Just got back from CTREE – many thanks to everyone who helped make it such a success! I had some great conversations, heard some super-interesting papers, and generally got re-invigorated, not just about teaching but about economics. Some random thoughts, just to get them out of my brain:
- In the Thursday plenary, Thomas Nechyba talked about re-organizing the curriculum to make it easier to encourage and support undergraduate research. While I thought it must be great to be in the department at Duke, I also thought, “I can’t imagine my department ever buying that.” Maybe someday I’ll be department chair and find out…
Actually, this isn't so hard at places other than Duke. We offer three sections (10-20 students in each) of our capstone senior seminar course. Each student writes their own research paper and presents it to their peers. Many of the papers are quite good and would be publishable with the appropriate econometric model (beyond OLS).
Now, if our major was more popular we'd have more trouble pulling this off.