Prof. Piechnik is the BESTTTT! I took Calc IV with her Spring of 2020. She's approachable, funny, and very open to questions. She's open to feedback with the online format and makes sure you're prepared for the tests. The format of the class felt more similar to a high school math class - more chill vibes, more opportunities to work on your grade, not just 2 big exams. She's super funny and makes math fun. Couldn't recommend more highly.
Dr. Piechnik is the coolest. If you are afraid of math, go to her class and go to Office Hours, seriously. She insists she'll give out all these quizzes but hardly ever did and even when she did they didn't count much for your grade, they were mostly practice, and sometimes you could even work with people around you. She also always wanted to share stories and chat and really encouraged class bonding. She also refuses to grade on a bell curve, what you get in her class is a direct result of how hard you work which can be really nice in math classes if you're not the most naturally talented but willing to work hard. The workload was not super light but it was still Calc IV so all things considered definitely manageable.
Taking Calc II with Piechnik was a good experience for me. Piechnik put in extra effort to make us feel comfortable with the online format and still feel some semblance of a normal class experience; while most classes required that everyone muted until they raise their hand (understandable) she encouraged people to interject with questions and have natural conversations. She often went off on tangents with anecdotes tenuously related to the class material, but nonetheless enjoyable. As for actual teaching, some of her lectures left me confused and required me to go off and use other resources to figure out how to properly apply the concepts. She did work through some examples, and also put us in breakout rooms nearly every class to work through a few problems. If you're not a fan of zoom interaction you might not enjoy that, but sometimes working through the problems with a group could be helpful to solidify concepts as long as you weren't completely lost in the lecture. She is very clear with what she expects us to know for tests, going so far as to give sample tests that pretty closely mirror what's on the real thing. Homework assignments were never too bad but sometimes they didn't mirror questions that would be on the tests. She prefers to write test questions in the same way she writes classwork questions, which are different from questions from the book. I preferred it this way as book questions can be annoying. She gave us a group project and test over zoom, which could have gone poorly but ended up not being that bad. The project was to make a video explaining a concept from series/sequences. Not easy concepts, but you take the test as a group so hopefully someone knows what's going on for each section. That's how it worked out for me. Your mileage may vary. Overall, a solid recommendation. She emphasizes group work and interaction, if you're not about that sort of thing I guess you should stay away, but her tests are completely fair and the homework load is not bad at all. Also-- if you're reading this in non-covid times, congratulations, and her class structure may be different. But her character is the same, and I'd recommend taking her class on that alone.
I do agree with other reviewers that Piechnik does teach the material fairly well. However, many of these reviews are quite old, and she seems to have hardened somewhat. During the pandemic, she showed a distinct lack of compassion and flexibility. She seemed unwilling to acknowledge that this semester has, in fact, been incredibly difficult for many of us, and demonstrated little understanding or compassion for this, being incredibly inflexible about grading and deadlines. If this is how she was during the pandemic, I would imagine that in a normal semester she would be even worse about this. Though she was a decent professor, there are other good, or at least passable, professors out there who actually have at least a tiny amount of compassion in them, something that Piechnik just really doesn't seem to possess.
This class was definitely one of my favorites I took this semester. Professor Piechnik is extremely funny and very straight to the point with how she teaches. One of my only qualms (and this may have just been the result of having classes on Zoom) was that she often got very distracted by comments in the Zoom chat and we would quite frequently go off on tangents, but they were often pretty funny and a nice distraction from other things going on. The material isn't extremely difficult, especially if you've taken Calc AB or BC in high school, and again, her teaching style is very cut to the chase. The homework was probably the least time consuming of all my classes and the test questions were incredibly fair in my opinion, really asking for the most baseline application of the concepts we learned for that unit. Would definitely recommend taking this class with Professor Piechnik if you like a Prof who has a good sense of humor and doesn't add a lot of fluff to their teaching style.
Piechnik deserves the gold nugget. Her class is super fun and chill. Lots of guest appearances made by her cats. The contents of calc two aren't super difficult to grasp but she does a great job at explaining concepts. The workload is also pretty light. Maybe five to seven problems from the textbooks due before class.
Lindsay is absolutely the best math teacher I have ever had, in my life, hands down. She’s passionate, she knows so many different ways to help answer your question and I will be trying to take another course with her in the future, without a doubt.
Lindsay is very good at teaching math. She is fair and really wants everyone to succeed in her classes. Students have rearranged their schedules to take her sections when they’ve been in her classes previously. The biggest thing from the class was that when you turned in a quiz or test, Lindsay would give you immediate feedback and suggest any problems you’d want to revise before turning it in finally - like if you need to show more steps to get full credit. That may sound juvenile for a college class, but it’s very effective. There are unannounced quizzes (which are once a week, usually the same day each week). Class attendance is pretty much mandatory because of the quizzes. Homework load is moderate, maybe 3-4 hours a week. She has office hours 2 or 3 times a week and they’re very helpful, especially before the midterms and final. Pre-calculus was one of the best classes I’ve had at Columbia. I have never been as secure in knowing I’ve mastered a subject as I was going out of that class. It’s really a good foundation for Calc 1.
This professor was awesome. I had not taken math in many years (the highest level I had done in high school was pre-calculus) so I was in need of a refresher before entering pre-calculus and then calculus in the fall. Not only was she entertaining, but she taught a very thorough class. Nothing felt "rushed" despite the fact that the whole 6 week session is rushed. She times out the class well, and creates a collaborative class room with well managed participation so no single person's "issue" would overwhelm the lesson. I personally found her sarcastic tone to be hilarious, and I appreciated when she would call me out for being "WRONG." She did not entertain "short-cuts," preferring that we understand "why." I left feeling a little bummed about my high school math education--I swear I didn't learn HALF of this...they just let me slide by with A's through rote memorization. Yes, the course is non-credit--but I feel it is definitely worth it. If you can at all afford it, are not lazy, and want to do well in your future classes, swallow your pride and enroll in "basic math." The first few lectures left me questioning if I had made the right choice (the syllabus covers everything starting from the beginning) but you will be thanking yourself when you get into pre-calc and you are able to hit the ground running instead of re-learning concepts or wasting time reviewing rusty skills. This is especially true if you are taking pre-calculus during 6 week summer session. The way I see it, you can suffer and stress (and probably do worse than you would otherwise) in future classes, or just do the review offered in this course. Your major options and overall GPA earnings will expand. And again, having Professor Piechnik at the helm will make the whole experience much less torturous.
Professor Piechnik is a very good Calculus professor. She is very clear in explaining the concepts and is lively enough to keep you awake and interested. The course material covers very basic limits through the applications of integrals. Weekly homeworks from the textbook helped reinforce concepts and a few pop quizes thrown in throughout the course makes sure you know the material. There are two midterms and a final. If you keep up and understand the material, it is pretty easy to do well. The tests are not meant to trick you, but rather to make sure you know the materials. If you don't understand the material, she holds several office hours and extra help opprotunities. Overall, Piechnik a very good teacher who is organized, clear, and truly wants to see her students succeed.
Lindsay is an excellent teacher. Her approach is organized and methodical. She speaks and writes clearly. Her charisma will keep you awake through a long class period. She is personable, genuine, and supportive of her students.
For any Columbia students whose majors require Math specifically Calculus and whom haven't been in a Math class in a few years or bombed the Math placement exam, this class is required. Unfortunately the 2 credits don't count towards your degree so you have to bite the bullet and pay for this pass/fail class. Now onto the class itslef... Lindsay turned out to be a pretty good teacher. I didn't like her or her sarcastic sometimes cynical- and condescending-sounding remarks and gestures during the first couple of classes. She's a PHd student and clearly didn't have lengthy teaching experience. However after the first week, she proved to be more helpful than harmful. She'll answer questions regarding the previous night's homework before she begins the lesson for the day and always informs us ahead of time of her office hours before and after class when she's available to help. During the midterm exam she brought us little brown paper bags with goodies in them because she mentioned a past experience of failing an exam and finding that after taking it again, the process of opening up a piece of candy or snack help her relax and even remember the math processes a little better. How sweet! She even did the same thing for the final exam. So moreover I will say that she was helpful and committed to helping the class gain understanding of all the processes she taught. Her attitude could take some fine tuning but after the first week or so it softens a lot. I took this class in the summer so we met Monday through Thursday for an hour and a half for 6 weeks.
Lindsay is a great teacher, with an excellent, clear cut method of teaching. She genuinely cares about the success of her students. She makes makes math methodical and understandable. If you have the chance to take her class, do it!