Center for Economic Education to host Analytics and Economics Day

Devon Greene, editor-in-chief

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The Center for Economic Education and the Department of Economics and Decision Sciences are putting on their annual Analytics and Economics Day on Friday in Stipes Hall.

Associate Professor Jessica Lin is a key player when it comes to planning and putting the event on. Lin is excited about the offerings of events they have planned for those who attend the event.

“We have everything celebrating analytics and economics.” Lin said.

The day starts at 9 a.m. on Friday with “You can’t hide your lying eyes: The economics of misreporting. This session will be led by J Jobu Babin and Hiritima Chauhan where they will discuss duplicity in the field.

“That’s about a current issue known as misreporting. So, deception and how that influences statistical outcomes.” Lin said. “That’s definitely a fun one that’s very interactive. They’re collecting real time data so students can really experience this and see the results firsthand.”

At 10 a.m., participants will move on to “Economics, climate change and the impact on regional agriculture” that will be led by Tom Sadler, who is an environmental economist.

Lin said this session hits close to home due to the focus on agriculture in this area. With a topic as complicated as climate change, Lin is confident that anyone who attends will have no issues understanding the subject.

“It’s very easy to understand talk, nothing in this day is technical,” Lin said. “Its open to everybody who has ever had any kinds of questions or interests at all. It’s not at all jargon and it’s very easy to follow all day.”

In the middle of the events is the Distinguished Alumni Presentation with Rich Nelson. Nelson is a Chief Strategist and Director for Research at Allendale, Inc. He has over 20 years of experience as a chief strategist at this company and is looking to share advice to students on how to transition from life at Western, to life as a professional.

Nelson was a participant in the inaugural Analytics and Economics Day back in 2006 where he served as one of the very first panelists and has occasionally helped student groups on campus via Skype calls. Lin is thrilled to have Nelson return to Western.

“We’re super excited to bring back Rich Nelson,” Lin said. “He’s very easy to understand and very humble for someone who’s so successful.”

Following the presentation, high school students from around Illinois will participate in a game theory workshop at 12:30 p.m. that is unavailable for the public.

The final session of Analytics and Economics Day will be “Career opportunities in economics and analytics” with a panel of Western Illinois alumni with over 50 years of experience in their field. Lin listed off the jobs that these alumni hold.

“I’ve got a senior economist at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, an analyst at State Farm, people working in financial economics coming back, a senior VP at Davidson, a wealth advisor and a data specialist from Minneapolis.” Lin said.

This diverse cast of alumni hope to shine some light on their jobs and what students should expect in their future careers.

“They’ve been all over the place and done so many amazing things, and they’re here to help out our students,” Lin said.

When it comes to what students can get out of the event, Lin is hopeful that the students can find something beneficial to grasp onto.

“I’m hoping students new to the field of analytics and economics have a better appreciation of what it is and why it affects them,” Lin said. “Then, I’m hoping students within the field have some new insights into what they’re studying as well as being able to network with some of these alumni.”

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