Fall Economics 10 Enrollment Nears Record 1200 Students
Nearly 1200 students packed Lowell Lecture Hall last Monday to push preliminary enrollment for Economics 10 to what is thought to be the highest of any course in recent years.
Several hundred students were forced to stand in the aisles as Otto Eckstein, professor of Economics gave the course's opening lecture covering Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and the rudiments of economic history.
The Registrar's Office did not have statistics on course enrollment and was unable to confirm whether Ec 10 will be Harvard's biggest course ever. Eckstein was unavailable for comment.
Ec 10, "Principles of Economics"--the University's only introductory economic theory course--is required of all concentrators and serves as a prerequisite to almost all the department's other courses.
Elizabeth Allison, the head sectionwoman for Ec 10, said the jump in enrollment from 700 to 1200 this year is probably because of lots of little reasons--a good Confi Guide review, Ec 10's general reputation, and the increasing importance of economics in the news.
Students interviewed yesterday tended to agree with Allison's rationale and freshmen frequently cited good comments from upperclassmen about Ec 10 as a reason for taking the course.
The unexpectedly large turnout has presented Allison and Eckstein with difficult logistic and staffing problems. "I have called book publishers all along the East Coast trying to get more texts," Allison said.
Allison said that the course's enrollment would "absolutely not be restricted." She added that she will find enough rooms and teaching fellows to accommodate all students without increasing section size.
At Monday's lecture, Eckstein said that students who wanted to see him should "drop by." When he arrived at his office, he found a line of students extending all the way down the corridor.