Sociology of U.S. Economic Life

Jan 2010

Possibly the most interesting and applicable class I've taken here. The course covers market dynamics from a much more grounded and global standpoint than traditional econ classes, and the lectures on the recent crisis were very clear (without being simplistic). The readings and lectures have a bit of a leftist bent, which I appreciated (though others may not). Levin is intelligent, engaging, and passionate about the material, he takes pains to learn students' names, and he brought bagels the day after the midterm (I didn't realize competent professors did this). He's very available after class and during office hours. Readings were a bit much the second semester, but the lectures were informative enough that I learned a huge amount even after falling behind on the readings. The midterm and final are easy if you've kept up, and the 15 page final paper is pretty much an open topic.

Dec 2008

i really enjoyed this class. the material i found very interesting, and it wasn't hard not having any economic background. he has this policy that if you come to every class, in the end you get half a grade higher. while this was motivating, i still found myself going to every class (which was at 9am!) because i found the material so engaging. that being said, however, the course load was VERY heavy. sometimes over 150 pages a week. and he sometimes expects you to know it for lecture. i was unable to read all of the books, which was unfortunate, because everything looked really interesting. the midterm was okay; a little challenging, but not too hard. and the final was pretty hard; the actual test wasn't so bad, but preparing for it was torture. there were three essays on the exam, but we had to prepare for 10 of them. then the one paper, which was 12-15 pages, on a topic of our choice, was fine. i enjoyed doing it although i left it to the last minute.

Aug 2005

He is really down-to-earth and cares a great deal about his students. the information is interesting. He expects you to do all the reading, and will make you prove it on the exams. its a bit of work- papers and a final. the only negative is that i felt that he gives lower grades than neccessary on papers, just to prove that you have room for growth. But overall, easy going guy. cares a lot about attendence. the class was a pperfect mix between economics and sociology. recommended.

Jan 2005

This was easily one of the best courses I've taken so far at Barnard or Columbia. Levin may be fairly new, but he knows how to present material, and he's cute and geeky and loves what he teaches. His youth is an asset - he hasn't forgotten what it's like to be a student. He gets really excited about things, which is at least minorly infectious. The material covered is fascinating and extremely relevant to, well, living in the world. This class tears apart assumptions that are taught in Economics 1001-type classes.