Sabin Cautis

This professor has earned a CULPA silver nugget

Dec 2011

Sabin Cautis is an excellent instructor. He has a Harvard PhD and teaching experience from Rice, but neither of those statements sheds light on his ability to present the material in an enlightening and inspiring manner. At times the material involving Green's theorem, divergence Theorem, and others was quite confusing, but Sabin was always very approachable. Over the semester there were two different stand-ins, one of whom was equally adept at presenting the material in a comprehensible and engaging manner, and another who was incredibly confusing and difficult to follow. It made Sabin's teaching style seem incredible by comparison. Sabin's familiarity with the problem sets and teaching material for the imaginary calculus section of the course was a bit sub-par, but since he was probably rocking the Putnam exam (again) while he wasn't teaching class, I think we can excuse him.

May 2011

Although young (I thought he was a TA) and rather shy, Cautis overall is a really good teacher. His notes are very clear and logical. His assignments are really short and sweet. His lectures end 15 minutes early every class! Although his lectures are not the most exciting on earth, he really enjoys teaching and watching him teach is very entertaining (he is good eye candy). Overall, this class is definitely worth taking. It fulfills several requirements and is really easy!

Jan 2011

I would recommend Cautis for calc III. He talks clearly, writes clearly, and is very smart. He goes through material slowly but calc III does not cover much material so this may be more of a fault with the class than his teaching. He does do lots of examples in class. If you go to the lectures then the problems on the hmwks and midterms will be very familiar. An A is not difficult to get.

Jan 2011

While I thought Sabin was quietly effective, the class material is soft to begin with, so there wasn’t much pressure for an outstanding instructor. That being said I learned solid material with relative ease and I think Sabin deserves some credit for that. Yes, he has an accent and he talks softly. But this isnt an issue if you sit near the front of his class, as I did. I thought his examples were nicely instructive even if they were straight out of the book. Some frustration owed to that his problem sets often had patchy resemblance to what he showed in class, so although they were short, they often took longer than I wished. Definitely not difficult though. If you took multivariate before, there's no need to come to class. I didn't, so the lectures were helpful and it helped to do extra practice problems. The one issue with this class I thought was that about a quarter of the class had taken multivariate before, so the class average was unfriendly to a generous curve. Sabin was, I think, as passionate as you can possibly be about multivariate. We finished much earlier than he anticipated so he showed us some linear algebra, some theoretical grounding for we learned as a way to give more intellectual zest to what was pretty rote material. He would often try to get us to “ponder” the reasoning behind formulas and such. He (half-heartedly) wanted to infect his students with fervor for the equation of a plane. I tried to appreciate it. I got the impression he was quite introverted; he's friendly in the not-social way. The first midterm was a breeze while the second one was a letter grade harder. Both were “cumulative” but not really so. The final was fair, and definitely worth studying thoroughly for if you don't have a background in multivariate. The curve was moderate.

Dec 2010

Cautis' class was definitely my favorite class this semester. Although his lectures weren't particularly interesting, they were straightforward and conveyed the necessary material to complete the homeworks and do well on the exams. He is clearly a brilliant guy, however, he often makes computational mistakes on the board, which might make it difficult to study from your notes. In general, his notes are quite complete and provide many examples to demonstrate the sometimes esoteric concepts that are covered in Calc 3. The first two exams were extremely straightforward and not difficult at all. The final exam was harder than I expected given that the midterms were extremely easy. However, it still was very possible to do well on all three exams. Overall, I definitely recommend taking Calc 3 with Cautis.

Dec 2010

Underneath Professor Cautis' lush, bicep-rich exterior is a quite bland disinterestedness which I found rather unbecoming. Certainly I will allow that a mathematics' lecturer need not coo over his students like a loving hen, but Professor Cautis's approach is certainly less than warm. Despite these shortcomings, Professor Cautis gives example-based lectures that, while not always immediately graspable, were relatively straightforward. Then again my maths skills are about as poor as tiny Tim after a stock market crash, so perhaps he deserves more credit. In any event the gravity-defying workload makes up for everything previously mentioned, provided it does not make you lazy.

Dec 2010

I took Calc III after AP Calc BC in high school. Cautis is a pretty good instructor: he presents clear examples, gives useful homework assignments, and makes a point of trying to give the big picture when teaching strange concepts. This course certainly made my knowledge of calculus more complete, and that was thanks to Cautis. He was a good instructor; not too invested but presented everything in a very clear manner. Sometimes he would dismiss questions that weren't very intelligent during class, but he's always willing to explain things again after class. All in all, decent class, good instructor.

Nov 2010

Cautis was great. I really enjoyed calculus because of him. He walks you through examples and writes very clear notes on the board. While he follows the book, his explanations give more insight on the conceptual side of things. He could answer every question we hurled at him. While some people don't like how he works out every question on the board rather than coming with prepared answers, I thought it worked out better because you can work along. The tests and homeworks are very reasonable. If you attend lectures you shouldn't have any trouble at all.

Nov 2010

Cautis is a good teacher. He's enthusiastic (in a quiet way) about the material (he wants to teach you how to think about math), and presents it clearly. He explains concepts in 3D by showing you how they're the natural progressions of 2D concepts. The class is a bit boring at times, but its math, so that's to be expected. his pace seems fine, and he almost always ends class 15-20 minutes early. the tests/homeworks are not particularly difficult. the midterms are straightforward--he doesn't give any problems you wouldn't expect from the homework or textbook readings. all in all, I recommend this class. Its an easy, simple way to learn Calc III and you'll come away with a good understanding of the concepts.

May 2010

Calc I was one of my favorite classes in that I went about once a week and still received an A. In general, Sabin is not the best lecturer. He's quite hard to hear and to understand. In class, he moves extremely slowly, making it unpleasant to attend. His examples, however, can be used as blueprints to solve almost every assigned homework question. The class was very straightforward - there was nothing on the homework or exams that was not covered in class. Sabin is also a tad bit absent-minded when it comes to rescheduling exams (I had to reschedule my exam, and he "forgot" to tell me when the makeup was AND originally told me that I was not allowed to take a makeup). Sabin is a nice guy though, and it is easy to see that he's possibly brilliant. Perhaps Calc I was simply beneath his talents? His jokes are a little dry, but he tries pretty hard. In summary: Not the most interesting class but very straightforward and fairly easy.

Jan 2010

deriving so much takes little integration some such clear lectures I took a horrendous AP Calculus BC class when I was still in high school, and I was terrified that my professor at Columbia would be equally incompetent, going off only examples from the book and leaving little concepts for clarification. However, my experience with this class was very much the opposite. Professor Cautis is indeed soft-spoken, but I sat in the back of the classroom for most of the semester and was able to hear him clearly. He does only go off examples, but I found his explanations of the thought processes behind calculus before delving into those lent me a much stronger understanding of the material than I had previously been taught. Some of the examples are obviously developed to lengthen the class time, as we often would get out ten or even twenty minutes late, but this is more of a testament of Cautis's ability to get to the point of each lecture rather than ramble on. As a new professor, he obviously has flaws in being stuck in that distant didactic lecture style, but he showed an obvious passion for mathematics and often showed it through the way he talked about the concepts. Also, his style was very appropriate for calculus, though still in the rough, especially at the beginning of the semester, when his lectures seemed more muddled, but he improved over the semester. The two midterms were relatively easy. The final, however, was a bit harder, and I'm guessing it was extraordinarily curved from the difference between my semester grade and what I got on it. I went to lectures usually to listen to the first twenty or thirty minutes before they got too dry, then after that I would do something else and then pay attention again to copy down his very clear notes. It is also of note that some of his examples were also on midterms and the final.

Nov 2009

Cautis is a very good professor, especially considering it's his first time teaching here at Columbia. He does talk low, but after the first day no one complained about not being able to hear him. He bases his lessons off of examples, and is always willing to do more if someone asks. Approachable, has a slight sense of humor, and organized in a simple way. Meaning, he collects/hands back homework in two folders: Last name A-M and O-Z. Keep in mind that you can see your grade on courseworks, but homeworks are posted on a specific website he gives you the first day. And don't leave homework in his mailbox, he doesn't like that. Overall, I would recommend him to someone taking Calc I.

Oct 2009

Sabin Cautis is a nice, albeit slightly awkward professor. His voice is slightly low so you might wanna sit in one of the front rows so you can still understand what's going on. Even though the course was on the large side, he always took questions, although in the beginning his explanations were sometimes lacking and not as clear as they could have been. I have the definite feeling that this improved over time though.