professor
Wei Ho

This professor has earned a CULPA silver nugget

Jan 2014

Very clear lecturer. She was very straightforward, organized, and receptive to questions from the class. She made it clear the resources that existed on campus to help us (ie the help room and her office hours), and she genuinely wanted the class to do well. I really enjoyed having her as a professor. The subject matter is hard. It starts out pretty simple, but about a month in becomes conceptually hard to understand, though the calculations never get too crazy. That being said, she puts mostly conceptual questions on her exams, and the questions are often not straightforward and require you to think. Though her exams were hard, the average was usually fairly low (~60%), and her curve was generous. I wound up getting an A in the class, and while I was higher than average on the exams, I did not have over 85% on any exam. tl;dr: given the chance to do it over, I would take this class with her again. If you do the problem sets and study some, there is no reason you shouldn't be able to get a B+ or above.

Dec 2013

I'll start by giving you the summary of my experience: 1. Wei Ho is a great lecturer. 2. This class is absolute torture and avoid it like the plague if you can. Linear Algebra starts off incredibly easy, which is deceptive because you still have the illusion that it is a manageable class by the time the drop deadline rolls around. The first month or so was a piece of cake: matrix algebra, reduced row echelon form (if you don't know what it is- don't worry, it's high school math), etc. But once the basics are down, this class takes a turn for the ugly and before you know it it's REALLY conceptual. Give me 5 equations and tell me to reduce them? Fine. But don't ask me what happens when you invert shapes in four dimensions and collapse it onto another dimension, because that means nothing to me. The emphasis on conceptual was the one thing about Wei Ho that really tripped me up. Other than that, Wei is a very clear lecturer and an incredibly approachable person. She is extremely patient and teaches the class in a very organized and methodical way that complements the textbook very well. In that sense, Wei is a great instructor: clear, effective, organized. The fact that she is very straightforward in class really does not translate well to her midterms and finals, all of which are designed to make you think conceptually about "the larger picture." None of the questions are straightforward, and there is at least one or two big questions about things we rushed through in class or in the problem sets. Truly, these exams were evil. I don't think any amount of preparation helps because at the end of the day, there are only so many ways you can "think outside the box" with Linear Algebra after you've done all the problem sets. My advice is to take this class if and only if (iff) you are very comfortable with math and you actually enjoy challenging yourself beyond the scope of the basic, Intro to Linear Algebra, material. Some people in my class actually seemed to enjoy this about the class. Then again, some people are crazy. If you, like me, want a class where you will learn basic Linear Algebra and not be asked to theorize about the wonders of multidimensional space, take another class with an easier professor. I hear that there's some cute professor who teaches it sometimes - hunt them down, or something.

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

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

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 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)

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

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

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.

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.