Marcellus Andrews

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

Feb 2013

Intro to Economic Reasoning was a fantastic course, and I'm sorry to hear that Marcellus is leaving after this semester, because I would have loved to take another class with him. Marcellus made economics so interesting by relating the numbers and principles to real-life problems, including some of his own experiences. I am an Econ major, and know Econ classes can be dry (see Math Methods for Economics), but this has been the most interesting class I have taken at Barnard by far. If you pay attention in lecture and take good notes, there is no reason to have difficulty with the midterms or final.

May 2012

Such an AMAZING professor. If you are going to take economics, I highly recommend Marcellus. He has such a passion for economics, and it rubs off on everyone who takes his class. He does such a great job of reviewing the material. While basic microeconomics can get a little dry, Marcellus used examples to keep the class engaged. Like the previous reviews have stated, Marcellus has been going through a tough couple months. However, his teaching, I felt, never suffered because of it. He really does care about his students and made an effort to get to know everyone before the end of the semester. Overall, Marcellus is one of the best professors I have had at Columbia/Barnard. He is the professor who convinced me to become an Econ major. Please take his class. You will not regret it.

Apr 2012

Marcellus was one of my favorite teachers at Barnard. He got me to love Econ so much that I made it my major. He is so passionate about Econ. He really does love to teach and don't be intimidated by him - he is helpful if you me with him and he likes when his students ask (thoughtful) questions. He wasn't at his best last semester, but as other reviewers have stated, he had an extremely tough few months. He is a really wonderful teacher- he is engaging, a good teacher, and for the most part, a relatively fair grader. He says there aren't any curves, but he curved all three of our tests. My one problem with him was that he was pretty unavailable, although, again, I think it really has a lot to do with his circumstances last semester. Anyway, take this course!

Jan 2012

This is a GREAT class. Prof. Andrews is a great professor who really cares about his students unlike some other professors I had this past semester. He wants to know all of his students (and that is why he often "complained" about the class size) - he wanted to be able to hear everyone - which is certainly very tough to do when you have 100+ class (eventually it shrank, but still was not a seminar type class) One thing that I found many students complained about was the non-clearenes of the assignments, but this was changed - only b/c professor Andrews really cared about our progress and asked the class what was wrong (the first midterm was not that great on average while 2nd midterm was much better). Overall, professor Andrews is a caring professor. Sure, he has his own point of view (as we all do), but he never let that affect the judgment of the exams. One thing that would definitely make the course more exciting is attendance of his OH. He is amazing at supporting conversation and helping out during the OH - that is when he has more time to get to know you and to really understand what is the missing part that makes you struggle. Moreover, professor helped me with my other class by providing me with the list of readings and by talking to me about the topic. So he was a true professor for me not only for MB class but for my other course as well. My conclusion is that if you want this class to be amazing, it only depends on you. If you have the desire to learn, professor Andrews will provide you with all the necessary tools. He will contribute to your knowledge 100%. Having said that, I STRONGLY recommend attending his OH. Finally, I was shocked to hear that prof. Andrews was not given the tenure. It is said to see such a great professor to leave CU.

Dec 2011

You may not be able to take good notes from what he writes on the board, but if you just listen to him and try and understand what is being said, you'll see how great of a lecturer he is. He also cares about his students so definitely go to his office hours and talk to him if you're feeling lost or have a question. His tests are reasonable. The first may have been too technical and he realized that, so the second was purely short answer and very conceptual. The final was also very focused on basic concepts -- the course is all about basics, which he constantly repeats. He also stresses that he only cares about what you know at the end of the course, which means you can make up for poor past performance on the final. It saddens me to hear that a professor like Marcellus is not getting tenure. Yes, this semester's class may have been a little hectic due to (1) the class being oversubscribed past the point he was comfortable and (2) him having personal issues, including being diagnosed with cancer again. He's not a perfect human, but he is always the first one to admit his flaws and apologize to for letting his personal life interfere with the class. He clearly cares a lot about his students and is very dedicated to running a high-quality course. That's more than you can say for the majority of professors.

Nov 2011

The reviewer below seems to have forgotten that Andrews has been teaching this class in the middle of being diagnosed (for a second time) with cancer. A few weeks into the course, he was the victim of an attempted mugging at gun point. A week after that his home in NJ was out of power for a week and his young son had to be cared for because his school was closed. Yeah...try to have that NOT affect your performance as a lecturer. Despite all that, he's being doing a FANTASTIC job. He saves a lot of the math for exercises, but he (really) only cares that you understand the subtle and complex links that underlie today's complex financial system, many of which were at the heart of the recent financial crisis. An understanding of those links, combined with an understanding of how they affect and are affected by risk, are really at the heart of this class. If you care about those issues, Andrews is a professor you will be interested in. People seem to be a little intimidated by him...which I don't really understand. In fact, he seems to actually care quite a bit about his students. Admittedly, he tried to scare some of them away (which he acknowledged), but that seems to have worked. Next time, when he caps the course, that won't be an issue. All in all, a great class.

Nov 2011

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! He is the most disorganized professor at Columbia. He lets everything that is happening in his personal life affect his teaching. He forgot to cap his class to 80, and he had 160 students. A day before the first midterm he explained that he had been teaching madly so people drop the class. His midterm was crazy, he had not explained half the stuff in it. His HW are intense complicated numerical problems, which are unrelated to the syllabus. He does not include these during lectures or exams. Hence, you are supposed to break your head and never use the concept again. Though he is a good lecturer, it is not worth breaking your head on this class.

Jan 2011

Marcellus's lectures allowed a lot of insight. He goes from the basic economic models and brings them into 3-d by introducing real world applications of economics. He is also a wonderful speaker and very engaging, but there are a few issues i would like to present Firstly, i would suggest this class to people who have a high understanding of economics or have already taken an economics course such as AP economics in high school. He does not do such a good job at explaining basic economic theories. His lectures consist mostly of applications of basic economics in the real world or bringing the most basic models to the next level. If i did not take ap economics in high school, i would have been totally lost in the class. Second, i did not enjoy the random comments he made in class which were sometimes inappropriate and seemed like self-pity. Throughout the semester he went on about how "ugly" he was and sometimes vocalized the disadvantages of african americans in society such as himself. Not that these comments really bothered me, they were just inappropriate since it did not relate to anything we were talking about in class and were rather distracting. Third, his tests were really unconventional and unexpected. Sometimes he says there are multiple choices but there aren't (well maybe they are in a way but not the sort you'd expect) The final was a killer. There were people who started crying. I'm not sure if his past tests were like that but this last test left some people feeling helpless. If you couldn't answer the first question, then it was really hard to answer the rest of the questions because the question after would depend on your answer to the question before. So the whole test was basically on one diagram and it depended on whether you could answer the first question or not. Lastly, his lectures were really disorganized. It was hard to take notes. He would talk about one thing then go onto another and go back to the first thing. If you take the class you would have to retake the notes during your free time in order for them to be coherent. Therefore, i would recommend this class to people who have already taken an economics course in high school to understand and appreciate his expansions upon those basic ideas. His class was very very insightful and i enjoyed it. But i think i was only able to enjoy it because i understood the most basic concepts. I would have been completely lost and sometimes still was even though i knew the most basic concepts. In order to learn the basic concepts you have to read the textbook which he doesn't really draw from in class.

Dec 2010

I took this class for my senior year chance to do something different than humanities and because Gulati wasn't teaching at Columbia (Hi girls!—I'm THAT guy, you know, the one with the penis). Anyways, I'm super glad I took Prof. Andrews class instead. Very light reading and work (all problem sets were optional, though you should do them to prep yourself for the exams), and his lectures were very engaging. He's extremely left wing, but I think he's pretty good at separating the theory from his own bias, and does give the right credit where its due. That being said, his exams are killer, though he grades them on a curve like any other class, so if you know how to think through the ideas behind the questions, you can do quite well. Just use supply/demand. Anyways, great last class at Columbia. Anyone who wants to do econ for fun should take this instead of the more boring/tougher Columbia ones.

Dec 2010

let me begin by saying marcellus is a super cool guy. he is funny and entertaining, i'd love to sit and have an extended conversation with him. his lectures are interesting. however, on the tests are a lot of hard core, sometimes quantitative problems. you CANNOT do only theory in class and still expect students to know how to solve the test problems. yes, on the hw assignments there might be problems like that but we never go over the hw together! simply putting up the answers to the homework is not the same. basically although theory is more interesting, students NEED to go over boring problems as well. not ones he makes up in his head which are too simple and vague. marcellus needs to have the patience to go over real problems. step by step, slowly, methodically. even devoting 1/2 a lecture to going over an old test would help.

Jun 2010

I would be lying if I didn’t say that Marcellus is a very intelligent man capable of giving, at best, amazing lectures. That said, this class was kind of all over the place. He definitely does not stick to the syllabus. I didn’t really follow his grading style. If you already have a background in Econ but need to take this course, I would recommend this class based on his interesting lectures. If you’re new to the field, you should probably push the back button and find another professor who will actually explain the basic topics you’re supposed to learn, instead of going off on too many tangents (however interesting they may be). Note: His office hours are always crowded, so show up early.

Jan 2010

Easily the most interesting, engaging lecturer I've had for Economics. He is extremely knowledgeable about basically anything relating to economics and social justice. He manages to command your respect while being very approachable. The texts that we covered were very useful in discussion (even though they were sometimes poorly-written). He has a great sense of humor, too, which is often self-deprecating. He keeps it pretty real, often using coarse language to get a point across. But we're all big kids now, so this shouldn't be problem. The only part of the course that sniffed turds was a few of the other students. Because he's such an engaging lecturer there are those students who always have something to say, but when they speak they manage to say nothing at all. Andrews does do a good job of redirecting the class in these situations, and does so somehow with out belittling the classmates that like the sound of their own voice.

Dec 2009

This class was poorly organized and a waste of anyone's time. He doesn't stick to his syllabus, he assigns irrelevant textbook readings, fails to specify units on his homeworks, will change questions half way through the exams, and he accused the entire class of being racist cheaters. He likes to make self-deprecating jokes about how you shouldn't listen to him because he is just a black man, and how his wife is too good to love him. Then he would waste twenty minutes telling us all about his impending divorce. His office hours are a mockery; he will tell you the answers to the homework questions and then make fun of you, which isn't that bad until you get to the tests and realize you don't understand how to do the problems. More often than not he would cancel his office hours or change the times at the last minute because of personal problems, which he will tell you all about in class. To his credit, he does a fair job at making the course material interesting and will try to make understandable analyses of current economic events. However he spent so much time philosophizing about how economists are inherently angry people and telling us there will be no jobs for us when we graduate, that he didn't end up spending a whole lot of time teaching. I would avoid Professor Andrews at all costs until he gets his undoubtedly complicatedly personal life in order and is ready to come to class with a lesson plan and actually hold his office hours.

Dec 2009

Marcellus is self-deprecating, incredibly smart, dedicated to his students, and an amazing lecturer. He can also be pretty damn funny. I took this class as an elective and I would totally recommend it to anyone with a basic interest in how the economy works (or doesn't work). The lectures are clear, interesting, and engaging. Connections are made between different areas of course materials and you'll really feel like you're gaining a better understanding of how the world works in general. It's necessary to attend class often, but the lectures are so interesting that you'll want to hear what Marcellus has to say. Overall, a great class and a great professor.

Aug 2009

I took this class basically for my own intellectual growth, and to learn about the economy generally. i'm not an econ major, and i had a hard time grasping the material. however, that aside, and the fact that i didn't get the grade i wanted, i LOVED this class. I attribute this entirely to Marcellus, who i consider one of the best (if not THE best) professors i've had at barnard/columbia. he challenged us not just to engage the course material, but to understand it critically in light of the current economic climate (warning: he's super liberal). a real gem; a shame that he's only a visiting professor.

May 2009

Professor Andrews is one of the greatest professors that I have had at this school. He is very intelligent and well-read, but really approachable, which is a rare thing here--especially in the econ department. He is uniquely honest and passionate about the subject. His frankness can be alarming, but he knows how to hold your attention. I had him for Economics of Money and Banking. Andrews really tried to communicate the information and to reach out to the class. For a room with 100 people, he made it seem almost like a seminar, taking questions and directly addressing students. He did a great job at making the material relevant and recommending outside reading and such. The textbook was good and he generally taught in accordance with it so I always knew where he was. However, Andrews is more interested in general theories and their practical application, so do not get to caught up in the specifics of the text like vocabulary terms. His class is challenging, but doable and he does his best to help. He always make things so interesting that students actually want to go to his lectures. He is one of a few professors who really tries to make students understand economics.

Jan 2009

I took Professor Andrew's senior seminar with only five other students. I would definitely recommend him. Seminar's aren't his forte but he knows how to make you think and how to make you ask questions. He's very well informed so if you have any questions he can either answer them or point you in the right direction. He would send out readings by email and we would try to read them but most of the time, if you haven't read them, you can still talk (of course, it should be relevant) and he appreciates that. The course tends to go toward a lecture unless you ask questions. but given all this, he recognizes you and appreciates what you have to say. Would definitely recommend this class. He's a very easy-going, well-read, and great prof.

Dec 2008

Marcellus is one of the best things that has happened to me at college so far. I was fortunate enough to be in a 15-person section of this class, and having him in a small atmosphere cannot be beat. He is incredibly well-connected in the field and thus brings strong expertise to the table. His lectures can be less than straightforward, but he is always funny, tells great stories, and manages to get his points across too. He also connects basic economic concepts to larger social issues of the day, showing you how the field relates to practically everything. The only things really required are: showing up to class, studying for the exams, and taking them. The reading is absolutely unnecessary, and there are no problem sets involved. The fact that he is pretty scattered can frustrate people (and has made people pretty angry in his large section of this course) but my experience with him has been excellent.

Jun 2008

Although sometimes distracted, Andrews managed to keep an econ lecture to full capacity throughout the semester due to his charisma and a constant flow of fascinating and useful information. He is passionate, knowledgeable and genuinely cares that his students receive a quality education. His lectures always include a social/racial/gender/historical perspective and current political and economic situations are given time for speculation in lecture.

May 2008

Professor Andrews made economics interesting by telling stories and giving real life examples to explain the basics of macroeconomics. It was always a pleasure to come to lecture, and Andrews has a unique way of inspiring people. I came to class just to hear him talk, and it seems like everyone in the class went to each and every lecture, as the classroom was always full. He also didn't move too fast and always made sure that everyone was following along. Overall, he's just a really, really great guy. He's completely understanding and he goes out of his way to help his students. He also conducts review sessions, tells us what we need to know for the exams, and is very generous with grading/curving grades.

Nov 2007

This guy is very very frank with his words, and his personality's pretty awesome. The workload for this class depends on whether or not you are on the team. Preparation for the competition can be brutal, especially since all the other schools have been preparing for way longer, but you learn a lot in this class about day-to-day indicators of the economic system that you don't learn about in other more theoretical economics classes. It's up to you, though, to take the initiative and get what you want out of it.