ECON 137

Introduction to Urban and Regional Economics

Description: Lecture, three hours. Requisite: course 11. Survey of broad range of policy and theoretical issues that are raised when economic analysis is applied in urban setting. Topics include urbanization and urban growth, housing markets, location decisions of households and firms, transportation, urban labor markets, and local public sector. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 3.3
Easiness 3.0/ 5
Clarity 2.7/ 5
Workload 2.7/ 5
Helpfulness 2.6/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2020 - TAKEN IN WINTER 2020 - ONLINE 40% quizzes - 4 quizzes @ 10% each 40% group project 20% final exam BEWARE of this grading scheme. Also beware of a grade distribution if one is posted. She ended up giving us all 3% to our grade since she messed up wording on one of our quizzes. I doubt she will do this again, and in future classes you practically will have to do perfectly on quizzes to earn an A since you won't have the extra 3% cushion like us. 3% is one whole letter grade practically, so all the A-'s you see would probably be B+ if not for the cushion. Looks generous because of the 20% final but I actually think the final was okay content-wise. The quizzes will pull you down fast. You can't afford to make many mistakes on them or you will quickly tank your grade. This professor provided the class a lot of grief. She was practically impossible to reach, which was made worse due to the online format. She was only reached through office hours. She held 2 a week on the same day, so if you had a question the day after, tough luck. I think she was also late often and did not show up to office hours on FINALS WEEK. You had to email her to attend her night office hours and I heard she wouldn't email you back confirming she'd be there. How had is it to reply? 3 keystrokes - O, K, send. Pretty sure because of this she wouldn't even hold her 2nd office hour, so if you have class in the morning, tough luck. We meme "sent from iPhone" but she couldn't even do that. She specifically told us NOT to email her and to come to office hours if we had questions. However, you could easily wait the entire office hours and not get your questions answered since other people were there as well. Honestly, all of this grief was unnecessary since the class material is relatively interesting and easy. However, she worded the questions really questionably and provided 0 practice. It was easy to see where she gave up since she gave practice week 1 and 2 and never again. So you literally go in to quizzes blind. Lecture is all easy, teaching stuff a lot of people know intuitively (Wow, building heights rise in the center since land rent is higher there... Most people know this vaguely.) and then with our 0 practice she's like ok apply all the knowledge together and also it's not really clear what I'm asking you and also I'm going to assume you know things about Los Angeles, New York, and Europe even though I didn't go over it. The final was better since you go in less blind after taking the quizzes, but quizzes are actually a lot more important. Part of taking the exam is you trying to figure out what she's asking and then getting it wrong because she emphasized something in lecture, so you assume it is that, but it's something else. Also, a lot of questions are dependent on each other (especially the tough ones) so expect to not get 9s and 10s consistently, if you mess up your score can take down easily. For the final she gave us 2 hours instead of 3. I think a lot of people, including me, had a huge time crunch because of this. I think 3 hours would not be too much time so I have no idea why she did this to us, in fact, it might have been perfect. A good example of her lack of compassion is that she emailed us saying she could not offer a 3rd exam time since it would take too long. Just to be clear, I did not feel entitled to a 3rd exam time and wasn't expecting it to happen or anything, but I could admit it sucked for international students. The reason it seems so tone deaf is because she cut our exam time to 2 hours so if we had a 3rd exam time she'd only proctor it for the same time as other professors who provided 2 exam slots: 6 hours. I realize she has to make another exam, but I just think she should not have cut our final time. Was 2 hours of her time really that valuable that she couldn't sit and watch us? I think another review for another one of her classes said that she expects you to already know about a region. In this case, she expects you to be pretty familiar with LA. This is unfair to international/out-of-state students. She does go over some stuff about LA, but not enough to cover what she expects. The professor does not care for the students of the class nor our learning. She was impossible to reach and did not give much elaborate or give much outside information (no practice or lenience). So the workload was not bad, you just watched youtube videos basically, but why pay so much tuition to learn stuff you intuitively know? It's not even an easy A either. I would not take this class again, it gave me and my classmates more grief than we expected. It's too bad, because a lot of it is interesting. Do not underestimate how wonky quizzes can be going in blind and with her weird phrasing, especially because you need to get practically perfect scores to get an A.
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