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Economics Senior Spotlight - Joshua Weiss, HC '12

Situated in the suburbs, Haverford’s small size was the right fit for Joshua Weiss ’12. Coming from New York City’s Manhattan, Josh pursued a quieter, less hustle-bustle atmosphere. Haverford’s academic reputation impressed Josh, and after visiting the campus he welcomed its relaxed, quaint and inviting quality.

 

For quite some time math and finance have interested Josh. Also, his older brother majored in economics so his exposure to the subject was a driving force behind his decision to major in economics. Josh enjoys the quantitative nature of economics as well as its application to real world events. He’s especially intrigued by evolving theories and data generated for the purpose of analyzing international occurrences. In addition to earning a major in Economics, Josh will matriculate with a major in Mathematics.

 

During his time at Haverford Bish Banerjee’s Intermediate Macroeconomics course and Vlad Kontorovich’s Law and Economics course stand out as making a difference in his education. Josh’s thesis project with Paul Cichello has been to develop a model (based on previous literature with some assumptions dropped) to identify the main forces behind wage inequality between individuals with the same level of education. The purpose is to measure how these parameters, such as the return to education, the dispersion of returns to education, and the composition of college and graduate school graduates, have changed over time and contributed to increased inequality at the top end of the spectrum in the United States.

As a rising sophomore he spent the summer volunteering with Cross Cultural Solutions in Rabat, Morocco where he spent his days teaching English to students enrolled in the camp.

 

Between his sophomore and junior year he worked closely with mathematics professor Rob Manning on computational mathematics. They worked on configurations of elastic rods under constraint in an effort to duplicate the modeling of biological polymers such as DNA and proteins.

 

Last summer Josh interned with an NSF funded organization called Research Experience for Undergraduates. Located on the campus of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, he worked on matrix analysis. Working on independent projects while collaborating with fellow math majors, interns were urged to do creative and exploratory work. His work resulted in a published paper, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377042711004912. Overall, through this internship Josh was able to rule out mathematical research as a career.

Following graduation Josh will enter an economics master’s program at either the London School of Economics (LSE) or at Cambridge University. He will make his final decision once the application/admittance process wraps up in April.

 

After acquiring a master’s degree Josh will enroll in a PhD program in the United States. He would like to be near a large city with Columbia University and/or MIT on the horizon. Once he has earned his doctorate he will decide on a career path of either academia or government work along the lines of the IMF or the Federal Reserve Bank.

Prof. Anita Isaacs (Political Science) and students cross Founders Green after class.

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