Introduction to Economic Reasoning

Apr 2021

I did not really enjoy intro to economic reasoning and I think that was due to a multitude of factors. First, I thoroughly did not like the CORE textbook that was used because it felt as if it was trying to connect everyday concepts to economics without explaining the concepts first. The order in which the material was taught was also a little hard to follow and. However, to my surprise, Economics of Gender was way more engaging and interesting. The connections between economics and the "real" world were much more natural and purposeful. I also liked how it was more reading based and the articles we read for homework were actually engaging and insightful. Even though I did not like the content of intro to economic reasoning, I do think that Professor Zarghamee explained the content very clearly and concisely. She is great at using examples to explain the foundations of economics to students new to this field. But I think that Professor Zarghamee really does shine most in Economics of Gender. She is so knowledgeable and passionate about this field and it definitely was reflected in the atmosphere of the class (in a positive way). She also cares about her students a lot and genuinely wants them to learn. She had over 3+ hours of office hours a week and was willing to explain the same concept over and over again until you understood. *I do want to note that I took both of these courses during the pandemic and in the immersive format so my review might not reflect these courses going forward*

Mar 2021

This man is my favorite person is the whole world. No other words can describe him. Take any class you can with him. End of review.

Mar 2021

I really loved taking Spring A intensive Intro to Econ with Professor Zarghamee. Here’s why: 1) Zarghamee makes lectures interactive by asking frequent questions and including examples. So, this is NOT your typical snore-fest lecture format. Everyone works through examples on their own, then she goes over them with the class so you understand what’s up. Zarghamee also includes students who might be afraid to raise their hand and doesn’t care if your in-class answers are right or wrong. 2) Zarghamee encourages collaboration. She suggests making a study group for the homework. DEFINITELY make a study group. The homework is very challenging because she expects you to collaborate with others and discuss each of the problems. Through collaboration, I learned more and did better on assignments. I like that she structures the course with this in mind. 3) The exam has a generous curve. The averages on the midterms and final were in the 50s, but she rounds the average up to a low B. Yes, the exams are hard. But, they’re hard for everyone, making it a fair curve. The material on the exam is the same concepts as the homework. You have to really understand the concepts to interpret the questions and understand what they’re asking for. 4) The difficulty of the online exams makes them cheat-proof. They are open book and open note exams, but I honestly don’t know where someone could get help while taking the tests; the required depth of knowledge is hard to find online. 5) There were 2 office hours times per week, each was about 1.5 hours. Even if you have no questions, Zarghamee lets you chill in the office hours room and work on your homework. When you stumble across a hard question, she will help you work through it. 6) Zarghamee is the kindest human ever! She is super approachable and will answer any question. She makes a huge effort to get to know every student. Cons: 1) I would not recommend this class to someone who struggles with math. Although studying will help someone do well on one of Professor Zarghamee's exams, it does not guarantee a high score if you struggle with critical thinking or math (concepts like percentages, etc.). _____________________________________ Overall, I would 100% take Zarghamee again. I liked the intensive format. Usually, by the midterm, I’ve forgotten what we learned in the first part of a class. When the midterm is just a few weeks in, everything is super fresh which makes studying easier. That said, if you don’t balance your schedule (having an A and a B course) it’s not a good idea to take her intensive. It is like taking 2 courses at once (which is the goal of the intensive format). So, if you have 5 classes and take just hers as an intensive, it will be like you’re doing 6 classes at once for half the semester.

Mar 2021

John Park is the superman of TAs. I had him as the TA in my Intro to Econ class. He is incredibly patient and helpful during office hours, of which he offers many. Each week he made us videos that explained all the homework questions. Before the midterm and final, he explained how to do every problem in the practice exam. He is by far the most involved and helpful TA I have had in any class so far. (Retrospectively, he is probably such a great TA because he is also a professor for some other econ classes!)

Mar 2021

I took Intro to Economic Reasoning with Prof. Z. for the Spring A session. Given that this class was accelerated, I feel as if she went through course material well. At times material was rushed and a lot of information was given to us at once, but then again we had half a semester to go through the material so this was expected. Prof. Z. is super nice, explains concepts well (as well as answers questions during the lecture pretty quickly), and her lecture slides were very useful for going back and understanding concepts. The textbook was a free website that explained the material adequately, but I do wish there were more practice problems that we could use. The problem sets were pretty fair and we were allowed to talk about them outside of class so that was useful as well. All of this is great EXCEPT for the midterm and final exams. In my opinion (for reference I had an average grade in the class), they were extremely difficult and beyond what was expected in the problem sets. Because of Zoom University, she did warn us that the tests were designed to be quite hard to combat cheating, so it wasn't blind-sighting. The average was usually below a passing grade or just at it, but she did curve the average exam grade to be an 83% which made me feel a lot better in comparison to the raw exam grade. Overall, great professor, good class, but very difficult exams. Would I recommend? Yes, but not the Spring A session. A full-semester class would be more manageable.

Dec 2020

I had never taken an econ course before and I'm very much not a math student so I was nervous about taking this, but I can attest to the fact that this course is very beginner-friendly. I thought Professor Dye was amazing at explaining concepts in a way that I could understand and his PowerPoints were detailed and clear. He doesn't cold call people, which is a major plus for me and he is clearly very passionate about what he does, which translates into his giving interesting and engaging lectures. When we were launched into the pandemic he tweaked his class so that it would be relevant to the state of the world. He talked about supply and demand for masks and respirators and the federal government's economic relief package. It was a pleasure to take his class, as I was only trying to fulfill a gen ed requirement but ended up developing an interest in econ. I would highly recommend this class and this professor!

Apr 2020

Prof. Archibong is one of my favorite professors. I am aware that there are a lot of mixed reviews on her teaching style, but overall it worked great for me. - She starts each class by having the students apply economic logic to current events (e.g. universal basic income, trade war). - She also uses the CORE curriculum, which I believe she helped create and the textbook is free online. This curriculum is unique from your traditional intro econ curricula, as it goes in a different order. After taking her course, I felt I had a solid base for taking intermediate micro and other econ electives. - She uses PowerPoint presentations that she posts on Courseworks. She does not rush through them. - she does make an attempt to know all of her students' names and get everyone to participate in lectures She requires you to participate in one formal debate that's worth 15% of the grade. You sign up to be in a group of 3 and you debate an assigned side of a topic she chooses (e.g. NAFTA, labor unions). The class votes for the more compelling group and that group gets extra credit. (Pro tip: You get extra credit for asking the teams questions during the debate) Overall, she is a great professor who really cares about her students. She makes it very easy to succeed in her class.

Jan 2020

Sonia is an angel, a sweet person, a mom figure which is nice. The class admittedly is pretty disorganized, but if you are willing to put in the work you will be ok. She tries to make this class very applicable to the world in terms of relating stuff to climate change, global issues, etc. As much as I appreciated it I think it is why we struggled to get through a substantial amount of the actual. pertinent course material. The midterm was extremely late (like 2nd week of November), and the weeks between the midterm & final were a frenzy. The class can be difficult to pay attention in mostly because she allows students to have opinions (which is great except when they become distracting...) The problem set answer keys were riddled with errors, so my biggest advice is be your own advocate. Hunt down the TA and continue emailing Professor Pereira if you think you are right. Professor Pereira is extremely understanding and tries to help people understand. Her office hours can be the golden ticket to understanding concepts. Attend office hours with both the professor and TA to do well on problem sets. I think your grade in this course really depends on your dedication in hours and meetings.

Dec 2019

I love Prof. Archibong so much! She is such a caring and patient prof, perfect for a first-year who has no idea about anything econ like me! I personally ended up not liking the subject itself but the class was great! Also, I find her dry humor so funny. She answers every question in class and spends too much time on each sometimes so we fall behind in the slides/lectures. I wouldn't say that's a big deal though what needs to be covered does by the end of the course. I would say it makes her lectures less engaging sometimes. The class has basically no math at all but has SO MANY connections to the daily political issues we see in the US. It's my absolute favorite part because the textbook and course centers on including the inequalities and downsides to the free market system so lauded by the Principles of Economy course at Columbia. She starts off every class by doing a 40 minute class discussion applying the concepts to political issues and current events. Overall, definitely take her if Homa isn't teaching!

Dec 2019

LOVE HER!! Professor Archibong is a super caring, intelligent, and patient teacher and prepares very well for class with organized and clear PowerPoints. I do indeed understand the basics of "economic reasoning" and how to apply them to a variety of situations, theoretical and real (every class opened with a casual mini-debate/discussion of current events and how they related to the textbook topics). Definitely a great course to spark interest in the field and nurture budding majors. Would recommend for anyone looking for a good understanding and a manageable workload/grading. I wish Prof didn't shy away from the quantitative aspects of econ so violently--all it took was one comment from one student about how calculus was scary/hard and she would immediately say nothing math-related would be on the midterm/final. But econ is full of math, isn't it? Shouldn't we be able to do more than the occasional calculation? I'm afraid I won't be as well-equipped to handle higher-level courses as students who took Principles at Columbia, which I've heard is more math-intensive. One warning: She sometimes takes too long answering questions so we get behind in the syllabus, but never changes HW due dates so some questions on the HW we had never covered in class. Overall the combination of a passionate and accessible teacher/TA, light workload, and interesting topic makes for a very enjoyable/pretty easy/sometimes boring class. 10/10 glad this was my introduction to the major.

Jan 2019

Sonia is a bit disorganized, but she is kind and willing to answer any question in detail; she hands out detailed study guides and practice problems, for example. When we argued that her midterm focused on material we did not go over in class, she changed our final so that it would be much easier on us. She also curves our exams very generously, so I'm sure I am not the only person who got an A in the class. Problem sets are pretty easy too.

Jan 2019

For an intro course, this class is challenging. You definitely would have to attend class if you don't want to miss anything. This was Professor Harrison's first time teaching this course so she was a bit disorganized and was not able to answer questions from the students which was frustrating. She was also not good at explaining complex concepts which essentially leaves you to teach yourself from the textbook. The textbook is easy to follow and light, and free online! Her office hours were not in any way helpful, so there is no point going there when you need help, rather go to Monday night econ help.

Dec 2018

Prof. Harrison is a super nice person but just isn't great at teaching this particular class. This was the first time she was ever teaching the class so we had no idea what to expect- there weren't enough problems so that we could understand what exactly she wants of us and there were no previous tests. She was very confusing while teaching most of the material and we had to learn it on our own because of that. She was super nice and tried to be as helpful as she could be tho. I have taken her math methods class and she is a MUCH better teacher in that class.

Dec 2018

Sonia is the sweetest lady on earth. She has a great sense of humor and is very kind. She made the class so interesting and always connected everything to real world stuff. She was very clear at explaining and was very approachable. However, keep in mind she was very disorganized, and always late. The TA was TERRIBLE. She always cancelled office hours but even worse she did not know anything on the material. When you asked her something she would google the answer and she was constantly being corrected by students. But I think after several instances she won't continue as a TA for this class.

Dec 2018

Professor Zarghamee is really sweet and has the best intentions in teaching this class but it is simply a mess. For the first month, I left class each time feeling more confused than when I entered (which led me to eventually stop going). She would take the most basic concepts of the unit and go over the in excruciating detail, making me feel like I was oversimplifying it, and would completely bypass the concepts that people tended to struggle with more. During the midterm there were no less than three hands raised at once because the questions were so confusing. She would also spend half the class period going on tangents about things that were actually very interesting to me but would ultimately be harmful because it would get so off-track that she would miss discussing important aspects of the material. The TA was also super unhelpful--if I emailed her with five questions, she would answer one and never address the other four. Very frustrating and hoping that I don't end up with a D in the class.

Apr 2018

This class seemed fine until she hit us with the midterm. The average was a 67. The midterm and final are really hard and require a lot of intensive studying. Plus side- you learn a lot of valuable basics for econ.

Dec 2017

I took this class with high expectations after reading the glowing CULPA reviews. After taking Homa's class, I can tell that she is a good person with the best intents as a teacher, and probably was at one point a very good teacher when she had more control of the curriculum. However, this class has been the greatest source of my stress this semester, and it is the class I most regret taking. This review should be taken as a review of Homa's intro to economic reasoning CLASS, not of Homa in her other classes. The structure and time management in class was very poor. In class, Homa used powerpoints that she hadn't made, and she was clearly very unfamiliar with them. She would breeze through slides saying "this is all in the book," before we could write anything down, let alone grasp the concept. Toward the end of class, she gave up with powerpoints all together, just scrolling through the online textbook projected on the board. Overall, the class always felt disorganized and jumbled. Homa spent a disproportionate amount of class going on tangents about GMOs or factory working conditions in developing countries or Amazon. Although I actually really enjoyed and appreciated her insight on such subjects, the result was that we never learned the actual concepts that we were tested on in class. On the last day of class, Homa tried to race through THREE whole units that we had yet to cover (each unit is supposed to take at least a week,) and these happened to be the units that made up the majority of the final. The problem sets were excessive and access to to help inside and outside of class was limited. There are problem sets assigned each week, which take an absurd amount of time for only being worth 25% of our grade. The exercises are VERY unclear, and the TA does not help clear it up. In fact, if you go to TA (Hoda's) office hours, you only receive help from the other confused students, because the TA usually hadn't even read the chapter yet. Going to the professor's office hours instead didn't help, since this semester she assigned the homework the day of and sometimes even AFTER her office hours had taken place. My biggest problem with this class was THE TEXTBOOK. Homa and some of the other intro to Econ professors started using the CORE this semester as some alternative way to teach Econ. While, in theory, I really do like the idea of learning Econ in a non-traditional way, this textbook does nothing but confuse you and set you up for failure. The textbook explains everything in a very round about way, so that by the end of each chapter, you have no idea what the key terms even mean. Most importantly, the exercises in the CORE were not applications of anything we were tested on for the midterm or final. I might have less complaints if the material we were tested on was as theoretical as the textbook, but the midterm and final were math heavy. The class did not end on a good note. The final exam was atrocious. We were given hardly any materials to prepare (only a short practice test that was unlike the final in every way,) and since this textbook is so alternative, you can't easily find practice problems online. So I went back through the entire textbook and re-did every exercise, studying for over a week straight. All of this was in vain, because only one question on the final exam was reasonable based on the material we had practiced in class. I don't even care if there is a curve, (I don't know yet whether there will be,) it is just insulting that I spent so long learning things that I would not be tested on. I am writing this review before I have received my final grade, so I'm not even here to complain about my grade. I simply feel that the way the material was presented and the unfairness of how we were assessed in this class was so egregious and caused me so much stress that it doesn't matter what my grade is, I just deeply regret taking this class.

Dec 2017

. She’s a very sweet woman, very understanding and will try to make jokes and roll in on her scooter, but her lectures are dry and unorganized. She even admits that. As a person she’s great but the fact she did not realize her key for a problem set was wrong for two years until I pointed out was slightly concerning. There is a very large curve for the problem sets and she will answer questions explicitly if you ask.

Jan 2017

Proff. Weiman is a nice guy but honestly a pretty boring lecturer. I found his class quite difficult for an intro to economics class (that could be my personal opinion) but the problem sets were also very challenging for a lot of my fellow classmates. I enjoy economics but again the class was really boring you have to stay really focused to pay attention.

Jun 2016

She's a really sweet lady who definitely cares about her students. Her intro class was incredibly easy if you took AP Econ but super boring, as you can tell she isn't interested in hearing it again just as you. She's really good about covering most things in class and posting slides, so you can definitely get away with not reading the book if you have AP experience. Her macro class is significantly better and you can tell she gets excited about certain topics. Still a little dry, but a very doable (although you 100% need to read the book since a lot of questions come out of book examples). The TA, Luis, however, is extremely unhelpful, often got questions wrong, and recitation was a waste of time. Go to Quella! She is super willing to sit down with you even though she's a bit awkward. She also gives out extra credit for current events and her discussions on those articles was the best part of the class. A lot of people didn't like her since it wasn't a very captivating class, but she's a very fair professor.

Apr 2016

Dr. Bushati is a very nice woman but this class was really not good. Her lectures are dull, she reads off of slides, and does not explain concepts well. She does not put quizzes on the syllabus, and only informs the class of the quiz in the previous lecture, so if you miss class, you have no idea there is a quiz the next day. The assignments due are also not on the syllabus. She uploads them to CourseWorks and makes no announcements about them in class. Don't take this class.

Apr 2016

Please do not take this class. I found it extremely hard to focus during class because I simply could not either understand half the stuff she was saying or I was bored out of my mind because she had a very monotonous voice. She does not curve, so your grade will legit be your real grade. The workload is a lot, and sometimes she randomly puts assignments on courseworks and assigns random due dates for them like Saturday night or something which you end up forgetting because that is not the time of the class and you usually associate homework being due at the beginning of class time. I understood absolutely nothing from this class, and it was very hard to stay awake. so basically you will neither get pleasure nor the grades from being in this class. You will also not know anything when final exam time comes, so you will have to cram all 17 chapters of the book during reading week and basically address them like you are reading new chapters for the first time.

Nov 2014

He doesn't really know what he is doing. He seems like he has never taught an Intro Econ course before, and he was terrible at explaining micro concepts. He is much better at teaching macro, as that is his specialty. He goes off on tangents all the time and spends way too long on simple concepts and then breezes over more complicated ones. I know this was his first semester teaching this class at Barnard, so hopefully he will get better. I say stay away until he figures out how to teach this class more effectively. On a side note, this is a really easy class if you already know Econ but the school wouldn't take your AP credit so you have to take it again.

Dec 2013

Professor Zarghamee is excel at economics and is able to teach everything clearly and effectively to students. Her humorous personalities make this class more enjoyable! She enchanted me and made me can't stopping thinking about econ and her great lecture after class. It is she who made me want to major in economics even though I did not like economics that much before. I avoid going to bathroom during class time because I don't want to miss anything in great lecture. This is an intense course: learning micro and macro in one semester. But as long as you dont miss any class, you will be a master of econ (even if you never read the book)!! Her lecture is so effective and enjoyable! I didnt learn anything on micro before, but I earned a decent grade at the midterm simply because I did not miss any her lecture (PS: I never open the textbook unless I had to find hwk questions). DONT WAIT AND TAKE HER CLASS! YOU WILL BE THANKFUL TO THIS DECISION!

Nov 2013

I have thoroughly enjoyed Professor Zarghamee's class. She literally goes through the reading concept by concept with a powerpoint during class so there is no need to read unless you don't understand something. She is very open to questions and have a very laid back and effective teaching style. I highly recommend any class by her. She not only knows what she's talking about, she knows how to teach it and explain it in a way that you will understand.

Apr 2013

Professor Pereira is awkward. She rolls into class on a red scooter. She gives her lectures off the slides, so you might as well sit home and read the book and slides. Both she and her TA have some problems with English grammar. In the beginning of semester I was puzzled by double negatives in some of her slides, but by the end I wished I had a religion so I could pray that the next midterm/final does not have ambiguous language or typos. If you send her emails, she won't respond. The TA is barely comprehensible. The book is boring: if you know at least some math, you will hate it. It can go on and on and on about calculating an average. Come on, people. I'm a math major, and I can't read the book because I keep dozing off. I got out of class knowing half a dozen new words, and that was it.

Apr 2013

I want to start off by saying that Sonia Pereira is a really sweet woman. She tries to make jokes and seems to care about her students. I loved her as a person, but really disliked her as a teacher. From the get-go I realized that most of my class had taken economics before (AP or whatnot in high school). I had never taken an econ class in my life, so I could have benefited from a better, clearer, more helpful teacher. Expect that you will be behind from the first day in this class if you are an econ newbie. You can figure out the material yourself (the book is helpful) and succeed in this class, but with little help from Pereira. The lectures were boring, tedious, and mostly read from the slides (she doesn't post them on Courseworks until after class, which makes note-taking frustrating). The homework was pretty doable. The midterm and final were really easy as well. The quizzes, on the other hand, were difficult. She has completely unrealistic expectations about how quickly they can be completed. Write fast! Overall, I think I could have really enjoyed econ if I had a better professor. The time I spent outside of class learning the material was interesting, but the class itself was pretty dull. Avoid if you can, but if you end up in this class, it's not the end of the world either.

Feb 2013

Intro to Economic Reasoning was a fantastic course, and I'm sorry to hear that Marcellus is leaving after this semester, because I would have loved to take another class with him. Marcellus made economics so interesting by relating the numbers and principles to real-life problems, including some of his own experiences. I am an Econ major, and know Econ classes can be dry (see Math Methods for Economics), but this has been the most interesting class I have taken at Barnard by far. If you pay attention in lecture and take good notes, there is no reason to have difficulty with the midterms or final.

Dec 2012

Words really cannot describe how bad of a professor Sonia is. For starters, she has typos in every single quiz, midterm, final, homework and homework assignment. What's more, she oftentimes has miscalculations in the homework and practice problem solutions that she releases to the class. I would be able to tolerate this lack of attention to detail if she actually taught anything in her class, but alas her inability to proofread is but the tip of the iceberg. Her class consists of her reading aloud a slideshow that accompanies the book and uses the exact same phrasing and examples as the book. She will show these slideshows every single class and whenever a student has a question that isn't exactly lined out on the current slide, Sonia says that she will get to it later, yet never does. I have learned more from the book than I have in her class. It is disturbing that such an unqualified teacher could be in charge of an intro course, as she has definitely deterred all potential economics majors from further pursuing this career track through her inadequate teaching habits. Even more surprising is that she is still teaching at the university, in spite of the countless scathing reviews she has received. I will close this with a Sonia anecdote: For our quiz, not all of the students in the class had calculators. To remedy this, Sonia allowed everyone in our class to use our cellphones as calculators during the quiz, so long as they were on silent. Not sure if this was so that she wouldn't hear the texting "bings" around the room as everyone cheated or what...

May 2012

Such an AMAZING professor. If you are going to take economics, I highly recommend Marcellus. He has such a passion for economics, and it rubs off on everyone who takes his class. He does such a great job of reviewing the material. While basic microeconomics can get a little dry, Marcellus used examples to keep the class engaged. Like the previous reviews have stated, Marcellus has been going through a tough couple months. However, his teaching, I felt, never suffered because of it. He really does care about his students and made an effort to get to know everyone before the end of the semester. Overall, Marcellus is one of the best professors I have had at Columbia/Barnard. He is the professor who convinced me to become an Econ major. Please take his class. You will not regret it.

Apr 2012

Marcellus was one of my favorite teachers at Barnard. He got me to love Econ so much that I made it my major. He is so passionate about Econ. He really does love to teach and don't be intimidated by him - he is helpful if you me with him and he likes when his students ask (thoughtful) questions. He wasn't at his best last semester, but as other reviewers have stated, he had an extremely tough few months. He is a really wonderful teacher- he is engaging, a good teacher, and for the most part, a relatively fair grader. He says there aren't any curves, but he curved all three of our tests. My one problem with him was that he was pretty unavailable, although, again, I think it really has a lot to do with his circumstances last semester. Anyway, take this course!

Jan 2012

THIS CLASS IS TERRIBLE! Don't take this class unless you have already had some experience with economics. I recommend taking Principles over at Columbia. The lectures were boring and not even the slightest bit helpful. The assignments were fairly simple yet somewhat time consuming. When it came time to study for the midterm and final there was no explanation on exactly what kind of problems would be on the exams. The class project was also horrendous. She wanted 15 pages for something that is only worth 5 percent of your grade. Just avoid this class.

Aug 2011

DON'T TAKE THIS CLASS! Professor Emara fails to explain concepts clearly, has difficulty speaking the english language, makes typos ALL the time, does calculations on slides making it very messy and confusing, and contradicts herself when you ask her a doubt. If you are taking an economics class for the first time, I strongly suggest not to take this class. You will want to give up economics as a subject after taking this disastrous class! Worst class I've taken in Barnard/Columbia..

Jun 2011

Basically I think that the course is fine. It was written as a well balance syllabus that covered a bunch of interesting topics. The Hubbard/O'Brien textbook is easy to follow and uses iPods constantly as an example (because it's so hip). The main reason I'm writing this review is to warn people about Professor Emara. I would have said she was a nice person but one of my classmates claimed that she blackberry'd throughout an office hours meeting. On top of this, she was terrible at explaining economic concepts, managing to make them simultaneously boring and confusing. She never used examples from the real world in class but expected us to be able to analyze them during exams. To make matters worse, she constantly made mistakes, typos, and miscalculations during lecture. Her accent and struggles with the english language, which normally I wouldn't like to comment on, were sort of the straws that broke the camel's back. Lecture was intolerable. Her officer hours were on fridays, which was really inconvenient because assignments were always due on thursday in class and the next assignment would be posted thursday night or friday, which meant that there was never time to look over the assignment a decide whether you needed help. The T.A.'s office hours and recitation section were similarly planned on thursday evening. She also didn't bother to plan recitation section for a time when most people could show up. I was only able to go once because I usually had class at that time. T.A. seemed perfectly competent. The assignments themselves weren't very hard. The worst thing about this class by far was the way that Professor Emara paced it. We spent about a four weeks going over really basic supply and demand, which was very clearly explained in the text book. This resulted in our second exam covering 4 chapters which we went over in the two weeks immediately following spring break. And we also went over all the Macro in about two weeks. In conclusion, Professor Emara is the worst Professor I've had at Columbia/Barnard. I struggle to think of a single redeeming quality.

Jan 2011

Marcellus's lectures allowed a lot of insight. He goes from the basic economic models and brings them into 3-d by introducing real world applications of economics. He is also a wonderful speaker and very engaging, but there are a few issues i would like to present Firstly, i would suggest this class to people who have a high understanding of economics or have already taken an economics course such as AP economics in high school. He does not do such a good job at explaining basic economic theories. His lectures consist mostly of applications of basic economics in the real world or bringing the most basic models to the next level. If i did not take ap economics in high school, i would have been totally lost in the class. Second, i did not enjoy the random comments he made in class which were sometimes inappropriate and seemed like self-pity. Throughout the semester he went on about how "ugly" he was and sometimes vocalized the disadvantages of african americans in society such as himself. Not that these comments really bothered me, they were just inappropriate since it did not relate to anything we were talking about in class and were rather distracting. Third, his tests were really unconventional and unexpected. Sometimes he says there are multiple choices but there aren't (well maybe they are in a way but not the sort you'd expect) The final was a killer. There were people who started crying. I'm not sure if his past tests were like that but this last test left some people feeling helpless. If you couldn't answer the first question, then it was really hard to answer the rest of the questions because the question after would depend on your answer to the question before. So the whole test was basically on one diagram and it depended on whether you could answer the first question or not. Lastly, his lectures were really disorganized. It was hard to take notes. He would talk about one thing then go onto another and go back to the first thing. If you take the class you would have to retake the notes during your free time in order for them to be coherent. Therefore, i would recommend this class to people who have already taken an economics course in high school to understand and appreciate his expansions upon those basic ideas. His class was very very insightful and i enjoyed it. But i think i was only able to enjoy it because i understood the most basic concepts. I would have been completely lost and sometimes still was even though i knew the most basic concepts. In order to learn the basic concepts you have to read the textbook which he doesn't really draw from in class.

Dec 2010

I took this class for my senior year chance to do something different than humanities and because Gulati wasn't teaching at Columbia (Hi girls!—I'm THAT guy, you know, the one with the penis). Anyways, I'm super glad I took Prof. Andrews class instead. Very light reading and work (all problem sets were optional, though you should do them to prep yourself for the exams), and his lectures were very engaging. He's extremely left wing, but I think he's pretty good at separating the theory from his own bias, and does give the right credit where its due. That being said, his exams are killer, though he grades them on a curve like any other class, so if you know how to think through the ideas behind the questions, you can do quite well. Just use supply/demand. Anyways, great last class at Columbia. Anyone who wants to do econ for fun should take this instead of the more boring/tougher Columbia ones.

Dec 2010

Intro to Economics with Professor David Weiman was THE WORST CLASS I HAVE EVER TAKEN. More than his boring lectures, insipid personality and copious home works, Professor Weiman is rude and unhelpful. He does not even bother to answer to an e-mail.If you go to his office hours, he'll make sure you understand that he wants you out of his office in the next 5 minutes and he'll do whatever he can to answer your questions in the most negative way possible. If your looking for an interesting, relatively easy or worthwhile class, this is not it. He assigns home works almost twice a week and they are unannounced. He does not care for you weekends, for he'll ruin them with a Saturday Night assignment. Moreover, he'll maybe give you a two day notice before he assigns one of his aplia nightmares. On top of his irrelevant aplia online home works that do not correlate to the class or notes, he gives 5 quizes a semester, which may or may not be scheduled. I recall him circulating a quiz with a two days notice on more than one occasion. Basically, do not take this class. This professor is not worth it.

Dec 2010

let me begin by saying marcellus is a super cool guy. he is funny and entertaining, i'd love to sit and have an extended conversation with him. his lectures are interesting. however, on the tests are a lot of hard core, sometimes quantitative problems. you CANNOT do only theory in class and still expect students to know how to solve the test problems. yes, on the hw assignments there might be problems like that but we never go over the hw together! simply putting up the answers to the homework is not the same. basically although theory is more interesting, students NEED to go over boring problems as well. not ones he makes up in his head which are too simple and vague. marcellus needs to have the patience to go over real problems. step by step, slowly, methodically. even devoting 1/2 a lecture to going over an old test would help.

Dec 2010

If you want to clear, concise, and non-tangential lectures with a professor who at least feigns that he has interest in his students or their understanding of the material -- then take this course with another professor. Weiman is probably the single worst professor I've had so far. He doesn't like questions, reviews, or additional heighten correlations in concepts. He acts as if you are bothering him if you try to contact him before/ after class. Forgets assignments all the time and goes into long explanations about examples or concepts we never see in homework, quizzes or midterms Also if you buy Aplia online (the textbook), you cannot easily print the pages from BC/CU printers

Jun 2010

I would be lying if I didn’t say that Marcellus is a very intelligent man capable of giving, at best, amazing lectures. That said, this class was kind of all over the place. He definitely does not stick to the syllabus. I didn’t really follow his grading style. If you already have a background in Econ but need to take this course, I would recommend this class based on his interesting lectures. If you’re new to the field, you should probably push the back button and find another professor who will actually explain the basic topics you’re supposed to learn, instead of going off on too many tangents (however interesting they may be). Note: His office hours are always crowded, so show up early.

May 2010

He is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! There were 4 empirical assignments in our class, two non-cumulative tests, weekly aplia assignments (online program), weekly quizzes and weekly readings. The empirical assignments were quite tedious. I did them with friends in the class, which helped drastically. The prof recommends that complete the assignments with friends because he is aware of how hard they can be. he does a great job explaining all the material and many people in his class by the end of the class loved him. econ can be difficult but, for me, he made it seem so simple. his office hours were beyond helpful for me. i went almost every week to discuss the material for the quizzes which led to an almost 100% quiz grade average for me. he is not boring at all despite some of these previous reviews. he is willing to help everyone and go over issues. there was a TA for the class and went over all empirical assignment related issues and reviews for quizzes and midterms. overall I LOVED THIS CLASS AND WEIMAN AND TAKE IT. i know people who were in andrews class and thought it was a beyond terrible and learned almost nothing and never want to take another econ class again so def take weiman, you will not regret it

Jan 2010

Professor Weiman has been working hard to improve this course and I found that it gave me a good overview of economics. The Aplia website has readings that explain all the concepts and the assignments to test you. There are practice assignments and graded assignments. The tests are a mix of terms, true/false, short answer, and quantitative but there is choice on all sections which is really helpful. The readings aren't necessary to keep up with and I only did the Aplia readings when cramming for the exams. The quizzes were somewhat hard but he gave 6 and dropped your lowest two. The empirical assignments took a bunch of time but the TA was pretty helpful and as long as you work with someone you should do alright. Overall I would recommend this course as a good intro course but dont be prepared to sail through it. He curves and wants people do well but attending class is necessary.

Dec 2009

This class was poorly organized and a waste of anyone's time. He doesn't stick to his syllabus, he assigns irrelevant textbook readings, fails to specify units on his homeworks, will change questions half way through the exams, and he accused the entire class of being racist cheaters. He likes to make self-deprecating jokes about how you shouldn't listen to him because he is just a black man, and how his wife is too good to love him. Then he would waste twenty minutes telling us all about his impending divorce. His office hours are a mockery; he will tell you the answers to the homework questions and then make fun of you, which isn't that bad until you get to the tests and realize you don't understand how to do the problems. More often than not he would cancel his office hours or change the times at the last minute because of personal problems, which he will tell you all about in class. To his credit, he does a fair job at making the course material interesting and will try to make understandable analyses of current economic events. However he spent so much time philosophizing about how economists are inherently angry people and telling us there will be no jobs for us when we graduate, that he didn't end up spending a whole lot of time teaching. I would avoid Professor Andrews at all costs until he gets his undoubtedly complicatedly personal life in order and is ready to come to class with a lesson plan and actually hold his office hours.

Dec 2009

Marcellus is self-deprecating, incredibly smart, dedicated to his students, and an amazing lecturer. He can also be pretty damn funny. I took this class as an elective and I would totally recommend it to anyone with a basic interest in how the economy works (or doesn't work). The lectures are clear, interesting, and engaging. Connections are made between different areas of course materials and you'll really feel like you're gaining a better understanding of how the world works in general. It's necessary to attend class often, but the lectures are so interesting that you'll want to hear what Marcellus has to say. Overall, a great class and a great professor.

Aug 2009

I took this class basically for my own intellectual growth, and to learn about the economy generally. i'm not an econ major, and i had a hard time grasping the material. however, that aside, and the fact that i didn't get the grade i wanted, i LOVED this class. I attribute this entirely to Marcellus, who i consider one of the best (if not THE best) professors i've had at barnard/columbia. he challenged us not just to engage the course material, but to understand it critically in light of the current economic climate (warning: he's super liberal). a real gem; a shame that he's only a visiting professor.

Dec 2008

This was a so-so class. The material itself is slightly interesting, if not the kind of basics everyone should know. There's very little math involved; instead, you learn about economic ideas. Weiman knows what he's talking about, but he relies heavily on powerpoints, which makes it boring and sometimes hard to keep up when he switches slides quickly. In retrospect, I'd say you should print out the powerpoints before class, since he posts them on courseworks (however, they aren't especially helpful for studying, since they consist of a lot of bulletpoints or questions that he answers in class, so good notes are more important). Also, you should at least skim the reading so you have a better idea of what's going on in class. There are three exams--the first two aren't cumulative, and the last one has a short section of questions from earlier in the semester, on top of a longer section of questions from the last third of the semester. He also gives out assignments every few weeks, which are much easier to do if you go to the help sessions. There were about 8 assignments, and he said something about only counting your top 4. All in all, the class was not extremely hard, but you have to pay attention and do some of the work.

Dec 2008

Marcellus is one of the best things that has happened to me at college so far. I was fortunate enough to be in a 15-person section of this class, and having him in a small atmosphere cannot be beat. He is incredibly well-connected in the field and thus brings strong expertise to the table. His lectures can be less than straightforward, but he is always funny, tells great stories, and manages to get his points across too. He also connects basic economic concepts to larger social issues of the day, showing you how the field relates to practically everything. The only things really required are: showing up to class, studying for the exams, and taking them. The reading is absolutely unnecessary, and there are no problem sets involved. The fact that he is pretty scattered can frustrate people (and has made people pretty angry in his large section of this course) but my experience with him has been excellent.

Dec 2008

This was a new course this semester, so I'll give him a break. Weiman's a really nice guy, and he knows his stuff; he just has trouble communicating a lot of the ideas. Even in office hours he's often unclear. He lectures from a powerpoint that often makes little sense to the students. The content is not especially difficult, and there is not a lot of work outside of class. There are some readings but most aren't really necessary. Read the Lindblom stuff and go to class and you're fine.