Math x Economics

Math x Economics: Inspiring High School Students to Study Economics

What is economics? What do economists do? And what's the connection between economics and math? On June 4, the New York Fed held Math x Economics, a program to encourage high school students from backgrounds underrepresented in the field of economics to think about these questions and consider studying economics in college and pursuing careers in economic policy and research.

Math x Economics started as a pilot program at the New York Fed in 2010 with 25 participants and has reached more students in the Second District each year, as well as expanded to other regional Federal Reserve Banks. This year, the New York Fed partnered with The Bronx Institute at Lehman College to increase participation of students from the Bronx by holding the program at Lehman College. Students with an interest in mathematics were recruited from several local area Bronx high schools, with many coming from The Bronx Institute’s ENLACE (Engaging Latino Communities for Education), an academic program that seeks to provide high-achieving Latino students with math and science enrichment experiences.

Throughout the day, high school juniors and seniors learned how their math skills could be applied to economics by taking part in interactive workshops and panel discussions with New York Fed Research staff. They heard about what economists do and what it takes to become one. Linda Goldberg, a vice president and financial economist, opened the program by sharing her own path to studying economics; a Bronx native herself, she received her bachelor’s in math and economics from Queens College, CUNY and went on to earn a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University. Rodney Garratt, a vice president and financial economist, talked about his background in game theory and his current work in payments policy, including better understanding virtual currencies like bitcoin. Meta Brown, a senior economist, talked about her research on household debt and credit, with a focus on student loan data.

In addition, students received advice on how to be proactive in their career exploration, build relationships with professors in college, and seek out research opportunities and internships that could help them become more competitive in the field. Students also had a rare opportunity to talk with presenters about their experiences during lunch.

By the end of the day, many students expressed an interest in taking coursework in economics when they get to college. Math x Economics was designed to increase the diversity in the field of economic policy and research. The hope is that the program will lead to a broader interest in economics and ultimately a wider range of bright minds entering the field.

“Math x Economics advances the New York Fed’s goals related to diversity and inclusion,” Adrian Franco, the director of Economic Education, said. “The program encourages students from low- and moderate-income communities to learn about economics and consider a career in the field; it strengthens relationships with Title I high schools and educational institutions like the City University of New York; and this year in particular, it allowed New York Fed staff to visit the Bronx and interact with students at Lehman College.”

2015 Program Details

The New York Fed partnered with The Bronx Institute at Lehman College to host high school juniors and seniors from local high schools. The Bronx Institute seeks to engage students in academic programs aimed at helping them graduate high school, enter college and prepare for rewarding careers.

Date and Time
Friday, June 4, 2015
8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Lehman College
250 Bedford Park Blvd W, Bronx, N.Y.

Draft Agenda
8:30am-9:00am Registration and Breakfast
9:00am-9:30am Welcome & Why Study Math and Economics
Linda Goldberg, Research, New York Fed
9:30am-11:15am Rotating Morning Sessions

Trading Game: How Prices Are Set
Carmi Recto, Economic Education, New York Fed

Econ Mini-Seminar: Making Strategic Decisions Using Game Theory
Michael Gedal, Community Development, New York Fed

11:15am-12:00pm Panel Discussion: Becoming an Economist
Grant Aarons, Research, New York Fed
Rosa Hayes, Research, New York Fed
Erik Vogt, Research, New York Fed

Marisa Casellas-Barnes, Economic Education, New York Fed
12:00pm-1:00pm Lunchtime Conversation with Presenters
1:00pm-1:45pm Conversation: Careers in Economics
Meta Brown, Research, New York Fed
Rodney Garratt, Research, New York Fed

Hannah Nudell, Economic Education, New York Fed
1:45pm-2:00pm Closing Remarks
Anand Marri, Outreach & Education, New York Fed
2:00pm Adjourn

Download the draft Agenda PDF.
Breakfast and lunch are provided.
Dress code is business casual.

For more information, contact Carmi Recto at
College-bound juniors and seniors from public high schools in the New York metropolitan area, with particular focus on Title I schools. This program seeks to increase the diversity in the field of economic policy and research. We strongly encourage minority and women candidates to apply.
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