Professor David Cutler was invited by Professor Patti Ritter to speak to the students of the Department of Economics on October 18th about his book The Survival of the City.
Approximately 120 students and faculty from the Department of Economics attended the talk in person at the Dodd Center in Storrs, and 20 students streamed the talk at the Stamford Campus in a watch party.
David Cutler is the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics in the Department of Economics at Harvard University. His work in health economics and public economics have earned him significant academic and public acclaim. He also has served on the Council of Economic Advisers and the National Economic Council during the Clinton Administration, and has advised the Presidential campaigns of Bill Bradley, John Kerry, and Barack Obama. He also served as Senior Health Care Advisor for the Obama Presidential Campaign.
In his talk, Professor Cutler discussed the importance and contribution of cities, the history of epidemics and how they have affected urban areas, how the particular problems of American cities make them vulnerable to epidemics and, finally, ways of minimizing the impact of future epidemics.
Students and faculty participated during the talk and had the opportunity to meet Professor Cutler in a small reception afterwards. It was a great opportunity for them to reflect about the consequences of the pandemic and lessons to be learned. A great opportunity also, to witness how a brilliant economist applies economics to the analysis of problems and derives policy recommendations. Finally, the talk was based on the book written by Professor Cutler and his colleague Professor Edward Glaeser, two thinkers with different political orientations. Thus, the talk provided an example of how good economics should not be politically biased, and will hopefully inspire students to put the welfare of our society above our political differences.
Professor Langlois’s new book,The Corporation and the Twentieth Century: The History of American Business Enterprise, was recentlyreviewedin theFinancial Times, by Sir Geoffrey Owen, a former editor of the newspaper.
“The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization is devoted to theoretical and empirical research concerning economic decision, organization and behavior and to economic change in all its aspects. Its specific purposes are to foster an improved understanding of how human cognitive, computational and informational characteristics influence the working of economic organizations and market economies and how an economy’s structural features lead to various types of micro and macro behavior, to changing patterns of development and to institutional evolution.”
“Economic Inquiry is a highly regarded scholarly journal in economics publishing articles of general interest across the profession. Quality research that is accessible to a broad range of economists is the primary focus of the journal.”
For both journals, Professor Furtado is handling papers in labor and demographic economics.
The 2023 Fall Economics Graduate Assistant (GA) Training Seminar was held in Oak 312 on November 1, 2023. The GA training seminar was designed to help student instructors and graduate assistants in the Economics Department succeed in their teaching roles at UConn, and to help promote their professional development.
During the event, Professor Talia Bar, Professor Tianxu Chen, Professor Delia Furtado and Professor Derek Johnson shared their teaching experiences, and addressed a variety of issues/questions raised by our student instructors and GAs. Specifically, the topics addressed in the seminar included (1) responsibility of instructors, (2) evaluation of teaching, (3) improving attendance, (4) responding to students’ emails, (5) suggestions for first time teaching, and (6) disputes between instructor and student.
Student instructors teaching in Fall 2023 and other GAs participated in the seminar. They also shared their teaching experiences, and the challenges they face, with the faculty and their peers. The event was a big success, and provided valuable support for our student instructors and GAs. The seminar was coordinated by Professor Chen, who is also the instructor for ECON 6492: Teaching Economics, the newly designed course for first-time student instructors.
Finally in-person, emerging after the pandemic, 41 Early College Experience (ECE) Economics instructors participated in the annual professional development workshop on October 25, 2023 in Storrs.
The agenda was filled with active learning about resources for teaching three of the ECE Economics courses (ECON 1000, ECON 1201, and ECON 1202). Both micro- and macro- economics topics were covered, so every teacher was able to take away several ideas ready to be implemented in the classroom.
The presenters at the workshop were national experts in economic education: Scott A. Wolla, Economic Education Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and Ariel Slonim, Curriculum Designer at the Marginal Revolution University (MRU).
The attending instructors enthusiastically participated in the following activities:
Teaching Market Structures with Gum.
Supply, Demand, Action! Harnessing interactive tools to teach supply and demand.
Monetary Policy has Changed. Has Your Teaching?
Cracking the Code: Understanding GDP and Inflation through interactive tools.
Professor Smirnova, who is an ECE Economics Liaison, concluded the workshop with an interactive presentation “Teaching Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Topics in Economics”.
Economics is the biggest UConn ECE cohort:
We have 58 UConn ECE certified Economics instructors representing 42 different partner high schools across the state.
Last academic year, we had 785 students enrolled in 64 UConn Economics courses (ECON 1000, 1201, 1202). Since some students take more than one course, there were 1225 total enrollments.
ECE Economics program makes a big impact across the State!
Professor Remy Levin was quoted recently in an article in The New Yorker:
As Remy Levin, an economics professor at the University of Connecticut, told me, “People often go into this field to study their own inner demons. If you feel bad about time management, you study time inconsistency and procrastination. If you’ve had issues with fear or trauma, you study risk-taking.”
Professor Oskar Harmon and Graduate Program Assistant Lisa Bono represented the MSQE Program at three UConn Career Fairs this Fall semester – the UConn Storrs All Majors Career Fair, the UConn Storrs Stem Career Fair, and the UConn Stamford Career Fair.
At the table we distributed brochures describing the program, gave away some of our branded swag, including a raffle for an MSQE custom-made Columbia fleece jacket, and signed students up for our upcoming Info Sessions and Newsletters.
From seniors interested in the MSQE Program and undergraduates interested in the “4+1” accelerated program option, we collected 60+ email addresses from the Storrs and Stamford Fairs. We also networked with many recruiters interested in learning more about the MSQE program and in potentially hiring MSQE graduates.
Matthew Dalzell’s (‘25) research paper “The Impact of Privately Owned Buses on Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Connecticut”, written in the Spring 2023 during the ECON 3431W Public Economics course taught by Professor Smirnova at the Stamford campus, was accepted for presentation at the New York State Economics Association (NYSEA) as part of the undergraduate papers competition.
On October 21, 2023, Matthew Dalzell (‘25) presented his research to a panel of judges among seven undergraduate papers that were selected.
The submitted research papers are judged in two rounds. The first round consists of the assessment of quality of papers by judges, who are professors of economics, finance, and business at various universities-members of NYSEA. From a dozen submitted undergraduate papers, seven were selected for the second round and invited to present at the conference.
The second round, which consists of paper presentation, was held as part of the NYSEA annual conference. This year, the conference was held on the campus of SUNY Old Westbury on Long Island, NY. Seven selected papers were presented at an open forum in front of the panel of judges as well as of other conference attendees (professors, professionals, and graduate students). Within this round, the presentation skills, and the ability to defend one’s research were assessed.
Matthew Dalzell (’25) provided a thorough presentation and answered many questions from judges and audience as he passionately talked about the impact of transportation industry on climate change. He put forward several policy ideas about mitigation of CO2 emissions in Connecticut.
The exposure of undergraduate students to outside audiences as they present their research helps them develop such career competencies as professionalism, communication, and self-development.
Every year, UConn Stamford campus administration recognizes two faculty members and a staff member for their contribution to the campus community. This year, Dr. Smirnova from the Department of Economics was one of the Faculty Recognition Award recipients.
This award is given annually to a faculty member who made significant contributions through their scholarly activities or service benefiting the University community. Recipients demonstrate high standards for academic achievement, sincerity and enthusiasm in teaching, relate classroom learning to real life situations, motivate students to excel, and respect students’ opinions.
On October 10, 2023, Dr. Tropp, Director of Academic Affairs & Associate Director of the Stamford Campus, presented the Award and shared commendations from multiple students.
“Dr. Smirnova is an innovative, enthusiastic professor who nurtures creativity and stimulates critical thinking and self-reflection within her students. She strives to engage her students by employing active learning techniques, team-based learning, and real-world application of course topics. She helps students to embark on their career exploration early on by inviting alumni/employers into the classroom to give students information firsthand from industry experts.”
“Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to engage in Dr. Smirnova’s classes and experiential learning initiatives at UConn. She has made a profound impact on who I am as a student, and my future career path.”
The Review of Economics of the Household, where Professor Jorge Agüero was an editor, published an article honoring his life and work.
Veronica Frisancho, a frequent coauthor of Professor Agüero, wrote the tribute. She ends, “I am deeply honored to have been Jorge’s friend and coauthor. Jorge has been a true inspiration and getting used to the idea of not having him around anymore will be extremely difficult. He still had much to contribute to the profession, but I am certain that all his coauthors and the students he trained will carry his legacy forward.”