructor because of the quality of his lectures. From Russia but his accent does not impede Very careful with what he chooses to say so he does not confuse Very rarely made errors GENIUS and does ridiculous calculations in his head A bit goofy The best math professor I have ever had...ever Some of the homework can be challenging but the math lab is good for that and if you can do the homework you should have no problem with the exams It was NOT open book and Homework only counted for around 20%. Some of the other sections had open book exams and homework counted for 40% in one of the sections. I had to work for this class but it was easy to do so because he was a thorough and clear instructor. I highly recommend him. Especially if you are taking the course to learn something. It is great prep for physics, advanced level math courses, etc. If you want an easy A, perhaps you should try someone else.

Feb 2009

Maksym was great. He understands the material and is able to teach you just enough that a quick review of the textbook should get you through homework without too much pain and tears. My only complaint is the webworks portion of the class which was awful but he gave a bonus at the end which helped. Take Maksym. He's the best for Calc 1.

Feb 2009

I thought he was a relatively good professor. He has an accent, but it isn't too difficult to understand what he is saying. He's usually clear about the explanations he gives in class. He is harsh about grading homeworks, but then, if you get it wrong you deserve points off and this is Columbia. The standards are higher. The only truly negative thing that I can say is that he sometimes seems short-tempered when the class isn't following him as quickly as he wants, or when the grades come back poor. And he is not always able to prove things relevant to the material--for instance, he was unable to prove a theorem about logarithms when I asked him in office hours. It wasn't essential to the class material, though.

Feb 2009

adam's calc 1 class was pretty bad. he would murmur only to the few rows of students at the front of the class and go in extremely roundabout ways of teaching, never really making anything clear. he is as helpful in office hours as he is in class, which is not very helpful. also, he absolutely did not prepare us in the right way for the midterms and the final -- although he puts up practice questions prior to the exams, the exams are always extremely brutal and of a whole different style away from the practice qs. you could argue that this is challenging, sure, but when you're smacked in the face with a first midterm with a level of difficulty he didnt prepare you for, it's a whole different story. his TAs on the other hand were extremely helpful and taught way better than him, always getting to the point and explaining the math in very clear and concise manners. bottom line: messy style of teaching, impossible exams with harsh grading, unhelpful, unengaging.

Feb 2009

Professor Le is a wonderful professor. His exams are fair and reasonable. In the first exam, I was a bit thrown off by the last two proof and abstract questions. He usually gives 5,6 questions with 2-4 sub-questions with one difficult bonus problem that counts about 20% extra. Second exam was a lot harder with with another pair of proof /applied abstract questions that were unfamiliar to us (only few students got them right). As long as you do the homework and read notes, it shouldn't be too hard to get an A even though you miss the last two hard questions. He let us bring 4pgs of notes during the test that allowed me to study the materials while I was drafting notes although I never got to use it. Exams are more straight forward and less complicated (except proofs) compared to other professors'. Professor Le is very accommodating and friendly. I highly recommend his class.

Jan 2009

G. Michael Guy is an excellent Calculus I professor. I had him on my first semester as a freshman and his class was one of the best I took that semester. He is very clever explaining things that at first seem complicated. Besides that he also had some good jokes and made the environment in the class feel very relaxed. If you actually want to learn Calculus in a classroom take him, if you prefer to learn the material on your own let someone else take your spot.

Jan 2009

Professor Munteanu, coming from Romania (I think), is very knowledgeable about Calculus. The class is not too exciting, but most of his lessons are very clear and precise. The only thing negative about him is that he doesn't encourage you to ask questions and when you do, he sometimes make you feel stupid. But still ask questions anyways -- he does the best he can with answering them.

Jan 2009

Ovidiu is an alright teacher. He moves briskly through the material but explains concepts relatively well. He does less well when answering questions during class. He would usually quickly repeat what he had just said when asked for clarification. I've heard he is much more helpful during office hours, but I never went myself. One thing I noticed is that he seems to not have a sense for the math knowledge base of an average incoming freshman, even one that has not taken calculus before. He adjusted his lecture and exams after the first midterm though, so I think he is getting the hang of things.

Dec 2008

Maksym was easy to deal with, and respectful of the students, eager to help everyone learn. I still had trouble with the class....hard homework and webworks problems...and I think he skips steps when writing problems on the board so sometimes I couldn't keep up with the lecture, but I got through with a B. I'd recommend him for Calc I and as a professor who is pleasant...and, importantly,understandable (accent not bad).

Dec 2008

Adam was a fine teacher. He explained things well in class and posted all of his lecture notes online. He (or maybe his TA's) were particular graders, so don't expect a bunch of free points for writing down a few possible functions. He was definitely difficult to get a hold of outside of his scheduled office hours (I had a conflict and despite repeated attempts to make an appointment, we never did meet). The homework he assigns is fine, but his tests can be tricky. He gives out reviews before each test, however, which pretty much cover everything that is going to appear. Do them several times each and you won't have a problem getting an A or A+ in his class. I don't know if this will be standard for all of his classes, but there was a generous curve.

Dec 2008

Probably the strangest, most awkward, and least effective professor ever. Absurd problem sets and tests created mass confusion and a significant curve that probably saved most. Mannerisms so bizarre you'll have to restrain yourself from laughing. And I forgot, he's 20 years old. Get help on the homeworks and use the extra credit to get a very high HW grade and not have to worry so much about the tests (the midterm was relatively straightforward, the final was madness). All in all- don't do it.

Dec 2008

A really nice guy. Very understanding and knows what his class needs. He is a good teacher, bit of a tough accent, and tries really hard to be funny, which is funny in itself. I enjoyed the class.

Dec 2008

Had him for Calculus 1 and couldn't stand it. People stopped coming to class and started teaching the material to themselves. I know I learned a lot more sitting with a text book in front of me for 30 mins then sitting in his class for an hr fifteen. AVOID IF YOU CAN! We had a good amount of work and the hw was graded very harshly. The only positive thing is that his study guides are pretty similar to the test, but if you don't know how to do it, then that doesnt help. I couldn't understand anything he was saying. He is definitely smart and knows his stuff, but not a great teacher.

Dec 2008

Calc 1 with Helge Pedersen is the WORST math course at Columbia. Helge is downright incomprehensible. I tried sitting through his horrible lectures, but realized that I learned more just asking my friends for help than I ever did listening to him. His basic structure for lectures is to talk the entire time (without asking for questions or even really looking at the students to make sure they are still awake) about the philosophy behind Calculus. Instead of teaching you how to do problems, he spends the entire time proving why each theorem is valid. He barely speaks English--he's Danish, I think. So very, very difficult to comprehend the words coming out of his mouth. Avoid this professor at ALL costs!

Aug 2008

He is quite dry as a teacher. He veers into tangents during his lectures quite often however all tangents are somehow related to Math or Physics or an application there of. His tests tend to be much harder than most of the homework assigned, so expect a generous curve. His personality however is very nice, approcahable, and he generally makes himself available at the students convenience. He is knowledgeable about calculus, and does make a strong attempt at teaching the foundations of calculus, however as I mentioned before, he goes on tangents while teaching, making his lectures confusing at times. However if you do the homework, and the webworks, you will pass the class. Talk to him if you aren't and he will help you through the calculus either by assigning you a tutor or helping you during his office hours.

Apr 2008

Professor De Jong is very smart, but I don't think he's a very good teacher. He basically copied the book down for us on the board each day, and did a few problems without really explaining them. His teaching was disorganized, and he was not confident in the information he presented to us (he often stepped back and asked the class if we thought his word choice was correct, for example). I felt like going to lecture was a total waste of my time because he didn't really teach anything. His extra review session for the final wasn't helpful either--he just gave us a list of topics on the test...which was the same list as was on our syllabus. The tests were graded using ridiculous standards so that a 50% was curved to an A. I had taken Calc I before so I wasn't too terribly affected by his teaching, but if you haven't taken Calc before, I would not recommend this professor ( I wouldn't recommend him anyway, but especially if you haven't taken Calc yet).

Mar 2008

If you're looking for a professor who will explain Calculus step-by-step, steer clear of this one. The previous reviews are rather nice to Prof. Mosina, but after taking Calc I with her, I don't see why. Maybe if you already took Calc in high school, then she would be an ideal professor, but if Calc is brand-new for you, Mosina is bad news. Her workload was not anything killer (just don't do it the night before), but she can't teach. She's the type of professor who talks to the board, asks people for questions and and answers them in a condescending tone. She does not answer questions she deems as too easy. Also her grading seemed a bit unfair. The problem sets were all hand-written (she does not like courseworks), and she would pick 5 of the 10-24 problems to grade. She does not curve. After the first midterm she accused one of my friends of cheating, and another of not having studied. I do not know how she came to those conclusions, but she refused to go over the problems individually with them. She rushes through the material from start to end, rarely referencing the book, so it's hard to keep up. If you have Calc experience, be my guest and take Calc I with Mosina, but if you've only had up to pre-calc, find another professor.

Feb 2008

Being honest, calculus doesn't do it for me BUT if you are going to take this class or any calculus class take it with Michael Guy. He is totally enthusiastic about it, which is funny if you are like me and just dont get how people can get excited about differentiating really long things. But he made the class funny, always had a joke. And was clearly waaaay into terrible TV (Tila Tequila included) and found some way to talk about it every class.

Feb 2008

I disagree with the previous reviewer. I think he/she does not have experience with taking math classes at Columbia, so he/she does not know the extent to what some other math instructors suck! I find Mingmin a very good instructor. He tries really hard to make things as easy and clear as possible. Unfortunately, Calculus is not an easy subject, so you really need to put a lot of effort into it (i mean if you are bad at math). Advise: go to his office hours! He has the talent of making you get it!! And best... you don't feel stupid when you ask questions. Ok! having said that, if you haven't taken Calculus, I would strongly recommend Mingmin... or else pay the prize with professors that perhaps don't have an accent, but really really suck at teaching!

Feb 2008

If you have had any calculus experience before, this class should be fairly easy for you. However, if this is your first time taking calc, look for a different professor. There is a ridiculous curve (50% or higher A, 33% or higher B)if you have never taken calc before you will easily be in the bottom 30% because all his examples come exactly from the book and he does not cover extra material/provide exceptions to rules. If you are in his class you would be better off staying in your room and reading the book yourself, that way you can make sure that everything you study is correct.

Feb 2008

In my opinion, de Jong was NOT a good professor. His notes came word for word for the textbook. His examples were the same examples in the textbook.He didn't make an effort to see whether students understood what he was teaching during lecture, but he was very nice (and helpful) during his office hours...almost the complete opposite of lecture. Exams are hard but there is a curve so your grades will most likely be fine. Written homeworks are given weekly and are fairly easy. Webworks (online homework) about once a week. All suggested problems should be done when studying for exams! It's definitely possible to get an A in the class (because of the curve), but if you really want to learn calc, i would NOT recommend him.

Jan 2008

He can't teach at all. AVOID HIM AT ALL COST! Even if you think you know Calculus, you'd still struggle through the course. The average grade of the first midterm was below 60 out of 100. You would have needed to have taken CALCULUS three times before taking this course in order to pass with a C+ or higher. And he can't pronounce half the mathematical terms. It takes you five minutes to figure out what he's saying half the time. There are two midterms and one final that is worth 40 percent.

Jan 2008

Lauda is quite adorable. He makes frequent errors with simple mathematic calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. However, a student is usually quick to correct him on this. His humor is upbeat and oftentimes geeky, which makes the class more like a highschool class in which you feel free yelling out a question without being gawked at. He has a strong understanding of the topics but the lectures flow slowly. Sometimes he will leave gaps in the material and you will need to consult either him or the book outside of class. The Webworks is always several days ahead of the lectures, so in order to complete them you will need to review the text a little bit. Students with previous Calculus experience dominate the class, and beginners tend to be much slower with comprehension.

Dec 2007

this man is wonderful, truly wonderful. he makes math bearable and he will make you a better math student. you have to hand in weekly homework assignments. they're not very difficult or intensive, and they help in that you actually have to learn the material instead of just cramming for the final. also, your midterms and final come straight from your homework assignments (literally - he lifts problems from the homework), so it's definitely worth your while to do them. make sure to attend class - the textbook is rather useless and he simplifies concepts in his teaching. all in all, i'd say lauda makes an introductory math class as bearable as possible.

Dec 2007

Mirela is a very nice lady. Sometimes this is hard to tell by just attending her class, which is why I would suggest going to her office hours. She tries really hard to explain things to you in person. Unfortunately, however, the same does not apply to her lectures. She teaches straight from the book, and doesn't explain what she teaches very well. I took calc in high school, and found her way of explaining things very confusing, especially to someone who has never taken calc before. As for her exams, they are not too difficult. Much easier than the HW. Yet, the grading of the exams is harsh. Even if you get the correct answer but forget to show one step, she'll take off 3 out of 4 points. Good Luck!

Dec 2007

Professor Guy is by far the best professor that I have ever had for a class. If you like professors that just lecture all day with their faces always towards the blackboard, then this is not the Professor for you. Professor Guy will make it a point to learn your name, what you struggle in, and how help you. He is very flexible with his office hours, and will do his best to find a time to meet and help you. If you have never taken Calculus before, or have taken it in the past and think you can learn more, then TAKE THIS CLASS. During class you can expect Professor Guy to be very humorous and always helpful. If you don’t know something, then raise your hand. The odds are strong that someone else has the same question. When he introduces a new concept, he explains it in full detail. Expect to always be taught the easiest way to think and do a problem. In order to pass the midterm(s) and the final, you need to do the homework, attend class, and pay attention. If you do all of this, you will pass this class. When it comes to test taking, the answer is never more important than how to do the problem to Professor Guy; show as much work as possible (even if it is wrong) and you will receive some credit. Professor Guy is very reasonable, and gives tons of partial credit. He is not there to make you fail; he is there to help you learn. In order to get an A, you will need to work outside of class. If you have the option to take his class then do so, because I guarantee that if you miss your chance, someone else will snatch it up. Every Calculus Professor at Columbia is well educated, and knowledgeable; however, in this writer’s opinion, Professor Guy is the best. P.S. A homework assessment is not a QUIZ, it is a Homework Assessment.

Nov 2007

Professor Guy is AMAZING. He is clear, explains things well, always willing to help, and absolutely HILARIOUS. If you want to actually learn and understand calc/if you want a good laugh, Guy is the man. Absolutely fantastic. I'd reccommend him to everyone, especially to those of you who dont love math because this guy knows what he's doing and makes compicated things easy!

Nov 2007

Michael Guy was great! He actually teaches calculus as if you have never taken it and does not make the assumption that you're coming into columbia already having done AP calc BC. This actually works out for the better for both types of students that take Calculus at columbia. For the ones that have already take Calculus before, they get to go over topics very throughly (like going back to limits, mean value theorm, etc.) and for students that it's completely new for, it works out because you will actually learn the material! He is also a very fair grader. He makes his first exam very easy, the second one is tougher. But he's very fair!!!!! Which is exceptional in a calc professor!!!

Nov 2007

Prof. De Jong's very friendly, he doesnt make you feel pressured or overwhelmed, but if you haven't taken calc before this class might prove to be difficult. Although most students in the class did abyssmally in both midterms we took he didnt create a session outside of class time when we could discuss and understand our mistakes. I've spent many hours in the calc help room, but if you're taking calc I this is probably one of your best options.

Nov 2007

He clearly is a very intelligent man, however, his heavy Chinese accent and lack of teaching skills (since he is a grad math student) make this class difficult. He doesn't explain things thoroughly enough and if you're not a math person I highly discourage taking his class. If you've taken a Calc class before and are for some reason in this class, then you probably will be fine because your already know the info. Otherwise, the class is very challenging, much as I like Mingmin as a person.

Sep 2007

WORST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, worst professor/ teacher i have ever had! yes the man is brilliant, and yes he is famous but he still doesn't know how to teach. maybe its a language barrier!!!if you want to learn don't take his class. you will pass but you wont learn anything you didn't already know or taught yourself. all he does is regurgitate the book and when asked to go further into detail or explain something ( other than word for word) he just gives a blank stare and smile. again, this is where the language problem comes in. in my opinion he's a nice but but horrible teacher and can't explain things well. unfortunately, if you aren't like most of columbia and haven't taken up to calc 3 in high school, he's not the professor for you. get used to hours upon hours at the math lab and meetings with ta. although, you will probably be happy with your grade just wait till you get to calc 2& 3. the whole point of taking calc 1 is to have a good foundation not just pass a class. thank goodness the people at the math lab.... oh and don't, if you make the first mistake, no matter how tempting take him again. when you finally do switch professors your grade book is in for it

Jun 2007

Super nice guy, ultra well informed, great one on one, not very clear in class and tends to say "and the rest is obvious..." when discussing non-obvious results.

Apr 2007

I enjoyed going to every single one of his classes this past fall. He is clear and very helpful. This is coming from someone who was never really confident with math. Now, I actually want to take more calculus! He is a very fair grader. The weekly assignments are very manageable, mainly giving odd numbered problems and interesting weekly extra credit problems. I know people who were intimidated asking him questions. You just have to get use to his sense of humor (which is what makes his class interesting). I'm just sad I can't take him for calc. II.

Feb 2007

Bellaiche is not all that bad actually. take his class if you have taken calc in highschool. it will be a breeze. his problem sets can be really difficult but they are doable. midterm and final resemble practice exams.

Feb 2007

I highly recommend you to take this guy if you have taken Calc already in highschool, and is being a lazy bum by taking it again. Although he is not a good lecturer (you tend to fall asleep in his classes), he is a very fair and lenient grader. His midterms/finals are very similar to his sample exams, so do the sample exams and you should be fine. The exams themselves are not difficult and the curve is generous. His accent isn't that bad (I mean, all the math profs are foreign anyway) and nothing beats his grading system. Final Word: take Xiaobo for calc!!

Jan 2007

If I had never taken Calc before this class, I pretty much would have failed. John is a chill, laid-back guy, but it pretty much starts and ends there. I feel like he has no interest in teaching and it shows. He mutters incomprehensible theorems to the chalkboard and goes through examples so quickly, you could hardly copy them down in time, let alone understand it and ask useful questions. He's also not too reliable about handing back homework in time for the tests or posting promised practice solutions online. He does try to be kind and makes his tests easier as the class progresses and curves a lot, but all this is a result of his poor teaching skills and inability to explain relatively simple concepts.

Jan 2007

My favorite thing about John is that at times he will stare at the board without talking for a good while as he tries to figure out a problem in his head. The first time it happened I thought he might be having an episode of some sort. I thought the tests were fairly straightforward- he also adjusted them to the level of the class after a much more difficult first exam. I might not be the best judge of their difficulty as I'd seen most of the material before, although I didn't remember it. He was extremely patient, willing to go over anything many times. And I was glad he went over proofs of the theorems and tried different tactics to get us to understand them.

Jan 2007

John is a young research mathematician who can check caller ID while summing Reimann subintervals. You’d be hard-pressed to muffle the nubile tittering which accompanies his in-class “mistakes”; but don’t be fooled by his strategic downplay--John plants those errors in his boardwork to weed out booksmarts like you and me who thought this shit would all be in the solutions manual. Test questions are downright sadistic, though he will provide ample crawl opportunities for those who care enough about the Putnam to botch the exams. Moreover, John's not a generalist, so he won't offer answers to questions you can figure on your own. But if you have inquiries that demonstrate verifiable intellectual curiosity, John will be generous with his brainpower. Office hours were busy the second half of the semester and mobbed around midterms; a few times I walked in on these hush- hush group q & a ’s, so get in on it early and start schmoozing right away if you’re inclined to the finer points of integrability.

Jan 2007

the final will screw you over.

Jan 2007

He's a very nice guy, at first it was hard to understand his accent, but it got better as the semester went on. He gives you the option to not go to class, says it is your choice. Fair grading, fair homework assignments. If you don't go to class and read the book you should be fine, but I still found it more helpful to get the notes from class just because it helped me learn the material on the spot rather than have to learn it on my own. I really enjoyed having him as my professor and would definitely take another one of his courses.

Jan 2007

Probably the best calculus professor there is. Genuinely interesting teaching. Offers bonus questions and points on homework and exams, which is a big help - though these questions are usually hella hard.

Dec 2006

The way she teaches the class is rather nice. She will teach you a method or a theorem let's say, and then she will give sample questions using those rules. However, at first, you may find her to be a bit overwhelming. It feels like the pace she works at is tremendously fast, but once you become used to it, it's really not bad. Her class is certainly not impossible and though it may not be easy compared to some of the other classes, it is fine, reasonable, and capable. Her grading is extremely fair and she gives extra-credit which is a great chance to make up on anything you would like to. But remember, no calculators in this class no matter what. Lastly, if there is something you do not understand in class, make sure you look it up in the textbook and you should be perfectly ok. It is a fair class.

Dec 2006

You can definitely tell that John is a new teacher. He talks to the board, small handwriting (which did slightly improve over the semester) He has the enthusiasm of a young teacher and he's extremely nice to stare at for an hour and a half! The lectures started off easy to comprehend but as the semester went on his examples were way to complicated and sometimes a bit too difficult to figure out in class. Sometimes his explanations were unclear so reading the book before lecture is a must! John is easy to talk to and always available to help you outside of class. If you put time into this class you can do well but expect to fail the midterms. He puts a really nice curve on them instead.

Dec 2006

This class is like a roller coaster ride. The lectures jump around a lot, and the problem sets aren't too difficult. Be prepared for a few short, but very involved problems. And while the homeworks aren't too bad, out of nowhere come the tests, which are ridiculously hard. DO THE PRACTICE TESTS!!! They are basically alternate versions of what you will face in the midterms/final. Joel is a nice guy, but his accent is a bit dificult to understand, and his lectures are pretty boring.

Dec 2006

I probably would have had a hard time with this class if I had not had at least some background in calculus, but overall I thought John was good at answering questions and explaining concepts. He was also very approachable and happy to answer even dumb questions. There was some unnecessary time spent on theorems which only caused confusion, but they were not required knowledge for the exams. The exams were generally not too difficult, most of the content was expected and there generally werenÂ’t trick questions. Homework was easy and mostly odd problems, so we could verify our answers.

Dec 2006

John adjusted his lessons to best accomodate the varied skill levels of the students, although this took a couple classes for him to do comfortably. He should concentrate on finding different ways/examples to demonstrate the same concept- as to address all learning styles. That said he was really laid back, humorous, and always available- if you had a problem he could usually explain it well enough one on one. Homework was extremely useful and a great way to balance out your grade. Test problems were harder than anything else you would do in class or on the homework...but they were curved, obviously.

Dec 2006

Prof Mosina is absolutely wonderful! I hate calc, and I feel like she made it as painless as it could possibly be. For the mathematically challenged like me, she goes a little quick and you often grasp concepts only after the lesson is over, but better late than never. She is an extremely fair grader and the work load is relatively light. Two midterms, a final, and maybe 6 or 7 written assignments which you have ample time to do. I strongly suggest you do all the recommended hw problems because she'll give you extra credit if you hand them in at the end of the semester and its good practice for the exams.

Nov 2006

John is a graduate student, and you can definitely tell because he has trouble teaching and explaining major concepts. However, he does an excellent job at proving theorems and acts like they are the most important thing in the world, but they never show up on exams. Also, he uses the most confusing example to illustrate really simply points, and this throws off most students. The weekly homework assignments are not bad, just time consuming. However, they do not really relate to exam questions. He thinks it is amusing when the majority of the class fails an exam, but he does put a nice curve on them. If you've taken any calculus course before or are strong in algebra, you'll do fine. Otherwise, you'll definitely struggle and he is not too good at your answering questions despite his availability.

Nov 2006

Mirela is great- I recommended her to all my friends. If you are interested in higher mathematics or challenging yourself, this may not be the class for you, but if you want to do well congratulations because you just hit the jackpot! Her accent is cute, she does not move too fast, and she genuinely wants to help. Her tests are straitforward ( a little underchallenging actually) and she assigns a normal load of homework. This class will not stress you out and will not take an obscene amount of time. All in all a pleasant experience.

Nov 2006

You can totally tell the guy went to MIT-- he teaches on a level that is entirely too confusing for most people to understand. He makes very little progress with the material, and unless you've actually taken Calculus I before (in high school, for example), you are pretty much out of luck. He's relatively accessible, but it doesn't matter as his quizzes and midterms are IMPOSSIBLE. They are designed for you to just fail miserably-- at least, if they aren't, then the design is quite poor. Avoid.

Nov 2006

An excellent teacher. Clear and helpful, runs things at a brisk pace that keeps you awake. Takes questions but does not dumb down the conversation. He is engaging and he makes class interesting. A gem. Grades composite homework result as slightly more valuable than a midterm, so if you will work regularly and keep pace this works to your advantage. Office hours are busy and you need to step up to get your questions addressed.

Aug 2006

Stein is one of the best calc teachers you will get at Columbia. He is very down to earth and can explain difficult concepts to non-math people very well. He is a lawyer by profession. You will certainly come out of the class understanding the concepts. He's also very reasonable. One more thing that differentiates him from the other teachers is he speaks english! clearly! well! Don't downplay that - my friends have horror stories.

Jun 2006

Run away from this course. His accent is not understandable, he lapses into French, and speaks to the blackboard. His problem sets and exams are exceedingly difficult, even though there is a good curve. Even though he is a nice man, this does not make up for an overall painful experience.

May 2006

I thought Professor Ross was a good teacher. Mainly, though, I recall teaching myself the material - I barely went over his notes and mostly looked in the book for examples on how to do problems as well as to practice. Class consists of Ross writing notes on the board, occassionally interacting with the students. You will definately spend a lot of time in the math help room, along with the rest of the class, especially right before Webworks problem sets are due. Overall, he's a fine Professor and I recommend taking Calc. I with him.

May 2006

The worst teacher I have ever had. Ex. Irina puts a problem on the board, then starts talking about another topic. Classmate: "Um, Irina, could you explain how we do this problem, I do not quite understand it." Irina: "It's implicit," she replies in her almost unintelligible english. Listen, I never, ever complain about teachers, but I am warning you, stay away from this one! We went from a class that had almost reached the max, to a class of 4, and that is if they all showed up. Coincidentally, the Calc 1 class after ours had slowly over time exceeded capacity, I wonder why? Run away from her! She does not want to be teaching this class, and it's obvious, she never showed up to class on time, even on the day of our final. A GS student was fuming that he had spent $4,000 on a class that wasn't necessary to ever show up to, save for midterm and final. I hope what I have said is good enough to deter you, if not, you deserve her!

May 2006

This class was rather challenging, given the amount of material to be covered in the short amount of time alloted. Also, I'm not that good with math, but I still struggled with this class, even though I had already taken Calculus in high school. Miahai was a good instructor, and he knew the material well, but he basically just lectured to the class, barely taking time to help those who did not understand the material. Also, with his thick accent, it was sometimes hard to understand what he was getting at or saying, and the language barrier was also a problem in his understanding of the student's questions. Obviously, I would recommend taking calculus, but if you aren't that good in math and need more attention from the professor, you might want to look for a different instructor.

May 2006

Nels is a very good teacher. He's good at explaining difficult concepts, and tries multiple approaches of explaining them to students until they get it. Even in a fast-paced summer class, Nels was able to go at a even pace, and cover everything he needed to cover. His tests were long and hard (out of nowhere!) but graded extremely generously. Nels is also funny, chill, and always at the gym after class.

Apr 2006

I can't praise Zhi's teaching enough. Calculus was pretty non-intuitive to me at first. Fortunately, Zhi has an approach to explaining the intricacies, purpose and applications of the subject that brings it into perfect clarity. He is infinitely patient of questions and always extremely well-prepared. If you are a reading this review and are concerned over the issue of instructors teaching in their non-native language, let me assuage your fears (in this instance). Though Zhi's English is not word-perfect, it is excellent, and his lectures are well-delivered. Zhi was never unable to communicate a point effectively in my experience.

Mar 2006

Dr. Ciperiani is a lovely woman. Truly a lovely woman. Above all, you have the sense that she very much wants you to do well and to succeed in her course. She wants you to understand the material. She sticks to the book. I think this is nice. None of her lectures are covered as material on the exam. Pay very close attention to what it is that she says will be on the exam. Because when she says this is what will be on the exam, that is exactly it and only it that will be on the exam. The final was fiendishly difficult, unfortunately, but she rewarded us all with a very generous curve. I think it's important to go to the help-room. A lot of times, you have intricate questions about the material and this is the best way to have them thoroughly answered.

Jan 2006

Prof. Ciperiani seems like a nice woman, but this doesn't mean she's a great teacher. She teaches almost exclusively from the textbook and doesn't go into any more detail than the textbook which makes completely understanding the topics difficult sometimes. The homeworks can get lengthy and the TA graded very harshly. She's a little difficult to understand in the beginning, but that's not a problem after the first week. I was semi-familiar with calculus before I took this class, but I doubt I could have made it through the class with no prior knowledge of calculus.

Jan 2006

This class was very easy. She is not a very good teacher; however, she moves very slowly. If you have any experience with calculus, this is a good choice. Her homeworks are not so long but they are sometimes hard and the TAs grade harshly but I had a horrible homework grade and did well on the tests and got an A-. She doesn't make you do the webworks assignments. The tests are very easy. Much easier than the homeworks. On the final, she did not place anything harder than integrals. (just solving them - no volumes of shapes, etc.) As compared to other Calc I classes, there are fewer topics. She took the final straight from the midterms and the last couple homeworks. If you are not good at math or haven't taken any calculus before, she might not be good for you, as she is not very good at explaining things.

Jan 2006

I am sure Prof. Ciperiani is nice, but her motto seems to be "If you don't understand this , I cannot help you." She teaches straight from the text book, so if you get the text book, there's no need to attend every lecture and if you don't understand the book you can go and hope that one of the examples will make things clearer, though that doesn't always happen. She likes to have massive amounts of homework due the same days as midterms. I would recommend her for people who have maybe a little background in Calc (even though it's calculus I) or for people who catch on quickly or else you may fall a bit behind. Even so, there was a pretty nice curve at the end, which was a bit unexpected.

Jan 2006

As someone who despises math, I came into this class very skeptical. Professor Li's english is hard to understand but anything that is important is written on the board. She is a very understanding teacher, easily approachable and grades with a huge curve. Overall, her class was much better than I expected, and I would recommend her if the accent doesn't bother you.

Jan 2006

I believe that this past term was Professor Stein's first time teaching at Columbia. While his lectures were pretty easy to follow, his exams definitely required that students learn how to do the examples in the book. Both midterms were fair and his final was fair for the most part (just VERY long and difficult!) He encourages you to seek help from him and the Calculus help room which both added to my understanding of the material. He's a good one to take this class with so go for it and you'll do well as long as you put in the effort.

Jan 2006

Ciperiani is not a good teacher. She is absolutely incomprehensible. She assigns homework that is far more difficult than the problems she covers in class. She expects her students to inherently know concepts. The workload is rather obscene. She doesn't teach. In order to do well on the homework, visit the math help centers frequently.

Dec 2005

I really liked Xiaoqing; she was very approachable and friendly in office hours. The workload in her class is reasonable, with homeworks due on one day each week. Her midterms aren't too hard and very reasonable--you won't find random problems nor will you find problems about theorems, etc (the exception being a harder-than- expected final which had some unexpected types of problems). Webworks is optional, but very helpful in preparation for midterms. She's not a native English speaker, but I really found no problems with understanding her. If you ask her to go over something in class, she will, and she will also repeat things if you don't catch them the first time. She also grades on a nice curve. I definitely recommend her class.

Dec 2005

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS IF YOU HAVE NEVER HAD CALCULUS BEFORE. As one of the fifteen out of nearly one hundred twenty students who had never taken calculus before, this class was a nightmare. There are tons of kids who flood the class for an easy 'A' after having recieved 5's on the AP Calculus tests. Her teaching is comprised of a few extremely easy examples, and then the homework goes on to cover only the most difficult problems. Her tests are the same way. People were crying during the final. If you've already taken this math course and wish to be a curve-ruiner, by all means take this class. If you're a poor soul who took AP Statistics in high school, avoid this class like the plague.

Dec 2005

Though Sesum is a perfectly nice person, I honestly think her teaching boarders on awful. I took Calculus in high school, and so in the beginning of the class, when we were covering material I was already familiar with, things were fine. However, when it came to teaching new material, the class took a serious nose dive. Our entire class did poorly on the second midterm, but in her defense, she does curve the exam grades. She moves too quickly when she is trying to explain things, and tries to cover too much in one class period. Often the examples she did in class were so different from the homework problems that they didn't really help. If you ask her a question, she will do her best to answer it, but she doesn't generally ask for questions so you have to be really forceful about asking. Her office hours were at 7 pm which was really inconvenient for most people, and there were always a lot of people there, so someitmes it was much too difficult to get individual attention. However, if you do make an effort to go to office hours every week and get to know her, she can be very helpful. But it shouldn't require that much extra effort to get a teacher to help you. The exams were always much more difficult than any of us expected them to be, or than she led us to believe they would be. The course description says that this class is meant for people who have never taken Calc before, but if that's your situtaion, I would steer clear of this class. Even if you have taken Calc before, prepare to teach yourself whatever you don't already know or to hire a tutor, because those are the only ways to do really well in this class.

Dec 2005

The first thing you should know is that this guy speaks totally understandable English. Good times. Anyway, he's your basic solid math teacher. He clearly knows what he's talking about, and when people (like me, sadly) asked strangely worded questions he knew how to respond. He did make some basic mistakes, but people would correct him and he would keep rolling. The tests are pretty fair; nothing comes at you out of the blue. In short, I'd say you wouldn't have any regrets about this guy.

Dec 2005

I'm pretty sure this was Neel's first year teaching and it kinda showed. He made plenty of careless errors while working out problems on the blackboard, but students always corrected him. You'll have to go to the textbook after a lot of the lectures to get a better grasp on the concepts taught. The weekly problem sets are not so bad, especially with the help of the help room in milbank. there are two midterms- not too bad if you review problem sets and examples from class. hes a very nice guy, a bit odd but easy to talk to and helps you out if you have a conflict with midterms. especially if youve taken calc in high school, this should be at least an A-

Dec 2005

Professor Neel has definitely been one of the best math professors IÂ’ve had. ItÂ’s odd because there is nothing particularly GREAT about him; heÂ’s just an excellent teacher. HeÂ’s a little quirky, but it makes the lectures that much more fun. In fact, IÂ’ve like him so much that IÂ’m willing to go to his 9am (!) lecture next semester for Calculus III even though there are open spots in later lectures. So yeah, I have yet to take his final, but all of his tests and homework have been incredibly fair and I feel like IÂ’ve learned a tremendous amount in his class.

Nov 2005

Mixed review. When you first join the class, you can understand nary a word Prof Joel speaks. His accent is bordering on ridiculous and he occasionally lapses into French. He also speaks very quickly and toward the chalkboard, exacerbating the issue. After a few lectures, you realize that he is teaching straight, example for example, out of the book. Which is for the best, really. All that being said, he is a relatively lenient grader and so earnest and nice it is hard to honestly complain about him. Sure I could have just read the book and taken the test. But he ends every sentence with a "voila"

Nov 2005

Boris is great. He is a good teacher, a sweet person who is always will ing to help, answer quetions, receive criticism and take students' opinion seriously. Very flexible with due dates of homework. What Boris is teaching in class and his exams very in difficulty level, the exams are long and in about 50% taken further from the level of difficulty of the book. Beware of his exams. All and all, you will not find a more understanding and nice person as your teacher. All those who seek an easy A, dont take boris. Personaly, I truly like Boris!!!

Nov 2005

Great prof., she speaks quietly, but if you sit close enough that shouldn't be a problem. She explains things very systematically: she'll write out all of the steps and if she skips some and you don't understand she will go back and elaborate, and, like the other reviewer said, she doesn't waste your time with useless proofs. I had to take this class as a prereq for an econ course and I really hate math, but I found it quite painless

Nov 2005

Let me start by saying I hate math and have been a B/B+ Math student my entire life. Professor Neel, like most math teachers, has his own unique set of quirky mannerisms that just make you smile. Example: Neel periodically checks his watch during lecture and blows on it. Anyway, that aside, he's a very nice teacher and does his best to explain the material. He tends to adhere to the book, making relatively simple concepts complicated (since the book does a miserable job if you're just taking calc for a requirement). He also rarely checks the difficulty of the homework problems he's assigned and thus finds us whining during his office hours and flooding the calc help room. To his credit, his midterms are relatively easy and straightforward; he even gives hints on most problems. He's very approachable (although his office hours could definately be better), he provides us with practice midterms and best of all he holds out-of-class review sessions before the tests. I think there's hardly a reason to do poorly in Neel's class. If you get the material, or are atleast commited to seeing him, you should do absolutely fine, whether you're a math person or not.

Nov 2005

He speaks clearly, loudly, and is very energetic. He truly understands that not everyone attending CU is a math major or understands every aspect of calc. His lectures go by really fast becuase he uses lots of examples, he tries his best to engage everyone in his class. His office hours are very helpful. Word of caution: his first class may seem brutal BUT it's just him trying to weed out those who really want to stay in his class. It gets 100% easier/better trust me! His exams are straight forward and he doesn't try and trick you on them in any way. He makes class enjoyable.

Nov 2005

Okay, Xiaoqing Li isnt that bad of a teacher. She teaches quite well only if you have taken calculus before. If you haven't, just read through the textbook and you should be fine or go to her offcie hours. She's very willing to help. I recommend taking Calc I with her only because the Math Department is comprised with many professors that have heavy accents. Xiaoqing Li does have an accent but it's light. Also I recommend sitting in the fron to listen to her close for she does speak low at times. Other than that, she's not bad at all.

Oct 2005

I took calc AB in high school so i wasn't expecting for the class to be too challenging. and it really isn't. natasa's a nice woman, a bit robotic-sounding and she has a bit of an accent but it's definitely easy to understand her. she talks very quietly though so it's important to get a seat at the front. she goes over everything very quickly, b/c i think she knows that most of the people in class have already taken calculus. from start to finish, the class is nonstop notes, which kind of sucks. everyday i have at least 3 sheets of looseleaf used up. she does problems differently than how some people learned in highschool and writes in mathematical notations, but it's easy to pic up. And at least she doesn't load us down with proof after proof like some other teacher's do. she's actually a very nice woman, she'll say hi to you when you see her outside of class (that is, if you go). some people think missing her class isn't really a big deal, lots of people leave after handing in the homework, but a lot of the questions she gives on midterms come straight from the notes. if you're going to miss, just make sure you get the notes from someone else because in her class, it's important to take good notes and to review them. i have no problems with the class or the teacher at all. she made calculus painless. and what's best? NO PROBLEM SETS she has a website: http://www.math.columbia.edu/~natasas/calculusI.html

Sep 2005

Prof. Ross is a great teacher. He knows the material and genuinely wants you to do well. The material is hard, especially if you haven't been exposed to Calculus before and even if you have, expect to spend a LOT of time doing the homework and webworks. Some of the Webworks did bring tears to my eyes and some of the homework problems were impossible (and I have no idea why he would assign those impossible ones at the end of the sections but he does). The midterms were fairly easy, most of the problems aren't as hard as the webworks but there are always one or 2 that are a bit difficult; the important point is to not focus tooo tooo much on one type of problem and completely overlook others that you need to know. Plan to spend lots of time in the helproom (I sure did, about once a week for a couple of hours) but definitely take advantage of the first midterm since it tends to be a bit easier than the second one. Pretty decent curve, especially in Calc 2. Overrall he's a great Prof. and you just have to deal with the class. Take him, he's probably the best out there.

Apr 2005

I agree with previous reviewers. He is very nice and approachable during office hours....when he is there. However, I think that he is just so advanced in Math that he cannot explain things to non-math people. I took his class last semester thinking it would be easy because I had already taken AP Calculus AB. The material was the same (actaully even less than was covered on the AP exam). However, I simply could not do his exam questions. I understood the concepts (he even told me that) and my webworks were generally good after spending a lot of time on them, going to the Help Room, and working with friends. If you are a math person who can really understand concepts and apply them to very difficult problems on a test, take this class. If not, look somewhere else. Oh yeah. He was also gone almost the entire month before the final.

Jan 2005

I took Calc with him in Spring 04 and thought he was wonderful. He would always remind us of basic algebraic rules (even though at our level, we really should have already known them), never ever skipped steps and was always very thorough in answering questions. What makes him such a great prof is that he can put things in lay terms -- a rare talent possessed by few professors at his level. If he's teaching, take my advice and sign up for his class!

Jan 2005

This class so great for someone who has already taken some calc in high school. The prof is a little hard to understand because she speaks softly and has an accent. However the course load is wonderful. There are weekly homework assignments, and a small set of webwork questions that are not due until the last day of the semester. Additionally the prof doesn't put the hard material on the tests (no proofs/related rates/weird thereums). The curve is very nice, as long as you don't mind learning the material from the textbook. The prof is really nice and is always willing to answer questions. The only problem is that some find it difficult to communicate with her.

Jan 2005

-very sweet man, approachable. -has a lot of trouble communicating the concepts to those of us who don't speak Math on a PhD level. -a wise reviewer once said "try Barnard." i totally agree.

Jan 2005

Just gimme da lighttttt!! If you have never learned calculus before, do not take the class with him because he needs to improve the way he teaches things. Sometimes he skips important steps that some people need to see, but the class is generally easy. He is a really really easy grader and will always try to help you out if you plead with him. He's a really nice and cool guy, and he's pretty funny at times too with his subtle wit.

Jan 2005

I'm not sure that I agree with some of the other reviewers. I have never taken calculus and I took pre-calculus 4 years ago, yet I found this class to be taught well and not overly difficult to comprehend. Yes, it requires that you put in extra work on your own reading the chapters, but you can't expect to just attend class and be a calc whiz if you have no prior experience. I read the chapters, did the assigned hmwk problems and webworks, and got an A.

Jan 2005

If you are fresh out of high school, and you register for this section, I feel bad for you. Trigonometry will kill you if you don't know it, because the most advanced trig proofs are expected to be known on the tests. You will be told to look at webwork and to do sixty problems from the text before a test, which is absolutely unnecessary. Noone knows where this man gets exam questions, so I suggest finding some upperclassmen who's willing to give old ones up, so good luck. Oh yeah, this class and instructor have ruined my love for mathematics.

Jan 2005

Alex is an awesome awesome guy. Hes hysterical and keeps the class entertained. Hes extremly friendly and nice and caring and makes himself very very available for help. Hes a good teacher and is quite orgazined. The only down side is that he rushes through a lot of the material expecting us to have "mathematically inclined minds" and be able to get things right off bat. He also expected us to remember how to use trig formulas and other formulas I learned in high school three years ago. That part really sucked. The class also doesnt allow enough time for a real understanding of calc so I was often pretty confused and still dont feel like any of the material is tangible and actually matters to me. Thats just the structure of the class though. Seeking help in the math help room SUCKS. And there arent other places available to go for help (expect Alex ) so I was often really frustrated. He is really passionate about math and he is really adorable when he lights up talking about things hes working on or theories hes fascinated with. Overall a good class...I say this because Alex is a great professor with a great skill for teaching and keeping the class interested and also there is VERY generous curve so I walked away happy.

Jan 2005

He can speak english. Which is a HUGE feat for most Calc I profs. He can present the material in a very clear concise way and is willing to answer any questions in class itself. However, I took up through Calc BC and did very well in high school, I was basically taking this class to fulfill a requirement (as most are) and found it to be very difficult. The professors teach the material to students like me, who have already had 2-3 years of Calc before coming to college, and this makes students who are new to the subject -- VERY stressed out. Though I think that is a fault with the math department rather than the prof himself. If you are taking this class to fulfill math requirements, i highly suggest taking logic or stats, and stay away from the Columbia Calc profs. However, if you're an Econ/pre-med major... this class is required head ache, and Ross is probably the best you can do in the Calc prof dept.

Jan 2005

Quite possibly the worst professor I've encountered. But possibly allows for ambiguity, doesn't it? THE worst. In my opinion Professor Paul does not grasp the concept that he is here to teach, not to simply state what we may read for ourselves in the textbook. Tough for you if you need to approach him to ask a question, too, as he refuses to answer emails or make himself approachable to his students. If you find yourself in Professor Paul's class, instead of sitting there wondering if he is using some definition of the word "intuitive" that you weren't previously aware of, switch immediately to another Calc section or look foward to moving in to the Math Help Room.

Jan 2005

Dr. J is the man. In the beginning of the semester we all thought he was a little off, with the funny British accent and the need to write down 'remark' before he makes a remark. He also fumbled a bit when answering questions. But he improved a lot, he is just a new teacher. Next semester he should be rockin. his tests are reasonable and so is his grading. he can be reached easily for help, and the workload - 1 webwork and 1 homework per week, is not bad. I suggest taking this guy.

Jan 2005

Ross was an ok teacher, if you have taken Calc before, but if you are new to the subject plan on spending a great deal of time in the math help rooms. Ross goes over many examples in classes but does not adequately explain them. He is a new teacher, so his nervousness in front of the class and frequent mistakes can be overlooked-- for now, but if you are serious about Calc donÂ’t take it with him, especially if you havenÂ’t taken a calc course in the past. His midterms are too hard, and the curve did not entirely make up for it. The final was a bit fairer however.

Jan 2005

F***en sucks. He does not answer questions well, he basically talks to the board...Actually, I attended the first 3 classes and never returned to class. I had someone tell me when the tests were, I did my webwork, end of interaction. I even tried to email him a few times--never a response. But I've heard that the other Calc 1 teachers suck, soooooo...try Barnard?

Jan 2005

At face value Ross is a good teacher, but beware. He spends all of class giving examples, but they're usually not the type that will show up on the homework or the midterms. He makes a lot of errors, especially during the first half of the semester. His tests are much harder than those of the other Calculus I professors-- often requiring us to provide proofs that we hardly discussed. I strongly encourage against taking his class.

Dec 2004

Ross' lectures are easy to follow and he is readily available for extra help if you cannot make his office hours. The exams are comprehensive, including only the topics/proofs he covers in class and in the homeworks/webworks...there are no surprises.

Dec 2004

I would just like to say that I fully agree with the previous post about Alex. (I don't know anybody who wouldn't want to marry this guy.. hehe) He is literally the BEST math teacher I have ever had.. I really can't even imagine having a better teacher. Alex speaks perfect English and goes at a good pace, always making sure everybody understands before moving on to a new subject. His quizzes and tests might seem a little hard but don't worry because his curves are AMAZING. I'm no math whiz and I ended up with an A on every quiz and test because of the awesome curve. Not only is Alex a great teacher but he seriously such a nice, funny guy. He will have you laughing really hard throughout class and before you know it you will be looking forward and enjoying math!

Dec 2004

I had a very hard time with this class. I think I would have had an easier time had I taken it with another professor. The first day of class I got very confused because Professor Li's english isn't that great. After a while of being in the class, I learned to understand her, but the damage was already done. Since I had a very hard time in the beginning, it was very hard for me to catch up. Professor Li's lecturing didn't help at all. The lectures were all rushed and she writes extremely fast on the board. When she's doing an example on the board, she skips steps and assumes that all of the students know how she got from one step to the next. If somebody asks her about it, she will try to explain it, but for me the explanation was always hazy at best until one of my peers explained it to me. Professor Li wasn't all bad, though. She was approachable and if we needed extra help, she encouraged us to visit her during office hours or to at least go the the Calculus Help Room at Barnard. The midterms weren't that bad...they were short and to the point and students could get partial credit on all questions if they show how they arrive at their answers. The same goes for the final. She also grades on a HUGE curve. Be that as it may, I still say that I would have had a better time with the class if I had a different professor. I would have learned the material better, and I would have gotten a higher grade. I'm a Statistics major, and I have to pass Calculus I and II to get my degree, and I really cut it close with Calculus I. But I've learned my lesson...I'm taking Calculus II with a DIFFERENT professor.

Dec 2004

I would recommend taking this class with Ross. He is always very organized and you can tell he tries very hard with the class. I would recommend taking advantage of his office hours where he will go over a hw or webwork problem before it's due if you are having trouble and if a few people bring it up he will do it in class. Pay attention to class, hw and webworks when studying for his test. His final was extremely fair and there were no tricks. I definately feel as though I learned the material. Overall a clear straight foward class.

Dec 2004

After taking this class, not only will you want to marry this man but also you will learn a bit of calculus. From what I hear few people in the math department speak English at CU, so right off the bat you are ahead with this guy! You can understand him and more importantly he understands you. My first impression of the course was that it would be very difficult but once I got used to his testing methods Calc became resonable and fun almost. I actually enjoyed going to class, and you might even say I looked forward to it. YES! Alex has the best personality and can actually teach. He makes sure most are comfortable with the material before pushing forward and gives you plenty of opportunities to improve your grade. The curve is pretty sweet as well although I don't know what my final grade will be at this point. All i can say is take this class and you will be happy, even if don't do any work... you should just sit in and listen to him talk,,, oh love... oh joy... oh alex!

Dec 2004

Calculus is an extremely difficult subject matter to grasp and the fact that the math department at columbia is disastrous at best did not help matters much. My saving grace in Calc I was having Julius Ross as my professor. He was always willing to offer his assistance outside of the classroom. After class, he was quite patient and meticulous in explaining that peculiar point in the lecture you didn't quite understand. Regardless of when his office hours were, you could easily walk into his office and ask for him to clarify that elusive homework or webwork problem, and he would drop whatever he was doing to come to your rescue. Several times, I have been in his office on the verge of an epiphany when another professor would walk in and ask him if he was ready to head to launch, and he would politely ask for a moment, as he continued to walk me through the process. So it comes as no suprise that I told any and everybody who was preparing to embark on that tortorous journey nicknamed calculus, if you are determined to put yourself through hell, you must have an angel like Julius Ross at your side. If ever I find myself forced to endure another semester of calculus I would only do so with Ross as my Professor. I was almost tempted to take calculus again despite my hellish experience, just to have Julius Ross as my professor for another semester. Calculus was one of my least favorite courses this semester, but Julius Ross was my favorite Professor this semester and I was willing and able to wake up at 8am every morning for calculus solely because of him. He is a fantastic teacher and a spectecular human being and though he is a new professor he will be the gem of the math department, matter of fact he already is.

Nov 2004

Very clear professor. In class he stops for questions and write everything clearly on the board. His test are curved very Well. He is on top of his material. He is overall a great professor.

Nov 2004

He is a GREAT teacher. He is very approachable, he encourages participation, midterms are all covered in the homeworks (so, if you can do all of the questions on the homeworks, which are very easy, you simply get 100% from the midterms), he tries to learn the names of the students, etc. Just go ahead and take his class.

Nov 2004

Ross was a pretty chill guy. His lectures are reasonably understandable and his cool British accent always keeps things interesting.

Nov 2004

If you can get past the fact that her english isnt spoken very well, the class is okay. She is really fair when it comes to lightening the workload and the tests were not too bad. She grades a huge curve. The first few days you will definitely be confused because of the language barrier, but after a while you start to pick up on a lot of her phrases. she writes extremely quickly on the board however, and sometimes the lectures are rushed. overall though, the class is not too bad.

Nov 2004

A first year prof, you can tell immediately. Tries very hard to make basic calculus easy to understand (does a pretty good job at it, I think). Others might disagree as to his writing down every single word in english like we're in kindergarten. Sometimes that would be helpful though. I would recommend his class just because he can speak english very clearly (in britspeak!). Doesn't curve but that's because his tests are fairly doable. Very nice man if you ask him questions individually, in class he may be a little frazzled (ok, a lot frazzled). In any case Julius is pretty cool.

Sep 2004

Troels is a jovial, English-speaking, cheery man. He loves math and is very low key about his classes. If you have taken calc before and didn't do that well, this is your best option for a math at Columbia. Most teachers tend not to speak any English and assign numerous web works problem sets. Troels only gives 2-3 problems a night and if you ask him not to give you homework, he will agree; But youll want to do the homework as that is what his tests are based on. He doesnt really have a teaching plan or grading plan, so make sure he knows who you are and likes you. The tests are basically very fair, but he usually throws one problem at you that you will not be able to do. don't fear because he always says if you got 100 you shouldnt be in the class. he expects people to make mistakes, especially in calc 1. the final exam is extremely fair and basically based on the other tests and the problems he does in class (which usually come straight from the book). Final grades are largely based on the completion of all the homeworks and the final.

Aug 2004

I went to see the Professor several times, and he was always helpful. My friends from the class, all of whom like math, but none of whom are too nerdy, were all disappointed that Prof. Jacquet is not teaching Calc II this fall.

Jun 2004

Don't do it to yourself!!!! DO NOT (I repeat) DO NOT TAKE THIS COURSE w/ this professor!!! He is a horribly boring little man that does not know where he is going w/ the class or what he will teach 4 the day. I think he enters the classroom and says o'yes perhaps I will teach the easiest derivative today in class and 4 the homework and exam give a derivative that even I can not solve. The class often corrected him w/ whatever little knowledge they could. I do not recommend this professor, you have been warned! ENTER @ YOUR OWN RISK!

Jun 2004

EXCELENT! Professor Bray makes this course fun, you will enjoy every single class. He is funny and always works hard so everyone really understand the material. The exams are not too hard althoug there are always two very hard problems. I enjoyed his course and now I am totally confident to take any other more advance calculus course. If this is your first calc course don hesitate to choose this professor.

Jun 2004

Prof. Jacquet is not the teacher for you if you don't naturally understand Calc. He has very little patience for students who don't pick up on the material immediately and shows minimal desire to provide help out of class. I found it disturbing that he pretended to be pleasant in class, but in private was an entirely different, unapproachable person. As knowledgeable as he may be about calc., he lacks the qualitites necessary to be an educator.

May 2004

Breaking the pattern here, I guess: I didn't have him for ODE. Anyway, he seems a nice enough guy, if a little distant. I had no trouble at all with his accent, so I don't understand where those comments are coming from. The class itself sometimes moves very slowly, and somehow it's HARDER because there are only two chapters covered in the entire class. I could be wrong, but the impression I got was that he's a fair grader on tests and a killer on the weekly quizzes. The quizzes only count for 10% of your grade, so they're not such a big deal (and apparently very few people do well on them anyway). The tests were fair overall, and I got the grade I expected. I have heard from people in my ODE tutoring that Krichever's ODE class is hard and that he likes to focus on physics problems. Either way, his IVA class is relatively straightforward. No surprises. Class attendance drops dramatically as time goes on.

Apr 2004

A little funny to listen to, but very very very good. I have had some Calculus in high school, but this guy takes it the next level. You will learn many things from Cao's class.

Apr 2004

As a student who a) has taken Calculus before (7 years ago so you can all guess how much I remember) and b) enjoys rhetoric and "unconventional" teaching methods, I guess I can presume, based on many of the other reviews, that my assessments of Eric's class are going to be viewed as biased. So be it. I think that Eric's class is phenomenal. I have taken many math, econ, science classes before and found myself both uninterested in the material and bored with the teacher's style. Eric actually makes math interesting for me. Yes Eric does assign a lot of homework, but I've found that I'm actually learning the material better than I have in most math classes I've taken before. I'm not sure if I can attribute that to the workload or his teaching style or a combination of the two. My suggestion to anyone looking to take a class with Eric is a) be prepared for a heavy workload...it's tough but it's worth it. b) if you are looking for a teacher to sit in front of the class and recite the book to you than you should look elsewhere. c) if you have questions or problems with the material, raise your hand in class or go to office hours. In my experience he is always available to help. I've noticed that in a lot of the reviews people have complained that Eric bases the class on a select few people who have "taken Calculus before". This may happen from time to time, but, to his credit, I have very very rarely seen anyone raise their hand or ask a question in class when they have a problem. He asks the class repeatedly if they are following the material, and quite often he is just met with silence. Generally, the only people who do respond are the ones who have "taken Calculus before". I think if you are willing to ask questions when you are confused and willing to accept a less conventional teaching method than Eric SImring is the best teacher I can recommend.

Apr 2004

Prof. Jacquet is a very nice man who goes out of his way to answer questions in class. His lectures are straightforward, and always add insight not available from our textbook. He is very organized, and we are well prepared for the tests. He is very approachable after class if you have questions. His French accent is funny but does not make him impossible to understand. It looks like these other reviews were written by bitter students who did not do well in the class. You do need to do the homework, read the book and study if you want an A. But this is the Ivy League. The professor now goes to great lengths to stand away from the board after he is finished writing so that everyone can take notes.

Apr 2004

Of course the people who say "He's the man" are the ones who have taken THIS SAME CLASS BEFORE! So he screwd the rest of us and that is not fair. Eric is OK ONLY and believe me ONLY for students who have taken Calc I before, otherwise, forget it. He totally ruined my life and my GPA. HE DOESN'T TEACH!! and there's no other way around it. I totally consider the people who tell lies, (they are lying when they tell you he's great) should just keep their mouths shut. They come to class, and SHOW OFF because they're so brilliant!! NO! They took this class just last semester! and the people like me who are taking the class for the first time have to just teach ourselves or find a private tutor to TEACH us! I just feel so frustrated. I've waisted my time and money. I have never had such an awful experience in this University. New students, take my advice: stay away from this guy . And forget about asking questions about the material! That's boring for him and he just shuts you off! Ask him about painting, climbing, and any nonsense that has nothing to do with Calculus. And the hoemwork is ridiculous really. He doesn't show up for class, then he decides to do so and then he gives you TONS, tons, tons of homework and he just did not bother to teach. I regret having made the decision to stay in his class but by the time I knew how bad it was it was too late and the other sections were and are way ahead of us. Really a horrible experience and I hope the people the nest time I can choose better. This guy has made me HATE coming to class and hate the material covered. There are no words to explain the dimension of his irresponsibility and the math dept. should do something about him.Just ask the nearly 15 students who already droped the class.

Apr 2004

Eric is ridiculous, and if you have never taken calc before don't take his class. There are several students who have taken a similar course (as recently as last semester at another school) and he makes the exams for them. Class is also conducted for thier sakes because he hates to stop whatever he is doing to explain to those of us who have never taken calc before. The class is confusing, he speeds through the material and spends the class time talking about things that have nothing to do with math. To make matters worse, he rarely shows up for office hours and has missed 4 or 5 classes so far this semester. We have two weeks of class left and two chapters to cover.

Apr 2004

The class this semester consists of 3 types of students. Those that have already taken calculus, those that have not, and those married to a math major. Those that have taken calculus before or are married to a math tutor think that eric is "The Man." Those that are at the level you are suppose to be for an introductory calculus class are struggling and frustrated. 2 of the first 3 classes eric did not bother to attend which immediately put most of the class in a hole (except for those that dropped which was approximately half the class, we started at about 30 and are now at 15). Class begins at 6:10pm, eric stops talking about himself and begins instructing at 6:25pm(at the earliest). So, you pay for at least 15 minutes of every class to hear about how awesome he is. He allows one of the students to answer every question that he poses to the class, which accelerates the class to the pace of a review. The students that have already taken calculus seem to like this because it allows more time for rhetoric, instead of instruction. The department decided not to include section 2.4 "the precise definition of a limit" in the curriculum. Eric added it back in for us because he wants us "to know calculus the best!" Well, the result is that we spent two valuable weeks on this section, which is the most difficult concept in the book(that is why the other professors decided to leave it out), and adding these 2 weeks to the classes he didn't attend in the beginning of the semester and those during the semster and all his latenesses - our class is now far behind the other classes. It is now 2 weeks before finals and he has alot of material we need to cover before the final, which means we get a very unreasonable amount of time to learn alot of new material. With this rush coming, how does Eric respond? He didn't bother to show up for class this past wednesday 4/14/04. A girl showed up and said he was sick. Coincidentally, he was scheduled to leave for vacation after class that evening. During the lectures he usually goes off on tangents that have very little or nothing to do with the subject. These constant distractions increase the difficulty of absorbing the material. To compound this, our homeworks are not given back until at least 2 weeks after they are handed in(our first 3 homework assignments were given back to us during the 6th week of classes far beyond the time we were discussing the material in class). Eric gives enormous homework assignments(HUGE) to make up for his lack of effort in class. And then has the nerve to suggest that you should only be spending 4 hours a week on the homeworks. The lectures are on a section in the book, the homeworks are on 4 or 5 sections of the book. He seems to pride himself on writing illegibly and very quickly. He enjoys jumping around the class room from blackboard to blackboard twisting you around to try and follow what he is saying. No one that has not previously taken calculus will be leaving this class prepared for calculus II. Unless they are married to a math major. If I knew my semester was going to go this way I would have bought the book, taught myself and tested out of the requirement. The funny thing is, is that that is exactly what I am doing. Only difference is the $3,000 that I paid to Columbia to learn that Eric is "The Man!" Also, the reviews written previously about how great eric is were written by students that have previously taken calculus. I know them, I sit next to them in class and I have heard all their stories. Eric came into class on Monday 4/12/04 and told everyone not to read CULPA because of a bad review. So their glowing reviews about Eric are only in response to the negative review written previously. The saddest part about this whole thing is that he is lowering people's GPA's by forcing them to take so much time away from their other studies to make up for his lack of effort in class. And the only students that are going to receive an A in his class are the one's that are taking calculus for the second time(these students shouldn't even be in the class to begin with, I guess it's not their money they are spending). I have to go now because I have a lot of homework to do. Good thing I can hand it in late? I want you to realize that I have NOT written ALL of what Eric has done against us this semester. And neither have the other reviewers. I am just in shock that a university that claims to be of such a high standard as Columbia would allow an instructor to get away with this type of conduct. Eric likes to chyme in about how difficult his professors were at Berkeley. I bet they showed up for class. Possibly even taught for the full 75 minutes.

Apr 2004

I read the positive reviews about Eric and noticed that the negative reviews have been pulled. Some people thing he is great. Other people disagree. He is a nice man, but he is not a good teacher. He is irresponsible. He talk too much about himself. He wastes class time. Then he rushes through the math. He gives very hard tests and lots of homework. And he does not cover a lot of the material in class. It takes him a long time to give back corrected homework. So you can be making mistakes all along and not know it. He announced in class that someone wrote a bad review about him on CULPA. He is a nice guy but a bad teacher.

Apr 2004

Eric Simring is a great teacher. Is his class hard? You bet. It is Calculus after all and this is Columbia University. You will be expected to work, but that doesnÂ’t mean it is impossible. EricÂ’s efficacy is in being able to communicate with his students in a friendly manner while explaining difficult material. If you are looking for a light load, however, choose another teacher because he loves homework. He insists that only through practice will you be able to understand the material. And, although he is right, the homework load can be quite unbearable at times. Still he allows you to hand in the material when you are finished (as in late) and without penalty. He works hard to accommodate all his students to hand in late assignments and missing exams.

Apr 2004

Eric Simring in THE GREATEST grad-student to ever teach Mathematics at Columbia. Not only does he know his math, he can also relate it to a multitude of different subjects--including the humanities. Okay, so he sometimes makes me say "LETS DO SOME MATH ALREADY" because he tends to digress deeply into an unpredictable but very interesting abyss! But he always gets the job done. Somehow, someway, he gets the job done. Not only that, he has office hours, you can catch him at the Barnard Help Room, you can schedule to meet with him privately (believe me, he's good for it), and he offers 2,3, and even 4 outside-of-class reviews per semester. He gives out handouts, he teaches you what's behind the math instead of merely showing you how to do something without fully understanding and thus setting you up for failure, and he has totally revolutionized the way of presenting the material by focusing on proofs and concepts instead of on problems. To anyone who is studying at Columbia: whether you like math or not, whether you need to take it or not, take a class with Eric Simring! You will learn more math than you have ever learned, you will laugh all semester at his bizarre humor (he once climbed the chalked board to demonstrate his mountain climbing abilities), you will make a great friend and you will witness someone who genuinely is burned on mathematics!

Apr 2004

What can I say except HE IS THE MAN! You won't regret it. Not only do you learn the material, but you get to hear crazy stories for half the class. Even though class usually starts 15 mins. late everyday, he still gets through the material. He always tries to make himself available and makes sure everyone understands key concepts before moving on. When it comes down to it, Eric knows his Math, presents it well, and gets you interested in it. Although some will complain because they feel he spends too much time trying to imitate his advisor's accent, it is clear that he is interested in helping out students and loves to teach. You'll also get random jokes on everything from Bush to Passover (but don't worry, "it's okay cause i'm jewish"). If anything, Eric will give you a new outlook on Math and help make your day brighter with his eccentric personality.

Apr 2004

Eric is extremely arrogant, rude and very pretentious. He is very unorganized and he enjoys writing in the most illegible handwriting ever. Then if you don't understand it he says, "just bear with me here. I'm going to make this really hard and then really easy..." and then keeps going. The main problem I found with Eric was that he will take one student who seems to be getting it and measure the rest of the class according to him. Unfotunately for me and the rest of the people who were seeing the concepts for the first time, Eric glossed over us completely without a second thought. If that wasn't bad enough he also uses these random obscure notations such as C.D... but don't get him started on what they mean because he will give a ten minute explanation involving some greek fable about Echo the nymph, just to prove that he is not only a genius in math but also extremely well versed in the humanities. When he finally decides to go back to his really imcomprehensible explanation of limits, he once again basks in the jargon of "sufficiently arbitrarily close..." but never explains the concept. I worked really hard in his class and tried to meet with him during office hours but he was NEVER there. I'm usually not this unkind to anyone but honestly I still harbor a lot of anger for Eric because he ultimately really screwed me over in terms of completely my other requirements because I was so lost by the first midterm that I had to drop his class. Honestly, I know I sound bitter but I wasn't the only one who got screwed. I know at least three other students who were taking this class to fulfill econ and pre-med requirements who also ended up dropping it in order to save their GPA and their sanity. Maybe I just had a really awful experience but quite frankly, I really don't think it gets much worse than this man. Do NOT take this course.

Mar 2004

He's funny/adorable/cute. But I want to learn Calc - not buy a pet bunny. This is my first time taking calc ever anywhere, which is what the prerequisite for calc i is supposed to be. But no, he assumes we know this and that and the other, which is not the case. It's easy, but a tip for beginners: when he assigns hw from certain sections, read the whole section and do most of the problems so that you're not too lost, and make sure you have friends who understand this stuff.

Jan 2004

While at first it may seem as though Morgan is a bit boring, as the semester goes on I came to appreciate his teaching. He goes over many examples with the class and is always willing for in-class discussion and explains well questions that people have. He's approachable and friendly outside of class. The material gets progressively harder throughout the semester (on a grander scale than most classes), such that the first third may seem easy, the second moderate, and the last, pretty impossible. But the whole class works that way, so the curve is good...although the class is curved around a C

Jan 2004

I had mixed feelings about this class but overall I'd say it was a good class. Prof Cao is a very nice man, but I did not rely so much on his teachings than I did on my own high school calc experience to get me through the course. I think his style of teaching makes it very difficult for people with no background in calc, but if you try hard and get decent grades he will give you the A. If you want a guaranteed A for working hard then take his class. Just makes sure you copy every problem he goes over in class because a lot of times he asks the same questions he went over in class. Other questions will be exactly from webwork and homework. Occasionally though he will ask a question out of nowhere.

Jan 2004

Cao isn't that bad. Well, he is bad, but tolerable. He's very sweet and has a hysterical voice.... the weirdest accent I've ever heard, but give me a break, you'll understand him!! Yes, this was one of the harder sections, but if you buckle down and do the weekly assignment straight through it will take less than 3-4 hours!! This is the epitome of a course in which the curve will save your grade. Everyone failed and somehow went from a 78 average to a solid A.

Dec 2003

Gee... where do I start? Professor Qiu's lectures are horrible - he makes everything so much more complicated with his graphs and drawings and mathematical symbols, plus his English abilities are very limited. If you have a good background in Calc IA, this is the class for you. You don't really have to go to class (by the end of the term, there were only around five people left at lectures). Just do each week's homework and you'll know what he taught, show up for the midterm and final, and you'll probably get a decent grade - he's a really nice grader. He says he doesn't give curves, but he also said that with around a 75 average on the tests, you could still get an A. On the other hand, if you never took Calculus before, DO NOT take this course!

Dec 2003

ok. so everyone says he's this easy teacher who barely gives any work. and that's partly true. jorgensen has absolutely no structure to his classes, is ALWAYS painfully boring (if you go to class, remember to bring something else to work on) and never lets you know what anything is worth in the class, or what the test covers. you go into the tests blindly. however, this can be a relatively easy class if you have taken calc before, and can remember what you have learned, because you won't be learning anything new from him. he is not a fair grader. *CULPA censor* overall, if you knew calc from before, you won't have much trouble math-wise, but you will be frustrated with his unresponsive nature and the fact that he cannot teach at all.

Dec 2003

Professor Cao is a nice man. He is willing to answer questions and lets his class have a little fun every once in a while. That said, this class is not a good class. It was difficult for students with backgrounds in calc and nearly impossible for students who had never taken calc before. The biggest problem that I had with this class was the homework problems were not representative at all of the test/quiz questions. The questions that we were tested on were extrememly difficult. But he gives an enourmous curve. I wouldn't recomend the course, but if you need to, don't worry, you'll get through it.

Dec 2003

Do yourself a favor and don't take Cao's class. The way he explains material does not help you understand it at all - you're better off just reading the book. If you haven't taken calc in high school, there's no way you will understand the material. He grades on a huge curve, though.

Dec 2003

Oh dear, Professor Cao. You have the funniest voice EVER!! But you're a really nice guy. It's a tough section, he forces you to think analytically and stuff. Don't take it if you want an easy way out. But he's not terrible, and the curve will save your grade anyway, you numbskull. This class is deathly boring and the workload sucks. I just think he's a nice guy.

Dec 2003

Jeff Phan is one of the few math teachers I've ever had who actually made it worthwhile. He was the most approachable professor I've had thus far, especially in a lecture class like calculus. His goal was to make sure all of his students understood the material, not get through the necessary chapters. He was willing to work his lesson plan around our needs. There were always enough in-class examples, throroughly explained to make the homework much more doable. He was also just really funny, enjoyable, and easy to learn from. Awesome class overall! Having never taken calculus before, I thought the class would be a never-ending struggle. The material, however, was presented in an easy-to-understand fashion once you get the hang of Jeff's teaching style (which only took me two or three classes). All of the deltas, epsilons, and alphas are a bit scary in the beginning, but come together at the end of the course.

Nov 2003

Very heavy accent, but if zu underzand thiz zen you will be fine wit z ac-zent. Very fast writer, some of his letters are not very legible (so its pick a variable), and he stands in front of his writing (literally) so he gets a good head start in writing his chickenscratch. With all this said, I can't undermine the fact that he is one of those teachers that knows his stuff, but you just have to unlock it under the accent and horrible handwriting.

Nov 2003

I like Professor Cao. He really does make an effort to teach well! A lot of folks make fun of his english, but deal with it folks. He covers the material well and does a great job of keeping right on track with our readings in the textbook. The calculus textbook here is great. The work load is not easy, but it is certainly doable. There is a homework due each week, and also about 8 webwork probelms. There is a 10-point quiz each week, but it is not big deal, they are worth 5% of your grade and if you are up to date with the readings, you'll do well. Do the reading before class, come to class, do the homeworks ANYTIME other than sunday night, and do your webwork. Work hard, and you will do fine. Of course it's not the funnest thing ever. We're talking about introductory calculus folks! But, I think Cao is fine considering that this material is not going to get anyone hanging on the edge of their seats. He is not terribly receptive to questions in class, but I think he's a genuinely nice guy. The midterms are difficult! Don't be fooled. Study well.

Oct 2003

Sean Paul is a a good guy. He's not a great teacher yet, but from my discussions, he's improving quickly. The basic material is covered very quickly in this class. Mr. Paul likes to supplement the material with devious and difficult problems. He has a thing for related rates problems (as he readily admits.) You will tear your hair out trying to solve them in class, and again when they appear on the midterm. However difficult the class seems at first blush, Mr. Paul is not out to get you and will give you points for an honest attempt at a solution to a complex problem. All in all, a manageble class with a managable professor.

Aug 2003

I think Prof. Wang's English was just fine. I heard nothing that was hard to understand and never needed him to repeat anything in class. He is generally aware of the class and will stop and go over something if he senses that people aren't keeping up. He seemed like a very nice Prof., though I never went to see him after hours (I did talk to him a few times after class). Having heard the horrors from a couple of friends taking Calc1a at the same time as me, both with difference professors, I would highly recommend Prof. Wang. Fair, nice, easy to understand. Need I say more?

May 2003

Professor Wang was by far the best math professor that I have ever had. He has an accent, but he is still understandable. His lectures were well organized with excellent notes on the blackboard. The homework can be difficult, but he always took time in the next lecture to cover difficult problems. If you struggle with math, he's the right teacher. Besides, the midterm and final problems were taken from the homework, so if you do the work, you'll be fine.

Apr 2003

John is an excellent calc teacher. He doesn't treat you in a condescending manner and is able to explain tricky concepts to even the worst math students. Plus, he is a native english speaker, he doesnt make you want to go to sleep, and he is a good guy who is always available. I highly recommend him.

Feb 2003

Very nice guy, very approachable. He tries really hard to make sure that everyone understands. Although it seems like he's not used to teaching, he does it very well. Grading is fair and webwork is not too difficult(unlike some others, who add problems that take forever to webwork). Quickly responds to emails. He let me give in a HW late with no penalty. A good professor if you're first learning calc or need to brush up from high school.

Jan 2003

The biggest mistake of my short math career. Had I not taken this class I would have been a math major for sure, rather than a dual major in math and econ. Yes, his pacing is unbearable, but so is his method of teaching-which he constantly prides himself on in comparison to the way math is taught in the U.S. of A. (Not very welcome if you're American, thank you very much.) Well, and it can't be that I'm an awful math student. I made it to Modern Analysis somehow, but the only thing I'm willing to use from CalcIA is L'hopital's Rule.

Dec 2002

This guy is a very good teacher. He takes a good deal of time doing examples which explain the tricky concepts every class. He rarely makes mistakes which further demonstrates his grasp of knowledge in mathematics. He promptly responds to any emails you send him and never treats you in a condescending manner. His sample midterms and finals that he gives you are very similar to the actually tests. I went in 15 mins before the final to ask him a quick question and he more than thorougly explained it without telling me that I should have been more prepared. Overall great experience and very good guy.

Dec 2002

JohnÂ’s complete knowledge of the subject, together with his ability to explain every concept thoroughly from several different angles makes him an excellent teacher. Though his personality is a bit awkward at times, he is very approachable and is more than happy to help with any problems during office hours or via email. John maintains a website which he updates frequently with weekly homework assignments and sample midterms and finals. In addition to written homework, there is also WebWork which must be submitted online. Though this is often tedious because the site will only accept answers in one form, the review is helpful, and in general serves as a good grade booster. If you are taking Calc and can get into this guys section, I HIGHLY recommend him.

Jun 2002

Neumann reminds me of Newman on Seinfeld. He seems harmless on the outside, but he pulls fasts ones. Firstly, he lectures from the book (and he paces back and forth in lecture, which seems harmless, but will drive you crazy too), but then his tests are "creative." A bit too creative for CAlc IA. I didn't really feel I got the main concepts down. I still inch away from Calc I stuff eventhough I'm taking Fourier at this point.

Jan 2000

Remarkable as a Calc IA teacher in that he speaks English with reasonable fluency. He's a jolly kind of guy and brings a "no-pressure" atmosphere (within reason) to the class. Exams are clear cut, bordering on simple. A good choice for IA.

Jan 2000

A very innocent and harmless looking man, Professor Nuemann is the serpent lurking beneath the flower. His lectures are devastatingly boring and (I swear) intentionally abstruse. He has a tendency to talk into the board in his usual monotone and to do complex equations in his head not realizing that his students cannot follow his logic. Worst of all, his tests are very difficult and he does not believe in curving. If you have never taken calculus before, steer clear of this class. If you are a good calculus student, you should be okay though you may not get the high grade you expected.

Jan 2000

Jorgensen is funny, akward and .... cute in that fuzz math teacher way. Be forewarned, if you have not taken calculus before this class is not for you. He doesn't explain topics at all and jumps around a lot. He has a tendency to avoid answering student questions and does not understand why we don't fully grasp the material. On the other hand, the homeworks are rarely graded and don't count for the final grade, there are three tests but they don't count either. The final is the entire grade. He is extremely lenient and its a funny class to take.

Jan 2000

Patrick Gallagher is not a young professor, but is far more down to earth and happier to work with students than most professors. He speaks clearly and not too quickly, responds to questions well, and lectures well. While he may get a bit off track with a not as relevent proof that takes up much of a lecture, he also displays suprising humor from time to time. This all makes him an excellent choice for lower level math courses.