professor
Daniel Lacker

Apr 2021

Professor Lacker is the best teacher I've had so far at Columbia. He is brilliant and knows the material inside and out. But what makes his course so amazing is that he explains all the material with astounding clarity. Everything is so clear I didn't feel I needed to rely on the textbook at all! His lecturing abilities are phenomenal. This is such a rare phenomenon among professors and is not to be understated. Many professors are so genius they cannot clearly communicate the material. Professor Lacker is at this level of genius but explains everything so everyone can understand it. Yet this course is certainly challenging. His HWs are pretty hard and require using long-forgotten identities about the convergence of infinite sums. And you need to think deeply about what the questions are asking. However, you learn so much from this. If you have to take this course with Professor Lacker, you absolutely should do so!

Apr 2021

This was a great course! Professor Lacker is a great lecturer and you can tell he really takes the time to prepare his examples and outline of topics to discuss in class. This really helps with doing the hw assignments which are really intuitive and build off of his lecture examples, although sometimes more challenging. This course definitely got harder near the end, but if you put in the effort should be able to finish with well above a passing grade. I got As/Bs on hws and the average on the exams were usually a B.

Dec 2020

Fantastic professor, easily approachable. Somewhat quiet/serious/monotone guy but honestly one of the best professors I had all semester. Lacker structures his course in a highly regimented way - for this virtual semester at least, the standard week consisted of recorded lectures (fairly fast-paced, especially near the end of the semester) with notes taken in OneNote and uploaded to Courseworks. Overall this course is about as fair and objective as they come at Columbia, which is saying a lot. I'd recommend staying on top of the material as much as possible, especially in the latter half of the semester where he starts to throw in integrals and all kinds of crazy calculus that you haven't thought about since AP BC/Youngren Multi.

Jul 2020

Excellent professor. Even though he is incredibly smart, he is very clear and explains things well. He also posts his notes that he took during the lecture on Canvas so you can focus on the content instead of copying down his writing. All the exams were fair. A couple of times there was a tricky question but definitely fair game. Plus, the grading of the exams was very nice as you got tons of partial points even if you thought you bombed a question. The homework's were similar in difficulty to the exams, perhaps slightly harder. This was helpful because if you could do the homework and the practice exam you knew you were going to be fine for the exam.