What do you like best about this course?:
I really liked Professor Sontag's style of teaching. I learned a lot from his lectures and I think that the weekly quizzes reinforced everything that we learned.
matrix exponetials just b/c i like linear algebra back when i took it
Dr. Sontag did not try to trick us: we knew what to expect to see on exams and quizzes, and it was on the students to make sure they knew the material.
It was a very hands on oriented class. The professor made sure everyone understood the material.
I found the material interesting and the professor presented it in a very friendly and understanding manner.
This is supposed to be a fairly difficult calculus class, but the professors enthusiasm for the material, online notes, and examples in class made it easy to comprehend, and succeed.
It is clearly visible that the professor enjoys what he is doing and the material he is teaching. This makes the class much more enjoyable.
Linearization near equilibria was pretty cool. Also forced harmonic oscillators. The trace-determinant plane looked cool but I could never actually remember what it looked like so I ended up recalculating it every time.
Quizzes were very helpful to gauge how well you know the material for the exam.
If you were teaching this course, what would you do differently?:
I would offer reviews for the exams.
I was very content with this class and probably would not change anything.
In what ways, if any, has this course or the instructor encouraged your intellectual growth and progress?:
Professor Sontag was one of the best math professors I have had at Rutgers and I really enjoyed learning about models and relating it to real life.
taught me about math, professor would often mention interesting stuff related to math like search engines using eigenvalues or something he read about liebniz and newton, he really knew a lot about math, more than just what was in a textbook or the core material
Dr. Sontag incorporated topics in applied math into his lectures and made even the most dry material seem interesting and worth learning. This has definitely sparked an interest in studying differential equations on a more advanced level in the future.
Yes, I am a math major, and very rarely can one advise their friend to take a math class because its easy. There are some math classes that you may not learn because of the way the professor presents the material, but Sontag did a great job at presenting the material which mad it easy to comprehend.
His exams are actually related to what we learned in class and homework. In the past, I have had bad experiences with exams and them being COMPLETELY different types of questions than what we did in class or in our homework.
Other comments or suggestions::
You move very quickly. Although you were very good about leaving equations on the blackboard for students to copy, the general pace of each lecture was a bit too quick for me. You tended to repeat topics frequently, and I think that was necessary because the speed at which each example came was too fast to absorb in one pass. One fully-understood example is more worthwhile than two partially-understood ones in my opinion. The most straight forward improvement would probably be to speak slower for clarity and to give us a chance to process the information before blindly accepting it.
One of the best professors I have ever had
One of the best teachers I've had in 5 semesters at Rutgers.
You look uncannily like one of my math teachers from high school.