I want to set the records straight before my review that I passed the class with an A so my review is objective. to state it bluntly if you care about acquiring a decent knowledge about econometrics and its application to your field of study and of course your grade stay away from professor Erden. Although she seems pretty responsive and always ready to answer questions that are a trap in disguise. First of all, you need to do all the work on your own from reading the book to understanding the application of state and its command and the intuition behind every single interpretation and command and its relation to the real world because if you think you will understand one concept diligently by attending the class you are tremendously mistaken! At first, she was going at a slow pace and it seemed like a breeze and unlike what everyone else before described but man once we hit the third chapter she only cared about finishing the program despite most of the TAs being absent because of the strike and she knows how crucial the understanding of state is crucial to answers the problem set in a decent way of assimilation but she kept on rolling with the lecture and the material while brushing through her notes with a total disregard to our understanding of the most important part which state and its interpretation. I found the material of the class pretty interesting and gripping and I was eager to learn at first but her utter lack of pedagogy disorganized way of teaching and lack of practice when it comes to the real shit was an incentive to never come to class and learn the material elsewhere. You have to do your due diligence outside the class in order to get a slight grip of what is rumbling through during the class and that if you are a quick study. Let's not mention the disastrous and fiasco around her problem sets that keep on repeating themselves every single semester with the answers already published which make the grading unbearable to approach. The question is nothing close to what we covered in the lecture and the level of sophistication of proof demonstrations that are being asked are outside of the scope of what was covered in class! She is also very inconsiderate when it comes to answering emails that are noted as important or urgent or time-sensitive. she is also very insensitive and inconsiderate when making extremely disrespectful and rude comments in front of the whole class. the midterm was a disaster and she did not take into consideration the condition of the exam and its impact on students which made it hard to even skim through each question. For the final, the fiasco was indescribable as she shoved 4 additional chapters that were barely covered in class. it's ironic how she mentioned in class the fact that she makes it hard for us to earn decent grades and it's because she wants us to learn but the vast majority ended up scarred for life hating the subject and neither learning nor earning good grades. I was an exception because I basically busted my b** and it felt like a 3 class, not one. for the midterm and the final she prepares a slide with note lecture that she regurgitates and read in a lousy way without any practice or any chance to practice your mistakes and she calls it a review don't expect to get any sample exam or test. One of the worst classes I've had so far and I've had my shares of bad ones.
Professor Erden is a good professor. She listens to student input when she can but also respects the boundaries that have previously been set when necessary. I was very nervous about taking Econometrics, but I ended up okay. I was a little less than one standard deviation above the mean on the midterm and final, and I ended up with an A- in the class. In an online world, this course tests knowledge and application of Stata/R commands in exams. In in-person format, Prof Erden says proofs are tested on exams. Taking an online exam on Stata/R was a bit difficult, but she made the final a bit easier on us and gave us enough time to complete it. PSets take a long time to do, especially if you have no Stata/R background. Find a TA with a teaching style that matches your learning style, and this will help. Of course, the TA strike did affect me, but somehow I ended up doing okay in the second half of the semester. Erden seems to care about students more than most professors. I appreciate her ability to cut off certain students who monopolized class time by frequently interrupting with questions. It is unfortunate that the lectures were not recorded for students in different time zones. She also does not post lecture slides before class, but she provides fair reasoning for it. It did help me take better notes during class. In summary, I’d recommend you take her section.
I feel like Professor Gashaw gets a lot of hate for no reason! I actually thought that he presents the concepts clearly and the PSETs were great for learning and not overly difficult (except for PSET 5, that one was really hard.) He also cares a lot about his students and puts a lot of effort into finding exam times and formats that worked for everyone. My only complaint was that (on Zoom) he used a wide calligraphy-type pen that was harder to read than a simple pen style would have been.
Professor Erden is a very reasonable and approachable professor. Her lectures are clear and slides are comprehensive. The textbook is well written, and follows the course closely. That said, Econometrics can be a challenging subject given the nuances of implementation in STATA and the amount of math. Furthermore, the grading can be rather arbitrary because very little partial credit is offered. If you are meticulous and follow along with each lecture, this is a standard difficult course. Lots of the learnings around causality, regression, difference in difference are needed for learning economic papers and doing more rigorous work in later classes, so the content is actually quite useful. The curve is not generous about 1/3 A, B, and C or worse, but this is a department policy. Too many people inappropriately displace their anger at the subject matter, TA grading, and departmental curve towards Professor Erden. She's fair and good at explaining concepts, especially the big ideas.
Don't let his cute little British accent fool you, this man is the devil incarnate. I took this class over zoom, so let me tell you just how difficult this man made every aspect of this class. His lectures are so monotone and boring, but you're forced to go because he DOES in fact record his lectures but does he post them? Nope. In fact, he went and DELETED all the lecture recordings. His excuses are bullshit because every other class records their lectures and posts them (unless it's a small discussion class) but this is a lecture with almost 200 people? So I don't understand why making this class as inaccessible as possible was his goal. That being said, let's move onto the course setup. The lectures go over theoretical concepts of econometrics, basic enough. BUT, the problem sets are where you're totally screwed, because they ask you to code in STATA, but do they tell you how to? Nope! Do they give you a guide? Nope! Did they even give you a STATA cheat sheet? NOPE! That would be too empathetic of them to do so. The problem sets were SO hard too, and the exams were so difficult the average on the midterm was a 60, with a std dev of 17! For an Econ class that's ridiculous. If this class wasn't required I would have stayed as far away as humanly possible. I have no idea what this man's problem is, but he is truly demented, and I genuinely think he is a sadist.
Take this class if you enjoy watching paint dry. This guy is probably the WORST professor I have come across at Columbia. He has zero ability to teach and his lectures are completely and utterly inaudible. He would walk in and just start writing down illegible equations on the board with absolutely no context whatsoever and when students would ask clarifying questions he answered with something completely unrelated (or maybe I just didn't understand him because NO ONE CAN). He speaks at a volume of -10 and even if you could hear him it would be impossible to distinguish any words from his speech because he has such a strong accent. Sitting in his class was the most miserable, stressful, and tragic thing I have ever made myself do. On three occasions I simply walked out halfway through because I was getting so frustrated and angry at this joke of a class. I resorted to learning everything by myself from the textbook but even that was difficult and inefficient. I also just stopped going to class for a period of time because of the stress of not being able to hear a word he said. The TA's are not helpful either so recitations won't save you. There is absolutely no guidance in this course. Please please save yourself and do not take this class. You are paying MONEY to go to this school so you can have REAL TEACHERS! While Bai may be a smart guy he does not know how to teach and you will learn nothing from his dull painful lectures and extremely difficult exams. Absolutely not what I came to Columbia for...
Jushan's class is just okay. His workload is objectively alright compared to the complaints I've read about Seyhan's class. All his problem sets come straight from the textbook, so there aren't that many "custom" questions for you to wrangle with if you know what I mean. The class is boring. He just talks and writes on the chalkboard and pauses maybe once or twice per lesson to answer a question. Most people seem disinterested and only stay to copy his proofs which he tests in the Midterm and Final. I honestly learned more from studying the textbook than from attending his class. My main gripe with this class is that he provides no way to learn, other than to tell you to read the textbook. Unlike Seyhan, he does not provide any slides or learning material. You have to figure out R on your own. Last note: his class is objectively more theoretical than any other econometrics class. He is very fond of proofs and derivations, making this topic even more incomprehensible. The final exam barely had any questions that involved just plugging in numbers. In fact, almost all of them were either proofs he went through in class or him just testing you on a specific model. Get ready to barely learn the basics of a certain model and have him test you on a special variation of it in the exam. I wouldn't personally recommend this class unless you know what you're doing and you like learning on your own. People say he's nice, but what's the point if you dread going to class in the first place? My last gripe is that he also doesn't tell you what he's going to talk about in the next class, so you're left trying to interpret what he's saying as he tries to introduce (yet) another topic that you should've read up in advance.
Don't do it. You'll be regretting to rambling lecture with homework you'll have to try to mine the book in order to understand, and then be blindsided by tests which are way beyond what's been discussed in class. Pretty difficult to get even an A-.
Professor Erden seems very patient and approachable. However, she is one of the two worst economic lecturers I have had at Columbia. This course's contents are very interesting to me, as they are relevant to my interest in policy research and socio-economics studies. However, Professor Erden failed to deliver in a clear, engaging, and interesting manner. She could also come off as a very mean person at times. I remember in the second lecture she told the class that there would be a pop-up quiz given out WHEN THE ATTENDANCE RATE WAS LOW. It's like saying "I know I'm boring but you have to pay your due in this room." Her academic standards are not high either because problem sets usually contain mistakes and she recycled problem sets from previous years. I knew this only after the second midterm. People who got the solutions from the previous year were copying like nuts. Advice for Prospective Students: - READ THE TEXTBOOK! It's so concise and well-written by Harvard Economists! Let's just say Professor Erden would repeat many of these examples in her classes. If you figure out these examples, this class is an easy A! - Identify one or two grad TAs who have talents in this field and are helpful. I had Gustavo. He's so knowledgeable, clear and an awesome sensei!
Horrible Professor! Extremely rude during office hours. I've been to her office hours a couple of times, and she literally keeps students waiting up to 15 minutes while she plays on her phone. Sure she knows the material, but so does anyone who has spent a decent amount of time looking at the textbook. I really don't know why she has a silver star. Avoid at all costs!
One of the better Econometrics classes—the material isn't exciting (or at least it wasn't for me), but Bai is very clear in his lectures and it's easy to follow along with the textbook, which is surprisingly helpful. He's also really sweet in general. You're allowed to have a two-sided cheat sheet for the midterm, and two two-sided cheat sheets for the final; he really emphasizes what proofs and concepts you're supposed to know, so for some questions I ended up just copying over entire proofs from my sheet. The midterm average was 74.8/90, and the average for the final was 70.7/95. The pset questions are mostly from the textbook or proofs he's gone over in class/recitation (homeworks are graded from 0-100). The one issue I had with the class was that some homework questions required using R and even though the solutions were straightforward, looking up syntax took forever because we didn't go over R at all in class OR recitation. It wasn't a big deal but made doing homework a little more frustrating. Overall, I came in not remembering stats at all and still ended up with a good grade. The tests aren't crazy.
Pros - 1. Very straight forward exams - no tricks 2. Problem set solutions are all available online/people have the old solutions 3. One midterm, one final - no projects Cons - 1. Class is boring 2. Lecture slides are not posted beforehand, so it's hard to pay attention in class - you will find yourself scrambling to copy everything down instead of absorbing the material 3. Very, very slight curve in the class (but this means that the class average is already high, and this should say something about the exams - they aren't hard) FAQ: Do I need to go to class? No Are the exams hard? No, not really. Very straight forward - just study old exams, problem set solutions, etc.. Is the class time consuming? It doesn't have to be if you just copy the problem set solutions for the homework. It only gets busy before the midterm and the final - just go hard then. Overall assessment: Prob the best and least stressful metrics class you can take. B+ overall assessment of the course.
heard bai is teaching this again next year so wanted to post this (took it 2 years ago). if you want to actually learn metrics, this is the arguably the best intro to metrics columbia has to offer. personally i find metrics dry / wouldn't want to pursue this field further, but still did well in this class. he's good about reviewing stats before getting into the harder material. i also don't recall there ever being a mistake or typo on a pset or exam, and everything's pretty clear. overall a chill/nice prof, plus exams are fair, and he pretty much covers problems you'll see on the exams in class - so going to lecture is a good idea.
I loved Prof. Zarghamee! She is very good at answering any questions, no matter how dumb they might seem. She explains topics clearly and makes sure everyone gets it before she moves on. Would highly recommend!
Not a good class, but what are you going to do? Mandatory for the Econ major. The class through to the midterm were taught by Professor Miikka Rokkanen, who I believe is only a year or so into his time at Columbia. He was very adept at distilling the important pieces from the textbook readings and provided a manageable amount of slides ("Just the facts, ma'am"). Most importantly, his self-effacing presence and genuine enthusiasm shone through. Show me someone who loves what they're doing, and I'll be his audience. But this review is to be about Professor Seyhan (Erden). My sense is that Professor Seyhan has grown tired with teaching the course at a count now in/near the double digits. That's no slight against her character. It's normal for people at work to get stuck with tedium. If you had a PhD and were working at one of the most famous research universities in the world, would you really want to be teaching introductory material year after year to bunch of kids? Smart people don't like routine. I keep an open mind that her performance and overt interest is there, but for her graduate courses where she has a chance to pursue the hard and interesting parts of her work. Having checked through the previews on Coursehero it would seem that the problem sets haven't been updated very much or at all. What's confounding is how riddled with mistakes both the problems and the solutions are. Part I is compromised of a handful of TRUE/FALSE/UNCERTAIN statements, for which one is to provide justification for the selection. Given the EXTREMELY poor writing, it's hard not choose uncertain as the answer for the majority of the questions. Regrettably, it rarely is. As such, one is compelled to visit Seyhan's office hours or those of the TA's. For Seyhan, the answers and advice don't always come automatically. It's almost as if she is herself trying to recall what she had written and what she meant. Should you seek the advice of the TA's, you'll find yourself emeshed with them as you both try to discern what exactly is being asked. You'd figure that for the time spent getting clarification on the questions, it would inspire a heavy revision. I'd say this is as much the fault of the Professor as the TA's. Speak up! Don't shy away just because your boss has that PhD that you covet. This seems to be a pervasive sloppiness. That right there is a chief reason that to think the Professor has lost her enthusiasm for the course. The piazza discussion board is rife with questions seeking little else but clarification of the questions. It's common on the problem sets that you'll be given a laconic instruction to perform something in STATA, except that the commands needed weren't covered in class or weren't explained in any depth ... and they certainly aren't documented well for your reference. You'll be acting more like a monkey plugging in text than a focused student actually understanding what's going on under the hood. The proper response to this problem is to have instructions, separate from the slides, drafted up with the commands and some expansive commentary to elucidate what they are doing and to match them up to the long form equations covered in the text. That's just good pedagogy. Returning to the lectures, it's worth noting that the the slides aren't posted to coursework until after the Professor has completed her presentation of the topic in lecture. Her contention for this policy is that it incentivizes the students to attend lecture (perhaps a performance metric for her). That's just ass backwards. Instead, those attending are left worse off as they struggle to write up notes and copy equations into their notebooks--you robbed of the time to actually listen and absorb her commentary. The correct way to run any presentation anywhere is to provide materials beforehand so they can be reviewed, and more usefully marked up with personal notes during the meeting. Consider this one of those disconnects between academia and the real world. The textbook in play, Introduction to Econometrics by Stock & Watson, is fairly good. There are moments when the authors make big leaps in the manipulations of the questions. I struggle trying to figure out what the hell is going on. More arrogance than empathy, but that's typical academic fair, especially in mathematics where the author's predilection for abstract thought often subsumes an ability to write well. Because this is a mandatory course for the Econ sequence, you must take it. Given what I've seen, I'd be inclined to try another professor if I could do it again. Multiple sections of the course occur in any given semester, and for mine, they were all shared by Rokkanen and Erden. If you need some quality time, I'd suggest you pop into the lecture with the lowest number of attendees. Despite what you might be lead to believe by one of the ongoing examples in the test book, class size does matter ... a lot.
Jushan Bai's econometrics class is a solid class. Not mindblowingly amazing, but if I had to take econometrics again I would definitely take it with him. He's passionate about the topic but his lectures are still dry. If you're good at reading textbooks, then you'd be fine skipping, but all the material covered in homework and exams is covered in lecture so I think I saved a lot of time studying by attending most lectures. Prof Bai is also very helpful in office hours, so if you're having trouble or have any questions about the psets, he'll answer them for you. The workload was very reasonable and I didn't find it difficult despite not having a very solid foundation in statistics. He reviewed the topics we used (like hypothesis testing) at the beginning of the course, and I'd probably have been fine without having taken any statistics in the past. He provides wonderful pdf notes reviewing probability and statistics, which were super useful. The psets didn't involve that much R (I've heard horror stories about other classes and Stata) and were manageable. Overall, a medium level difficulty class with a pretty dedicated professor, and possibly one of the best metrics classes at Columbia.
Don't believe the silver nugget for a second. She's a bad teacher, and it's a bad class. It might be better than the other econometrics classes, so you might still be better off taking it with her, but don't get your hopes up. She's a boring teacher, and the class is very poorly run. There were frequent mistakes in her problem set solutions, test solutions, and final review slides, to the point where we were having to guess which of the two contradictory things she had told us was right. The material is boring and frustrating as is, but the way her class is run made it much worse. Nobody I know who went to class ever managed to stay awake, and her half-assed attempts at being funny just make it that much more painful for everybody who tried to pay attention. She's worthless as a lecturer, and you're guaranteed to feel at some point as if you've been wronged by the way she does things. If there are other options to take this class with, do that.
Professor Rokkanen certainly has good intentions, but his section was not effective in conveying the material. Granted, this was his first semester teaching W3412, and the course will probably change in the future if he happens to teach it again, so take my review with a grain of salt. For clarity's sake, let me separate the professor from the course itself. ----- As a lecturer, Rokkanen is enthusiastic but oftentimes unclear. He does occasionally joke about his spoken English, but this really isn't a problem. The problem comes when he's trying -- and believe me, he's trying very earnestly -- to explain the intuition behind the methods. I personally found his explanations unhelpful, as they didn't so much provide intuition as rephrase what was on the slide with less jargon (case in point: his lecture on IV estimation). What that means is you'll probably have to read the Stock-Watson textbook a good amount, or be prepared to google a lot, if you want to hone your intuition, which really is the whole point of introductory metrics. His lecture slides are structured, organized, and overall decent, although I would recommend taking a look at Arkonac's slides, which tended to be less organized but provided more intuition. Remember: intuition is key and the ultimate goal of this course. Onto the course itself, e.g. the homework, the exams, the pacing, etc. It was odd -- and by odd I mean unfortunate -- that all of our problem sets and exams were borrowed from Arkonac's course. Practically speaking, I felt like we were less prepared in completing the problem sets than students from Arkonac's section. Each professor allocates their lecture time on different topics differently, and it was frustrating having to search for a derivation that was absent from his slides (incidentally, they were often included in Arkonac's). There are tons of reviews on Arkonac's problem sets, but let me add a few comments. The homework is long and tedious. Watching anyone hunched over their computer, filling out those dreaded tables while simultaneously trying to use STATA is a sad sight to behold. For the average student, I'd estimate them to take roughly 4-8 hours to complete. It sucks, it really does. True/False can be tricky, and grading is not especially vicious, but it's easy to lose points if you answer a question incorrectly... well, no sh*t. My advice is plain and simple: suck it up. The exams test you on concepts similar to what was on the problem sets, and the hours of completing them will help internalize what you can probably expect to show up at least somewhere on the midterm/final. The feeling in your stomach (believe me, it's not a good feeling) when you're working on the exam is the same feeling you get when you're working on the problem set. Do the homework. A few last remarks on the curriculum. For those of you with no background in linear regression, there's a ton of material that is covered in this course, and 100% of it is predicated on the mutual understanding between the department and yourself that you're up-to-speed on basic probability and statistics. Know what conditional probability is. Know what an estimator is, really. It's nothing too advanced, but coming in with poor preparation can cause you much more trouble along the way. Would I recommend? I would recommend Rokkanen for introductory metrics if his problem sets and exams are, in the future, tailored to his own lectures and expectations. If not, choose Arkonac.
AVOID!!!!!! AVOID THIS MAN AT ALL COSTS!! Never have I taken a prof as lazy and useless as Ron Miller. I thought nothing could get worse than stats with Sheela Kolluri but I was SO WRONG, this class was infinitely worse. - Lectures were totally useless. He didn't post slides beforehand so you couldn't print them out to take notes, and they were basically a dumbed down version of the textbook with no math or application. Plus, he'd always say things in class like, "In the real world, you never use this" or "In the real world, this test is never accurate." But WHO CARES about the real world, when all this stuff is going to show up on our exams and you haven't taught it to us??? - No cheatsheets. He would say we wouldn't need them, and then would say that he would "provide us with any formulas we'd need on the exam", and then wouldn't provide us with any on the exam really. And he wouldn't provide us the formula sheet ahead of time (obviously since it didn't exist) because he said that would be "too much work to go through the textbook and look at all the formulas and decide which ones to give." Again, lazy. - Problem sets most weeks that got harder as time went on and became more and more focused on Stata. Again, nothing he said in lecture ever helped with the problem sets. Find a good TA (shout-out to Shen, the best TA and only helpful person in this class) and go to recitations/office hours. The problem sets were also totally useless in helping to prepare for the final. - No practice exams whatsoever, since this is (I think) the first time he taught this class and the first time he's taught in like 10 years. He was too lazy to write up practice exams and there was zero communication between him and the TAs. None of the TAs in the midterm and final review sessions had even a clue of what the exam would look like, only that it would be "somewhat math/application, somewhat theory/proof." We were given the practice exams from other sections (no thanks to the prof, solely b/c of our TA) which helped a bit but not really since his exams didn't look like either of these exams really. - Was a total dickhead about rescheduling exams if you had multiple on the same day. The only good thing about Ron is that he didn't give a shit if you came or didn't came or came for five seconds and then left, or fell asleep, or whatever. The class is doable (like most classes at Columbia), but it's completely stressful, unpleasant, frustrating, and overall a truly terrible experience. Do yourself a favor and take this class (and ANY class) with a different prof.
For anyone who wants or needs to take intro to metrics, take it with Professor Arkonac. I took this the same semester I took macro with Xavier. While she might not be quite as flashy or funny as Xavier, she makes it up by being so more much approachable. Both professors taught me so much, but being able to communicate with Arkonac and TAs frequently - and without being intimidated - helped me so much. I'm a math person, but certainly not a math genius. I came in knowing basically nothing about statistics and through some hard work, I feel very confident with statistics and econometrics. I also know STATA like the back of my hand. My advice is not to get too far behind in the coursework and to ask for help if you get confused. I was confused for literally the first whole half, did pretty badly on the midterm, but then did amazingly on the final. Just make sure you're proactive.
Bottom line: This is not a good class, in any way, shape or form, but that doesn't mean don't take it. Allow me to explain. Prof. Conlon can generally be expected to act in the manner that causes him the least amount of work. This has the following implications: all the lectures are little more than slides from the book, though Conlon does try to spice things up with real-life examples occasionally. The lectures are therefore fully interchangeable with just reading from the book (often, you'll understand it even better from the book. On the upside, it's an excellent book). More importantly, Problem Sets and the midterm ONLY COUNT IF THEY ARE HIGHER THAN THE FINAL. In other words, if you do nothing all semester, you can still get an A by doing well on the final. This is further supplemented by the fact that the Problem Sets are mostly self-contained: they mostly test your ability to use the computer program STATA, which the tests don't test, so you can (as I did) do rather well on the tests without doing the Problem Sets (or going to lecture for that matter). This is particularly good because the PSs can be atrocious: they test your knowledge of STATA, which isn't taught in the class but rather in section, which means that the TAs leading the sections have to juggle between reviewing material, helping with HW, and teaching STATA commands, all in 50 minutes. Something has to give, so usually you're left with figuring out a lot of STATA on your own. The PSs are often long (with sub-questions that can get to r/s/t and some questions that have you copying things mechanically from tables printed out by STATA). I found myself finishing the problem sets during class and even then not managing. Conlon himself is not very approachable, and can be rude, which surprises some students. However, the exams are pretty straightforward (though the final had some odd and vague questions), so it's not that hard a class overall. Lastly, there's a "Piazza" tool that is actually quite helpful: it's a method for asking questions and getting quick responses that all classmates can see. This is where Conlon's minimal-work ethic actually is an advantage, since Piazza can be extremely useful for the PSs and when sudying for tests. All in all: if you are the kind of person who can study well on your own from the book, isn't afraid of a 70% final or somesuch, and doesn't mind professors who are very distant from their class: this might be a good class for you (especially if you already know STATA or can learn it easily on your own). Otherwise, avoid like the plague. You will likely have a rather bad experience.
Take her for Econometrics if you can. Everything was manageable, she explained her everything pretty well. If anything look to the slides. She didnt rely on the slides til the very end, which at that point you breezed past most of the material on it to get to the examples. Many TAs so just shop around til you find whatever works for you. If you hated stats, the class is not much of a nightmare because you use a software (Stata) that does all the calculations for you. You just need to interpret the coefficients which the problem sets help you get used to and are explicitly explained in class. The lengths of the problem sets vary but are helpful and are easy points. Most of the class gets 9-10 out of 10 on them. She drops the lowest problem set. If you do the problem sets, study for the midterm for at least a day, you can get the average (which she puts around 70-75). She also gives 2 practice midterms. The midterm and final do take all of the time to complete. For the final, if you attend the review session, she tells you exactly what you need to study. Everything was fair. The final focuses on the material after the midterm and is only cumulative in the fact that you still need to know how to interpret coefficients and data. Corinne is a great TA, her review sessions and recitations were definitely helpful as she went over the important things and what the professor will most likely focus on. Attend recitations because they tell you the commands needed for Stata and how to get the results you want.
Econometrics with Arkonac was actually a pretty manageable class. I took Intermediate Micro with Arkonac, and can thus attest that her lectures in Econometrics are MUCH clearer and better organised than her Intermediate Micro class. Arkonac's lectures are VERY comprehensive, organised, and littered with examples. She does repeat half her previous lecture the next lecture, but hey, doesn't that just make it easier to skip class????? Pay attention in class, and you will never need to read the book.She's a lovely, sweet, and yes, very regal lady with impeccable fashion sense. Homework: Her problem sets never make any sense, but they're brilliant for getting you familiar with the material and getting a sense of what Arkonac wants you to know. Yes, they do that ages to finish, especially at the start, when she makes you fill out tables and tables of stata output; but as I said, it's all good practice for the final. Her P-sets do get a lot better towards the end of the semester, but I suspect that was the correcting influence of her TA. TA: There were a ton of TAs for this class, but the head TA, Corinne Low, WAS BRILLIANT. Why doesn't Corinne Low have a teaching award, like Carlos? \ SHE IS AS GOOD AS CARLOS AND DESERVES ONE. Her sections were on Sunday from 6 to 8, yes, but go. Just. Go. The week's lectures are pithily summarised. New and better stata commands are given, making your p-set experience that much better. Arkonac's strange fondness for mathematical formula and derivations are repeated, when necessary for the midterm and final, and discarded, when not. Math is translated into intuition. Have I convinced you to go to a 6-8pm section on a Sunday night yet??????
I took this class during the summer because I've heard horror stories about Econometrics, but it turned out to be a great class and I'm definitely considering taking Advanced Econometrics. David Munroe is amazing. I cannot emphasize how great this guy is. He explains things in a straightforward way and his lectures are concise (rendering the textbook useless-- don't buy it). David is also incredibly approachable and patient. He answers all questions asked in and after class, and will respond promptly to e-mails. The material in class can be dry sometimes, but David seems to realize this and usually makes a joke or two to lighten up the mood. He also prefers economic intuition to tedious mathematical proofs, which is perfect if you're not so crazy about the math side of economics. The TA, Jessica Tressou, was also great. She uploaded comprehensive notes that served as good review material for the midterm and the final and held weekly review sessions. Like David, she was also very approachable. I'm not sure if this was because the class was taught in the summer, but the atmosphere of the class was very relaxed, friendly, and not intimidating as all as I thought Econometrics would be. Definitely take a class with David Munroe if he teaches it again-- he is by far better than any math/stats professor I've taken at Columbia.
Yes - Arkonac is funny, witty, regal, interesting, etc. But she's not a great lecturer. Her explanations tend to be convoluted, and she always ends up focusing on derivations of formulas rather than on the metrics material itself. Overall, I didn't find her lectures or her lecture slides very helpful, and often had to go to the TA's office hours which ended up being much more helpful. In general Arkonac's teaching style isn't great, but her class is probably the least boring of the other Econometrics professors' classes (I've sat in on two others).
Econometrics is at times a painfully dry class, especially midway through the semester when more theoretical topics are presented, but is in itself an extremely important class. True economics majors should really appreciate it, as it is an introduction to actual economic research, rather than learning outdated economic concepts. If you chose economics because you want to go into finance or please your parents, you will most likely hate the class. However, Arkonac is a wonderful instructor. She is witty, light, her lectures are very organized (despite an eventual confusion from her part). Though her class became increasingly boring towards the end (she probably had to speed up...), the first lectures were really interesting. She is probably the best instructor for Econometrics in the department, so if you can do yourself a favor and take her class! Note: You will want to go to Stata recitation, so remember to count this in your schedule!
Oh well. I guess you guys don't have to decide which econometrics class to take depends on who's teaching it because, as you already took other stat. classes, professor doesn't really do anything in the class. I went to almost every class but after I finished the final I thought that it was not very helpful to attend all his lectures. Don't have to go to his lectures. Just stick on the power points that he gives you guys, and go to STATA recitation! That's where the TA gives you the TRUE tips how to do the HWs. HWs were fairly hard and fairly easy. Not bad at all if you guys work in groups. Anyway, Kristensen was not bad, but in fact, econometrics itself doesn't really require students to be in the class. You just need a textbook and powerpoints! That's it. Who's teaching it doesn't really matter for Econometrics, I guess. Good luck! p.s. I ended up B+ :) Midterm and final was not hard at all, I just couldn't handle 5 courses last semester.
I took Econometrics with Professor Onatski in the fall 2009 semester. While I found many of Onatskiâ€™s examples to be interesting and helpful (if a little morbidâ€¦.child mortality and GDP, suicide rates and GDP, etc.), I didnâ€™t think he was particularly clear in getting major concepts across. Problem sets were pretty challenging (although many of the answers can be found online if you do a little diggingâ€¦), and my class notes were too jumbled and confusing to be much help. In the end I was able to pull of an A- but ONLY because I took the time post-midterm to read, re-read, underline, highlight, and annotate the Stock and Watson textbook, which is surprisingly clear and well-written. I went to lectures anyway, but this might not be a good professor for you if youâ€™re not able to teach yourself out of a textbook.
On the first day of class, Prof. Arkonac stated that she thinks she is "an easy teacher." I think that in most econ classes, easy = fair, and she definitely succeeds in this regard. Every problem set (except the first), requires the use of the computer program STATA to complete. Most problem sets include performing regressions and then interpreting their results or doing some minor calculations. The STATA commands get progressively more difficult to understand as the class moves on, and most of the problem sets seem time consuming and/or tedious. The midterm and final are essentially an analysis of STATA outputs, so (THANKFULLY), STATA commands are not necessary to understand/complete any parts of the tests. Arkonac provides practice exams that are pretty closely related to the actual ones you'll receive, and review sessions are important as well as she (admittedly) is unable from dropping clues and hints about what you might see or should study for. Lecture attendance is not required, and neither is recitation, and it showed! ...especially since class was on Monday 9:10AM. Overall, this is probably as easy/painfree econometrics course as you can take, in particular because of the straight forward exams. Arkonac is a very sweet woman, very approachable, and is at complete ease with the idea that some students will be able to teach themselves the material more effectively than her lectures can. Would recommend this section for econ majors.
Professor Onatski's class has been a mixed exprience for. On one hand, I really like him because of the unconventional examples he gave in class, which made the models memorable; on the other hand, the book adopted by the econ department is way too abstract, and perhaps simple for Onatski's taste. I think it would have helped tremendously if we had another textbook that better suited Onatski's style, which requires a thorough understanding of the underlying mechanism, and the ability to apply theory in un-farmiliar situations. Onatski's problem sets come straight out of the textbook. But as the textbook is hard to grasp, it can take hours for your to solve the problems correctly on your own. I feel that I need to read the textbook for at least 4 to 5 times to appreciate the link between the theory it presents and the application to problem sets. It certainly would have helped if we had more practice problems to solve. The difficulty I experienced in the class can be largely attributed to my lack of statistical background. I am a sophomore and took Micro (Elmes), Macro (Reis), Stats 1211, and a bunch of finance classes (which are irrelevant in this case), and have gained "A"s in all of the classes. It took me lots of time at the beginning of the class to get comfortable with maneuvering with statistics problems. I would recommend my friends to (1) really learn stats in W1211, despite a sure "A" in most cases (2) take more advanced stats classes before attempting this class. For the mid-term, I boarderlined on B+ and A-; I spent almost 50% of my study time post-mid term to read over the textbook and really think about what's going on with those models. It paid off well, and I got an A for the class, despite the feelings that I've failed the class after final. Professor Onatski, unlike many professors in the department, does not make his test like the samples or homework; this really pushes students to understand the material. Even though I had a hard time with this class, I now appreciate his approach to the class more because I actually begin to understand what econometrics is about. P.S. Due to class conflicts, I never went to the TA's office hour, which is at 9am on Friday. It might have helped a lot if I did attend one ot those section. But the TAs are nice and post everything online before exams.
I disagree with one of the reviewers below. I thought prof kristensen while not a breath taker lecturer is not that bad. i only disagreed in that his lectures were disconnected from exams. he focuses in the math in the class, and gets you all worked out about the beauty of it... then like from an act of magic puff...math nowhere to be found in exams. but he gave a fair final, i thought. i was UTTERLY surprised the mean was so high in this class! 70 mean? Mmm...either those same people that were in my stats went to Jupiter and came back brilliant...I am really really puzzled... anyway, don't be haters people, he is very nice and approachable, and i complain tons, so trust me he ain't bad. go to his OH he'll explain to you what you have troubles getting by yourselves, your tutors...and so on. if you kind of sucked in stats, i think you should take him as he focuses on the inference part of metrics. but anyway, my best advise is that if you go shop around until you find your fit because metrics is meant to be kind of cool, so just find the right prof and you should be fine. another thing i'll say...Culpa works. so before you settled for the first week of breeze read culpa people ... Take it all together and average out...it'll work. Now, go get the A.
Dennis Kristensen is one of the the worst professors I've ever had. His lectures are mind-numbingly dull. I assure you, you will want to stab yourself to death with your pen from sheer boredom; on top of that, he has a slight accent, which, when coupled with boredom, gives his voice a rather hypnotic quality that will lull you to sleep within a few minutes of lecture. In any case, there's no point in going, as he posts all his lecture notes on courseworks, and all he does in class are the proofs for the regressions and such (which never show up on the tests). He also has trouble with giving examples. He'll start one at the very beginning of class, go back to it tangentially a few times, and by the time you've gotten to the concept you were supposed to be exploring, forgotten about the example entirely. This is problematic when you try to do the problem sets (which are in general fair and quite do-able from reading the textbook and his lecture notes, if you aren't going to go to the class), because there will be so few practical application examples to guide you. Professor Kristensen may be a nice man but he cannot teach. I would say avoid at all costs, but I don't know how bad the other professors are, and besides it's fairly easy to coast through by just reading the textbook if you don't mind getting a B. The tests are generously curved and not too difficult.
I think the reviewer below is a bit too harsh. I did excellent in Stats, and stats has been my favorite class. I find the reviewer below somewhat mean. I have all the reasons in the world to write bad about this class, as i went from the highest grade in Stats with a hard professor, to a very shallow grade in metrics. but i still don't think he's bad. i think he is a young professor, and as such there is a lot of improvement to do. he experimented with providing lowest performers with a candy, a very easy go midterm, which represented my death in this class since I thought metrics would be as rigorous as Stats was. but i think he made it even with a hard final. That being said, I have no grudge against the prof. i got the impression that he was really trying. He is also very approachable, and unlike other econ profs with egos higher than the school, he is very grounded and willing to go over problem sets with you. My advise for those who take the class with him would be, to **study** from his lecture notes. whether the exam is easy or hard, i think both the final and midterm were based on those notes (for the midterm i wasted my time doing all exercises in the book, going over ps ...the midterm was just interpretation and some normalization). also a lot of students cheat, so be aware of that, it is hard to compete in an uneven floor. I was in love with metrics when I got in, but now I just want to forget about it. But if you approach this class in the right way (that is, your performance in stats seems to be irrelevant for what you will do in metrics), you should be fine. Good luck (study the lecture notes)
Avoid at all costs!! If you are a decent student, and able to get a bit Stats take Onaski or the other guy, not only you will learn the material, but actually get out of his class getting what econometrics is about. i had to take a core so didn't take onaski: terrible mistake. my friend took onaski, and he thinks it's the best class he ever took. i also liked better my friend's book because it made more sense. That being said, kristensen is a great guy, very approachable. unfortunately, his obsession with the blackboard is really annoying. i stopped going to class right before the midterm because anyway he repeated his lecture notes verbatim. Be careful his exams is nothing like his love affair with the blackboard, which are math proofs. if what you care is only grades, memorize the concepts from his lectures (which he posts) and skip all the math, and you will be fine. but you will not even know what regressions really are. His team was just as bad if not a bit worse: in all 3 years at Columbia, I never had such a terrible group of careless TAs! they often skipped office hours, graded ps a week after we turned them in. often graded ps sets wrong, especially that prick victor. but there was nobody to put some order to the class. kristensen is too nice to instruct TAs, he was never capable of daring to change an obviously wrongly graded problem set, let alone an exam. in overall, kristensen may be the 'easiest' take in the market, but the price is that it may be the most boring class you'll ever take at CU, and don't worry too much about ps sets, anyway his TAs correct them in their sleep.
Compared to what else is out there for Econometrics and how theoretical this course can really be, Dennis is a good bet. His lectures are highly technical; he is basically a proof machine. However, none of this really has any relation to the problem sets and the tests as he - rightly - focuses on the practical stuff. Like the reviewer below said, Dennis focuses way too much on the blackboard and is more interested in getting through his notes than actually making sure everyone understands what he is teaching but he is undoubtedly clear and if you understand the theory, then perhaps this class can also be highly enjoyable. That said, most people didn't attend lectures (for obvious reasons) and the TAs are horrible and slow with grading - it's been three days after the final and the last problem set still hasn't been graded. Office hours are routinely skipped and they forced everyone to buy cheap, non-graphing calculators because they didn't want people storing formulas in TI-83s, which just shows you how much they trust the students. On the other hand, Dennis is very nice and approachable and will help with homework questions.
Till von Wachter is a funny man who makes an effort during class to enliven students. The subject matter is obviously a bit dry (although I don't mind it too much), and he realizes it and jokes about it. There are several problems. He never answers emails. I emailed him at least 4 or 5 times in the first 2 months of the semester and then gave up, as I never received a response. Instead, I went to section--one TA was excellent and the other was mediocre. Another problem is that problem sets are rather time consuming and difficult. A third is that von Wachter never does any examples in class--he just presents the theory--which makes the problem sets even more confusing. The convenient bit is that the problem sets and midterm can count for nothing, with the final being your entire grade. This means you can even skip the midterm if you want.
Prior to taking this class, I first heard horror stories about econometrics and how difficult it was. This class was a complete opposite and it was tons of fun. I grew to like the subject of econometrics because Professor. Marc was so passionate about it. He made the subject clear and concise. However, there were days when I was completely lost in front of the blackboard but donÂ’t you worry Â– all you need to know is how to do the homework. In addition, before midterm or final Â– professor usually emails last yearÂ’s midterm and final practice exam. So between homework, and practice exams Â– you should be fine. If you feel like it is getting a bit challenging then make sure to attend the recitations. I would highly recommend them for the best preparation.
Edward Vytlacil is a brand-new professor just in from Stanford University. Nevertheless, Econometrics is his specialty, so I felt that at least partially mitigated the risk of taking a notoriously difficult course with an unknown quanitity. In fact, the risk panned out, his course was very good, if not excellent. The course covers linear regression and its applications to economic data. The lectures focus on the theory although some academic papers are introduced in the class to ehance the material. You learn the mechnics of the data analysis and to do homework. Vytlacil's lectures do a good job of covering what you need to know. The lectures tend to be a little dry, but you can liven things up by asking questions. Vytlacil welcomes questions and gives excellent explanations. The textbook by Woolridge is a good reference and will fill any gaps in your knowledge. Unfortunately, there is so much material in the course that I never felt like there was a lot of room for discussion of it. Your understanding of the material will be enhanced through discussion, so I recommend attending office hours. Vytlacil is very approachable and friendly and will take the time to explain anything you don't understand in class.
This woman is undoubtedly one of the meanest teachers I've taken. You get the distinct impression that she hates the students, and the students definitely hate her right back. That being said, does it really matter if she is mean in a class like Econometrics? Econometrics (also known as Statistics x2 since there is no Economics involved aside from the constant use of the words "Wage" or "GDP") is a class of memorization, so Professor Das' kindness, or lack thereof, really doesn't matter. Go to class, copy down what she writes down and what she says (at the end of the semester, she begins to go on long tangents reminiscent of speeches in which she gives a lot of important info but elects not to write any of it down), read the textbook chapters, (maybe even look at the two optional textbooks she suggests), and go handle your business in the class. She is a cold lady, but ultimately it doesn't really matter. Her exams are loaded with tricky, tricky questions. She has one part, True/False questions, which she claims is there to give us "easy points" but which I bet is the biggest cause of points being taken off of people's exams.
Hope you remembered your stats and probability, because this is a prob/stats class. Till is a very nice professor who is more than willing to help you out with a subject that can be difficult and frustrating. He was always willing to answer students questions or spend time with someone to help them through a particular topic. I know that some students complained about the problem sets being to long and difficult and he did respond by cutting down on some of the workload. The TAs that I worked with were not very helpful, though I heard one other was very helpful with homework, so it's probably in your best interest to shop the TAs. I also discovered that my TA didn't always agree on everything, that the Professor taught, which did lead to confusion when attending the midterm and final study sessions, or during the recitation. One negative about Till is that class tended to run five to ten minutes long every session. After an hour and fifteen minutes of econometrics, you are ready to leave!
Till is an overall real nice guy. He is very personable and actually tries to make the class interesting. He isnt one of those teachers that talks on another level and doesnt care that the class cant understand a thing of what he's saying. Its the fact that there is too much material covered that he must go ridiculously fast, not that he doesnt care if you learn. His grading policy is amazing. He even says that when he took this course in college he didnt understand a damn thing. He gave you the option to have the final count for your entire grade. This made problem sets optional essentially, and gave you a way out if you messed up the midterm. Then to make our lives even better, he gave us a sample final and used that pretty much with minor changes in numbers as the real final! This guy is amazing, for a class that sucks bigtime he made it manageable. I would def recommend him esp if you just want to get a good grade in this horrible requirement.
Mr Pheobus was the worst teacher I have ever had in my life. He simply has no teaching ability. His knowledge of Econometrics is great, but he just cannot deliver that knowledge to the class. By the end of the second week, half of the class already dropped out. Most of people in fact only go to recitation section. The TA was very helpful in the class, though what she taught was totally different from the midterm/finals. The average grade that professor Pheobus gives is a C, so if you're slightly below average, you could get a D in the class. Overall, a horrible experience. Just avoid this class, you wont learn anything and get a bad grade.
A pretty standard middle of the road professor. If you take his class try not to schedule another one just after it. Till lets his students out 10 minutes late pretty consistently. The class itself was unspectactular. His teaching style was fine if a little dry. It took him a quite while to realize that height is not pronounced like hate, which confused things. The problem sets he assigns take a while but you can do them in groups. The midterm was difficult while the final was pretty much a carbon copy of the practice final he gave us (with solutions) and as a result was a breeze. The grading scheme is such that your final can count as your entire grade if you have mucked up the midterm and problem sets.
This class was by far the best Economics course I have taken at Columbia. Her tests were very fair, but you must go to class to understand the material. The problem sets were difficult, but if you take the time to do them carefully the exams will be cake. While Prof. Das does seem unapproachable at first once you talk to her you will realize that she really does care about her students. It's refreshing to have a teacher that shoots down all of those annoying Econ major who ask stupid, annoying questions. If you put the effort into the class you'll do well... if you're going to try to half-ass your way through it you may be in for a rude awakening. Highly recommended.
AVOID MITALI DAS LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!!!!!! Though econ professors are known to be quite cold and boring, Professor Das was little more than a walking textbook. Much like a textbook, she knew all the information and presented it accuarately, but did not help in the least to explain what the information actually meant. Her examples were tedious. They were more similar to mathematical proofs that were so scattered around the board that they seemed little more than numbers thrown about. She is a very cold person, wants nothing to do with her students, and is not likely to ever speak to you directly. She shows up to class late, rushes in all the information into one uncomprehendable lecture that goes too fast to even take down notes, and essentially ignores anyone who may be confused. Like I said, STAY AWAY!!!!
I thought her lectures were very clear and her exams very fair. Although she seems a little unapproachable at times, she is a really nice person. Going to lecture is a definite must because the textbook that she chooses is not all that great. I can see how it could be good for a higher level Econometrics class, but for the Intro level, its too complex. Overall, I highly recommend taking Econometrics with her.
I thought Professor Das was rather good. At the beginning of the semester, she was pretty unfriendly, but I think that goes with the territory of teaching boatloads of annoying economics majors. As the semester progressed, she was much more approachable. And to the point, she is an excellent econometrics professor. She really knows her stuff, and she sticks to what's relevant. Problem sets really focus the material
Although Prof. Das is not the most approachable person, I did not find her classes to be that bad. If you keep up with the work, and take notes in class its not hard to do well especially with the curve.
Not an enjoyable class, though the idea of econometrics is cool-and Malgosia emphasizes this-Correlation does not mean causality. But the actual math and stats behind all of this is unbearable to follow after 7 pm. Do not take this class when you're tired. OR just don't go to lecture. Most people ended up chewing her out, but really it had nothing to do with the professor. On a better note, the TA's for this course are more than competent, which is more than one can say for the rest of economics courses at Columbia. At the very least, this course is not all bullshit like other econ courses.
She knows her material like the back of her hand, but she's not very presonable or approachable. I was in her evening section and she arrived late to class 60% of the time, which meant that she had to speed through the lesson, which left many questions begging. The TA's can be quite condescending, so stick to the one or two who aren't. The exams become more difficult as the semester progresses - the mean on my class's final was around a 40. My advice is to avoid this professor if possible and to take this course with an easier professor.
Even in a department known for the poor quality of its professors, Professor Das did a very bad job of teaching econometrics. While her english is quite good, her lectures were incredibly boring. Moreover, she is ridiculously concerned with small details, such as turning assignments in by the time that class started. I once came to class a few minutes late and tried to turn my assignment in at the end of class only to be told that she would not accept it. She absolutely refuses to talk to students after class, demanding that you come to her office hours. In fact, the spectacle of her gathering up her things even as she was finishing her lecture and then bolting for the door before her students could catch her was quite amusing. Her lectures always lasted until exactly the end of the class time - she would start a new topic to fill an extra five minutes, noting that it was unacceptable to let us go even one minute early. Unfortunately, Professor Das is probably about as good as they come in econometrics and it's doubtful that you can find a better professor for this dull subject. By the way - the text used in this class is horrible and offers little help.
I called this class "econo-fxxked-up-metrics" for obvious reasons. As early as the first week I started to wonder what the lectures had to do with the book and what the book had to do with economics. Such confusions did not ameliorate but got worse as the course proceeded. By the third week no one in the class knew what was going on. The professor, who was reasonably nice though oldishly apathetic, was obviously very knowledge in this field. But/Therefore he often seemed to forget the word "Introduction" in the course title. It is fair to say that he taught the class like it was a graduate-level course, which is probably what he is used to teaching in the regular academic year. As the other reviewers suggested, the book sucked. Even the professor himself admitted that it was chosen only because it was the best of all very badly written books available. When asked if he wrote "a lot" of books about econometrics himself, he answered "Not at this level". Still, a search on CLIO for his name yielded a long list of books (most published around the 60s) that might be useful in estimating the locus of his lectures and his exam questions, which I suspect were intended as real-life examples of extreme randomness. The TA, a tall European guy who is always slouching and who mumbles gibberish pretending it is English and who can often be seen walking around in SIPA and Uris, was extremely irresponsible; he obviously did not care a bit about the class. Overall, I learnt absolutely nothing from the class; I can't even say what I was supposed to have learnt.
Prof. Henry does actually seem to know what he is talking about, but he doesn't seen to have the skill that a lot of the other professors also lack: conveying his knowledge into our heads. I learned practically everything from the TA and did well on the midterm. The problem is that they cancelled my TA section cuz I was one of few that could make it. Then I couldn't fit any other TA section into my schedule and the TAs never got around to making a new one that did fit me, even though they promised to. So I got screwed for the final and ended up with the worst grade I received at Columbia. I'd recommend another professor for econometrics if you can, but if you do take Prof. Henry, just be prepared to take initiative and hopefully you won't get screwed like me.
Thanks to her kindness, warmth and sincere desire to help students do well, Professor Tay made what would otherwise have been an absolutely awful class very palatable. She is pleasant, warm, sprightly young professor who has a gift for teaching... she organized her lectures clearly and was happy to slow down whenever the class had problems. She was responsive to students' needs and changed a midterm date and the material on the final when the class struggled. She is very approachable outside of class and I would highly recommend her office hours. Not only will you get some great one-on-one help on problem sets, but a nice chat as well. As long as you keep up with the weekly problem sets and study for the tests, there will be no surprises in Professor Tay's class.
Great class. Though econ majors tout econometrics as the hardest course of all economics courses, it is seriously not that bad. First of all, Tay is young and vibrant and can keep you awake for hours. I never had trouble staying awake despite the 9 am class. Also, the material is all pretty cohesive. There is a lot of structure to the course and once you get the gist of everything, it all falls into place. Lastly, there's a huge curve. I studied for about an hour before both midterms and wound up with a VERY satisfying grade.
A Frenchman with a British accent and perfect pronounciation of Latin. He's clearly a smart man, but it's tough to get excited about econometrics. No one wants to take econometrics-it's the orgo of economics. Look at it this way, you'll understand his English, but you probably won't get the subject material. Standard curve.
I came into this course dreading the worst...but the reality of it all is that I actually enjoy the class, and it isn't that bad! It's not that difficult if you actually go to class, do all the homeworks, and study a little bit. A lot of quizzes, but it keeps you up to pace.
I really don't know why so many people freak out over this class. If you keep up with the readings, do the problem sets, come to class and listen to the professor, you'll do fine. It's all those lazy econ majors who come to 25% of the classes and then panick before the exams that give this class it's reputation. I was among the 20 or so students out of 80 that came to class regularly and I did fine. The midterm and final are essentially copies of previous year's exams. How much easier can it get?
I know that Econometrics isn't supposed to be easy, but dude, this class was so hard and so awful. Professor Dhrymes doesn't teach very well, and he gave these totally impossible tests. The book doesn't help much either because you won't be able to understand a thing in there. I would suggest to you that you look for another professor to take this class with.
Marc Henry - he loves the subject, he's extremely knowledgeable in the field, and his British accent is cute. Unfortunately, Econometrics is not exactly the most interesting subject you will be expected to take. That's why not many people come to class and that's why you'll find many people with their heads down. The textbook does not really help (it didn't for me) and his lectures were rather obscure. Before you take this class, be sure you know a little statistics -- you'll definitely need it.
This class is hard enough without Dhrymes in your way. He teaches nothing, complains that the class doesn't study and assigns the 4-5 hour weekly problem set <i>before</i> you even know what the heck it's about. A communal tragedy. The class holds hands, groans, and sinks together (kind of like the Lusitania). The speak-no-english TA didn't help.