professor
Nathan Dowlin

Sep 2020

Prof. Dowlin is literally the best math professor ever. He gives us riddles every now and then and his notes are SO clear and easy to follow. I love Linear Algebra because of him! Homeworks weren't too difficult, exams were medium difficulty

May 2020

Nathan Dowlin is literally the best math professor I've had during my time at Columbia. He is clear, never treats any question as stupid, and doesn't force you to sit through any unnecessary material. Once we switched over to remote lessons, I felt like he was the professor who best handled the transition out of the professors I had this semester which is pretty ironic considering how I'm a CS major with professors who supposedly know how to work a computer.

May 2020

Nate is one of the best math professors I have ever had. He is enthusiastic, approachable, humorous, and quite gifted at teaching. No doubt a lot of professors are superb scholars, but Nate knows how to unpack the materials in a student-friendly way because he is able to see the problems from our perspective (unlike some professors who understand the materials very well but just don't know how to effectively deliver the lecture). During lecture, we would go over important definitions, theorems, and proofs. Nate would also suggest you reading/flipping through the textbook by yourself after class (which is a good way to have a more in-depth view of additional proofs and build a more systematic understanding of the materials across different chapters). Nate would also answer questions in and after class, sometimes giving us fun riddles as well. Nate had two different time slots for OH this semester, and I find them really helpful. He not only answered my questions but also encouraged me to dive deeper into the concepts. We have weekly problem sets that should take about 4-6 hours to complete each week, mainly consisted of book problems and the professor's own proof problems. The proof part might be a bit tricky but he shares useful tactics during lecture. We had two midterms and one final, all with useful practice exams to study beforehand and review sessions as well. Definitely consider taking his class! He is a truly wonderful professor.

May 2020

Probably one of the best math professors I've had at Columbia. Very clear, concise and reasonably paced lectures and homework. For Linear Algebra we were assigned pages from the textbook and some proof problems he made. He was always very nice and open during OH and super willing to help you understand and do the problem (unlike other professors who make you "figure it out yourself" and then you spend hours not knowing how to do it). His tests are also very reasonable--just make sure you do the practice exams beforehand. The only harder part of tests or homeworks were the proofs, but he does give tricks to do them in class and helps out a lot in his OH. We had 2 midterms and 1 final.

Feb 2020

Very friendly, funny, and intelligent professor! His lectures are always very clear. Exams can be difficult but he provides plenty of study materials to enable you to succeed

Dec 2019

Dowlin is superb. He explains the material clearly and is a very intelligent man as well as a very good teacher.

Dec 2019

I had Nathan for Calc. II. I expect an A or A- depending on the final. I am writing just to warn all the future lions who consider taking a class by Nathan. He's extremely friendly and nice, but he is an uber mediocre professor. Nathan typically presents the material clearly, but he is using only the most basic examples. He expects you to have a solid background in Calculus I and he will never review any concept from Calc.I. He takes for granted you remember everything from Calc. I, even the most minute details, and this part will make the whole class a frustrating experience. When I say he does not review stuff I mean the most obscure stuff like the definition of like (1 + 1/n)n=e. The series part of the course sucked. The material was challenging and unfortunately, Nathan was unable to give any insight. He only presented the most basic examples from Stewart and nothing more. After the second midterm, the class was a nightmare and the presentation of the material was extremely bad. Taylor and Maclaurin series had most of the class wondering wtf he was doing. They were whole sessions were the whole class was unable to understand wtf was going on. Apparently, he has never taught calc. I at Columbia, so he doesn't really know what we know and what we don't. Also, if you're an engineering student and you will have to take Drew Youngren's class, then you are screwed as Nathan decided not to teach parametric equations and polar coordinates which Drew loves and takes for granted you know. tl;dr: good guy, uber mediocre professor; grading that sucks, avoid if you're SEAS

May 2018

AMAZING PROFESSOR. Hands down the best math professor I've had here. He's clear, methodical, and really lays out the material in a comprehensive way, doing examples as we go along. While some professors seem to go through the material like it's a piece of cake and don't see why someone wouldn't understand something, Professor Dowlin knows how to teach students in a way we can understand. He always stops for questions and he knows his stuff, so he actually answers the questions thoroughly (what a concept). He writes clearly and at a nice speed on the board and takes little breaks to explain, so you're not frantically trying to catch up writing while missing what he says. He started the first day of class with a Harry Potter quote and always has riddles and hilarious snarky little comments that make class enjoyable---what more can you ask for! I will say his class is challenging-- he wants you to really understand the material instead of plugging and chugging, but you get so much out of it. If I could take his class again, I totally would. He's also really friendly and gives great advice. While some professors are intimidating, he's really open and wants to help you. Don't be fooled by his young looks---He's a master in his field (or at least a wizard in disguise.)