professor
Sonia Pereira

Jan 2020

Sonia is an angel, a sweet person, a mom figure which is nice. The class admittedly is pretty disorganized, but if you are willing to put in the work you will be ok. She tries to make this class very applicable to the world in terms of relating stuff to climate change, global issues, etc. As much as I appreciated it I think it is why we struggled to get through a substantial amount of the actual. pertinent course material. The midterm was extremely late (like 2nd week of November), and the weeks between the midterm & final were a frenzy. The class can be difficult to pay attention in mostly because she allows students to have opinions (which is great except when they become distracting...) The problem set answer keys were riddled with errors, so my biggest advice is be your own advocate. Hunt down the TA and continue emailing Professor Pereira if you think you are right. Professor Pereira is extremely understanding and tries to help people understand. Her office hours can be the golden ticket to understanding concepts. Attend office hours with both the professor and TA to do well on problem sets. I think your grade in this course really depends on your dedication in hours and meetings.

Jan 2019

Sonia is a bit disorganized, but she is kind and willing to answer any question in detail; she hands out detailed study guides and practice problems, for example. When we argued that her midterm focused on material we did not go over in class, she changed our final so that it would be much easier on us. She also curves our exams very generously, so I'm sure I am not the only person who got an A in the class. Problem sets are pretty easy too.

Dec 2018

Sonia is the sweetest lady on earth. She has a great sense of humor and is very kind. She made the class so interesting and always connected everything to real world stuff. She was very clear at explaining and was very approachable. However, keep in mind she was very disorganized, and always late. The TA was TERRIBLE. She always cancelled office hours but even worse she did not know anything on the material. When you asked her something she would google the answer and she was constantly being corrected by students. But I think after several instances she won't continue as a TA for this class.

Dec 2017

. She’s a very sweet woman, very understanding and will try to make jokes and roll in on her scooter, but her lectures are dry and unorganized. She even admits that. As a person she’s great but the fact she did not realize her key for a problem set was wrong for two years until I pointed out was slightly concerning. There is a very large curve for the problem sets and she will answer questions explicitly if you ask.

Jan 2015

Professor Pereira is one of the nicest professors you will ever encounter. It was her first semester teaching theoretical foundations and in my opinion she did a good job. She made the best out of the boring material. She is very cute and funny and most importantly approachable, if you ever need an extension she will more than likely give it to you. I found it refreshing to have a professor who truly cares about her students and not her research! Anyways the class itself is easy and not demanding. Prof. Periera gave us 6 questions for the final to study for and chose 3. Luis the TA grades the papers and finals and he's pretty chill with grading- if I'm not mistaken a large percentage of the class got As on their papers.

Dec 2014

I found the material to be very interesting but Professor Pereira, plainly said, is a boring lecturer. Her notes on the board are incomprehensible and the information on the slides are grammatically awkward. Also, there is an attendance sheet for each class and you are required to participate once out of the two days we meet a week. The upside is that she is a very easy grader. It is not difficult to write an A paper but still, going to class is a pain..and mandatory.

Apr 2013

Professor Pereira is awkward. She rolls into class on a red scooter. She gives her lectures off the slides, so you might as well sit home and read the book and slides. Both she and her TA have some problems with English grammar. In the beginning of semester I was puzzled by double negatives in some of her slides, but by the end I wished I had a religion so I could pray that the next midterm/final does not have ambiguous language or typos. If you send her emails, she won't respond. The TA is barely comprehensible. The book is boring: if you know at least some math, you will hate it. It can go on and on and on about calculating an average. Come on, people. I'm a math major, and I can't read the book because I keep dozing off. I got out of class knowing half a dozen new words, and that was it.

Apr 2013

I want to start off by saying that Sonia Pereira is a really sweet woman. She tries to make jokes and seems to care about her students. I loved her as a person, but really disliked her as a teacher. From the get-go I realized that most of my class had taken economics before (AP or whatnot in high school). I had never taken an econ class in my life, so I could have benefited from a better, clearer, more helpful teacher. Expect that you will be behind from the first day in this class if you are an econ newbie. You can figure out the material yourself (the book is helpful) and succeed in this class, but with little help from Pereira. The lectures were boring, tedious, and mostly read from the slides (she doesn't post them on Courseworks until after class, which makes note-taking frustrating). The homework was pretty doable. The midterm and final were really easy as well. The quizzes, on the other hand, were difficult. She has completely unrealistic expectations about how quickly they can be completed. Write fast! Overall, I think I could have really enjoyed econ if I had a better professor. The time I spent outside of class learning the material was interesting, but the class itself was pretty dull. Avoid if you can, but if you end up in this class, it's not the end of the world either.

Dec 2012

Words really cannot describe how bad of a professor Sonia is. For starters, she has typos in every single quiz, midterm, final, homework and homework assignment. What's more, she oftentimes has miscalculations in the homework and practice problem solutions that she releases to the class. I would be able to tolerate this lack of attention to detail if she actually taught anything in her class, but alas her inability to proofread is but the tip of the iceberg. Her class consists of her reading aloud a slideshow that accompanies the book and uses the exact same phrasing and examples as the book. She will show these slideshows every single class and whenever a student has a question that isn't exactly lined out on the current slide, Sonia says that she will get to it later, yet never does. I have learned more from the book than I have in her class. It is disturbing that such an unqualified teacher could be in charge of an intro course, as she has definitely deterred all potential economics majors from further pursuing this career track through her inadequate teaching habits. Even more surprising is that she is still teaching at the university, in spite of the countless scathing reviews she has received. I will close this with a Sonia anecdote: For our quiz, not all of the students in the class had calculators. To remedy this, Sonia allowed everyone in our class to use our cellphones as calculators during the quiz, so long as they were on silent. Not sure if this was so that she wouldn't hear the texting "bings" around the room as everyone cheated or what...

Dec 2007

Sonia is very nice, but she sometimes does have trouble answering questions. Overall, I found her to be helpful. She was much more responsive than the TA and more understanding. I went to her office hours a few times and thought they were useful. The class is not hard, but the lectures can be tedious. Sitting through powerpoint slides in the dark is never fun. But she does try to engage the students which not enough professors do. I would take a class with her again and she is not as horrible as some of these reviews make her out to be.

Oct 2007

I read her reviews on culpa before arriving on campus my freshman year (last year) and thought, she can't be that bad... Well, she can. My experience with Pereira taught me to always trust in culpa (except Dalton deserves a gold nugget!) -- she the worst teacher I've had here. Granted, I have based all my class choices since on culpa reviews (only choosing teachers with a shadowy gold nugget or higher), but she was even worse than high school teachers! I must warn you that I rarely read the book and have little interest in the subject, I took it to try out the subject. Her lectures were straight out of the book, and if you want to understand the material I recommend you just stick with the book and skip the class. I didn't want to do the reading and so I hoped that I would absorb the material in class through osmosis while doing other homework. I ended up with a B+, although with a little more effort I probably could've gotten an A.

Jan 2007

I found Sonia very engaging. She goes by slides but still manages to generally make an argument, which with you can choose to agree or disagree. Although the class is often oversimplistic, it was generally very thought-provoking and interesting. If you are interested in an economic interpretation of public policy, this class is for you.

Jan 2007

This class is a waste of time to attend - the lectures display intellectual laziness (data from 1995) and the tone is far from scintillating. And it's taught like no one in the class has any economic background whatsoever. But as long as you go through the tedium of outlining the answers to the midterm/final essays (conveniently given out as pass/fail assignments before the tests), you will get an A. Easily. You might even learn a couple interesting facts.

Dec 2006

Some professors are very sweet and nice but just cannot teach..Sonia is one of them. She cannot answer you questions in class, so don't ask her because u'll get her even more confused! she'll say she cannot answer ur question at the time and will email u the answers to ur question. She posts all the slides on courseworks after the class is done (but in the middle of the semster, she posts them b4 class.) But many ppl who did not come to class did well just reading the text book and the slides. Her lectures are extremely boring and tedious and most ppl just fall asleep anyway. her exams are long but not too hard..also with very generous cures. she always gives review materials the class b4 the exam and forgets to put some info there...HW set and exams take extremely long to be graded because there's only on TA.

Dec 2006

Don't do this to yourself. I think this woman has no idea what she is doing, and that is me being kind. When students asked questions, she would have no idea how to answer them and change the subject. She takes over two weeks to grade homework and takes forever with tests. first midterm took three weeks to grade, second midterm took over a month. we only got them back two days before the final. her slides for class are posted online and are word for word transcripts from the textbook, which is actually a pretty good one. I only went to class five or six times and did fine just reading the textbook. She doesn't even care enough to show up to her own class on time. She is one of the best examples of the assertion that columbia professors are experts in their fields, but a lot of the time have no clue how to teach a class. Take this class with a different professor.

Dec 2006

Unfortunately this was a very lack-luster class. The professor is amiable and passionate about the subject, but she isn't able to present the material in an engaging manner. We spent the first week of class looking at broad measures of poverty and inequality in the world, but we never really moved on from there. It was always more graphs and statistics, or summaries of studies. She posted all of the PowerPoints online, so there seemed to be no reason to go to class. We didn't have very many reading assignments, but the ones we were responsible for she would have already summarized in the lecture notes. So there wasn't any need to read either, although I found the papers much more interesting than her lectures. The structure of the exams was kind of odd...they were virtually the same as the two "Quizes" that we had a week to complete for homework, and the answers came directly from the slides. Most of us were surprised when we got our midterms back though, because our grades were much lower than expected. She posted "answer keys" for the quiz and the midterm, but I don't see much of a difference between what I wrote and what she was supposedly looking for. For the final, she has already posted the answers to the second quiz. There is also the option of writing a research paper instead of the two exams; the student paper presentations the last week of class were actually very interesting. Bottom line: In my opinion, this was a pretty boring course, even if the subject matter was intriguing. The workload is close to nil, but the grading seems to be unfair.

Nov 2006

The focus of this class, Inequality & Poverty is very interesteing, but this professor doesn't quite do it justice. Her slides are very thorough and well planned, but it has become quite annoying to be in an upper level class where the professor teaches by reading the slides word for word. This has been a tough class to stay awake in at times. She is simply not engaging. Our midterm was a disaster. It was based on the problem set which she refused to provide answers to. A lot of people were confident going into the exam, but did horribly because she did not explain to us what she expected in our replies.

Jul 2006

Easy A, don't bother to buy the books. All slide show, posted on coursework. Don't ask questions, most of the times she doesn't have an answer.