Since the COVID-19 pandemic has forced most students to leave campus and social distancing has kept us in our homes, we all have more time on our hands to pick up a new book, listen to a podcast or watch a few episodes (fine, seasons) of a television show.
For this project, we talked to University of Michigan professors teaching courses across a variety of fields, from introductory economics to advanced engineering. Among them, they have published dozens of papers and books, led international conferences and advised members of Congress. Combined, they have over over 150 years of teaching experience. We asked: What are you reading, listening and watching during quarantine? Some recommendations were related to their courses and academic interests, others were unrelated and whimsical, and all were incredibly interesting.
Justin Wolfers is a professor of public policy and economics at the Ford School of Public Policy. Wolfers holds a PhD in economics from Harvard University, is a member of the Congressional Budget Office Panel of Economic Advisers and was named one of the brightest young economists in the world by the IMF in 2014. In his spare time, Wolfers is a podcast listener, indie/americana music fan and dad.
Victor Lieberman is a professor of Asian and comparative history. He is recognized for his groundbreaking scholarship both internationally and on campus, where he was voted the best teacher at the University by students in 2014.
Laura Alford, professor of naval architecture and marine engineering, teaches every first-year engineering student each year. If you are one of those students, or want to imagine what her classes are like, she generously provided her Instrumentals for Class playlist.
Perry Samson is a professor of atmospheric science and the associate chair of the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences Department at the University, where he has been teaching for 41 years. He is also the cofounder of The Weather Underground, one of the largest online weather services in the country.
Lisa Young is a lecturer of anthropology and archaeology. She has led archaeological field projects across the United States, including a multi-year research project into the indigenous people of northeastern Arizona.
Edward Cho is a professor of economics and teaches both introductory and specialized economic theory classes. He previously taught at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was voted Best Professor at the University by students in 2017 and was named Best Professor by The Daily in 2018.
Andrew DeOrio is a professor of computer science and electrical engineering. DeOrio teaches EECS 280, the third largest course at Michigan, and has twice been voted by students as the Professor of the Year in his department. His award-winning creative process class UARTS 250 was called “One of the University's Most Intriguing Classes" in the pages of The Daily.
Benjamin Zamzow, economics professor, has written papers on industrial organization, labor economics and behavioral economics.
Virginia Murphy is a professor of social theory and practice and has led successful sustainable food initiatives across campus. In 2014, the Program in the Environment honored Professor Murphy as their annual Outstanding Instructor. As “a copious reader, and even more so since we have been house-bound,” here’s what she recommends: