What Your Seat In Pupin 428 Says About You

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A diagram of the seats in Pupin 428
A diagram of the seats in Pupin 428

The seats look a lot more intimidating when they’re stadium-tiered at a 45 degree angle

All-seeing and all-knowing Bwogger Ross Chapman calls out everyone in his Pupin 428 lecture, as though he didn’t write this in Pupin 428. 

Pupin 428 may not be Havemeyer 309, but it’s still an important classroom for anyone in STEM (or in other big classes that needed a lecture space). The 154-seat auditorium actually spans two floors, and features a very steep slope of desks which look toward the lecturer. While the classroom doesn’t usually have assigned seats, students will often gravitate towards specific sections. What does seating in a certain part of Pupin 428 say about you?

  • Row A (Front Row): Your syllabus said that the class was in Room 328, and so you entered down at the bottom of the room through the 3rd floor entrance. Seeing a full classroom, you sheepishly took a seat in the front row and prayed that the professor wouldn’t notice you.
  • Rows B and C, Seats 5-14 (Front Middle): You’re a teacher’s pet, even if you won’t admit it to yourself. Your courteously fill in to the middle of the row to allow others of your kind to occupy the best seats in the house. The professor will spend the entire 75 minutes pretending you don’t exist in hopes of somebody else answering a question for once.
  • Rows C through H, Seats 5-14 (Middle): The nameless masses. You think, “If I sit here, the professor will never notice that I’m only in class every other Tuesday.” (She will notice.) You arrive one minute before class time, and you start shuffling your papers five minutes before the class is scheduled to end, setting off a chain reaction which interrupts the professor’s profound end-of-lecture summary.

  • Rows B through I, Seats 1-4  (Left): You’re a manspreader, whether or not you’re a man. The left section is perfect for putting your feet up on the seat in front of you, since you’re not pointing your soles directly at the professor. This is also a great spot to lose your umbrella and your water bottle, so you might go here to hunt for forgotten treasures.
  • Seat B15: Oh, you think you’re just sooooo special, don’t you? “Ooh, look at me, I’m in a row all to myself!” Well guess what, kid: you’re not special. You have never been special. The only reason you got into Columbia is because you wrote on your application, “I want to sit in Seat B15 in Pupin Laboratories, Room 428.” Nobody gets their own row. Go sit in C15 and put your backpack in C16 so you can take up a full row like a normal person.
  • Rows C through G, Seats 15-19 (Right): You probably arrived late – these are the optimal seats to slide into, since the 4th floor entrance is on the right side of the room. This section is slanted at the front, just like your heart. You get to view the professor from an angle, which helps you shy away from eye contact when they try to find somebody to answer questions.
  • J1-J4, I6-I14, H15-H19 (Back Row): You feel a strange power from being more than 10 feet above your professor. While you alternate between careful note-taking and frantic paperwork for your four extracurriculars, you’re one of the most engaged people in the class. You just sit in the back so your laptop doesn’t get anybody’s way.
  • The Loose Chairs in the Back: You’re shopping on Amazon. Your presence in the classroom is about as vital as… well, as the loose chairs in the back.

Seating diagram via Columbia IEOR

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1 Comment

  1. I was a special innocent naive frosh  

    B15 forever!

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