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Prof Ostroy is a DISGRACE to Econ department and UCLA! I can't believe how could a school like UCLA hired this guy to teacher students. Don't expect to learn anything from his lecture or office hour. If you really have to take his class, study the lecture notes from other professors who taught the same class before and go to all the TA sessions before exams.
Why UCLA is out of the Top Ten University in the United States? Hiring Ostroy to be a professor that is one of the most important reasons. Because his class is useless and inefficient, that present UCLA's hiring policy and teaching standard. Taking his class means waste our time and money. Honestly, he is watsting our life in his hard exams.
Don't bag on this guy! Everyone complains how bad he is, but everyone sleeps in the class and expects A's. I went to most lectures, studied his overhead slides, and made sure I knew how to do the practice problems and I got an A-. The book is worthless, don't waste your time.
Professor Ostroy is a smart guy. I believe he does care about his students and wants his students to understand the material. But the guy cannot teach. He tries, but he just never gets to the point. I attended 3 or 4 of his lectures last quarter (each time hoping to come out of it more enlightened than when I went in) and soon discovered it was a disappointing waste of time.
His exams are also pretty tough, with the added disadvantage that they're also time pressured. I did all of the homeworks and sample exams that he posted on the web, but still did not do well on the actual exams. But I think that Ostroy's curve must have been pretty generous because I ended up getting a B+ in the class when I thought I would probably end with a B or B-.
All in all, I would not recommend this professor, unless you're one of those super smart students who just knows their stuff inside and out.
Ostroy's lectures are boring. He's monotone. Yes its true! He never changes his voice, its amazing! But if you listen to his lectures they are actually quite good. His examples are very helpful. As for his test? They are pretty easy if you go over all the homeworks and pratice exams. The math involved in the class is a joke. (Seriously think about it, how hard can solving a bunch of first order linear equations be?!) Any difficulty comes from economic concepts, so... read the book.
I originally was enrolled in Obara's Econ 101 class and switched to Ostroy's because Obara's class was boring, confusing, and just plain bad (among other things). I don't regret taking Ostroy over Obara.
Ostroy's class wasn't easy, but it also wasn't impossible. It was challenging, but as long as you prepared yourself you could grasp the concepts. It's a good idea to read the chapter he is going to go over before lecture or soon after lecture to understand the concepts. TA's office hours and section are a must if you want to do well. My TA, Adler, was helpful and really knew about the course.
In addition, Ostroy's office hours weren't too bad and I can sympathize with some of his impatience because people kept coming in asking the same questions about game theory and he wanted to help the other people who wanted to know about something he hadn't gone over yet. However, I didn't find the professor's office hours as useful as the TA's.
Ostroy's midterms were difficult, and in order to do well, you needed to grasp concepts beyond those of the study questions. The practice midterms and final, however, were more similar to the acutal exams. He grades on a curve, so don't worry too much. Also, make sure you pace yourself because you may run out of time on the midterms. Final was easier because you can choose 3? questions to skip.
You'll do well in Ostroy's class if you (more or less) keep up with the readings in the book, try to attend lecture, and go to your TA sections. I did these and although i didn't do well on the first midterm, I got a perfect on the second one and an A on the final. So I got an A in the class and I wasn't studying Econ 101 like crazy. Hope this helps. ^_^
Ostroy is the worst professor I have ever taken. I've gone to every lecture, but each one still remains meaningless & a waste of time. People arent joking when they say that he can't lecture! He starts on one point, then when he goes to explain it, he gets off on a tangent, and starts on ANOTHER point, and repeats the cycle. In other words, he never finishes his point, so you never know what he's talking about! His exams are difficult and unreasonable for someone who can't lecture. The book doesn't help because it's so vague and theoretical, so bad professor + bad book = BAD NEWS. Also, Ostroy is not approachable even when you ask him questions during office hours or after class. He rolls his eyes and mumbles some more without really answering your question. Just don't take this class.
I think Prof. Ostroy has been underrated by the previous postings. It's true that he's not a very good lecturer; he mumbles a lot, and many times he speaks as if he's searching for the right words to describe the thoughts in his mind. On the whole, however, I thought that he wasn't that bad of an instructor. Some of his good points were the following: (1) he made excellent use of the course website; (2) he gave us plenty of practice problems, and had their solutions readily available as well; (3) all of his lecture notes were available for downloading <I>before</I> the lecture; and (4), he graded and returned our exams relatively quickly (within a week). As far as his exams were concerned, I thought that they were challenging but fair. For the midterms, most of the students didn't finish in the given amount of time, but there was ample time for the final. The questions (in my opinion) follow logically from the homework problems, but they usually involve more thinking than just doing what you did in the homework with a few numbers changed around. Overall, I would recommend him. I really did learn a lot in his course, now that I look back on it. Just be sure that you read the textbook before all the lectures; it will help immensely, and you should be doing that anyway. Best of luck!