professor
Aviva Vivette Ancona

Mar 2005

Certainly an interesting and useful class if you want to do anything in finance. Lectures are straight forward and the material is not too difficult- I know of several students who followed the textbook, did not attend lectures, and did "fine" on the exams. Ancona is very approachable, pleasant, even funny at times.

Feb 2005

Fairly approachable and friendly, although lectures are dry and boring. Workload isn't bad, a problem set every week. The midterm was pretty easy if you did the problem sets, but the material after the midterm is much more challenging and the final was pretty tough.

Aug 2004

In my opinion, this woman should not be teaching: the only good thing about this course was the textbook - it was really good (though not elementary) but you can read it without taking the course. Viviette Ancona just does not know what teaching process is about, what and when should be done, what structure is appropriate for an exam or a problem set. Besides, there was not a SINGLE problem set without an error (like missing or wrong data). You can only guess what she means when she formulates questions. With all these annoying things, she is also too old and too nice/naive to get really angry with her - so if you take her course, prepare to take it with humour. Math-wise, the course isn't really hard - but you should have stats background (econometrics also helps).

Jun 2004

Professor Ancona was an extremely nice person, but not a very good professor. She is an adjunct professor who seemed to understand Financial Econ at a very broad level, but did not have a clear grasp of the underlying details. And if we were covering quantitative material, she would gloss over it as quick as possible. All quant questions were referred to the TAs. Also, she is new to teaching (or at least gives that impression) and is still figuring things out.

May 2004

Some people, however nice they may be, simply do not make good teacher. Vivette is nice. Vivette is not a good teacher. It was more than obvious that this was her first time in front of a classroom. She didn't know how to conduct simple things. She unwisely indulged pointless inquiries that managed to get large chunks of the class off track. It is obvious that she was more comfortable with certain topics than others. Those for which she was shaky, it showed. Lectures consisted of re-stating what the text had to say on such topics. If asked a question, she would nervously defer to the TA. As a result, multiple lectures, even for the most attentive student, were incoherent and desperate sprints to make it past the topic. What was more frustrating, however, was the fact that such topics were explored on the problem sets -- and often the class was left without the tools to solve them. She also was hell-bent on covering an entire 700 page text in one semester. Each chapter was given a lecture. Some chapters were over 50 pages long and contained extremely detailed information that should have been given considerably more time. Other chapters were vague, soft sketches that could have been condensed rather than dwelled on for entire lectures. Basically, better planning regarding lecture content would have been appreciated.