Economic and Financial Methods for Sustainable Development

Dec 2017

Love this man and those glorious sideburns of his. Great course to take as an non-core/non-major credit as a quantitative major. At first glance you might be intimidated because you see "Economic and Financial Methods" as a sustainable development major and you're spooked. This is not the case. The course is quantitive, obviously, but not in a way that is designed to be confusing, nor without the study of real-world implications alongside theory. The course surveys Economic and Financial methods through the lens of sustainability, but don't misunderstand- the course is not incredibly quantitative. Still, we went through a wide variety of concepts including but not limited to: game theory, financial statements, principles of accounting, and more. I'd say this was more of an applied theory course than a hard accounting, finance, or economics course (and I'm an econ major). Professor Bose is such a real g. Not only is he incredibly approachable, funny, quirky, but Bose knows his shit cold. Seriously- our discussion went into super-specific tangents ranging from private equity to ramifications of specific carbon-emissions policymaking and he knew every aspect of detail that was relevant. He brought up great examples that were super interesting but still at least tangentially related to the material (kind of). He's sharp, and loves loves LOVES when students participate. Honestly one of my favorite classes I've ever taken. Really applicable content too- knowing excel, accounting, and basic game theory is applicable wherever you go in life, and Bose focuses consistently on practical applications of the material. The reading and powerpoints contain FAR more information and in-depth content than what you'll be assessed on- focus on the problem sets/review slides he shares as well as the practice midterm and you'll nail the exam. Final project was also a ton of fun. Definitely go to his office hours too- he's willing to talk about anything from topics from class ranging to personal life.

Mar 2014

This was an amazing class. Professor Bose is extremely knowledgable about the subject matter. His PhD was on the economics of global warming. Back then people thought he was wasting his time. He worked on Wall Street for a while and then Columbia wooed him back after it appeared this whole climate change thing might have some merit. He's continually behind in his lectures, but that's because he loves to engage in discussions and would rather discuss an interesting topic at length rather than force feed you facts and formulas. He is good in that he challenges everyone's thoughts and opinions, but is also very encouraging. He's also very funny and makes the material interesting. He's also extremely approachable and not at all intimidating. He encourages students to go to Earth Institute events and is happy to talk with students outside of the class about anything - economics, what the hell to do after graduation, etc. I've kept in touch with him since the class and he's continually helped me out with my academic/career endeavors. The class itself covers a lot of interesting subjects. He goes over some of the basic economics of the environment first. If you've taken principles you'll be fine. Then he teaches some basic finance. After that you talk about cost-benefit analyses, game theory, green accounting, macroeconomic models, etc. that all relate to sustainable development. Very interesting and a good introduction to some practical skills. In terms of grading, the midterm and final project were graded extremely fairly. The problem sets were graded more harshly, but he curves grades at the end of the course. Participation counts, but it's not a big deal. I normally don't like to participate, but you won't feel intimidated at all and it's easy to engage with the subject matter. It's also nice that the bulk of the work is done in the first half of the semester. There are no problem sets after the midterm. Just a group project, which was really interesting. You get to choose from a list of topics and I think he creates the topics based on what everyone seems to be interested in.