professor
Josh Greene

Sep 2016

Wow. Totally assume. He can draw a figure 8 knot with one hand and trefoil with the other in real time.

Jan 2010

This professor... has good intentions. He is obvious new to teaching (if he's not, then wow), and he shows it a lot. Having learned Calculus 1-4 in high school under a very capable teacher, I felt no need to attend any of his classes, and after the first midterm, that's exactly what I did. The questions in classes are mostly for clarifications, and Prof. Greene struggles to answer even those. He was unsure on most of conventions (like parens for points, angled brackets for vectors), which confused some of the newer students. He's really nice, however. I feel like he tries hard for the students... it's just that the ability is not there. If you've already taken Multivariable Calculus in high school and are just taking this course to fulfill SEAS requirements, then I guess you could leave Prof. Green as a choice. But if you actually need to learn, then avoid Prof. Greene like the plague.

Dec 2009

This class was honestly a let down. I had not taken multivariable before, and I'm not an engineer, so this wasn't exactly a breeze. Greene seemed to never be prepared for lectures and ended up awkwardly stumbling for an hour and fifteen minutes. The only incentive for going to class was lunch at Hewitt afterward. Going to his office hours was useless, considering he would just read from the text and never answered any conceptual questions. Where did they find this guy? A DMV in Jersey? Oh wait, that would be Princeton. I'm sure he could be a great professor once he gets his act together, but until then, I would avoid this section unless you've done this before. It seems to be curved nicely, but who really knows. Take Nam Le, who I've heard is much less stressful, or even Lauda.

Dec 2009

If you have a strong background in calculus from high school, this class is incredibly boring. You'll find yourself astonished at the kinds of questions your classmates will ask, and the awkward mumbling that Greene will do to try to explain the concept. The material is simple. To be honest, there's not enough content to warrant an entire term of class, which is why it seems to drag on. You'll do fine if you read the book and do the homework, although you should start the homework at least two days in advance since it usually turns out to be a little longer than you anticipated. The lectures aren't very helpful. Greene will try to explain concepts in class, but he tends to go with convenient explanations rather than detailed ones. He skipped over epsilon-delta limit material, which is a mathematical crime, but no one complains because epsilon-delta problems are tedious.

Nov 2009

His teaching style is what I expected coming to a university like Columbia. His lectures aren't dumbed down to where he merely produces equations that one can use without any real thought. But the lectures aren't hard to understand, either. He combines basic math concepts with some common sense to approach a conclusion. Generally, unless he deems it inappropriate, he shows the proof to how certain equations and theorems have developed, which I found helped me understand the concept better and thus have a better grasp at difficult problems. Greene's lectures are usually a little on the dry side, but he does have moments of funniness. There has been general discontent with the scores of the midterms, but there is a generous curve. On the last test, the score to get an A was only about 7 points (out of 100) above the median. I'm not sure what the other reviewer is doing in Greene's class, but there isn't much abstractness in this class at all. Very straightforward and clear. It is his first year, but there is definitely potential for him to get better at his job as a professor. Also, he geniunely cares about his students and how to teach better, so he shouldn't be someone to avoid.

Nov 2009

Let's keep in mind that this is the first time he's teaching. Although I don't particularly like his style, I think he does improve on his mistakes when he teaches the later section. About the midterms, the first was ridiculously easy, and multiple people got above 100%. The second was harder, but that helped to differentiate all the people clustered at the top. The curve is amazing. I got a horrible score percentage wise, but I was pleased with the letter grade that fell out of that. I don't see how one can complain about "abstract" or "theoretical" questions, because they force you to understand the material conceptually instead of just plugging and chugging. Besides, all the proof type questions were on the previous homework assignments, so there's no excuse for not knowing them. He is also very responsive to emails and questions after class, so really, by the time you're thinking of taking this, the clarity of his lectures should have improved, as should the level at which he sets his exams.

Nov 2009

I don't necessarily agree with the post below, and I'm pretty sure we're in the exact same class. Josh Greene is obviously new to the ropes and while he does not do a very good job explaining certain things, I really think the thing that slows the class down is the fact that the students in the class don't pay attention and then make him repeat himself like 100 times in class. Honestly, if you are going to not pay attention in class, don't make that everyone's problem. As of now, I don't particularly recommend Greene, but I have the feeling he'll become better at explaining concepts as he develops as a teacher. He does say some pretty funny things, which make the class more enjoyable than it otherwise could be. He's not particularly rigorous so if you aren't into math you should probably take this class. I do find it frustrating though that he asks the students to look the proofs up in the book rather than explain it to us–but on the flip side, I learn faster reading out of a book so it's not that big of a deal.

Nov 2009

I'm interested to hear what other people think of this class/professor, but I think they both SUCK(ED). (This class is still ongoing.) Josh Greene is a nice guy: he's quirky, kind of funny, and I guess sort of cutesy in that understated math-nerd kind of way. I understand that he's also brand new to teaching, and I'm pretty sure that this year (fall 2009) is his first year teaching at Columbia. Well, it shows. I feel that he's done a very poor job at explaining the material throughout this course. Not that he doesn't try- he just doesn't succeed. It's as though he's trying to be clever or innovative or something when he begins multiple threads of instruction at once,then sort of advances them simultaneously, then tries to tie them up together. I think he fails miserably and bungles the whole thing. Calc III in and of itself is not very difficult at all- but when Josh Greene teaches it poorly and then asks very abstract and theoretical questions on homeworks and on EXAMS, the course ends up being way more trouble then it's supposed to be. My advice: if you don't already know this material, don't be another guinea pig for the teaching experiments of Josh Greene.