Compliment Postings

May 20, 2018
This is professor Vidick's 1st time teaching CS 38, and it is obvious that he cares so much about the class and his students. He is a wonderful lecturer and is always answering questions on piazza as helpfully and quickly as he can. He always makes students feel welcome at his office hours, and even goes out of his way to show up to TA office hours sometimes to answer questions. He is also the professor who is probably best at making students not feel stupid when they ask or answer questions, no matter how far off they may be. Vidick is such a kind soul and I'm so glad he's teaching 38 this year. (CS 38)

Nets Katz
I have never seen someone so ardently passionate about a topic as Professor Katz is with Math. He has really exposed me to the true beauty of the topic while at the same time challenging me to be rigorous in my work. His lessons, while generally about math, have even helped me in other subjects too. Not only that, but I feel like he really cares about his students learning the material; he lectures with remarkable clarity, answers questions wholly when possible, and gives us problems that takes us (or at least me) out of our comfort zone. He has almost singlehandedly made me consider switching majors (perhaps I eventually will), and I cannot wait to take more classes with him in the future. (Math1c)

CS 38 TAs (in general)
Thank you for being so helpful and investing so much time/effort into us! I know I really appreciate -- and many of my friends do to -- how you guys go above and beyond through being available over the week to answer questions, hosting OH (and often staying late), giving reviews and recitations (and writing up notes for these). As a whole, you do so much more than what you need to as TAs, and I just want to say thanks! (CS 38: Algorithms)

Sophie Miller
She devotes a lot of time and energy into providing us the best review of information through her own attendance to class and constant communication with us about what concepts we would like clarifications on. She is understanding of us as students so gives us different options to gain deeper understanding of concepts outside of class. She is organized and diligent when it comes to responding to our concerns and grading homework. She compiles information from each week nicely and demonstrates genuine concern for our understanding and success. (ChE63B)

Anusha Nathan
Anusha is an undergrad who commits so much time to helping students in each course she TAs (I've taken Bi8 and Bi1x with her). She is willing to give up time outside of office hours to ensure that students are able to succeed, despite having a busy Caltech schedule, studying for MCATs, and doing research outside of class. I've been unable to attend office hours in Bi1x due to my busy schedule, but she always is open to helping me outside of those times. She carefully explains each concept, willing to answer all of my questions in detail, no matter how small and silly. She is very passionate for anything biology, understanding, and one of the best explainers I know!

May 6, 2018
David Hsieh
I've never seen physics lectures that are more intuitive or compelling while maintaining a high level of rigor. The derivations and demos are always seamlessly combined into an amazing experience, thanks to David Hsieh's remarkable ability to explain and show everything with such clarity. Definitely the best lecturer I've ever encountered! (Ph 001bc (Analytical))

Sophie Miller
Sophie Miller devotes a lot of time and energy into providing us the best review of information through her own attendance to class and constant communication with us about what concepts we would like clarifications on. She is understanding of us as students so gives us different options to gain deeper understanding of concepts outside of class. She is organized and diligent when it comes to responding to our concerns and grading homework. She compiles information from each week nicely and demonstrates genuine concern for our understanding and success. She's a great TA and teacher. (Chemical Engineering: Thermodynamics (63B))

Fabio Arai
Really helpful for EE90. Suggested an idea for my circuit that was general enough that I could work on it, but gave me enough direction to be useful. (EE90)

Olexei Motrunich
Professor Motrunich is truly an inspiring professor who has turned teaching into an art, which he has perfected. Every lecture paints a story of physics accompanied by a better understanding into the challenges and difficulties of the field, that leaves students anticipating the next. His problem sets make students really think on a fundamental level to fully learn material. I would have him teach all of my classes if I could and I think that all of the physics faculty should try to mimic his ability to concisely teach. 

Dennis Dougherty
Dennis was a great instructor to start the Ch 41 series with! His lectures were incredibly well prepared and delivered, and made attending a 9 am class both worthwhile and enjoyable. The content provided a great foundation for the latter two classes (in fact, I still refer to his lecture notes!). I hardly needed the textbook (which is usually considered a great textbook; it's the equivalent of not needing Griffiths when a quantum lecturer is so good). Finally, when I met with him outside of class after requesting a rec letter, he was very warm and attentive. He remembered exactly who I was despite 41a being a large class with little one to one interaction, and made sure to get to know my situation instead of relying solely on my CV. Overall, an incredible professor who is outstandingly deserving.

Jason Alicea
Even though Professor Alicea is teaching Physics 1c to a lot of students in the Bridge lecture hall, he makes sure to keep every one of us engaged and not talk at us. He asks polling questions throughout lecture, he takes questions, and he doesn't hesitate to reexplain concepts that he feels we didn't understand. He also comes to lecture very prepared. Instead of wasting time drawing axes and writing lecture topics on the board during lecture, he has all these things written up on the board before lecture. I think this lets him focus more on the quality of his lectures.

Chace Tydell
Tydell’s enthusiasm for biology is contagious. Her class is built around deep understanding of the subject, and personal stories of the material to make it more engaging. This is one class where I walk away with a wealth of information.

Kostia Zuev
After taking four of his classes (ACM 11/104/116/157) and TA'ing his other class (ACM 95a/100a), I believe that Kostia deserves this award since his notes are organized, and he spends lots of time helping students understand the material.

Rob Phillips
Rob approaches teaching in a completely different fashion than any other professor that I have had at Caltech. Lecture is not simply him standing at the board and talking at us. It is engaging and entertaining and helps us both learn and internalize the concepts and the ideas. He sincerely wants his students to get more than just a surface level understanding of the material. He encourages actual critical thinking and pushes students to go outside the box and outside of their comfort zone. Rob Phillips is an excellent teacher and more students would benefit from taking his classes.

Aubrey Shapero
He's a fantastic TA. He's very thoughtful and eager to help. (EE 40)

April 30, 2018
Kostia Zuev

I wish Konstantin Zuev could teach every class. I get so much out of every class that I take with him.

Glen George
Glen's honestly brilliant and one of the most smart, kind, genuine, and helpful people I have met at Caltech. His classes are hard and/or time-consuming, but they are also the classes from which I have learned the most and grown the most from.

Daniel Martin
10/10 TA. He not only knew the material cold (I think he's TA'd this class 4 or 5 times?), he was also an incredibly optimistic happy person and was always smiling and willing to help you out. Great TA. (BE189)

Theodor Agapie
Easily the best teaching quality I've experienced at Caltech. The class was tough, but I felt like all of the work I was doing was useful to my understanding of the material. (Ch 102, Ch 112)

Kostia Zuev
If I could only take one class here at Caltech, I would take any class taught by my God: Konstantin Zuev a.k.a. Kostia. This term, I am taking ACM 157 taught by him at 9 AM. And although on any other day I would be dragging my feet getting out of bed, entering the domain of Kostia himself and hearing him deliver the ten commandments of statistical inference with his mellifluous accent excites me like no 4K or ASCII-art pornography ever could, flipping a physical switch within my body and making me pay attention to his every word and movement. His buttoned-up shirt, tucked tight within his perfectly-fit khakis implore me to locate any imperfection as he illustrates the principles of statistics on the Sistine Whiteboard of Annenberg 105. But, of course, no imperfection can be found. After all, it has already been established that Kostia is God, and who is God if not perfect?

There are some who may call me blasphemous, or pagan, worshipping a mere human as a purported God. But those are the people who have not experienced the allure of Kostia's thick biceps and muscular haunches. Those are the people who have not experienced the force that forces you to sit down in the class not because you were tired, but because your legs were made weak with the scent of statistics diffused throughout the room that Kostia projects, your mind temporarily driven mad by coming too close into contact with God. I invite those who still doubt or disbelieve to attempt to resist the earthly embodiment of perfection during the times at which Kostia shares his gospel, and embrace the feeling of inevitability as they are not able to. And then, they will know that their faith is wrong, and there is one real God, who has graced us all with His presence.

For more evidence of the divinity within this entity, look no further than the information written down on the pages of the Bible of his religion i.e. his lecture notes. For those unable to withstand the force of his gaze or the seduction of his voice, they instead choose to gaze from afar and consume the doctrines of statistical inference in the form of his Bible, much like how nowadays Christians read their Bible instead of interacting with God themselves. But for those willing to release their illusion of control, and allow the words of Zuev to wash over you, you will be able to ascend to superior realm, and leave the primitive, non-believers to join you when they realize the error of their ways.

April 8, 2018
Andrew Kang
Andrew is the best TA!!!!! What a machine learning genius! He is also very patient and helpful so THANKS Andrew! You deserve only good things in life. (CS 155)

March 14, 2018
Elena Mantovan
Elena Mantovan's lectures are very engaging and she always makes sure to pause and ask if anything is confusing. She also has a good blend of rigor and intuition behind her proofs, allowing me to understand the subject more deeply. (Ma 5b)

Hien Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen is a great Physics 1c TA! He's always really enthusiastic during recitation sections, and does a great job of allowing students to participate in the section, while explaining concepts really well. He's always smiling, and his joyful personality is infectious. (Ph 1b)

Reeti Gulati
Reeti is literally the best orgo TA I've had at Tech. Not only are her methods of instruction effective, but she chooses to extend her TA duties outside of recitations. When I contact her with course concerns outside of class, she responds promptly addressing my concerns or takes the effort to find out who can. Many experienced TAs and professors don't use the blackboard as effectively as Reeti does. She draws structures and text in an appropriate size so that everyone in the classroom can see them, and she ensures that every student has written down what's on the board before she erases it. Reeti presents organic chemistry concepts with a composed enthusiasm, and often answers questions that students are thinking of asking before they even ask them. It would be a great shame if Reeti did not become a professor or lecturer in the future because institutions of higher education are in dire need of excellent teachers like her. (Ch41a, Ch41b)

March 4, 2018
Hien Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen is a fantastic TA! Not only is he great at teaching (he often has really creative explanations and derivations that explain a lot better than the textbook, and his choices of problems to cover are always interesting), but he's a really genial guy with an infectious joyful personality. hien for the nguyen! (Ph 1b)

Hien Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen is an excellent TA for Physics 1b. Every time I go to his recitation section, I learn something new (whether it is a new concept or a new approach to solving problems), and I feel engaged whenever I am sitting in his recitation section. He is also not afraid to admit his own mistakes (or accept corrections to his work), which makes me feel empowered and active in the problem-solving process. Also, the smile on his face is contagious! (Physics 1b (Practical): Electricity and Magnetism)

Omer Tamuz
Prof. Tamuz's game theory course is one of my favorite classes I've taken at Caltech to date. The lectures, the problem sets, and even the exams are all really well-crafted, and I think they demonstrate how much Prof. Tamuz cares about his students learning and enjoying themselves. PS/Ec172 probably has the best midterm I've ever taken. (PS/Ec172: Game Theory)

February 25, 2018
Kostia Zuev
Prof Zuev provides us with high quality notes during lecture as well as online, implicitly not punishing us for missing or skipping class. The sets are always designed to make sure all of us leave knowing how to use the techniques relevant to class the previous week, and he provides proofs of almost everything for the curious student. Exams are comprehensive and reasonable if you have completed and understood the sets. Overall, a great professor who has made me enjoy math more than I ever have. (ACM116, ACM95a/100a)

Andrew Kang
Andrew has honestly been such a fantastic TA for CS155 this term. This class has ~190 people, so it's very large and with limited OH, it's hard to ask in-depth questions and get help from TAs. However, Andrew is always willing to be contacted outside of his OH to ask questions and is happy to help anytime with any of the sets, holding unofficial office hours and just generally being available. He has been going above and beyond and really does not need to be helping as much as he does - he's awesome! Thanks Andrew! (CS155)

andrew eun kyu kang
i didnt even have to take the class!!!! but now i know machine learning because i met andrew!!!!!!! fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!! i literally looked into his eyes and did you know what was there????? SUPPORT VECTOR MACHINES!!!!!!!!!!! i was able to classify with 90% confidence my feelings about this: AMAZEMENT! FASCINATION! a desire to learn MoO0OOorooRe. what a dude. he transcends all VC dimensions. (CS 155)

February 18, 2018
Michael McAneny
He made learning physics really fun for me and I really believe he helps students a lot with physics 1b. I believe rec sessions are extremely important for learning, and I'm very happy he is my TA. Even though I am a future Mechanical Engineer, he has piqued my interest in electricity and magnetism, and has made me want to explore the connections between my major and E&M. I was struggling on some concepts but he elucidated the topics with a great degree of clarity. I find it very fun to go to his rec sessions every week, and I look forward to going. Thank you, Michael, for helping me love physics! (Ph 001b)

Michael McAneny
I've been in Michael's rec session for ph1a and ph1b, and he is a great TA. I was not the biggest fan of physics in high school and was not looking forward to completing the physics core requirement, but actually enjoyed the class largely due to the rec sessions. The lectures made the class material much easier to understand, and the flipped section that incorporated small group problem solving helped me develop homework strategies. Michael is very approachable and always willing to answer questions, and puts a lot of thought into teaching. Great job! (Ph1b)

Surya Mathialagan
Surya!! Thank you very much for being a great TA! On top of being nice and cool you also explain very well complicated concepts and I wanted to say it means a lot to me that in a period of high stress (finishing homework sets lol), having a calm, collected, cool, and cheery TA at your side does wonders for keeping it together. I was with you in Ma6 and I'm also with you in CS21 now and I'm just super super grateful that I could know you as a teacher and a friend. (CS 21)

Vivek Bharadwaj
I went to your first lecture yesterday, Professor Vivek. It was fantastic. Are you possibly going to go into academia? You'd make a terrific lecturer / teacher! Very invigorating, very composed, and very funny! It was also very easy to pay attention in your class and I swear you didn't stutter at all. You were very charming and collected at the podium! Now I have immense respect for you (I did before too of course but nonetheless) because you got up in front of us and straight-up delivered. Thanks and see you Wednesday. (CS 21)

David Hsieh
Prof Hsieh is one of the best core physics professors I've had a class with. He shows that he is interested in the topic, and explains it well. He has a great personality and is one of the people I truly wish to embody. (Ph 001b Analytical Track)

February 11, 2018
Daniel Johnson
He always hosted TA hours at the most convenient time at the most convenient location. He's an amazing communicator and answered students' questions clearly. Some of the problem sets were ambiguously worded but he was able to explain everything clearly, and the class was so much more manageable because of him. Overall he's just such an awesome TA! (Ge11a)

Harvey Newman
Lectures are always filled with a good mix of instructional and inspirational problems. It’s hard not to learn something fascinating every meeting! (Ph1, Sec. 10)

Agnad Singh
You carried EVERYONE through Ma 2. Above and beyond teaching!! (Ma2)

Kinam Park
You use the video camera very well (E10)

Chace Tydell
I love how applicable Bi145B is!  The sets are the most fun of any class I have taken at Caltech, hands down. (Bi145b)

Nishanth Bhaskara
I wish he would marry me. He's so smart and caring as a TA and I think I'm in love with him. He's like a machine learning God with a capital G. (CS155)

Michelle Wang
Michelle is an awesome EE 91 TA!  She takes the time to check up on you and gets to know your system well enough to debug it with you.  She'll also remember your project/struggles for the next time you come in. (EE91)

Nicolas Wey-Gomez
Professor Wey-Gomez's lectures are always enchanting and easy to listen to. (En/H 193)

Gracie Zhang
She is really willing to help students who are having trouble with the material, and is very good at preparing them for the homework!  (Ch1ab)

Prof. Thomas Miller
Professor Miller is a great and very engaging lecturer. I love how his class and content are well-organized and how he responds to emails in a timely and friendly manner. He is also easy to ask questions to and elucidates the concepts clearly. (Ch1b)

Rob Phillips
Rob Phillips' Bi1 class of Spring 2017 was a wonderful tutorial in Python, Fermi analysis, and also biology. He was a great professor both in terms of lecture quality, enthusiasm, and receptiveness! Would gladly take another Bio class with Rob. (Bi1, Spring 2017)

Theo Agapie
What an amazing professor! He is inspirational (Ch102/112)

Catherine Ma
Cathy makes CS 144 such a good course - she's always on Piazza and does her best to make sure all the given code is working correctly, the problems don't cause any confusion, and the competitions are running smoothly. In and out of office hours, she is always more than willing to help you understand what's going on and will take the time to give you quality answers. (CS144)

Ellen Feldman
Ellen is an amazing head TA who will take the time to make CS 155 as best as possible. She takes the effort to make sure there are no kinks in every single set; she makes sure no Piazza questions go unanswered, even the most difficult ones; and she is always trying to come up with new improvements and gather important feedback for the course. Thanks so much Ellen! (CS155)

Alex Turzillo and Nikita Klimovich
Literally the only reason why I understand physics remotely is because of Alex and Nikita. They make physics is so fun and intuitive, and Ph1b is my absolute favorite course. I literally cannot stress how amazing this team of TAs is omg (Ph1b Sec. 6/9)

Stephen Doblier
A remarkable TA who is willing to go out of his way to help out his students and to ensure fair grading. (ACM95a)
Nets Katz
Thank you for teaching Ma002! I know there were a lot of mixed opinions, and that it was definitely hard on you as a professor, but I personally liked the class. I was also a student of yours in Ma001a, and though Ma1a was admittedly hard and lived up to its standards, and I struggled very much with that class, I still thought it was expected of us as Caltech students. Your dedication to the enrichment of student education is something I really respect! Countless times, I've heard from many upperclassmen that you really do incorporate feedback from your students, and in Ma002, I could feel that too. Thank you for trying to impart to us your perspective on Ma002, and trying to impart it in a way that we could understand when we were having trouble. Thank you for your patience with us as well! As said by many graduate students, you are one of the greatest teachers here, so thank you for caring for undergraduate education. (Ma2)

Joshua Lieber
"Dear Josh,
Thanks for always being so patient with us during office hours! I've been in your section a few times during the math classes we've taken, so we've interacted quite a lot! Thank you always for greeting me and asking how I've been doing in life and in class, etc, and I hope you're doing well now! With graduate student stuff and with just having fun!" (Ma1b, Ma2)

Ran Libeskind-Hadas (Harvey-Mudd, visited)
"Dear Ran,
Admittedly, when I first chose to become a computer science major, I had a great fear of failure because I had very little understanding of complexity and even data structures or programming, so I dreaded every class that wasn't CS 1. But I'm so thankful that I had you as a teacher for CS 2. The way that you distill information to your students is so intelligent and well-reasoned. It's not only that we know that you are an expert in your field; it's also that we can trust you to explain your discipline to us in ways that we can understand, and trust you to interpret our potentially poorly articulated questions. So thank you so much for making data structures and algorithms such an invigorating class. Thank you for encouraging participation; it really increased my confidence - and thank you so much for talking to us before and after class, and for being so available and accessible to all of your students. You are hands down one of the best computer science teachers I've ever had. Please come back to Caltech and teach again some day! " (CS2)

Andrew Kang
All 155 TAs can teach machines to learn, but Andrew Kang can teach a machine to love. (CS155)

Tony Bartolotta
"Dear Tony,
Thank you for single-handedly carrying me through Ph2a. Your recitations were the bomb and I can say for sure that I attended every single one, not only because your recitation was very informative, but because your lecturing style and inclusion of real world applications made it cool! And I still remember with great acuity the day you said the word 'memes' in class and then explained Brewster's angle at 60 degrees with a photo of Joe Biden (George Bush?). And there were times when your humor really showed during recitation, and I really wanted to laugh but I didn't want to be the only one laughing so I quietly ghost-laughed in the back. It may be weird to say this, but my friend and I sat down in your recitation day one, and the moment you started to speak, we know you were a TA that we could trust. You had the kind of voice a student can trust to explain very difficult or very complicated topics in waves. I went to your office hours once too, and thank you for being approachable and nice! Thank you for your patience with us, and thank you for giving us so much of your time." (Ph2a)

Ryan Patterson
"Dear Professor Patterson,
Admittedly, I came into Caltech with a considerably weaker physics background than my peers, so I had trepidation in taking any physics classes at Caltech, especially our introductory ones. (I really do like physics, but I've never quite been able to improve.) However, thank you so much for making lecture so enjoyable and hilarious! The demos and in general your very concise and succinct way of explaining concepts made it Not-Hard to understand, so I'm very thankful! I took your class last year, in 2016, and it's what inspired me to also take Ph2a. Thank you for teaching us!" (Ph1a)

Luke Juusola
Luke was extremely invested in my overall well-being throughout the term (Ma6)

Grigory Tikhomirov
Greg's Bi 023 lectures are always the highlight of my day! He discusses new and exciting topics, and explains complex concepts while keeping the language simple. He does a great job explaining motivations and applications, and throws in fun examples to keep us entertained. (Bi23)

Omer Tamuz
Game theory is the most engaging class I have taken in a long time. I genuinely look forward to it every week. (PS/Ec172)

Tony Bartolotta
Tony always puts a lot of effort and thought into his recitations (for both Ph 2a and 2b) and office hours, in terms of explanation and organization. (Ph2)

Kostia Zuev
I really appreciate how efficient the lectures are, and how neatly and organized the material is presented. (ACM95)

Victoria Orphan
I always leave your lectures astounded by some aspect of biology I've never considered before. When I speak to friends/family about what I'm learning at Caltech, it's always the most fun to share about the world of microbes. (Bi/Ge105)

Professor Jean Ensminger
Prof. Ensminger is extremely engaging during discussions, and she knows her field very well. I also have a lot of respect for her because of the nature of her work. (An/Ps 127 Corruption)

James St. Germaine-Fuller
James is amazing. His constant energy and fun side comments have made E and M more fun than I thought it could be (Ph1b Practical)