professor
Nava Balsam

Dec 2013

This is a Math class which requires no more skills than simple arithmetic and making sure you copy over a matrix correctly from the question. A 6th grade kid could memorize Bayer's practice exams and do fine in this class. Like another review says, he teaches only 'neat tricks' and completely leaves out any actual fundamentals of linear algebra. I just don't get how you teach a linear algebra class without ever mentioning a null space. You learn nothing in this class and the exams are super easy. They're so easy that everyone does well, so if you mess up once, there's no catching up. Bayer's grading philosophy is the OPPOSITE of every decent Math teacher I've ever had, He cares more about your final answer than your working. I received 2/5 on a question that had everything right but the answer. Also, there's no homework in this class, which is great because it lessens your weekly workload, but who teaches Math without making student practice regularly? It just doesn't work. And since all you need for the exams is to study the practice exams, this class gets condensed into 4 days: your 3 midterms and your final. Nothing else of significance occurs in that classroom, assuming that these exams are significant at all. This is a classic case of a Columbia professor who has a silver nugget on CULPA for being 'super nice' and an easy grader. This is not the definition of a good professor. If you're interested in learning anything at all about linear algebra, stay away from this class.