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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
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The class itself is an easy but boring econ elective primarily going over European economic history from the 15th to the 20th century. The content is clear and easy to understand but would have been more interesting had it focused more on the development of European Union rather than the history of the Industrial Revolutions. The professor however, was a complete nightmare to have as an instructor. Michella is clearly a knowledgable professor which showed during her lectures but her lack of care and effort for this class was evident and made it extremely difficult for students to get a clear picture of anything that was going on in relation to grading and standing in this class. In addition, it made things confusing as the final exam, which had clearly been prepared in less than 10 minutes, was ridden with repetitions and typos that the proctors knew nothing about and could not assist with as the professor repeatedly told them on the phone that the exam “had no typos in it”. Overall, the class is not difficult but one needs to be patient and willing to bare a lot of confusion due to the professor in order to do well.
This class is exceptionally interesting, and almost impossible to not get an A in (as long as you go to class or listen to the lectures online). The exams are incredibly fair, plus the problem sets are very straight-forward and are designed to show you what will be tested on the exam. Optional group presentation (which is so easy) gives you an automatic 10% grade boost and excellent feedback from UCLA Faculty and Alumni.
If there is a seat open in this class, TAKE IT.
Professor Giorcelli is probably the least clear, helpful, or intelligible professor I have ever had in the Economics department. She is a tenured professor who has published interesting and original economic research, but clearly puts very little effort into teaching.
Your comprehension of the material is tested across 2 midterms, a final, and 5 problem sets that are all multiple-choice questions. English is not the professor's first language, and this becomes especially clear when taking her exams. Many questions had poor grammatical structure that made them very difficult to understand. In addition, she does not show up to any of the exams, leaving her TAs to try to decipher her confusingly-written questions.
The final was her coup de grâce. She sent out an email telling students the exam would be 20 questions. This was a lie. The exam had 40 questions, about a quarter of which had glaring typos that made them impossible to answer, and another half of which were recycled from previous midterms or problem sets. Obviously, the typos were more of a concern than the repeated questions, but I thought the recycling of questions spoke to how little effort she put forth.
Lastly, due to the TA strike, she brought in some other grad students that had no relation to the course to proctor the final. In order to be fair, she wrote, we would not be permitted to ask any questions during the exam. I'm not sure what she envisioned giving out a typo-ridden exam proctored by replacement-TAs that could offer 0 clarity.
In all, I would say to take this class if you are looking for a manageable Econ elective. Despite all of the confusion and poorly-written questions, her tests and problem sets are pretty easy. The rest of this review is mostly just an indictment of a bad professor.
This class may be easy because the professor will reuse her homework and previous test questions on the final, but I still do not recommend that you take it. The professor very obviously does not care about teaching at all and is the most confusing and contradictory professor I have taken a class with in the econ department. Furthermore, many of the questions on her tests and homework assignments make no sense and are based more on grammar and your own understanding of what the question is even asking than concepts taught in the class. The extra credit (which was originally supposed to provide up to a 10% boost to our grades) ended up being "required" when the professor suddenly decided to make our grade out of 110 rather than the "100 point scale" she kept on talking about.
Very easy class - I forgot that we had a second midterm and I bombed it (senior year rip) but managed to scramble to an A-. It's basically just memorization and as long as you come to class and listen to class (I legit didn't even take notes) you'll be fine lol. I agree that the Professor seemed a little checked out during the strikes and there were typos in the final but it seems like grading was adjusted to be more lenient due to those issues. She also offers 5 points extra credit, and I think as long as you go to class you'll do well :)
My fellow classmates may write some negative reviews of Prof Giorcelli. We did have a few issues: due to the TA strike, the second midterm and final were challenging to get through. There were a few typos (most likely due to a lack of help from TAs) and the test proctors were completely unfamiliar with the material and the professor was not on site. During the final, one of them communicated the wrong clarification from the professor. In one of our last classes (also TA-free), we reviewed the second midterm. I will assume that the class did poorly on this based on the professor's reaction. I myself did not do as well as I liked, but it was still a B (one midterm can be dropped based on what you get on the final).
Her tests are VERY easy if you show up to class and just listen. You do not need to take any notes because she provides slides.
I can understand her frustration with the class's performance because there is no reason why anyone shouldn't have passed. While we were reviewing, some of my fellow classmates decided to argue with Giorcelli about the answers. I found this extremely embarrassing. All three exams were multiple choice and at least two options could be eliminated by common sense, and a good chunk of the questions could be solved by looking at the table provided and using basic elementary American/European History knowledge. One person even argued with the professor about the size of plantations in the American South, saying that she did not know they were large plantations with slaves. I would understand if this student was not American, but that was not the case. All this to say, if any negative reviews pop up from Fall 2022, take them with a grain of salt. If you are a competent person and can put in the bare minimum amount of work, this is an easy Econ upper-div.
There is a project that can be completed for extra credit, extra points for participation but not required, and about 5 problem sets in total.
This class was one of the best classes I've ever taken at UCLA (which is crazy because it's an ECON class). Low stress, but high learning. You learn about some important historic trends, so there isn't much math involved, but just some interesting concepts you need to know. There are some assigned reading online, but the professor goes over it in class.
There are 4 pretty simple problem sets that you can find all the answers on the slides she goes over in class and posts online. The problem sets help you with the exams. There are 2 midterms and a final, but everything is multiple choice. The professor actually pulled the exact same homework questions for the final, so it really isn't something to worry about if you understand what's going on in the class.
Problem sets are 20%, and there are different rules to how your exams and the rest of your 80% can be graded, depending on your situation.
(1) For students whose final exam score is below the scores on each of the two midterms,
each midterm will count 30% and the final will count 20%.
(2) For all other students, the final exam will count 50% and the higher of the two midterms will count 30% (i.e., the lower midterm score is dropped). For any student missing one of the midterms for any reason, the latter calculation will be used with the one midterm taken counting 30%.
(3) For any students missing both midterms for any reasons, the final will count 80%.
She does give extra credit as well. If you do Econ in Action, which is a presentation group project, you get an extra 10% added to your grade. The presentation was intimidating, but it's mostly UCLA alumni that judge, and when my group went, they were really nice. The hardest part was actually just choosing a topic. You also get an additional 1% if you participate in class by answering a question or asking one. I'd say you don't necessarily have to do any of the extra credit to get an A, but it's not too hard and you get a peace of mind.
Anyway, to sum it up, TAKE THIS CLASS. :)