professor
Christina Dan Wang

Nov 2017

If you can, try and do the 3000 level version of this course instead of the 4000 level one. The 4000 level one is open to graduate students, and it will royally screw the curve for you. Be prepared to marry the book. Forget your girlfriend, forget your boyfriend--the book is your new significant other. I can't promise a happy voyage for you either, however. The book is decent at best. Just know if you're going to do any learning in this class, it sure won't be from the teacher. Sure, she's nice. Sure, she tries. But in the end, she's just a poor teacher. Have a question? Raise your hand? Oh, don't bother speaking-- she knows what your thinking (except she doesn't). She will finish your questions for you, assume everything is good, then move on. "Okay, fine, I'll be dandy with the book," you may think. Too bad she isn't organized either. She'll grab a little material from this chapter, or that chapter, until the exam shows up and she can't even tell you (true story) which sections the midterm is on! ("Uh I think we just go up to Chapter 3... Just follow the note I posted!") Just be prepared to work. Hard. I got A's in Calc I, II, III, Linear Algebra, and Discrete Mathematics and had to withdraw from this course. If you can get another teacher, please do so.

May 2017

Tests are really hard. Half the class already knows the material. If you're taking this as an intro to probability take it with someone else. She's not very good. Homework doesn't prepare for the finals. Poor explanation in lecture (her accent is fine, but her grammar is often in Chinese structure which results in really interesting phrases).

May 2015

Usually it is the older professors, those who are so far removed from learning the basics of their area of study, that they can no longer remember how to convey that knowledge to beginners. Professor Wang, despite being very young, is one of those people. This is not her only extraordinary talent. She is also a clairvoyant. She can assume any student's experiences. "You will probably remember from your Physics classes..." she said as she ripped off a quick formula in a blur of hand movement and chalk dust to the befuddlement of most of the class. All formulas and slides will equally fly through the student's consciousness. You will swear that you thought you saw her blink the information to you at some point -- ah, but 'did she really?' 'Was it a dream?' Truly, she is a great magician! Professor Wang also knows your schedule. Can you come in every Friday for class this summer? Of course you can! She asked us, counted to three in her head, and then said, "OK, we'll come in every Friday." Most people had not even figured out their schedules in their heads yet, but it's no matter. She KNOWS you are free for class! Perhaps you can talk to her during office hours and come to some decision about whether you should drop the class. Actually, she already knows that she is a great teacher, and no one would ever drop her class before the deadline, so she doesn't always show up for office hours. No emails or announcements on Courseworks are necessary to announce these cancellations, of course, because everyone attending Columbia lives on campus anyway, so what's the big deal, right? Have you ever wanted your professor to answer a question that you didn't ask? Professor Wang will do that as much as you want. Ask her anything. She will interrupt you (she KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE THINKING! Spoooookyyyyy), and answer a long-winded, unrelated question completely generated from her mind. But you were surely going to ask that question anyway...you know it's true. Professor Wang's greatest gift may be that she can talk you out of understanding concepts that you had previously mastered. It is truly exceptional. Had you used those concepts before without issue? Had you understood them completely? Be ready to be amazed because Professor Wang is about to blow your mind, and "misanswer" your followup questions when you become confused. I had yet to experience such a thing.