Sunday, April 25, 2010

Just registered for the Fall semester

I had planned on taking statistics next semester, but after micro theory I need something more interesting to keep me engaged. So instead of 329 I registered for Dr. Miravete's 351K: Current Issues in Business Economics. Here's a syllabus (PDF) from the last time he taught this class.

I'm really looking forward to it. Plus, after three classes in a row in the detestable UTC building, Waggener Hall will be a welcome change.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Train wreck

train-wreck.jpg I'm not sure I've ever done that badly on a midterm exam before. It was brutal.

I counted 16 points worth of questions (out of 100) I didn't even get to attempt to answer before time ran out, and at least that many that I left partially answered. If we had been given three hours in which to complete the exam, I still would have been rushed. We had 75 minutes. It was not pretty.

This weekend I will make a sacrifice on the alter of the God of the Curve.

Update: I got a B on the exam. Looks like I'll have my work cut out for me on the final, which is three weeks from Friday.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Still not a freshman, but finally 40

When I started this blog I was 38, so the title "The 40-Year Old Freshman" was wrong on two counts. (I wasn't a freshman, but rather what the University calls a "degree-holding senior", which I still am.) Now it's only wrong on one count.

Also, I've now attended UT in four of out of the five decades in which I've been alive. Ha!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cost vs expected utility? Ha! We do what feels good.

From Costco by Jonah Lehrer:

As I note in How We Decide, this data directly contradicts the rational models of microeconomics. Consumers aren't always driven by careful considerations of price and expected utility. We don't look at the electric grill or box of chocolates and perform an explicit cost-benefit analysis. Instead, we outsource much of this calculation to our emotional brain, and rely on relative amounts of pleasure versus pain to tell us what to purchase.

Is it true that UT has no undergraduate classes in behavioral economics? If so, that's a shame.