professor
Akash Sengupta

Jan 2021

Professor Sengupta was super kind and always willing to thoroughly answer questions during lecture and office hours. He also spent a great deal of time reviewing necessary pre-calc concepts in the first third of the course. Homework was very helpful for success in the class but manageable. I noticed that a lot of people in the reviews say that they took AP/IB Calculus in high school; this will definitely make the class easier, but I was able to get an A- without ever previously taking pre-calc or calculus. Do not let your previous background with math discourage you! I worked hard for my grade but it was still VERY manageable (and I say this as someone with horrible time management skills). If I can do it, so can you! I would suggest really taking your time doing the homework! If you struggle with a problem, make sure to do a few similar problems in the textbook. Don't spend too much time trying to understand theoretical concepts; practice problems are most important.

Jan 2021

Akash Sengupta was a really nice teacher. He was understanding and always wanted to make sure the class understood. This class was a lot of lecture that could be tough sometimes to digest with so much content. The class was easier if you took AP/IB calculus, but still a great class either way. There was not too much homework, it was graded on work and accuracy, and students were encouraged to work together. This is a great calculus class with a lot of support. The tests reflected what was taught in the class so take notes, and you should be okay. Also, You cannot get more than an A in this class.

Jan 2021

Fair warning: Took this class in Fall '20 (all online thanks to COVID). Homeworks and exams are straightforward. The lowest two hws dropped which is generous! Akash seems nice but like others have mentioned: horrible handwriting and lectures are SO boring. I opted to just learn the material on my own and skip the dry lectures. Final grading was curved DOWN; "A" range was 97 to 100.. like.. wth? B+ is 90 to 93?

Jan 2021

I took this class as a freshman with Pre-Calc in high school. He is definitely one of the better lecturers. In terms of understanding the course, he is very clear with his class instruction and I did not have to depend on the textbook at all for the whole course (The textbook is needed for weekly homework assignments) On top of his lectures and office hours, I depended solely on his in-class notes and additional notes he uploads on canvas to do the questions. I was able to do the weekly homework assignments and midterms/exam successfully which really adds to his credibility as a professor. He is really understanding of his student and tries hard to clarify concepts in class. When I get stuck, piazza was the way to go and his explanations (and TAs) were clear enough for me to get through the question.

Dec 2020

If you are good at math, you'll do fine in this class, but this is for all my fellow dummies. Somehow I got into Columbia with an almost negligent education in math and calculus (#publicschoolproblems). Also, I do not have a natural inclination to like or understand math. Now... I am fully aware that "being good at math" is a social construct, but I am also lazy and find math to be possibly the most impossibly boring (yet difficult) subject, so I am not putting in the hours in the library to correct the fact that I never fully learned the unit circle in high school. Why am I taking Calc I then? I took Calc AB, so my advisor told me to take this class. I am also trying to major in econ so I can get the "good jobs". We all are coming from different places, so now you know is mine. Okay, so Prof. Sengupta seems like a nice and understanding guy, but the lectures (I suspect especially over Zoom) are extremely dry. There is zero flavor. The lectures are like a midwestern mom's salt and pepper over roasted chicken breasts that stayed in the oven a little too long. It is extremely difficult to focus on his monotone voice and chicken scratch handwriting when you aren't in a classroom to keep you at least a little bit focused. At the same time, he goes pretty fast. His method of teaching is using examples, rather than explaining concepts and methods. Like reading the textbook is really one of the only ways to understand the backgrounds of the examples. He posts written concept explanations on Courseworks, which are great but it becomes difficult to follow where he is going when he switches between OneNote tabs. Both methods are valid, but this is useful to know going in. Overall, I would not recommend it for someone who needs a more thorough explanation than just going through examples. If you are someone who is a little weaker in Calculus (but your advisor doesn't tell you to take pre-calc), I would advise looking into another professor. TL;DR-- Nice guy. Fair courseload. Fair exams (second midterm significantly harder). Terrible Zoom lectures.

Oct 2020

Disclaimer: I took Calc 1 in Fall 2020 during Covid-19 so all instruction was online. Professor Sengupta is a really nice person and a really patient teacher. However, I definitely struggled having him teach Calc 1. His handwriting is truly illegible and that makes things incredibly difficult to understand at times. Just looking at his notes is impossible and often times, students are simply asking him to clarify what he's written. He moves through concepts very quickly and I found that he generally doesn't explain them very well unless a student asks him to clarify. It's obvious he's very good at math but as a result, he assumes that concepts that are very clear and natural to him are also clear and easy to his students. He seems like a really nice guy and he definitely cares about his students, but I just wouldn't recommend him if you think Calc is something you may struggle with.

May 2020

I took this class freshman first semester and took Calculus BC in high school and found it to be very manageable. He is very helpful and is willing to work with students patiently answering questions during the entirety of his office hours. Overall, a good professor to take Calc 1 with. The midterms were both fair but the final was harder than both the midterms. Disclaimer: I studied a lot for the tests and got an A and the people who complained about the class did not dedicate much time for the class. So if you're willing to study then you should get an A in the class.

Apr 2020

A super chill math professor! Goes through concepts, asks questions, very approachable. I took Calc AB in HS and got an A- in this class, granted that I didn't really study enough for the exams. Would recommend.

Apr 2020

I found this class to be quite difficult. As a GS student, I hadn't taken precalc in over a year, and during this course I found myself struggling. You should have a pretty strong concept of Trigonometry and College Algebra, or it will feel like you are drowning. My complaints with Akash is that his handwriting is horrible and he teaches relatively quickly. So if you are trying to follow and are confused, you may find catch yourself lost and unable to catch-up. Often times the class is interrupted, because someone is asking about what it is that he actual wrote on the board; his hand writing is often illegible. His fours and nines look the same, and he likes to abbreviate a lot. He also skips mathematical steps when going through the problems as if he assumes you know what he is doing. Maybe since it seems so natural to him himself that he just assumes that we should feel the same? On a positive note, Akash is very willing to help and is a very friendly instructor. He is very intelligent and a positive individual.

Jan 2020

Goes through the material at a relatively normal pace, but some concepts he goes through more quickly. His handwriting is sometimes difficult but using the book to study should be all the information you need to do well on the tests and midterms. I took Calc BC in high school and found the content of this class to be very doable for first-semester freshman year. Much of the content was repetitive but there were some new concepts that were not too bad. I got an A in the class but did study a lot for the midterms and finals. Others who did not study as much complained about the difficult, so overall if you're willing to study, this class is great! He is very helpful during office hours and overall a nice guy.