professor
Mitali Das

Jan 2005

I couldn't disagree more with the previous review. Metrix is a tough course with few good profs teaching it--Das is undoubtely THE professor to take it from. Her Lectures are comprehensive and easy to understand, and I found my notes to be much more informative and useful than the book. You do have to memorize some equations (although not too many), but Das really explains the reasoning behind them well, and to do well in the class it is essential that you understand these concepts (memorization alone is a fast way to avoid an A). Das is harsh on policy, but if you actually talk to her she is helpful and nice. Recitations were extremly helpful although only review. Overall, my friends that took this class with other teachers plugged and chugged with some stat and then forgot it all, but Das really helps students understand and actually LEARN metrix. Exams are veery tricky, but if you know how to think through the questions (e.g. know the concepts) you can figure most of them out or at least write enough to get a few points.

Dec 2004

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.

Apr 2004

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.

Dec 2003

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!!!!

Dec 2003

Das IS the person to take this class with. She is an accomplished practioner who knows her material cold inside and out. Don't ask stupid questions to show how much you know, she will shoot you down like a rock, but if you would like to learn the material in a less than painful manner she is the professor to take. The grading is fair, the exams reasonable, the lectures are clear, coherent (and absolutely mandatory if you want to understand/do well)

Dec 2003

Excellent lecturer. She is so sure about her ability to lecture in class that she discourages all forms of contact outside of the class. (sometimes she doesn't even hide her annoyance)

Nov 2003

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.

Apr 2003

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

Jan 2003

She was late to class often. Her lectures were less than spectacular, but she does cover all the material. The exams are not so difficult if you actually understand the material (exams rely heavily on the class notes). I would give this class an overall score of 6 out of 10. Lots of room for improvement, but it also could have been much worse. I think Prof. Das has the potential to be a good teacher, but it seems as though teaching is not her first priority.

Jan 2003

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.

Dec 2002

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.

Dec 2002

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.

Jan 2000

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.

Jan 2000

I found the professor's English really difficult to understand. Coincide that with a poor teaching style, let's just say this wasn't a very good experience. Be prepared for Prof Das to lecture on random subjects outside the scope of the text and expect this material to be very difficult. I didn't enjoy this class at all.