``G492: Specialized Topics in Economic Consulting'' Spring 2010 (February 23, 2011)


    Your class grade will be calculated based on your written paper, oral presentation, and class participation. The weights and description of each graded component are described below.

The Paper (60%)
Over the course of the semester you will write a research paper of between 20 and 30 pages that is original and individually accomplished.

The Oral Presentation (20%)
You will present your work in progress to the class and you will be graded on your ability to effectively communicate to the class and myself.

Class Participation (20%)
"Participation" covers miscellaneous items. (1) Your ability to meet deadlines on all deliverables. (2) Your regular attendance. You are allowed one absence over the course of the semester (but please notify me beforehand by email). (3) The quality of your comments in class. (4) Any other small items that come up during the semester.


    Undergraduate students in the Kelley School have developed an Honor Code that defines a vision for what it means to be a Kelley graduate, and can be found online at http://www.kelley.iu.edu/ugrad/academics/code.cfm. Academic dishonesty, defined as a violation of the Honor Code, will not be tolerated at the Kelley School of Business and I will take appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken against any offenders. Do not plagiarize! I am strict about that, and have used the official procedures of the Dean of Students before. There is software available to detect papers that copy existing work, which I will be using to screen your submissions. Most important, plagiarism is immoral, whether or not you get caught.

My policy on using work from other classes: Ask me first if you want to combine this project with work from other current or previous classes.

          The handout on what should be in your projects is here, together with writing instructions and lengthier notes on writing. Examples of topics and papers from past semesters can be found at http://www.rasmusen.org/zg492/paper_examples/examples.htm.

(sessions in the classroom are boldfaced)

January 14. Economic thinking. Data sources. The data source link page.

January 19, 21. Office meeting 1. Bring your list of three topics.

January 28.

  1. Writing. I recommend William Strunk and E.B. White, Elements of Style, 4th edition (1999) (any edition is fine). Strunk's earlier book is up on the Web. I have powerpoints on writing
  2. Graphics. I have powerpoints on graphics.
  3. The Latex typesetting language. I have three latex example files: http://www.rasmusen.org/zg492/latex-example.tex, http://www.rasmusen.org/zg492/latex-example.pdf, and http://www.rasmusen.org/zg492/latex-example.jpg.
  4. The HTML webpage language. I have an example page at http://rasmusen.org/zg492/webpage.htm.

February 2, 4. Office meeting 2. Bring your background write-up.

February 11.

  1. Slides.
  2. Regression tables handout.
  3. I have put the R computer package materials at "The R Page".

  1. Tips and procedures for your oral presentations
  2. A second list of tips.
  3. Slides.

February 16, 18. Office meeting 3. Email your outline and quant-analysis plan to me, and discuss it in the meeting.

February 25. Oral presentations: Robert Missant, Andrew Ng, Kyle Spanski, Lauren Plewacki, Jordan Press, Nick Rakic, Zach Reuter.

March 4. Oral presentations: Michael Agrapides, Andrew Barber, Eric Bell, Jordan Benson, Kieran Blubaugh, Tony Chen.

March 9, 11. Office Meeting 4. Nothing to turn in.

March 18. Spring break.

[First draft due at 11:55 p.m. Monday, March 22. Remember to check off http://www.rasmusen.org/zg492/checklist.doc. ]

March 25. Oral presentations: Austin Geahlen, Patrick Haney, Melinda Hohler, Suzie Hsieh, Changchih Lee, JiYeon Lee.

April 1. Oral presentations: Kristen Pipal, Bryan Stuart, Victor Tanzil, Eugene Tuchman, Jacqueline Vanderpoel, Rachel Weeks, Daniel Williams.

April 8. Oral presentations: David Conway, David Crosby, Matthew Dohnalek, Eric Eversman, Shaun Figueiredo, JianBo Gan, Stephanie Gardiner.

April 15. Oral presentations: Nathanael Williams, San Wong, Joseph Choi, Yen-Ju Lee, Rui Xia, Jun Lam, Joseph Kwon.
For everyone: Email to [email protected] one page of your paper for me to closely edit. Title it with your last name as the start of the filename.

April 22. Writing analysis. An example of editing is at http://rasmusen.org/zg492/edits-sample.pdf. We will use http://rasmusen.org/zg492/papers.docx in class. See http://rasmusen.org/zg492/checklist.doc.
Slides on writing are at: http://rasmusen.org/zg492/writing-g492.SLIDES.pdf.
Regression tables handout.
See also http://www.rasmusen.org/zg492/humorous.writing.mistakes.htm and http://www.rasmusen.org/zg492/humorous.improved.htm .
On "however" at the start of a sentence, see Grammar Girl for a common modern view and Language Log for a lengthier discussion. It certainly is the case that "however" at the start of a sentence, like "impact" as a verb, is far more common among bad writers than among good writers.

April 27, 29. Office meeting 5. Nothing to turn in.

Sunday, May 2. Final draft due electronically at 11:55 p.m. The hardcopy can be submitted the next day before 5 p.m.