Both as a student and as a professor, I have had the rare privilege of witnessing superlative teaching in a liberal arts environment. Some of my exceptional professors at Trinity College and my outstanding colleagues at Davidson College serve as role models for me. Two common characteristics of my favorite professors stand out: first, they are truly passionate about their discipline and second, they generously devote time and attention to the individual needs and challenges of every sincere student. I attempt to emulate these best practices while simultaneously adapting them to my own style.
The world is truly fascinating and studying it through the prism of economics is incredibly exciting, since the core concepts and basic tools of economics can shed light on almost any aspect of human affairs. Moreover, since economic intuition can be developed and communicated through any combination of verbal explanations, graphical representations, and mathematical formulations, students of economics can choose their preferred method of learning to bolster their understanding of the other two. Finally, economics, especially macroeconomics, is an extremely contentious discipline where leading academics and professionals advocate drastically different policy measures on the basis of reasonable but conflicting models that differ in terms of their positive assumptions and normative criteria. By carefully studying these different models and examining the applicability of their various positive assumptions and normative criteria, students can learn to simultaneously appreciate and engage opposing viewpoints.
As a teacher, I try to harness these features of economics to spark the interest of my students and make my classes come alive. While I recognize that students need to obtain a thorough understanding of certain common topics, through the different courses that I teach and the research projects I mentor, I offer students the opportunity to further explore the questions that interest them the most. I expect and require students to be adept at explaining economic concepts verbally, graphically, and mathematically but they are free to use any of the three as their primary approach. Similarly, though I teach several different macroeconomic models, I emphasize that no one model is uniquely correct and encourage students to evaluate the merits of each of those models on their own. Ultimately, my goal is to foster critical thinking, analytical skills, and a deeper appreciation for the broad applicability of economics in several important contexts relevant to individual students and of significance to society at large as well.
Sample Course Syllabuses
- Eco 203 – Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
- Eco 205 – Econometrics
- Eco 232 S – The Economics of Migration
- Eco 316 – Computational Economics (contact me if you would like access to additional course material)
- Eco 337 – International Trade
- Eco 395 – Introduction to Graduate Macroeconomics
- July Experience – Economic Policy Debates