FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of my collected answers to general questions students commonly ask me, which aren’t directly covered by a course syllabus.

Enrollment and Class Registration Issues

  • Question:I really would like to take your class, but it’s currently full. Can you add me?
    • Answer: I’m really glad you’re excited about Economics, and would love to accommodate you. Unfortunately, if a class is full that means there’s a resource constraint: either there’s no more physical space in the room, in the labs, or we don’t have enough TA capacity to support more students. I’m not able to add additional students once a course is full.
  • Question: What should I do if the class is full?
    • Answer: Your best bet is to just keep checking the registration system, and wait to spot a space that is freed up, especially in the first week on class. Based on highly unscientific anecdotes, about 5-10% of my classes turn-over in the first week or two, which makes you fairly likely to get in if you keep checking.
  • Question: Do your classes have waitlists?
    • Answer: No. UBC’s enrollment system does not support class waitlists. If you’re in 4th year, you are guaranteed a seat in ECON 490, which is handled separately – but not necessarily a seat in my section. You should consult with the department office about this, rather than me directly.
  • Question: I’m in my second year, and it’s before 2nd year registration starts, but when I look at the SSC all of the second year classes are full! What do I do?!
    • Answer: Don’t panic! The VSE has recognized that our 2nd year courses are in high demand, and often fill up before 2nd year students even have a chance to register. Therefore, we normally hold back a sizeable portion of the seats in these courses until 2nd year registration starts. This isn’t a guarantee, but hold off on the panic until it’s time for registration to start.
  • Question: I can attend your lecture, but I have a conflict with the labs. Can I still attend?
    • Answer: Not advised, but this depends on the class. In general, for statistics-based classes, the labs are not optional and you would be advised to drop the class. For other courses, it will put you at a disadvantage – but one which you can overcome with extra outside effort. It’s best to send me an email to discuss.
    • If the nature of your conflict is that the only lab you can attend is full, we can likely accommodate you: send me an email.

Syllabus and Course Content Questions

  • Question: Where can I find a syllabus for your (current/past) courses?
    • Answer: Syllabuses are centrally archived by the VSE. Please contact the department office, who can provide you with the appropriate information.
    • An exception to this rule is if you were part of the Vancouver Summer Program; in that case, contact the VSP coordinator for past syllabuses.
  • Question: How technical/mathematical is Course X?
    • Answer: This can vary a lot; your best guidance is to look at past syllabuses for the course that I’ve taught and get a sense of the content. In general, 200-level courses are relatively non-technical while 400-level courses are fairly technical; not very helpful, I know.

Research Assistants and TA Opportunities

  • Question: I’m an undergraduate; how can I become an Economics TA / are you hiring TAs?
    • Answer: In general, it’s difficult for undergraduates to become TAs in Economics. This is because, as a research department, the VSE has a very large cohort of graduate students, who are given first placement in the (limited) number of TA positions available. You are still welcome to apply, which should be done through the department office directly.
  • Question: Are you hiring research assistants for your projects?
    • Answer: While I do hire RAs at both the graduate and undergraduate level, the level is based on funding and necessity. You can find these postings here, on my website, on UBC’s career portal, or through your mailbox.
  • Question: Do you take on research interns (i.e. volunteers)?
    • Answer: I do occasionally hire interns, which is usually based on a combination of necessity and relevant skills. However, I much prefer to hire students, rather than use internships. Solicitations can be found as outlined for RA positions. Again, please do not send unsolicited resumes or CVs.