"There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers." - Richard Feynman, physicist, Nobel laureate (1918-1988)
Who Am I?
I am passionate about the use of field experiments in economics and the social sciences, and I have spent my career promoting their use. Before my dissertation at MIT in 1996, field experiments were quite rare in economics. Now there are dozens of people regularly performing field experiments to learn about economic and social behavior. Most people still consider economics to be an observational rather than an experimental science, but that has been changing significantly.
I am an economist in the advertising-science group at Pandora and an Adjunct Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information. I previously spent more than seven years at Google and Yahoo! Research, primarily working on experiments to measure the effects of online advertising. I started my career as an economics professor at Vanderbilt University and at the University of Arizona.
In 2010, I settled in Berkeley, California, with my wife Jill Sazama. I am finally feeling a settled in the Bay Area, after several years of transition from my former home in Tucson, and several years of inconvenient commuting to Silicon Valley from Berkeley. I enjoy being able to take public transit to Pandora in Oakland, along with a nice, long, hilly walk between my house and the BART station. I'm getting much more exercise than I used to.
I am also proud to serve as the president of the PGSS Alumni Association.
Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences was one of the best
of my life, but the school died in 2009 in state budget cuts. I have
the 2400 alumni of the school from 1982-2008 to try to get the school
resurrected. I have been passionate about education for years, and this
only educational institution I've ever been involved with where all the
students wanted to learn and all the teachers wanted to teach. The
this school was a terrible loss, so I am pleased to have played a role
in bringing it back. I am very pleased to report that PGSS has
returned to Carnegie Mellon University as of summer 2013!
In Berkeley, my activities include:
- Pursuing a variety of research on field experiments and online consumer behavior, particularly measuring the effects of online advertising.
- Serving as President of the PGSS campaign, working with other alumni to bring back the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences.
- Spending time with my wife Jill Sazama.
- Traveling: I've been fortunate to have been able to visit some very interesting locations for work travel: from Ithaca and Austin to Amsterdam, Zurich, London, Kiev, Melbourne, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur.
- Practicing yoga at Yoga Kula.
- Enjoying the natural beauty of Berkeley, California. Here's a view of the bay from my house.
Contact me at:
firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 510-516-ECON