Aasim Ansari, Class of 2020 “I don’t remember the particular point when I made a conscious
Aditya Pantham, Class of 2019
If you’re an economics student at Ashoka, chances are that you’ve been taught by or heard a lot about Professor Anuradha Saha. An amazing statistics professor, she is a student-favourite: Every semester during course registration, her classes fill within minutes, maybe even seconds. But Professor Saha is way more than what we see in her classes. An interview with her revealed what an all-rounder she is.
Raised in Uttar Pradesh, and living in Delhi for the past 15 years, today she calls Ashoka home, though she is quick to make the distinction between Ashoka being home and Haryana not being home. Professor Saha has been teaching economics in Ashoka for two and a half years, but it might surprise some people to learn that she has a bachelor’s degree in physics! Luckily for us, she discovered that she enjoyed her economics courses more, specifically the analytical and predictive aspects of it which she has focused her studies on.
As a teacher, Professor Saha likes to see her students learn more and that her favourite class to teach has always been Statistics for Economics. She takes her class seriously and expects her students to do so as well, and on the first day of all her classes she says, “I scare the hell out of students”, a fact her students readily confirm. This tradition of hers gives her students the mindset they require to do well in her class. This, she says, helps her connect better with the students as she believes that they match her work style, which she describes such: “Whenever I work, I’m working hard, Whenever I party, I’m partying hard.” She feels the worst thing she has to do as a teacher is having to constantly motivate her students, but the greatest part is seeing her students grow, and her classes becoming a proper discussion between teacher and students.
After two and a half years in Ashoka, Professor Saha feels that there isn’t much she would like to change here, but she does feel that Ashoka should have some more places to go nearby outside, and that right now it feels quite “dead”. On the other hand, she also wishes for a quiet book shop on campus where she could read and enjoy books, which isn’t quite possible in the serious atmosphere of the library. She doesn’t really think much else can be improved on campus, whether it be the dorms or the mess. She really appreciates the fact that the mess serves fish; she said she couldn’t find it anywhere else in Haryana.
Professor Saha spends her free time cooking, playing games on her phone, listening to music, or reading. Her favourite dish is “anything with tomatoes.” She also likes to make Bengali sweets which she promises to eventually share with her students (fingers crossed!) On her phone, she is currently obsessed with the “Bubble Shooter” game. Her favourite song right now is “Budapest” by George Ezra. When it comes to reading, Professor Saha is primarily interested in economics-related books. As a college student, however, she loved mystery novels; her go-to authors being Jeffrey Archer and Sidney Sheldon. But her favourite protagonists were those in Barbara Taylor Bradford’s stories, as they were women who empowered themselves and escaped from desperate situations on their own, a kind of inspiration for her.
After all this, Professor also finds time to binge-watch TV shows; sometimes while grading her students’ papers. Her current favourite is Silicon Valley, and her all-time favourites include Friends and The Big Bang Theory. Her favourite characters are Chandler (Friends), because she relates to his character the most, and Sheldon (TBBT), but most definitely not in a relatable way, she says.
She hopes to go to Norway one day and see the Northern Lights, and visit Japan.
Her advice to her students entering the world is to “figure what you want to do in your life” and to also “figure out how to manage your time”.
I enjoyed interviewing Professor Saha. She was very willing to talk about herself, and was very relatable too! I already knew that she is extremely passionate about her subject from her classes, so this interview made it clear why she is a student-favourite: she is such a fun person to interact with!
Anuradha Saha is an Assistant Professor of Economics, and currently teaches ECO207: Statistics for Economics. Her academic interests include Macroeconomics, Economic Growth and Development.