Local High School in National Economics Challenge

Connecticut Center for Economic Education, Director, Associate Professor of Economics William Alpert, is very happy to announce that in the Center sponsored National Economic Challenge, Choate Rosemary Hall (Waterbury) has finished in the top 8 teams in the Nation!  Choate was one of seven schools in the state to compete and has made it to the “elite 8” — so far.  

You can meet the players here.

Prof. Alpert presents to The Society of Economic Educators

alpertProfessor William Alpert presented by invitation a paper entitled, “The Alpha of A Survey of The Literature In Economic And Financial Literacy,” with Professor Oskar R. Harmon to The Society of Economic Educators. The Society  is an elected professional group of economic educators (limited to 30 members who are selected by election). Professor Alpert has served the society as program chair (president elect), President and Past President and has been a member for more than a decade.

Profs. Alpert and Harmon speak at Dept. of Public Policy’s Speaker Series

publicpolicyspeakerProfessors William Alpert and Oskar Harmon were invited speakers at the Uconn Department of Public Policy Seminar Series, February 19, 2013.

Since Fall 2011, the Economics Department has been experimenting with instruction in fully online format (no in class meetings), and blended format (combination of online lecture and in-class discussion). In their talk, Professors Alpert and Harmon discussed strategy and course design for online/blended classes with large number of sections, and their working paper “The Effectiveness of Interactive Online Exercises across Delivery Format.” Their paper uses a fixed effects model and reports empirical estimates consistent with the hypothesis that participation in interactive learning exercises has a positive effect on exam score at a statistically significant level.

Professors Alpert and Harmon present at AEA

AEA[1]Professor William Alpert and Professor Oskar Harmon were panel discussants in the session “The Effects of Online Economics Courses on Student Learning” and presented the  paper “The Effectiveness of Interactive Online Exercises across Delivery Format”,  co-authored with Professor James Lambrinos (Union Graduate College) at the American Economic Association, Annual Meetings, San Diego CA, Jan 3-6, 2013.  Their paper evaluates the effectiveness of online activities controlling for delivery format.  The data are from a Principles of Microeconomics class taught in three different delivery formats: traditional lecture, fully online (no in class meetings), or blended (combination of online lecture and in-class discussion.  Overall the empirical estimates are consistent with the hypothesis that participation in interactive learning exercises has a positive effect on exam score at a statistically significant level.  Professors Alpert and Harmon were also panel discussants in the session “The Effects of Online Economics Courses on Student Learning.”


Econ Professor’s Book Translated into Vietnamese

The book Toward a Market Economy in Vietnam edited by Associate Professor William Alpert has been translated into Vietnamese. The translated title, “Để Tiến Tới Một Nền Kinh Tế Tự Do ở Việt Nam,” changes “market economy” to “free economy,” emphasizing social justice over competition.

Professor Alpert comments that “The Vietnamese are attempting their own version of a Chinese Economic Miracle.”

Professors Alpert and Harmon present at the International Atlantic Economic Conference

Professor William Alpert and Professor Oskar Harmon presented the  paper “Using Social Media in the Online Classroom”, co-authored with Joseph Histen, at the 74th International Atlantic Economic Conference in Montreal Canada, October 4-7.  The paper discusses issues related to  appropriate uses of social media in an instructional setting and presents empirical estimates of the effects of usage of social media on learning outcomes.

Prof Harmon at the AEA National Conference

Prof. Oskar Harmon presented the paper  “Interactive Online Exercises: An Evaluation of Their Effectiveness in a Large Size Principles of Economics Class at a Public University” co-authored with Prof. William Alpert, at the AEA’s 2nd Annual National Conference on Teaching Economics, Boston, MA, May 30 to June 1, 2012.

Their paper reported empirical estimates of the effect of various online exercises on learning outcomes.

2012 Spring Awards Banquet

On April 12, the department convened for an awards banquet that recognized the best among undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty. This year’s award recipients are:

Omicron Delta Epsilon inductees:
Kurtis Adei
Alex Amarante
Lyla Eljizi
Elizabeth Fesenmeyer
Clifford Garnet
John Giardina
Levi Jackson
Nicholas Leonetti
Michael Littman
Brett Mauro
Andrew Moynihan
Loi Nham
Shivani Panchal
Marcos Quispe
Thomas Samuels
Vidya Sridhar
Jennifer Stansfield
Matthew Travalini
Suo Wang
Daniel White
Mallika Winsor

Undergraduate Awards
Louis D. Traurig Scholarship
William Kimball
Colleen Phelan
Paige Rhymer
Vidya Sridhar

Ross Mayer Scholarship
Nicholas Leonetti
Garrett Rapsilber

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize
Kevin Landry
Antonio Spinelli

Rockwood Q. P. Chin Scholarship
Lydia Kowinko
Yuqi Xing

Graduate Awards
W. Harrison Carter Award
Paul Tomolonis

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship
Matthew Schurin

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship
Elizabeth Kaletski

Economics Department General Scholarship (for 2012: Recognition for Excellence as a Teaching Assistant)
Eric Gibbons
Sara Kauffman
Matthew Joseph Histen

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship
Matthew Schurin
Rong Zhou
Zheng Xu
Peijingran Yu
Bryce Casavant

Faculty Awards
Grillo Family Research Award
Mikhael Shor

Grillo Family Teaching Award
William Alpert
Oskar Harmon

Congratulations to everyone!

Prof. Alpert contributes to American Thinker blog

Why is there a remarkable stock market rally in the midst of the worst recession (depression) since 1930? While we hear explanations of every day’s rise and fall of the indices (e.g., the “whatever” numbers were not as bad as expected, or they were better than anticipated), the obvious answer is that a few serious investors have studied their (arcane) National Income and Product Accounting. The stock market is rising because extraordinarily high corporate profits are just around the corner. This is what Prof. Alpert writes in a contribution to the American Thinker blog.

American Thinker is a daily internet publication devoted to the thoughtful exploration of issues of importance to Americans. Contributors are accomplished in fields beyond journalism, and animated to write for the general public out of concern for the complex and morally significant questions on the national agenda.

There is no limit to the topics appearing on American Thinker. National security in all its dimensions, strategic, economic, diplomatic, and military is emphasized. The right to exist and the survival of the State of Israel are of great importance to us. Business, science, technology, medicine, management, and economics in their practical and ethical dimensions are also emphasized, as is the state of American culture.

PhD alumna to study the Russian Far-East

Dr. Natalia V Smirnova is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Business and Economics at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Riverdale, NY. Her areas of expertise include Russian economic transformation, issues of women in the labor force and pedagogical matters related to active learning techniques. She holds BA in Economics and Ph.D. in Statistics from St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance, Russia; MA in Economics from Queens College/CUNY, and Ph. D. in Economics from the University of Connecticut, the latter under the supervision of Prof. Alpert.

Dr. Smirnova participated in the Teaching Innovations Program (TIP) sponsored by the Committee on Economic Education of the American Economic Association and funded by the National Science Foundation, and completed “Experiments” and “Cooperative Learning Exercises” modules. For outstanding teaching practices and overall command with students she received Wal-Mart Teaching Excellence Award presented by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), Region 1, in 2007.

She was selected in late May for the US Embassy Policy Specialist (EPS) program, which is coordinated through the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX). This program supports US embassies and consulates overseas by providing policy specialists-in-residence. Dr. Smirnova will be in the U.S. Consulate in Vladivostok, Russia, during March-April 2010 researching the current and future states of economic development in the Russian Far East and the opportunities for improvement of labor market participation of Russian women.

The Russian Far East is an important regional power, both within Russia and within the Pacific Rim. The infrastructure, economic diversification, competitiveness, entrepreneurship, environment and energy efficiency of the region are among the priorities cited by different sources. During this assignment, Dr. Smirnova intends to conduct economic analysis of policies and projects in these priority areas. The focus is to find ways to attract U.S. businesses and investors to the Russian Far East.

The second part of the project is planned to study women’s labor force participation with the aim of identifying policies that could increase the employment opportunities for American companies doing business in Russia. Dr. Smirnova would like to gain a better understanding of factors affecting women’s labor market outcomes, especially in foreign firms.