For Tufts and other schools in Massachusetts, today’s start of the academic year coincides with a primary election for state and federal offices. The campaigns have made some effort at persuasion but most focus is on mobilization: recent elections have been decided mainly by turnout, by which people invest the time and effort needed to […]
Research in nutrition and the health sciences is often kept semi-secret until publication. Why? Does it matter? Scientists in many fields circulate their work in progress as widely as possible, hoping for feedback and citation even before submission to a journal. Institutions run their own working paper series (like the Tufts […]
Academic spam is a real problem. Every day I get many emails inviting me to fake conferences and pretend journals. This junk mail is clever enough to pass through automated filters, and to fool just enough students and researchers into paying for their useless services — or tempt them into trying […]
This year’s class potluck was especially saboroso, with a delicious Sopa Paraguaya from Gabi Fretes — and a wild Puerto Rican Coquito from Nayla Bezares here being praised by judge Norbert Wilson:
Also meaningful, in a different way: Blackbird Donuts (thank you Alana Cliffer!). More photos here.
As always, respect and […]
It’s the first weekend of a new semester – time to take stock and set direction for the spring. As Anne of Green Gables put it: ‘a new day, with no mistakes in it yet’.
With that… time for what might might be my first mistake: an overly long blog post. In the past I’ve […]
A big part of economics is data analysis, which starts with data visualization: “seeing like an economist” means looking for patterns across many observations, recognizing that the data we see result from peoples’ choices. In class we practice this through weekly exercises and a course project that start with analytical diagrams (such as supply and […]
It’s a new school year, time to rethink what we teach!
America’s 2008 financial crisis and its consequences led to long, fierce debates over the past decade about what went wrong in the economy, and how what’s taught in economics classes should change. Among professors, the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) plays […]
If you took the NUTR 238 final exam last week, you’ll know that this year’s questions involved news clippings from the past month’s food policy news, about SNAP restrictions, trade policy, pesticides and monopolies.
Now that class is over, a great to new way to follow these and […]
A friend who writes for the Financial Times newspaper just published a terrific essay on recent books about economics, and about the applicability of standard methods like what we use in class to real-world choices and policymaking. To read it you’ll need to make yourself an FT login at their website but it’s well worthwhile:
Our fifth annual class potluck this week was terrific. We do love our food!
For this year, we were able to schedule the dinner immediately after introducing the idea of optimization in food choice. The class had just completed a data-analysis exercise using the famous least cost diet problem, looking for combinations […]
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