course
Macroeconomics

Apr 2021

I'm not sure how people take this class at 8:40am or in person. The 2x speed recordings saved the course which is mostly pure algebra and formulas. There is very little justification or logic behind and applications of the concept, so the course feels very dry and disconnected especially for an econ course. Psets take long and are rather confusing but TAs help. I do not recommend you take this course with Professor Uribe

Apr 2021

I'm not sure how people take this class at 8:40am or in person. The 2x speed recordings saved the course which is mostly pure algebra and formulas. There is very little justification or logic behind and applications of the concept, so the course feels very dry and disconnected especially for an econ course. Psets take long and are rather confusing but TAs help. I do not recommend you take this course with Professor Uribe

Jun 2020

This was honestly my favorite class that I've taken at Columbia so far!! Professor X is such an engaging professor and makes every class super fun to listen to. He specializes in growth, so the growth section is particularly good, but this does mean the rest of the course is super rushed and hard to learn. However, there is no textbook, and his TAs release notes for every unit, so the course load is certainly manageable and you have access to all the material that will be on the exams. P-sets can get a bit long, but not unreasonable, and exams are very fair. Grading on everything is very fair as well. Not a difficult class if you show up and read TA notes.

Dec 2019

Most disorganized class I have ever taken. TAs did not know what was happening and problem sets often did not match what was being taught in lecture. 2 problem sets were assigned during reading week to ensure all material was covered before the final. The lecture notes that are given in lieu of a textbook are difficult to navigate and contain errors. I will say that Xavier really is a great lecturer, though. I did learn while in lecture and the exams were not incredibly difficult. I think the class is just too large to manage effectively.

Mar 2009

This guy is probably really smart but he stumbles around like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean, and describes the substitution effect by saying that if wage increases, his one hour of leisure at the bar drinking beer becomes more expensive, so instead he might work an extra hour.

Jan 2006

Very fun professor. He tells great jokes and I really enjoyed going to his class. My favorite professor at Columbia by far. I highly recommend him. Do not pass up an opportunity to take his class.

Dec 2005

Xavier is a truly gifted professor. He understands the material so well, and is so good at conveying the information, that he doesn't even use a textbook! His lectures are usually very interesting, and his sense of humor hilarious. This was one of the best classes I've taken at Columbia. Since the instruction was so excellent, I find myself thinking about what I've learned on a frequent basis -- it "sticks." His homework and exams don't test nonsense questions -- they are interesting, real-world examples of macroeconomic concepts. If you take this class, you will learn a lot and have great fun doing so.

Sep 2005

IvanÂ’s clear review of the material, along with his emphasis on problem solving, enabled me to do well on the exams. Ivan is a great TA: always accommodating, knows the material cold, and responds promptly to emails.

Jan 2005

The class' "theoretical" lectures did not prepare you for the "practical" calculation based homeworks. If you are looking for conceptual understanding, there is nothing like his "cookies" and "left-side; right-side" explanation of things. However, his lectures did not prepare one for the homeworks and midterm-by the final you can study hw solutions, etc. You HAVE to pay attention in lecture and not miss one because everything is covered and based on the lectures -no textbook required. I found the lack of any textbook a challenge because it was not there to refer to when I didn't understand Xavier and the TAs weren't that great, nor on the same page with Xavier. I can say -the curve is beautiful. You don't have to think too hard to do well. "well" being a relative term.

Nov 2004

Contrary to rumors, this class wasn't bad at all. Lectures were very interesting: he often used real-world examples to illustrate his arguments. Sometimes he would go overboard with the math, but only for lectures--you didn't need to know the advanced material for problem sets or for the exam. In general, the math was really, really simple--straight out of calculus. I had a good time in this course--Prof. Onatski explains concepts very well, and makes a sincere effort to answer students' questions.

Jan 2004

Bruce Preston may not be the most interesting lecturer, but he is definitely competent. He is very organized-- his lectures are on powerpoint, and cover all the topics succinctly. The only problem is, they also parrot the textbook, which does not toot my whistle. If you are the type of student that learns in lectures, this is an excellent course. If you prefer to learn from the book regardless of what lecture is like, take this course, you won't miss anything. If you like your lectures to cover supplementary or slightly different material from the textbook, prepare to be disappointed. It must be noted that Bruce is a newly-minted professor straight out of Princeton, so his teaching style has not matured yet. He even seemed rather hurt when class attendance dropped precipitously a few weeks into the course. He does make the effort to try hard, though, and does a pretty good job. The only complaint is that he's a bit dry, but I suppose the Australian accent does help a little.

Nov 2003

Well I really can't say this is going to be a good review because I didn't really attend class that often. More like never. But when I did go he basically bore me to sleep. Not that he's a bad professor....he's actually quite good and the material is interesting. He just doesn't do anything or talk about anything interesting during lectures, the lectures are extremely boring. But not a bad class to take to be honest. Not hard at all, work is easy.

Nov 2002

Most everything has been said at this point, but to state my experience. 1) Most engaging lecturer I've ever had. 2) Clear an concise in his explanations... and still covers the material in depth. 3) IS EXTREMELY condescending in his language towards students (we are not kids anymore, thank you); although, I really think this just reflects his happy-go-lucky persona. 4) Easy grading system. I do want to challenge the posts saying you will not learn anything from Xavier. You will!! Like any class, however, you make of it what you put into it. Yes, the grading system of the class makes it easy to slip by without learning anything while still making the grade. But, I put the effort into it (as do many people) and found that I learned more with Xavier than any of the other econ professors thus far. Highly recommended!

Sep 2002

A great teacher and man. Easy to understand. And most importantly to most of you no doubt, AN EASY A. No excuse to do any worse. Salai Martin may be more fun, but Henry will teach the material better and allow you to get better grades

Sep 2002

Sethi is an excellent professor who is open to meeting with students about any problems with the class. He is organized, clear, and presents the information in an interesting manner. A note on the first reviewer for Sethi: why would you assume that all Barnard classes are an easy A? Please get off your high horse and actually take some classes before you make such sweeping assumptions.