I am a game theorist doing research that also crosses into complexity theory, information theory, and communication theory. I majored in economics and in German language as an undergraduate, and have an MS in mathematics and a PhD in economics. I have been at Lawrence University since 2006, teaching courses on microeconomics, game theory, social choice theory, economic systems, and since 2008 on innovation and entrepreneurship. I believe that innovation and entrepreneurship have a natural place in liberal education. I have worked closely with my colleagues, especially John Brandenberger, a physicist, on incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship into the curriculum. We continue to build a an innovation and entrepreneurship program at Lawrence University. My colleagues in Studio Art and in our Conservatory of Music have also collaborated with us on bringing the entrepreneurial mindset and entrepreneurial skills to students in those disciplines. With my colleagues in the Economics Department, we have been revising our economics curriculum to add the subjects of innovation and entrepreneurship, which are generally acknowledged as central for the economy, yet often ignored in the economics curriculum. As part of that effort, we hosted Schumptoberfest 2011, a workshop on the place of innovation and entrepreneurship in the liberal arts college (www.schumptoberfest.com).
Liberal education, innovation, entrepreneurship, game theory, mathematics, languages, cross-country skiing, biking.
For many, entrepreneurship is associated with business. More recently, a number of observers are moving towards defining “entrepreneur” far more broadly, as “change agent.” Liberally educated students should be able to understand and analyze the natural, political, social world, and then to use their understanding to solve problems, and to create change. This ability to become agents of positive change in the world is an important part of the liberal arts colleges's mission, and therefore entrepreneurship is a natural part of liberal education. Specifically, incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship into liberal education will 1) help students identify and pursue personal passions 2) take liberal education to the realm of action 3) combine knowledge from different disciplines to solve problems 4) practice rhetoric: cogently formulate and persuasively deliver ideas 5) collaborate in teams.
What is the place of the liberal arts college in the 21st century? What will higher education look like in 2040?
My friend and colleague John Brandenberger introduced me to TED videos, and we have been using TED videos extensively in our jointly taught course, In Pursuit of Innovation. I am definitely a believer, and hope to organize several TEDx conferences.
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