professor
Antonius Dieker

Feb 2021

Despite mixed reviews, I must put it out here that Ton Dieker is a control freak who cannot afford any scratch to his high ego. Took Applied Statistical Models, and it was the most boring unrememberable class ever in terms of class material. However, it was the most rememberable in that I learned how bad of an asshole the professor was. One horrible thing I saw in the professor was his dark abysmal personality. Due to a bad family emergency and having to travel for a while, I asked for an HW extension or deadline change. But guess what the Dieker said during office hours, “I do not care. The lowest HW will be dropped. On many different levels, his personality just produces the utmost disgust. The professor’s class basically can be skipped by reading the textbooks and avoiding his sleepy lectures. He decides to teach in a dark classroom with his tablet on presentation and expects students to stay awake and pay him the utmost respect at 9am. Despite having gotten As in the midterms and finals, only those who had sucked up to the professor by sitting at the front row for all semester made an A in the end. Personally all the group members got a C for the group project. The class was basically about how much one can suck up to the professor during class and during office hours.   This man should really learn that he can act whatever way he wants, but eventually, people like him will be filtered out.

Dec 2019

For years I had heard about the notorious Antonius Dieker and how this class (an already pretty difficult class in its own right) was going to be absolutely miserable with him. Coming into the class with this in mind, I was quite surprised to find that my experience was the complete opposite. I think this is arguably the best class I have taken at Columbia and Dieker was arguably one of the best professors I have had here. There is no doubt the Dieker is pretty brilliant and that comes through in the way he teaches, as does his passion for the material. He never made light of questions asked in class and always insisted on people asking questions if there was confusion. The midterm exam was surely not easy but I would by lying if I said it was an unfair exam. 10/10 would recommend this class

May 2019

The singular worst professor and person I have interacted with at my time at Columbia. I think the best example of how disrespectful this professor is towards students is when he pulled up the website for Columbia Psychological Services before the second midterm and told us to go there in case we needed help handling the pressure of the upcoming midterm. I think CPS is a great resource on campus, but when you as a Professor are basically taunting students saying that they should seek mental counseling to manage the stress of how hard this midterm is going to be, it's obviously malicious. The tests in this class are extremely difficult, but for the wrong reasons. The statistics is a healthy level of challenging, but the test is really about your ability to calculate values to decimals. You know that when a test would be infinitely easier with a basic calculator that there is no correlation between the exam and true learning. Additionally, it is ridiculous that there is a gigantic R project due but he doesn't teach us any R in the class itself. Also calls people out by name in class for being on their phone, and whereas each professor completely has a right to manage their own classroom, there is absolutely no reason to go out his way to call out and humiliate students.

Dec 2018

In light of the current reviews, I believe good ol’ Ton deserves some more credit. Don’t get me wrong, stats with him was the single most unnecessarily challenging class I’ve ever taken, but, to his redemption, also one of the most rewarding ones. Problem sets are long and way too hard for you to even try to solve them. I was only able to half-way get at a solution after hours of going over them with classmates and religiously attending office hours. His exams were a hard hit on my self-esteem and rely on a much deeper understanding of the material than what is needed for the already impossible psets. That being said, Dieker is one of the best professors I’ve ever had. He’s one of the few ones who really care about his students and seems genuinely happy to be there. He knows all of his students by name and actually takes a couple of minutes off the lecture to chat with people individually and get to know them better. As for the memorizing, it is true: he is one of those dinosaurs who will make you memorize every single fucking thing. However, I truly believe this helped me develop a better intuition for the material I would have not gotten otherwise. I completely disagree with other reviewers on Dieker’s office hour policies. He was always eager to host office hours by appointment for those who couldn’t attend the regular ones, and from my personal experience, was always pretty helpful. I now feel solid about stats, up to the point where stat-based classes like econometrics and - I’d even say the first half of stochastic systems - feel like a breeze. Long story short: a tough guy who will make you sweat blood for it, but who will truly make you learn stats and prepare you for future courses.

Nov 2018

In light of the current reviews, I believe good ol’ Ton deserves some more credit. Don’t get me wrong, stats with him was the single most unnecessarily challenging class I’ve ever taken, but, to his redemption, also one of the most rewarding ones. Problem sets are long and way too hard for you to even try to solve them. I was only able to half-way get at a solution after hours of going over them with classmates and religiously attending office hours. His exams were a hard hit on my self esteem and rely on a much deeper understanding of the material than what is needed for the already impossible psets. That being said, Dieker is one of the best professors I’ve ever had. He’s one of the few ones who really care about his students and seems genuinely happy to be there. He knows all of his students by name and actually takes a couple of minutes off the lecture to chat with people individually and get to know them better. As for the memorizing, it is true: he is one of those dinosaurs who will make you memorize single fucking thing. However, I truly believe this helped me develop a better intuition for the material I would have not gotten otherwise. I completely disagree with other reviewers on Dieker’s office hour policies. He was always eager to host office hours by appointment for those who couldn’t attend the regular ones, and from my personal experience, was always pretty helpful. I now feel solid about stats, up to the point where stat-based classes like econometrics and - I’d even say the first half of stochastic systems - feel like a breeze. Long story short: tough guy who will make you sweat blood for it, but who will truly make you learn stats and prepare you for future courses.

May 2018

After seeing the mean comments about Professor Dieker, I feel like I am obliged to say something. I have taken two courses with Professor Dieker: IEOR 3658 and IEOR 4307. And I would like to comment on him based on my experience. Professor Dieker is definitely a responsible instructor and a nice person who cares about his teaching and students. During his OH, he could stay overtime until all questions from students are answered. And I am personally a fan of his teaching style. Unlike many instructors who simply dump out great amount of complicated materials and leave students alone to digest them, Professor Dieker leads the class to work through the whole material at a reasonable pace. And his explanations are concise and precise, which helps me understand the material efficiently. His lecture doesn't cover too much contents and rarely mentions complicated theories. In a word, his lectures purpose to help students understand the fundamental concepts and I was able to understand most of the materials right in the lecture most of the times. Sometimes he would require us to read the text for the things he doesn't have enough time to cover in class. But I could easily self teach those content as Prof. Dieker had helped me understand the basic concepts. His HWs are not trivial and he sometimes likes to give us puzzle-like problems that takes us a while to figure out what we are supposed to do and some involved mathematical problems that requires us to scrabble through long algebra and mathematical derivations. But they are completely doable. For IEOR 4307, most problems are from the textbook and we could solve them by easily applying some simple concept/formulas. But for IEOR 3658, Prof.Dieker wrote his own problems and many of them are puzzle-like. That is the feature of Probability: really hard problems can be made on top of really simple concepts. Many problems are given in a context of a real-world scenario. We can’t solve it by simply applying some concepts/formulas. First, we need to understand the scenario and figure out what concepts/formulas we learned in class might be related. Then we should interpret the scenario to set up a problem that we could directly apply the probability concepts/formulas to solve. And finally, apply the concepts/formulas to obtain what we want. For his exams, many people are afraid of them because no formula sheet is allowed and there are too many things to memorize. Prof. Dieker has talked about this concern and he said that we only have to memorize a handful of things if we have understood the material. And I completely agree with that. Many people don't like Prof. Dieker either because they find his lectures/homeworks/exams insanely hard or because they can’t bear with some personalities/behaviors of Prof. Dieker that they find weird. For the former one, I would say that both 3658 and 4307 are not very hard courses. At least I have seen courses way more insane than these two. You are not required to get in touch with a lot of complicated theories. All you need to do is to fully understand some basic concepts/formulas/techniques and apply them to solve problems proficiently. The workload is not too much, exams are reasonable and his grading is generous. For the latter one, I honestly felt strange about some of his behaviors as well because not many instructors do so. But those should definitely not the things that bother you guys that much. If electronic devices are strictly prohibited in lecture, then you could just leave them alone for a while and pay full attention to the lecture. The point you come to class is not to play electronic devices, is it? If you find Prof. Dieker overly strict and serious during exams, then you could just follow his commands, focus on the exam itself and don’t do anything crossing the line. You take the course either for fulfilling some requirement, learning something you are interested in or boosting your GPA by earning a good grade. And as a matter of fact, none of the Prof. Dieker’s “weird” personalities and behaviors would prevent you from achieving those main purposes. It is completely meaningless to bog down in something you dislike, stay cynical all the time rather than try to get the most out of the experience.

Dec 2017

In all my years of schooling, this was the single worst experience I have ever had with an instructor or professor. Dieker is weird, strict, terrible at teaching, intellectually arrogant, and a miserable human being. Try taking out a phone in class to see the time, and prepare yourself to be lambasted in front of all the other students. Thinking about going to his office hours for help with his ridiculously long homeworks that are infinitely harder than the material covered in class? Prepare for him to lecture you about how you should handle the responsibility of homework yourself, are inadequately prepared, and he can't help you (lighten the fuck up dude). His exams are just about impossible to finish in the allotted time given the amount of problem solving you have to do, not to mention he does not allow you to bring notes of any kind or a calculator to check your work. The sheer amount of memorization you are going to have to do for his exams makes the course truly suck. When will you have to ever have formulas memorized as a professional engineer...when?! During his exams, he splits the class up into two different rooms because he is terrified that one of his students might cheat on his exams (trust issues...) and literally runs back and forth between both rooms inspecting every water bottle on your desk and watch on your hand. Oh, I almost forgot to mention he literally forces students to take their hats off before they enter his midterm and final AND forces you to show your ID...yea, he's that kinda crazy. All in all, most people who are reading a review about this guy probably have to take one of his classes to fulfill the requirements for their major or a master's degree of some kind. However, IF YOU CAN AVOID THIS CLASS BY ANY MEANS, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO SO!!! Dieker sucks in so many ways, and the class will be a frustrating struggle with an absolutely awful professor from start to finish.

Dec 2016

Have to write this since my good ol' friend Ton doesn't have a review on here yet. Which is surprising, because everyone has something to say about him. TL;DR - in ~4 years of undergrad, this was the worst experience I've had with a professor. TD thinks he is so much better than he is. I think we heard about him meeting President Obama like 3 times during the semester. Also, he tried to introduce a video lecture-twist to the class which (mostly) everyone hated. Nobody showed up to class after that. But, coincidentally, he ran out of videos and was too lazy to keep making them. So we went back to normal lecture. Lectures are okay- but listening to a man slouched over a god damn Microsoft Surface is painful at times. He fosters an overly intense environment in the classroom, especially during his exams (which are absurd). "Nobody has every gotten a 100 on my exams" he says (somebody did get a 100 on the second midterm). But during exams, he made students take off their hats, and went around and literally checked every pencil + eraser + water bottle he could find. I also heard a story about a girl who went to the first midterm sick, and as soon as he passed the exam out she passed out and had to be hospitalized (5 minutes after pencils hit the exam). TD gave her a 0 on the exam because she made the "conscious decision" to sit-in on the exam. Well, she did that because TD literally states in the first class that basically nothing will prevent you from taking his exams unless you or some family member dies. That day. Lighten up dude. P.S. Make sure you go to the classes after the class where he says "the material for the final ends here" because SURPRISE!!!! it doesn't end there. Yup. In a "Probability for Engineers" course, we were taught the invigorating concepts surrounding ASSET PRICING (what is this class called again? I realize it's in IEOR, but who the fuck cares about pricing assets, especially when it's taught after he tells US THAT EVERYTHING IN HIS ALREADY STALE COURSE PRIOR TO THAT CLASS WAS THE FINAL MATERIAL).

Dec 2016

Have to write this since my good ol' friend Ton doesn't have a review on here yet. Which is surprising, because everyone has something to say about him. TL;DR - in ~4 years of undergrad, this was the worst experience I've had with a professor. TD thinks he is so much better than he is. I think we heard about him meeting President Obama like 3 times during the semester. Also, he tried to introduce a video lecture-twist to the class which (mostly) everyone hated. Nobody showed up to class after that. But, coincidentally, he ran out of videos and was too lazy to keep making them. So we went back to normal lecture. Lectures are okay- but listening to a man slouched over a god damn Microsoft Surface is painful at times, especially when he is so full of himself (also just hate his condescending language and smirk). He fosters an overly intense environment in the classroom, especially during his exams (which are absurd). "Nobody has every gotten a 100 on my exams" he says (somebody did get a 100 on the second midterm, I hope TD went home and cried that day). But during exams, he made students take off their hats, and went around and literally checked every pencil + eraser + water bottle he could find. I think he has an array of trust issues). I also heard a story about a girl who went to the first midterm sick, and as soon as he passed the exam out she passed out and had to be hospitalized (5 minutes after pencils hit the exam). TD gave her a 0 on the exam because she made the "conscious decision" to sit-in on the exam. Well, she did that because TD literally states in the first class that basically nothing will prevent you from taking his exams unless you or some family member dies. That day. Lighten up dude. Have a heart. Understand that we are forced to take this class. Nobody cares (after the first time you tell us) that you met President Obama. P.S. Make sure you go to the classes after the class where he says "the material for the final ends here" because SURPRISE!!!! it doesn't end there. Yup. In a "Probability for Engineers" course, we were taught the invigorating concepts surrounding ASSET PRICING (what is this class called again? I realize it's in IEOR, but who the fuck cares about pricing assets, especially when it's taught after he tells US THAT EVERYTHING IN HIS ALREADY STALE COURSE PRIOR TO THAT CLASS WAS THE FINAL MATERIAL).

Dec 2016

This class is not easy. There is a LOT of material. In lecture, Professor Dieker goes through a number of concepts usually covering definitions and equations relevant to the material. There's usually a nice two minute break somewhere in lecture as well. However, when it comes time to do your homework you're going to wish you had more examples in your notes. The weekly homework assignments are usually around 10 problems in length. They're usually pretty difficult and are much more challenging than the material presented in class. Expect to spend a good amount of time on each assignment. The two midterms are difficult. However, if you begin studying a decent amount of time in advance you'll be fine. Part of what makes the exams (and particularly the final) difficult is the sheer amount of memorization you're going to be required to do. Also be prepared to handle double integrals. Calculus is very much a pre-req for this class and you're going to be doing a lot of integrating. Brushing up on your series and sequences is also not a bad idea. If you take this class, be prepared. It is challenging.