professor
Belinda Archibong

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.

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.

May 2018

Boring class and lecture. Please do not take her for Environmental Econ- you think the class is going to be easy but then the HWs do not parallel or give you a sense of how hard the test/midterms are going to be. Also when you ask to meet her for OH or outside OH if you can't make her times: she says to post it on discussion board or got to the Economics Help room. This doesn't solve the problem as the economics help room are not equipped to help with this class (not their fault- they barely have anyone that has taken the class). The GIS maps take time to make and are a total waste. Sometimes the files she gives for them are either corrupted on purpose or not on purpose so, it makes the whole process harder and much longer than it needs to be! For the midterm + final you basically have to mug up the sources, HWS and skim the readings. This would be fine but some of the slides are hard to interpret as she skips over them in class and doesn't explain them completely. Overall, she seems like a great person but a boring professor and lecturer that doesn't make the content interesting at all. Avoid taking this class unless you really have to!

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.

Jan 2017

I have mixed feelings about this class. There were some things that I really liked about Prof. Archibong, and some things that I think could have been done differently. The class is very theoretical and I only took it because it was required for the major. I honestly didn't enjoy the class very much, but I will say, I did learn a lot and (unexpectedly) ended up doing really well in the course. Pros: - she posts PPT slides of the lecture and you're only responsible for the materials that are on the slides - very responsive to e-mail, always willing to help and will answer to questions your have - extra credit by posting on discussion board / recitation quiz - debate is pretty chill, I think everyone did very well - better than have 3 papers like other professors - final exam was very fair, no surprises - she wants to make the class fun for everyone, she had us fill out mid-semester evaluations to get suggestions on how she could improve the class - essay graded base on content so if you're not a stong writer you can still do well Cons: - the PPT are sometimes useless because the bullter points are vague and don't make any sense - essays are graded harshly, they're more like extended long answer to a question, she wants to you mention specific terms to get high marks, not really open to your own interpretation - very slow grading, took maybe a month or more before we got our essay back, also some essays were graded by the prof and others were graded by the TA, which I don't think is fair at all - she never mangage to finish the lecture on time and doesn't cover all the material she wants to so things get push back more and more as the semester goes on - often started class late (although this could also be a pro) Not related to Prof. Archibong, but, the TA was HORRIBLE!!! She didn't seem like she know what she was doing, reciation was pretty much a waste of time and she often cancelled them / switch around the time of the reciations. She also does not follow her own syllabus and dates she had set for the quizzes, so this could mess up your schedule if you have week with lots of exams and she decided to issue a quiz that week. Also, I think there needs to be better communication between the Prof. and TA.

Dec 2016

Put simply: Take it with Archibong if it's a course requirement, actually take notes in class (it will matter for the final), focus on theoretical expectations of how the policy/issue might play out-not reality- for the essays, and this could actually provide a pretty good historical framework for the econ major. Details: She very effectively compiles a significant amount of material into manageable sections. At the cost of being somewhat redundant, she touches on the important points more than once as to ingrain them. She is down to Earth and difficult not to like, making engaging mentions of her research and background. Her human rights-centric perspective drew me to the joint major. More focus on what we should draw on/consider as "economic analysis" during class would make the grading of the first essay much more fair. At this point it felt like taking a shot in the dark. It was actually a pretty comprehensive overview of much of the political economic thought that much of the major is based upon. I would recommend Prof. Archibong over the other professors who teach this material based upon what I've heard of them. Her lectures were well focused on the fundamental concepts/perspectives of economic philosophy and summarized them well. The lecture slides thoroughly identified all the necessary concepts, but students have to actually pay attention to be able to fill them in sufficiently. The expectations for the essays were unclear and frustrating for many students. Although "economic analysis" is clearly listed as being heavily weighted on the rubric, the prompt and rubric are vague about the meaning of this. It is unclear that it is in fact asking for a depiction of how demand and supply curves might theoretically move when an event occurs, as opposed to the more literal and concrete interpenetration of how a policy might play out (which multiple students apparently provided and were downgraded for).

Dec 2016

Professor Archibong is a good professor and knows the material well. She does her best to convey the material in a simple way, but sometimes it gets convoluted so if you space out for a few minutes, you'll most likely be lost in the lecture. She assigns A LOT of reading, but also states that at the beginning of the semester so that shouldn't come as a surprise. The TA grades most of the material for the class, and is always returned late. The class was told the essays would be returned at the end of one week, but didn't get them back until 2 and a half weeks later. The TA is not the best TA and has specific requirements of what she is looking for in your essays. Copies and pastes feedback between students' essays and is a really harsh grader; if you don't cover some point the TA is looking for, don't expect a B+ on the paper even if it may be the best paper you've written. The TA can sometimes be really rude in recitation, so if that's someone you want to avoid, then avoid this course. If the course had a different TA, then it may have been more enjoyable with Professor Archibong.