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Archives for: November 2006

AACSB ENewsline, 11/1/2006
Computational finance degree meets increasing job market demands
The undergraduate degree in computational finance is earning rave reviews in the job market, with 100 percent of its graduates getting employment, including several students who received multiple offers before graduation. The degree meets an increasing demand worldwide for workers who can develop math-based tools for the finance industry.

Pittsburgh Business Times, 11/3/2006
LEGO curriculum could build brand equity for Carnegie Mellon
A new educational curriculum that uses robotics to teach subjects such as science and math may result in greater brand recognition for Carnegie Mellon, according to Peter Boatwright, associate professor of marketing. The curriculum, a joint project between the universityís Robotics Academy and LEGO Education International, will likely create brand equity and polish the CMUís image, even if nobody is able to pinpoint how many additional students it attracts, Boatwright says.

Princeton Weekly Bulletin, 11/6/2006
Book: Americaís polarization rooted in income disparity
The bitterly divided American political landscape is rooted in the widening gulf between rich and poor, according to a book penned by Tepper alumnus Nolan McCarty, PhD í93, MSIA í92. In Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches, McCarty shows that growing income disparities and increasing immigration levels are driving the polarization.

Reuters, 11/8/2006
Economist: Cost of biofuel production could drop by nearly half
The cost of producing bioethanol, hailed by some as an alternative to the volatile prices and environmental impact of fossil fuels, could eventually drop by almost half, according to Tepper economist Lester Lave. Lave, who is the Harry B. and James H. Higgins Professor of Economics, University Professor and co-director of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center, projected that the current price of around $0.60 per gallon could eventually fall to $0.34 a gallon.

Wall Street Journal, 11/10/2006
Semester at Sea offers opportunity to focus, share ideas
Voyages through the Semester at Sea program offer ample opportunity for students and faculty to hobnob in informal settings, according to Robert E. Kelley, adjunct professor of organizational behavior. Kelley, who sailed with the program in 2000 and 2003, says he spent more time than usual discussing career and education paths because he saw his students frequently in informal settings on the ship.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , 11/13/2006
Tepper professorís documentary screens in Pittsburgh
A documentary produced by Paul Goodman, Professor of Organizational Psychology and Director of the Institute for Strategic Development, is being screened in Pittsburgh as part of the Film Kitchen program showcasing independent film. Titled Dabbawallas, the film chronicles an organization that delivers more than 100,000 hot lunches daily in Mumbai, India.

Wall Street Journal, 11/14/2006
Quant-focused degree earning its keep on Wall Street
Banks and hedge funds are pursuing math-savvy business graduates with vigor, contributing to the proliferation of specialized masterís programs in business schools. Josh Freeland, who will earn MBA and computational finance degrees from Tepper in 2007, chose the dual-degree program to combine business strategy savvy with the skills he needed to understand pricing models.

Reuters, 11/16/2006
Nobel Prizewinner tried to avoid political influence
Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, who championed free markets and heavily influenced Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, tried not to let politics interfere with what he thought was best for a countryís people. Thatís the opinion of Allan H. Meltzer, the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, who commented after Friedmanís death from heart failure at the age of 94.

Associated Press, 11/17/2006
Managers, shareholders sometimes at odds during buyouts
Managers often face a conflict of interest during buyouts if they team with buyout groups, a trend that is meeting with increased resistance from shareholders. Robert Dammon, Professor of Finance, points out that while managers are supposed to get the best price possible for shareholders, in such situations they also serve as the buyer, and want to sell the company as cheaply as possible.

The Daily Times (Pakistan), 11/18/2006
Boom-and-bust cycle may repeat in China
China may not be able to avoid a repeat of the boom-and-bust cycle of the mid-1990s if its increasingly unsustainable investment boom continues, says Marvin Goodfriend, Professor of Economics. Goodfriend says the countryís monetary policy is hobbled by a tightly managed exchange rate regime that prevents the central bank from making appropriate policy decisions to manage domestic demand.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11/19/2006
Adjunct professorís gift bolsters Pittsburgh Symphony
A $29.5 million pledge to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra by Richard P. Simmons, Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Business Management, will launch a long-term capital campaign. The PSO will be allowed to use part of the money immediately but must raise substantial outside funds and balance its budget for three years to get most of it.

Bloomberg, 11/19/2006
Despite endorsement, IMF decisionmakers unlikely to change
The United Statesí veto power over International Monetary Fund decisions means IMF authority is unlikely to change much, according to Allan H. Meltzer, the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy. The U.S. has endorsed a proposal to give developing countries more stakes in the fund, but will not surrender any of its own 17 percent voting share, which ensures veto power.

Reuters, 11/20/2006
Electric industry workforce dropping, but power generation on the rise
Workforce levels in the electricity industry are down to pre-1975 levels, despite a 30 percent increase in power generation, according to a study by the Electricity Industry Center. The study shows that the industryís workforce peaked in 1990, but has since dropped by more than 23 percent.

American Enterprise Institute, 11/21/2006
Persuasive economist Milton Friedman departed from typical academia
The late economist Milton Friedman was able to influence public policy so dramatically in part because he used the media to educate people outside a university setting, according to Allan H. Meltzer, the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy. In a tribute to Friedman, Meltzer says Friedman also used evidence to bolster his arguments and was a convincing debater.

New York Times, 11/21/2006
Study shows price of electricity soars in simulated competitive market
A study at the Electricity Industry Center found that prices soared under a computer-simulated market in which 10 utilities bought electricity and 10 producers sold it. The experiment found that buyers and sellers learned to manipulate the price within 100 rounds of bidding in the competitive market.

Woodland Progress, 11/22/2006
Tax commission studying proposals for burden shift
A commission in the Pittsburgh areaís Woodland Hills school district is weighing whether the district should provide tax relief to homeowners by shifting some of the burden to the earned income tax or an added personal income tax. Stephen Spear, professor of economics, serves on the commission and says it is seeking input from all residents.

Peoria Journal Star, 11/26/2006
Aging nuclear reactors adding urgency to plans for new plants
Most of the nationís existing nuclear plans will close in the next 30 to 40 years due to lifespan limits on their reactors, adding some urgency to applications for new plants. Lester Lave, Harry B. and James H. Higgins Professor of Economics and University Professor, says the decision on whether to build new plants will be based largely on construction costs.

Christian Science Monitor, 11/27/2006
Money supply canít predict GDP changes, but still vital
Though money supply canít be used today to predict quarterly changes in the nationís gross domestic product, it remains important for other forecasts, according to Allan H. Meltzer, the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy. Money supply remains important in determining future inflation and output.

The Associated Press, 11/29/2006
Tepper alum: CMU proximity a plus in business startup
Proximity to Carnegie Mellon has been a huge asset for Tepper alumnus Sunil Wadhwani, who started iGate Corp. in 1987 after returning to Pittsburgh from his native India. Asian-owned startup companies are flourishing in Pittsburgh, where the region boasts the highest percentage of immigrants with college degrees.

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