Graciela Chichilnisky

Dec 2020

Please for your own sake, do not take her senior seminar class. It was the most unorganized, unprepared class ever. She didn't give any instructions throughout the semester for the presentation or essay and didn't even show up to half of the presentation dates. If you're someone who actually wants to learn, don't take her and if you're thinking of taking an easy seminar and think you can deal with her craziness, don't take her. PLEASE don't take her. As for her lecture, take it if you're trying to get an easy A and do absolutely nothing. The midterms and finals literally repeat HW questions. Also, don't expect her to write you any recommendations or become a mentor of any sort because she is honestly the worst. Just avoid at all costs.

Oct 2020

This woman is actually insane. This is probably the weirdest class I have ever taken in my life. Although we were online, this woman had her two personal assistants for her personal company running the class, and would not keep the TAs in line with what she was doing. You have to email her personal assistant to meet for office hours, but instead of her booking an appointment with you all she does is throw you to someone else who works at the company so that the professor won't meet with students. The lectures are literally just about her, and all the assigned readings were written by ... her. This course is more like a history of Graciela Chichilinsky. The course slides are messy, confusing, and contain old data, literally older than me. She essentially gives the same three ideas each lecture, and it isn't really cohesive. I felt so bad for the TAs. Those poor students were probably so frustrated with her. The best part of this class was my super hot TA that I had the blessing of seeing every Monday. If you're reading this I love you and would risk it all for you. Other than that, the class was easy. We had readings and homeworks to do, and the exams were open note and chill. Either way, I don't know how I feel about this class because she's actually batshit crazy but also easy A.

Apr 2014

Let me begin with a sentence I read on a previous review on Culpa: “That this course- and this-professor should somehow coexist disrupts the flow of the universe.” Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the best show in town. This class proved to me that some people simply have no shame, and that some professors have no limits. This class should be simply called intro to Chichilinsky rather than globalization and its risks. Let’s start with workload. The (rather random) readings vary from interesting to useless and there’s basically nothing to do. There are some interesting guest-lectures, which, while interesting, have little to do with the class itself. While there is no academic workload, there is a great deal of mental workload – surviving this class and enduring through an entire semester. Professor Chichilinsky is indeed a brilliant person and her impressive record speaks for itself. However, I do expect a completely different academic and professional level from a professor at Columbia. Chichilinsky uses slides with statistics dating to 2000 and 2006, some more than a decade-old and clearly irrelevant today. Oversimplifying many concepts while using bombastic terms and Armageddon-like phrases, you’ll surely smile. Next, almost all of the sources quoted are those of Chichilinsky herself. You will often see slides with (Chichilinsky, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1996, 2000) – quoting solely herself multiple times. Once again, Chichilinsky is indeed brilliant, but there are more experts and opinions out there and this is a class about globalization and not about Chichilinsky. Simply count the number of times she says “I” and the multiple times she employs “namedropping” and you will be amazed. I was almost convinced that the Kyoto Protocol was actually the “Chichilinsky Protocol” all along. Once I was surprised to see that the Professor included the book of another scholar in her slides. Have no worries, the last bullet point on that slide stated that Professor Chichilinsky wrote the forward of the book. Guess which parts of the book we discussed. I won’t discuss the class when she forced this poor student to speak for an entire hour on a paper he had done (full of econometrics and linear algebra apparently) and then defended his points while he was standing speechless behind. Add to this bizarre class the phone calls Professor Chichilinsky answered during class time, the awkward moments of her climbing on a table or fighting with the microphone and you receive a world-class show. The only thing you will need in this class is a partner to look at during such moments for mutual laughter and understanding. I had one – we didn’t know each other’s name yet we understood each other - and laughed. I never tried to introduce myself as it was our own special moment and I wanted it to remain that way. Five weeks into the class Professor Chichilinsky spoke about a company, which deals with C02 emissions. You would assume that the professional thing to do would be to start by disclosing any interest in the discussed company (A company with the purpose of profit). I was surprised to hear a professor speaking about a “random company” and decided to investigate the matter. A short visit to the company’s website and guess who I found to be one of the company’s founders? Correct! Professor Chichilinsky. The fact that a professor at Columbia University promotes her own company in an academic setting, without disclosing her own huge stake and interest in it is simply a disgrace. To summarize, this class was an insult to my intelligence. For approximately ~$4000 (calculated on a per-credit cost) this class is pretty expensive. The bottom line is that it seems that professor Chichilinsky doesn’t take her class or students seriously. On the other hand, class time provided me with some of my funniest moments at Columbia. So it really sums up to that – You won’t learn anything but you will at least laugh (and have some good stories to tell your friends).

Jan 2014

This woman is insane. She is ridiculously smart, but she is insane. Proof: --Her slides basically said the same thing after we got past the first five or so. Really if you knew six or seven buzzwords, you could pass for knowing the entirety of the "course." --On the first day, instead of going through the syllabus or talking about the course, we all had to introduce ourselves individually. This was a 100-person lecture. --"Who here has recently bought an apartment in London?" What a great icebreaker question. --She stood up on a table because she didn't have a pointer (after harassing the TA about that last bit) to point to the demand curve. --She got a call in the middle of class once, turned around, answered it, and then did this sort of whisper-scream (into the microphone on her shirt) "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!!! HOW COULD YOU NOT KNOW I WAS IN CLASS?!?!?" --Her tests repeated the same questions over and over and over again. Basically the whole test asked the same question over and over. And it was super easy. Keep in mind this is an econ elective without math (because that's a thing...). --Likewise, her lectures repeated the same statistics over and over again...except they were different alllll the time. The same went for dates. When did the IPCC make the "discernible" effect comment? 1996...kidding, 1995...kidding, 1997. --The class ended up basically being a series of totally random guest lectures (some of which were just students from her seminar she'd sucked into teaching the class), which almost across the board were irrelevant. --She wears sneakers with heels If you take this class, you will never be bored, except for all the time. If you take this class, you will understand what it really means to have "mood swings." If you take this class, you will, as a group, find ways to stand up for the TA. If you take this class, you will make an easy A.

Jan 2012

The class was great. In fact, this was one of the most favorite and fruitful classes at Columbia (I am now graduating). The course teaches you about a new approach to economics, something that everyone has to consider in the globalizing world. Prof. Chichilnisky has a different approach of teaching - this is not a typical professor you may have at Columbia or elsewhere. She is concerned about delivering the new idea and point of view of economics. I think, the reason she stressed out the same facts many times throughout the course (which is what many previous posts complain about) is b/s she wanted students to understand and accept the new vision. In reality most of the economist would disagree with her approach of how public goods affects all the current economics theories. It is in fact very difficult to say No if you were proving all your life that the answer is Yes. That is why she is stressing out the simple ideas that much and often. So don't be discouraged about it. It is also an easy class. Not sure why though many students did very stupid mistakes which drove their grade to A- or B+s. But overall, if you attend all the lectures and spend few hours preparing for the quizzes and exams, you surely will get A. So my recommendation is that if you have a free elective to take and you are concerned about the climate change and globalization (not only in the environmental point of view but also economics point of view), I recommend taking the course. Extra, you'd get some guest lectures that are also awesome.

Jan 2010

Professor Chichilnsky is, with out a doubt, the worst professor I had at Columbia, if not my entire life. With that said, she is also not too difficult, so if you're fishing for an easy economic elective, consider this one. Essentially, her class nothing more than her ranting about global warming and the cap-and-trade system. If you agree with her, then I'm sure you will enjoy the class since she will teach you about her "theories." However, if you don't (like me) then this class will frustrate you since she has a tendency to argue with student that disagree with her stance. For example, at the beginning of class she advocated that the small "island nations would bring big countries, like America, kicking and screaming to the negotiation table at Copenhagen." Of course, nothing happen at Copenhagen, like anyone who understands IR would have told you, yet there was not discourse about why it failed. Finally, if you're interested in global warming and globalization, just watch Al Gore's documentary, read the newspaper, and become an informed citizen. That way, there is nothing in this class that you haven't heard.

Jan 2010

AVOID THIS WOMAN AT ALL COSTS! Globalization and its Risks was without a doubt the worst course I've ever taken in all of my college career. Prof. Chichilnisky had random guest lectures for about half of the classes, some of which were STUDENT PRESENTATIONS from students in her seminar - don't even get me started on why they let her teach a seminar. But more to the content of the course, this class pretty much only talked about Climate Change. After a while I started wondering why I even attended class. She reused decade old powerpoint presentations that all repeated the same ideas over and over again. It actually shocked me that the Economics Department allows this women to teach at such a prestigious university. I can honestly say that I've learned nothing.

Dec 2006

Overall, this was a great Economics elective. Going in, you must know that Professor Chichilnisky is the creator of "basic needs criteria" as well as the economics behind the Kyoto Protocol (i.e. a market approach to deal with the emission of greenhouse gases via the trading of carbon credits). She is thus the foremost expert in the area, and lectures throughout the semester about causes of today's environmental problems (rapid industrialiazation since World War II) as well as the overextraction of resources in developing countries and the subsequent overconsumption in developing nations. She'll discuss this in depth, will clearly explain every aspect of the Kyoto Protocol, and will also lecture on her own solution to the problem, the Knowledge Revolution. Before taking this class, one needs to know that what I just outlined is what is discussed throughout the entire course. She doesn't spend a lot of time on other aspects of globalization like outsourcing, but will talk about globalization's link to violence, what's wrong with current discounting practices, and a little bit about the economics of gender. Overall, Professor Chichilnisky was an excellent professor who clearly conveyed all aspects of the material, and does care that students really understand everything she is teaching. She encouraged that we stop her to ask questions if we had any during lecture, and also organized a party for us at her apartment after the 1st midterm. Throughout the semester, we also had three guest lecturers, who provided further insights into the environmental challenges due to globalization. Herdis, the TA, was also excellent, and her optional recitations were very helpful in preparing for the 2 midterms and the final.

Nov 2005

It's sad, really. At the top of academia in the 1970s, Chichilnisky now seems to be a bitter and frazzled shell of her former self. Fading embers of brilliance still flicker ocassionally, but they're submerged in an ash heap of bitter acrimony. You'll learn a little bit about the "basic needs" criteria for economic assesment she invented in the 1970s, a little bit about how an abundance of natural resources can be bad for development, and a bit about the Kyoto Protocols and environmental markets. All of it is interesting stuff. Unfortunately, you're also going to have to put up with her manic mood swings, her constant litany of grievances with the administration, and her general total lack of organization. Take a lecture with her. Leave it at that. No seminars and no academic relationships.