Charles Hulten

17 reviews
Average rating: 1.82




This professor has taught: ECON306, ECON454, ECON709, ECON808

Information Review
ECON306

Expecting a B
Anonymous 12/19/2013
Really depends what youre looking for in an econ class. Attendance not required (its used if you're between grades. 3 exams are all that determine your grade. Exams are 85% from the problem sets he posts online. Powerpoints posted online. So if you want to go to a class 3 times a semester and still get an A, this is for you. On the other hand if you want a real teacher this guy is hands down the worst. Dyslexic (really annoying when his test questions need editing), mumbles, makes class really tough to pay attention in. No class interaction just powerpoints and mumbling. For a business student that doesn't care about economics this was a perfect class for me.
ECON454

Expecting a B
Anonymous 05/14/2013
100% of the review aoiara made for econ306 can be applied for econ454
ECON306

Expecting an A
aoiara 04/29/2013
I rarely ever review professors. But this guy is special. I wanted to wait until the CourseEval came up so I could give him a scathing report. Hulten is the worst professor I've ever had in my entire life. It baffles me that people are giving him higher star ratings. I'll tell you now: I rate professors not based on how easy the class is, but based on how good the professor is. If the professor sucks, but I still get an A, the professor will get a low report. If the professor is amazing, but I get a B, the professor will get a fantastic report. That being said, Hulten is horrendous. Here's why: 1) His class is extremely boring. There's a reason why no one goes to his class. When you go, he spends the hour muttering off, and there's absolutely no way to hear him. You can sit right next to him and he'd still sound like one of those grumpy old men. 2) He is not interested in helping his students. His office hours are extremely inaccessible, especially if you have schedule conflicts. He does not agree to meet you anywhere outside of his walk in hours. He says he's "too busy." If you ask him a question regarding the class material, he will tell you to ask the TA. The only time he would talk to you is if you had a question regarding the class itself, not the material. Such as what the grade curve is. 3) I don't know why, but he didn't give any homework or quizzes or anything. The three grades you have are the three exams. You have nothing to boost your grades. 4) He doesn't post the grades online. He takes 5 to 7 days to post up freaking exam answers, which can easily be posted up an hour after the exam like most professors do. He then just leaves ELMS completely empty. There's not a single grade in there, and it's already May. I don't know the class curve, and I am not 100% sure of my own grade. What if I changed an answer or accidentally filled something wrong? I'd never know. He apparently curves the class based on the class's performance. Too bad we never know the class's performance. 5) The powerpoints are useless. He literally changes letters/symbols for the same variable. For example, when he says "change in X," he sometimes writes it as dX (which, by the way, is normally the symbol for the derivative of X), and then sometimes he writes it as lower case delta X. Why not just triangle delta X? Baffles me really. 6) He puts in completely random abbreviations and terms. You will NOT know what they mean. He puts everything in equation form. For a class like econ, that's not beneficial. For example, he randomly put on the letters "VRTS" in one of his powerpoints. No other mention of it anywhere else. Just VRTS. What the hell is VRTS? I made a guess, but I'm still not absolutely sure. Googling it? I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean Virtus Investment Partners. 6) There are literally three practice set problems available for us for the midterm. You would not be able to understand how to do these practice problems by looking at the powerpoint. I had to google how to do these questions. I had to youtube search some random microeconomic teachers in order to understand some concepts. Yeah that's right, I actually had to find teachers outside of Hulten in order to learn the material that Hulten should teach himself. 7) He is absolutely inept. Usually, even if a professor is bad (such as Pfieffer), I still admit that they are very smart or passionate individuals who understand the material completely. But Hulten simply does not care. You ask him why German markets are so inept, he answers "because they have strange work hours." The hell does that have to do with this course? I would accept this class a lot more if there were just homeworks, quizzes, or some kind of practice material that isn't the practice sets. The practice sets do help in the exams, and doing the practice sets will guarantee you to get most of the questions correct. However, the exams are 40 questions. The practice set might help with 30. If you are content with getting a C in every exam, that's all you have to do. I wanted an A in every exam, meaning I could only get 2 questions wrong per exam. Two. There are at least 5 to 10 questions on the exam that come out of absolutely nowhere. Oh, and DO NOT BUY THE BOOK. He teaches maybe 1/3 of every chapter. All the book does is slightly clarify the points. You can easily get the same clarification using google. I don't know why he skipped over so much material. 1 star is too much. 0 stars need to be made available.
ECON306

Expecting an A
ledz713 05/15/2012
There's not much to really say here. The dude can't teach. At all. I haven't gone to class since the second week, have a 90 average, and might very well get a B only because I was way too lazy to hand in the homeworks. Point is, take the class, but don't expect to learn, and do expect to spend about an hour every two weeks doing the homeworks. Oh, and studying a little bit. A few hours most.
ECON306

Anonymous 04/09/2012
He lecture is boring, but he is knowledgable. He doesn't take attendance. There are 6 homework, two midterm, and a final.
ECON306

Expecting an A
Anonymous 05/20/2011
While Hulten's teaching style is not super helpful, the class is not too bad. ECON 306 is definitely a class where teaching yourself will really help. If econ comes somewhat naturally to you, to do well in the class all you have to do is memorize/understand his PPT slides and then look up anything you don't understand in the book. If econ does not come naturally to you, read the chapters and look through the PPTs. For tests, Hulten gives the best advice: look at each slide and think about the purpose of the slide and the questions that he could ask you about it. Though the most important thing for this class is making sure you UNDERSTAND the material and it MAKES SENSE to you. If you just memorize it with no rationalization, the tests will be harder than they need to be.
ECON306

Expecting an A
Anonymous 05/16/2011
Definitely not great. He is very dry, and while he definitely knows his subject, he is not great at keeping class interesting and lecture attendance drops to 15% by week 7. He tells you the first day that you don't have to come. The material isn't that much different than ECON200 and while they show you some calculus, you don't need it. 6 online quizzes, lowest gets dropped. they start out easy and get pretty tough at the end. He provides problem sets before the quizzes which are very similar, so make sure you pay attention to those. 2 midterms and a final. They are very similar to old exams and problem sets, so not that tough. Scales the class against your peers, so if you beat the curve, you'll be fine.
ECON306

Expecting an A-
Anonymous 05/11/2011
I understand that ECON is a tough class to teach and that students will never be very interested in it, but you have to do SOMETHING to try to get them involved. He drones on monotonously for an hour and 15 minutes to the point where you can't listen to him. My suggestion is to learn from the textbook and use the quizzes to practice.
ECON306

Expecting a B
Anonymous 05/09/2011
If I somehow was not accepted into the Smith School, my last choice would have been majoring in Economics, and this class solidified this. I have never experienced such an inefficient, ineffective, and generally incompetent teaching style as ECON306 with Professor Hulten. To myself and most students I have spoken to, I have gathered that he is highly disliked for several reasons: First, his lectures are incredibly boring. Over the course of the semester, you would have thought the class came down with a case of SARS, only to miraculously return to the class when an exam was scheduled. Second, the TA’s were very ineffective when he was out with a sickness. When several students asked for practice problems, the answer was simply, “We don’t have enough time.” Are you kidding me? What kind of teacher/TA deliberately doesn’t want their students to learn the material by practicing? None of the lectures included problems that we would see during exams, which made studying very difficult. This leads me to my third reason; the slides presented in class were very different from the ones put on ELMS. On many occasions, slides were missing or completely different from the ones online. This made it extremely difficult to study for quizzes and tests, since the material simply wasn’t there. When quiz answers were posted, they were simply answers. No work was shown, god forbid you get a question wrong and not know how to figure it out when it comes time for a test. I understand that economics is a part of business...if a professor who actually could relay the information to the students in the class taught it. Professor Charles Hulten, in my opinion, has been the worst teacher in my 4 semesters here at the University of Maryland. Not just because he teaches a class that is incredibly boring and monotonous, but his overall demeanor during class. His voice was only audible if you sat within 11 inches from him or had incredible, supernatural hearing, and even then you could not hear his mumbling even with the aid of a microphone. Yes, I understand that he was out for a good month due to illness, but before his illness and after his illness, it seemed as though he was only teaching for the sake of teaching. Obviously, he has a great understanding of the subject, otherwise he wouldn't be teaching here. However, on one occasion, I emailed him twice and received no response. The matter at hand was a question on a problem set that is ungraded. After not returning my emails, I went to his office hours and explained the problem and asked for some help on the solution and to get a better understanding of the material. His response was simply, "Go ask the TAs." What type of “distinguished” professor denies a student the right to come to office hours to receive assistance and just turns him/her away without a valid reason? This is simply absurd. I have attended every single class and have learned absolutely nothing. Many students I have talked to in the class feel the same way and this is terrible. As a student, I feel as though you should learn at least ONE piece of information that you can use in the future, and this class nullified that theory with ease. To be honest, it really pisses me off that the University of Maryland would continue to employ such incompetent people to teach such an important course. Failure to give practice problems (seriously, how hard is it to put together 10-12 problems for each chapter) and blaming it on “not enough time” was the worst excuse I’ve ever heard in my entire life. How can you try to teach a class if there are no examples to base studying off of? If you don’t want to give practice to your students, then go teach at a community college where students don’t care at all, because here I know for a fact students want the best education and actually learn topics discussed in class.
ECON306

Anonymous 04/02/2010
The business school keeps getting better and better! First Karen Gold, now this. He won't answer questions, responding that "the TAs will go over it in discussion." TAs don't give a crap and hurry through discussion trying to avoid answering questions, cus, you know, they have more important things to do. Waste of money and time. Don't go to class and teach yourself, you'll do better than if you go to class.
ECON306

Expecting an A-
Anonymous 05/07/2009
Worst teacher and TAs Ive ever had. Hulten could give a crap about any of his students. None of the students seemed to understand anything he was saying and everyone just stopped showing up. It took him and his TAs weeks to post the answer keys to the tests and the grades. Overall, dont expect to learn anything in his class.
ECON326

Expecting an A
Anonymous 04/15/2008
The combination of his confusing and oversimplistic, stained overheads dated back to 1992 and his incoherent ramblings to go along with it make this class hard to stand, but you'll have to just suck it up because you're an econ major and he is teaching a class that is a prereq for 400 levels. Luckily, as others have said, tests aren't bad as long as you read the book, and homeworks are his old ECON306 homeworks for non-majors.
ECON326

Expecting an A
I'll rate u 04/02/2008
study at home and get an A. go to his classes and get an F or lower I am not gonna add anything, the guys said what i see as 100% true.
ECON326

Miss. Ma 03/27/2008
It was sad to say that I was very dissapointed to have him again. I had him for econ300 (when he makeshiftly taught the first half), and now for 326. His voice is so diffucult to hear. Its like a lulliby, putting me to sleep in class. His ancient slides, no I mean, his outdated and stained to prove it overhead transparencies and his presentations of them were a disorganized blaaa. You walk in with nothing and walk out just the same. The only up side is that his TAs are there to help, and the real lecturing is done in discussion. His exams are simple, and his homeworks are do-able. Also, over the two consecutive semesters that I have had him, he has made attempts to connect with us through youthful examples. For one, he used a bug named Sqishie to convey utility maximization, and uses examples of Ipods and sitting in class for other concepts. BUT, they are all hits and misses. Poor fellow. He is a genious, but just cannot translate it into a lecuturer.
ECON326

Anonymous 12/07/2007
He has the knowledge to teach, but he has problems delivering it to the students. His class is boring and what kills me is his jokes that no one laughs at unless himself. I am taking this class with him cuz I have to take it and his sections are the only sections that fit into my schedual. AVOID HIM.
ECON300

tadpole 10/30/2007
Very dry, monotonous and boring. Extremely technical in his explanations and terms. Obviously knows the subject material very well but doesn't convey it in a way that makes sense at all to the class.
ECON300

jge1023 10/23/2007
I don't understand anything he is ever talking about. Neither does the rest of my class. Extremely boring, has a monotonous voice, explains things in very technical terms. Probably a really good economist, but not a very good teacher. He doesn't make our exams though so there not too bad.