professor
Ronald Neath

May 2021

This man is the goat idc what anyone else has to say. He sticks to the textbook closely which I love, because it’s easy to catch up if you’ve missed a class. The homework is challenging but very straightforward, he doesn’t want to throw curveballs. And as others said, he’s so nice and will help you with any questions you have. He is the goat

Dec 2020

Echoing other responses, Neath is a rare gem in a department known for its incompetency. Although he is a bit quirky, Neath is very willing to help on any homework questions you may have if you attend his office hours(he will literally give you the answers and appropriate code instead of beating around the bush). That comes as a big help in this course, which uses a combination of a textbook and another textbook giving all the code for the first textbook, both of which are written rather vaguely and give very few examples. Regarding the course itself and its contents, its a pretty run of the mill linear regression course with a smidgen of theory. You don't really need any of the listed prerequisites so much as a baseline understanding of R. The homeworks are quite subjective, with a lot of interpreting plots and R summaries. The means on exams are in the 60s and 70s, relatively high for a math-based course. You are allowed to bring a cheat sheet, but Neath is a bit paranoid about any possible cheating. Overall, would recommend as way to fufill the major req.

Sep 2019

Prof. Neath is just overall a bad explainer of things. During the first few classes I went and tried to concentrate and follow through. I couldn't. He rushed through everything as if his life depends on writing down those arcane formulas and 4-board-long proofs on the boards and nothing else - because that's exactly what the does every class. To do him justice he does try to explain what he writes, but far from successfully, as I always find the book easier to follow than his lecture. He does not try to break down difficult concepts with easy-to-understand examples, but instead, he expects you to have an intuitive sense of what's going on right off the bat/from reading the formula itself. So after presenting the formula without any effective explaining, he goes straight to the hardest, most advanced applicable example of this formula and boom every single one is confused, even those who were starting to gain a vague idea of this concept. Now I haven't finished the course yet, but I got a solid A and 95+ on the final (class avg 60-70) for the prereq of this class (4203/5203 Probability Theory) and had a data-intensive internship the summer prior to taking this class, so if I couldn't follow through or understand ANYthing on his lecture but only managed to understand everything through the book, there MUST be something wrong on Prof. Neath's side. If he'd be reading this, I just have one suggestion: please understand that your students don't have the decades of familiarity with all these formulas which do not come naturally at all. Treat them with some sympathy, slow down and supply some intuitive examples. I.e., actually give some crap about the students.

Apr 2018

Professor Neath is great. Everything in his class is extremely straightforward, and his teaching style really makes all the concepts very simple. No surprises in this class or on the exams. Most people don't show up to the lecture, but I found it extremely helpful to go to lectures and listen to Neath explain the material. He also is old school and writes all his notes on the chalk board. I found this made his lectures way easier to follow than most others. Overall, I highly recommend taking this class with Professor Neath if you can.

Apr 2018

He was always timely in returning assignments and available to discuss questions in office hours. The class is definitely in lecture format so not a real discussion during class, however, he encouraged students to answer questions when he'd ask them. The exams were written fairly. He is doing a review session in between our last class and the final, which will be useful in reviewing further. He is funny and lively in lectures. He writes everything out slowly so that everyone can keep up with handwritten or typed notes, which is really helpful in a stats class. You don't feel like you have to learn everything from the book.

May 2017

Professor Neath is one of the best professors in the Department of Statistics. His explanations in class are very clear and he's very friendly. Even though the homework can be challenging, he actually walks through the problems in class and is also very helpful during office hours if you still don't understand. He is also quite lenient with homework deadlines. This class requires that you have taken Statistical Inference and that you have some experience with R (if you've taken Linear Regression Models, you should be fine).

May 2016

Hard af

Sep 2015

Professor Neath is a little quirky, but his lectures are very organized and complement the textbook well. For a subject like statistics, I was pleased to find that Neath was engaging and made the information interesting. I would highly recommend him for STAT W1111. In terms of work, the project was fairly simple to complete, and all of the homework assignments were straightforward and definitely helped prepare you for the exams.

May 2015

Neath is a satisfactory instructor. His classes are standard lectures in which he writes notes on the board and occasionally asks questions directed to the class. I found the notes to be quite helpful sometimes. The textbook (Hogg, Craig, McKean) was rather dry and his notes helped to clarify the important parts and provided examples. His explanations are also generally helpful. Finally, he is generally responsive to emails in a timely manner. Overall, not an amazing professor, but he's pretty good. He also smiles a lot and wears jeans all the time.

Jan 2015

I was skeptical of Ronald at the beginning but I grew to like him. Don't be thrown off if you do poorly on the first homework (he says he's a tough grader) but once you get used to his style and the sort of details you need to include, it's doable to get almost full credit on every homework after that. I've HATED every stats prof I had before this (1211, 3105,3107) and I finally started to appreciate Ronald as a breath of fresh air (Tests that actually reflect the homework we do! The average is not 50%! Wow!). He was receptive to homework questions over email and I felt comfortable asking clarification questions during class. He followed the textbook which was pretty good for concepts so definitely don't get too behind on the readings (He likes True/False questions and the book is really helpful for those!). He is open to not including highly computational chapters on tests (like matrices or stuff that can't really be done outside R) but you have to push him a little to explicitly say something will not be covered or emphasized beyond basic concepts. R is an easy program to use, and homeworks are 100% doable on your own (also refreshing, as I felt like I couldn't get through 3105/3107 without looking most answers up on Chegg). Ronald goes through examples in class that help a lot with homework (again, what a luxury in the stats department...). Also, he had soft deadlines on homework, which was pretty awesome if you were stuck on a particular problem or had to focus on another class that week. I did average on the 1st midterm, above average on the 2nd, got around 95% on homeworks after the 1st one, and I'm guessing average/above average on final and got an A (my first as a stats major).

Jan 2015

Ronald Neath is the best Statistics professor I have ever had at Columbia (unfortunately there isn't much competition). He came in excited and energetic everyday and was a clear and thorough lecturer. During class he would take notes on the board and later he would post handouts that would help us complete the homework assignments. Take him if you can!

Jan 2015

This was a great class and Prof. Neath is a great instructor. Maybe not the best lecturer (IMHO Elbarmi is the best) but the best instructor overall considering lectures, assignments, availability, extra materials, exams and grading. If possible, I would take any class in the Statistics major with him. If you have the chance to fulfill a requirement taking one of his classes, DO IT.

Nov 2014

Not bad. He may come off as boring. And well he kinda is. But this is stat. And the class did seem 3 times as big during midterms. BUUUUUT. As soon as I started going and paying attention beginning to end, I was really really really happy I did. He is a great guy with a strong grasp of material. He explains what he wants you to know attentively and clearly. He rights basically everything on the board. Most importantly though, he's very straightforward. No surprises here. Went to office hours once, he explains things even better. I definitely recommend using that resource. I was gonna drop the class in the beginning, glad I gave him a chance.