October 31, 2012 - 11:40pm
BY STEVEN ZENG
What classes do you teach here?
I teach three undergraduate courses. The first is Economics 330: American Industries and it is an in-depth study of six or seven specific industries in the American economy, like the pharmaceutical industry, the automobile industry, banking, the beer industry, the milk industry and so on … The second course that I teach is Economics 432: Government Regulation of Industry. That is a course essentially about treatments by government of market power. So what to do about the financial sector, for example, today … The last course that I teach is Economics 453: The European Economy. It is essentially a course about the European Union, where it came from, what it does, how it affects economic performance in Europe and what some of the current issues are, like the euro.
How have your international experiences shaped your teaching style?
I have taught in several different French universities. I have also taught in a Swiss university and in an Italian university. The teaching style and the learning style are very different in those settings from what they are in the United States. They have convinced me of the importance of maintaining a classroom that is active, a classroom where students and faculty are actively engaged in dialogue with one another. I think of teaching and learning as a contact sport, where people really do actively engage in dialogue.
What is your biggest piece of advice to economics and business majors?
All majors, whether interested in economics or business or pre-med or anything, is to (try not) to specialize too soon, not to think that because you want to go into business that you’re best off doing only business or if you’re interested in going into medicine, you’re best off only studying biology or chemistry. Because very often, in most professions, whether it’s in the business world or in the engineering world or the medical world or scientific world, there’s going to come a time in your career where you’re going to want to rise in the hierarchy, where you’re going to want to be doing more than just rank and file things, where you’re going to want to have some responsibility for making decisions in your organization.