Amber Carr

Feb 2015

Dr. Carr is one of the best professors I've had at Columbia. Yes, I had her for Frontiers of Science, but let me tell you: she made this class something I actually looked forward to going to. She is one of the sweetest, kindest, and most caring individuals I've met in academia. She really cares about her students and gives her all to ensure that her students are engaged, learning, and content. FoS was probably one of the worst courses ever, but if you had Dr. Carr, you'll know that she is the best. She's a teacher that just wants you to be happy as a student, regardless of whether or not you're actually passionate about the subject matter at hand. That being said, she really tries to find ways to incorporate interesting facts, scientific findings, etc. into her seminars so that concepts make sense and the material doesn't feel vanilla and superfluous. If you're in her class, you're lucky. If you're not and you're trying to be now, you're welcome. Amber Carr is a super approachable person and she is such an interesting and awesome person. Her office hours were always super helpful and I personally went every week, some weeks to actually get help and some weeks to just turn in my homework and talk to her and have nice conversations. She is a wonderful person and professor, and she deserves the highest accolades, honestly. If you're lucky to have her, make the most out of this class whether it's the class itself or the superstar who teaches it!

Dec 2014

Dr Carr is great! You can tell she genuinely enjoys teaching, cares about her students, and wants them to do well. Her seminar slides are so much clearer than the lecture slides, and it helps that they're organized according to key questions. She uploads them punctually every week, and I suggest looking over them just to see if you missed anything, and especially when you're making your cheat sheet. I also suggest going to office hours, even if you don't have any questions about the course material itself. I only started going towards the end of the semester, and wish I'd done it earlier. You can always talk to her about her research (some computational chemistry thing, which is actually pretty damn cool). Seminar itself wasn't super exciting, although I think that's less her fault than the fact that most of the activities we had to do because whoever came up with the syllabus decided we had to were kind of meh in the first place. On the bright side, Dr Carr is nice and funny and interesting, which makes boring activities more bearable. You also get the impression that she really knows her shit. If neither of those appeals to you, seminar often ends (up to half an hour) early. We had a quiz for each unit, which I found annoying at first, but it turned out that they weren't hard, and Dr Carr is very generous with partial credit. I skimmed the notes briefly just before every quiz and did fine. The quizzes do count in a tiny portion of your grade, but if you mess up on one she lets you earn extra credit to make it up. On hindsight, it was kind of nice to have a checkpoint for the unit, mainly because I am super lazy when it comes to consolidating my work, or maybe just for FroSci in general. She also holds a review session before each exam, but if you can't make it she puts the slides, practice questions and a study guide on Courseworks. All in all, I felt she really prepared us well for the exams. There's also a term paper, but nothing to worry too much about. She's a pretty easy grader. Also, she gave us deadlines for the first draft and peer review, so you definitely won't be cranking it out from scratch the day of final submission - which will be around the annoying time at the end of the semester when everything is due. Trust me, you will be very grateful.

Dec 2014

Congratulations!! You were randomly placed into one of Professor Carr's Frontiers of Science discussion section. Unlike many other Columbia students, you will not come out of Frontiers hating it or feeling like you have got nothing out of it. Professor Carr is a great professor who truly cares about teaching her students. Her discussions are fantastic and she will make sure you all the important points that the lecturers made. She has office hours set up and she is always there and willing to help you. She frequently stays after office hours helping students though I would recommend that you actually get to her office before her office hours end. Although discussion is great, Professor Carr does a great job explaining the material during office hours. Besides her obvious teaching strengths, she is an extremely nice professor who truly wants to help all her students (besides teaching, she has offered to give us advice on how to get a research position as undergraduates). She does really interesting research and has other experiences that you should talk to her about during office hours (she actually was invited to the UN during one weekend when I was taking her class). Overall, she is a great professor and I wish Frontiers of Science was a year long class because of her.

Jan 2014

Dr. Carr is the sweetest, most understanding, and generous professor. She puts so much time into FroSci and making sure her students understand the material being taught. Though not everyone taking FroSci is a science person, she always provides additional resources to anyone especially interested in any topic and makes herself available outside of classtime to individually help anyone with the course. The workload is minimal for FroSci, and she provides a lot of guidance with writing the term paper. She does a great job covering relevant material in seminar (so much so that the 500 person lecture on Mondays is definitely something you can miss once in a while) and prepares us very well for the midterm and final. It's clear from her teaching that she not only puts a lot of effort into her work, but also that she cares immensely about her students and our experiences in FroSci and at Columbia. Dr. Carr is a gem and made my first semester truly enjoyable. Though I am not one who likes science much, I ended up getting a lot out of FroSci largely in part due to Dr. Carr.