Classroom Effectiveness

My philosophy about how to teach economics starts from the premise that effective teaching must build on prior knowledge and, whenever possible, real world examples or applications. I try to start from the simplest version of a concept or problem and gradually incorporate more complexity, all while building intuition about how course material is interrelated and developing problem solving skills. I try loop back to material from prerequisite classes, demonstrating how we’ll use the same concept in a new framework, making material more approachable and intuitive. To better connect with a diverse classroom, I always try to always expose my students to graphical, algebraic, and more analytical, expository approaches to new material or problems. To keep students engaged, I try to change the subject and style of teaching every 10-15 minutes or so. Most of my sections are taught using a blackboard, but after writing for a while, I like to zoom out and discuss what concepts are really driving the math or graph at hand, or the relation to a real world policy question or recent newspaper headlines; I’ll slow down, migrate, try to make eye contact, and encourage questions or conversation. And I’ll often recap and recast the problem we just solved in terms of the problem solving technique or “trick” we used, related pitfalls, and applications of similar approaches elsewhere.

But being an effective teacher encompasses far more than one’s style of lectures. My teaching philosophy statement, which offers a more comprehensive take on my pedagogical approach, can be found here.

Teaching Assistantships and Evaluations, Cornell Department of Economics

Econ 3040, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Professor Christopher Huckfeldt (Spring 2017)

Econ 3040, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Professor Henry Wan (Fall 2016)

Econ 1120, Introduction to Macroeconomics, Professor Arnab Basu (Spring 2016)

Econ 6130, Grad Macroeconomics I, Professors Julieta Caunedo and Karl Shell (Fall 2015)

Econ 3020, Accelerated Macroeconomics, Professor Karel Mertens (Spring 2015)

Econ 1110, Introduction to Microeconomics, Professor Jennifer Wissink (Fall 2014)

We receive formal teaching evaluations through the university at the end of each semester. I believe in transparency, and have made my teaching course evaluations from all five classes I have completed to date available (links above). I’ve carefully read through these evaluations at the end of every semester, and thought about how I might adjust my teaching or lesson planning accordingly. In particular, these evaluations have honed my attention to organized blackboard use and actively trying to avoid teaching too much material in a given class or semester. Aggregate course evaluation statistics to date can be found here.

Teaching Awards, Cornell Department of Economics

The Howard and Abby Milstein Graduate Teaching Assistantship (Fall 2016)

The Anindya (Bappu) Majumder ’98 Memorial Prize for Excellence in Teaching (Fall 2015)