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So, he changed up the format for the class. Going forward, it's not as mathematically challenging as it was before. Although, there is still a decent amount of math. Think derivatives, partials, and algebra. He's there for you during office hours and after class. Some of the material will seem confusing, but it's confusing because the material is inherently confusing. I would read everything he hands out, all the extra info and whatnot. I liked him, he was a really cool guy. And the curve was pretty generous. I got mid 70s and that was an A-. Anything above an 80 would have been an A. Also, do all the problems he assigns. AND ASK QUESTIONS. THE MORE QUESTIONS YOU ASK, THE SLOWER HE WILL GO DURING LECTURE.
Professor Geerolf is amazing. Given that, the class is HARD. His class is also more mathematical than most macroeconomics classes, but it is also incredibly up to date. He updates his material regularly and makes sure to provide you with both sides of the story so that you're not easily fooled by macroeconomists and politicians. He literally mentions in his first week of lectures that a good reason to learn economics is to not be deceived by economists, and this is a big theme in what he chooses to focus on. He provides a narrative to economics that most professors completely ignore, making the class endlessly more interesting Geerolf himself clearly cares about his students, is very kind and welcoming, and consistently asks if anyone has any questions. He will stay behind for office hours and address each concern.
All this being said, this is not an easy A. I must highlight this: the class is difficult. The math is not very difficult once you understand what it is trying to say, but the process to reach this understanding will take a bit. And, if you make a mistake similar to mine and assume that "it'll all be okay" in the midterm because you understand the concept but not the math (or vice versa): don't.
102 is a hard class. Regardless of who teaches it, the material itself is challenging. BUT the professor you take it with can either make or break the class for you. I didn't do very well in this class, but I admit that I got a bit lazy in the end and didn't study as hard as I should've for the final. With that being said, however, Geerolf was a great guy! I was hesitant to take the class with him because he had such bad reviews, but he changed the format of the class and made it so that it's not too math intensive. He was extremely patient with the class and put up with all the questions we asked during lecture. He was also very responsive on CCLE and answered pretty much any question that was posted on there (and trust me, there was a LOT). He's funny and I don't think he even tries to be. He's just naturally goofy and a little odd at times. Tests are challenging but I'm sure that with more time and more concentration, I would've done considerably better. If I could retake this class, I would definitely take it with him but I would also definitely spend more time studying for his tests.
This class is a total NIGHTMARE. I've never felt so confused or frustrated. This class literally destroyed me. Now I'm half through the quarter and have no idea what to do. I wished I had listened to the reviews here. The professor is a nice and kind person. However his lecture is impossible for me to neither follow nor understand anything. There are a thousands of symbols and notations but he never explain any of them. I am a Math major and this class is a thousand times more confusing than any of the math classes I've taken.
Again total nightmare.
He put a lot of effort in teaching this class, and really want his students to do well and learn a lot. (I guess more on second one, since it is standard grade distribution anyway). I put four times more effort in this one than in Econ101 and Econ103, and reviewed for entire two days and a few nights before final exam. The readings are annoying, but you can learn a lot from them, and to pass the exam, you only need to look at the answers to the reading questions in his pRobles sets. He really likes to use questions from previous exams (including mdt and previous years’ exam), and I feel like over 70% points in final are from previous tests.
Be prepared to learn a lot, but also putting in a huge amount of time. As previous comments said, I also respect his unbiased way of teaching macro. The materials he wrote by himself as course material are so complete that can even be published in the future (I guess).
In the second half of final, since people pooled to have less math in test, he didn’t include anything in redistributive policy in final, and also public debts, which are the two most math heavy sections.
Anyway, you still need a solid (if not excellent) math background.
Also, special thanks to Conor Foley, who answered numerous questions in detail on Campuswire.
Prof. Geerolf is definitely a smart guy but his lectures are extremely hard to follow. If you aren't very comfortable with calculus or math at all, take the class with another professor. He is really nice and interesting but the course itself was very difficult to get through and I mainly relied on my TA for help.
If you put in a little effort, this class is enjoyable. Geerolf definitely cares and caters his class towards what the students favor; he takes polls to see how much math should be taught and preferred structure of midterms/finals. Also, I definitely respect his approach to an unbiased way of teaching macro.