Interested in applying for Econ 191A/191B – Senior Essay Seminar FA14/WI15? It’s not too late!

15 Sep

Have you been thinking of applying for our Senior Essay Seminar for Fall 2014/Winter 2015?  

Are you interested in earning Highest Distinction in one of the Economics majors?

It’s not too late!! There are still a few openings left in the course!

Students interested in taking Econ 191A-B (FA 14/WI 15) with Professor Starr must submit their proposals to Kelly Escobedo (in Sequoyah 245) or via email to no later than 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 23, 2014.

PLEASE NOTE: The Department will only be offering Econ 191A/B once this year, in the Fall 2014 quarter and Winter 2015 quarter.

The Senior Essay Seminar (Econ 191A-191B) is a two-quarter class for those of you with superior records in the Department of Economics who would like to build on your training through the pursuit of a research topic in the field of your choice. This research is likely to be the most engaging, stimulating, and memorable part of your undergraduate training. Completion of these two courses is part of the requirement for majors wishing to graduate with the phrase “with highest distinction” on their diplomas. If you would like more information on the Senior Essay Seminar, there is a great article in a past issue of Economics in Action where previous students reflect on the benefits they found from taking the courses (click here).

Students must take both Econ 191A and Econ 191B with the same professor to receive credit. These classes are typically taken by students in their senior year as a certain amount of knowledge is required to be successful in a research project.

Enrollment in this class is limited, to assure participating students close contact with the faculty supervisor. The first step in applying for the class is to propose a research topic. The topic should be focused — small enough actually to write something worthwhile — and on an area where you’ve already completed the relevant electives. For example, you could write on “The Collapse of the Fixed Exchange Rate Regime: Bretton Woods Fails after Three Decades,” or “The Challenge of the Euro: Can a Common Currency Area Survive?” assuming you’ve taken upper division macro, upper division international trade, and upper division international finance.

The paper can be on an applied empirical topic, a theoretical topic, a policy issue, an historical topic, etc. To view recent paper topics, visit our website . The typical completed paper will run 7500 – 10,000 words. You can review some of the most successful papers written in previous years in SH 245.

The research process usually includes a sequence of steps (not necessarily in this order):

  • Topic selection
  • Literature Review
  • Consultation with expert faculty
  • Consultation with specialist librarians to identify data and literature
  • Narrowing the topic
  • Locating and managing data (for an empirical project)
  • Research Plan
  • First draft
  • Completion

Class meetings will focus on research methods, introduction to library resources, student presentations of work in progress including class discussion. Attendance will be required. Final papers will be reviewed for originality using

Enrollment in the senior essay seminar is limited to students with high GPAs who show promise for conducting original research. If you are interested in these classes, please write a short (500 words is adequate) proposal of a research topic and why it is interesting. Your proposal should represent a real attempt to plan your work, but there will be no penalty if you later decide to depart from it. In the event that the class is oversubscribed, your proposal, your overall record, and possibly an interview with the instructor, will be used to decide who is admitted.  Please include your name and student ID number on the proposal.

Apply to the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center’s NSF I-Corps program and get up to $3000 + mentoring to explore the market potential of your business idea!

9 Sep

Calling all Undergrads and Grads! 

Apply to the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center’s NSF I-Corps program and get up to $3000 + mentoring to explore the market potential of your business idea!
Students from all majors across campus are encouraged to apply.
More details found here:

Program Schedule

Tuesdays, 6-8pm

October 16th – December 11th

Application Deadline: October 9th*

***If you applied before August 15, 2014 we apologize but due to technical difficulties you will need to resubmit your application***

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Applications for FA14 now being accepted

9 Sep

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Applications for FA14 now being accepted:
An Undergraduate Instructional Apprentice (UIA) is an upper-division student who serves as a teaching assistant in an undergraduate course under the supervision of a faculty member. Students earn credit by enrolling in Econ 195. Experienced UIAs might qualify for a paid position.

Minimum requirements for being a UIA:
o Completion of at least 90 units of course work at UC San Diego (if you are a transfer student, your transfer units are included)
o Completion of at least six upper-division Economics classes, including the relevant core courses
o Minimum GPA of 3.5 in Economics major coursework (including lower division), and minimum overall GPA of 3.3
o Completion of the course to which you are applying
o Achievement of an “A” or better in the requested lower division course
o Achievement of an “A” or better for the requested upper division course and course prerequisites as well as other courses in the sequence

Application for Fall Quarter 2014
o Will be accepted for review beginning 5/5/14 (FA14 schedule available on TritonLink beginning 5/2/14)
o Must be completed by 9/15/14.

To apply:
• Complete the online application (requires online login). Link to the application on Department website (
• Note: while faculty preferences and academic records are taken into account, neither are dispositive when it comes to assignments. Other factors (such as availability and scheduling) are also taken into account
• Students required to meet with Tutor Coordinator prior any course assignment
If you have any questions regarding the UIA application or process, please contact the Tutor Coordinator:

Economics faculty looking for top microeconomics students to review and correct captions for instructional videos

28 Aug

Economics faculty looking for top microeconomics students (all A grades in Econ 100A, 100B and 100C) to review and correct the captions for instructional videos.

Captioning of intermediate microeconomics videos was crowdsourced to non-economists.  Mostly they do a great job, but some of the captioning is inaccurate either because the economics vocabulary is wrong or general confusion.  We need a few sharp students who are (1) fluent in English and (2) know intermediate microeconomics well to go through the captions and correct these mistakes.  The captions are in a text file.  The job involves watching the video and the captions and then correcting the text file with the captions.

Here are some more details:

One of the graduate students who has been doing this work will train you.

You will be sent the links to the videos. You can work on this project at home – there is no need to come to campus.

We are looking for someone who can start working now and is able to put in at least 15 hours per week.  We are not sure how many weeks this job will last but likely to the start of classes.

You will be paid $11.00 per hour.

Please contact Melissa Famulari ( if you are interested in this job.

Positions are open until filled.

Project Opportunity with the office of Councilmember Ed Harris

27 Aug

From the Office of Councilmember Ed Harris – Project Opportunity for a student in the Department of Economics:

We are interested in completing an audit of the ‘parkade’ parking lot which is a part of the Civic Center complex. The parking lot is owned by the City, but leased to a private company. We would like to determine how many parking spaces the lot holds, and the various payment options (monthly/daily/hourly), as well as the approximate percentage of the lot that is occupied by each payment category on a daily basis. With this information we would like to be able to determine what sort of income the parking lot generates, and then compare this to the lease.

There would be no set hours for this project, only a completion date which could be set after a meeting between the Councilmember and an interested student/group of students to make sure it was realistic.

We believe that this would be a great opportunity for a student to get some experience working with local government on a project that could impact negotiations over City assets in the future.

If you are interested in this project, please  contact Council Representative, Tarrant Seautelle (a UCSD Alumnus) for more information:

Exciting Internship Opportunity for Economics Majors at WTRI

12 Aug

Exciting Internship Opportunity for Economics Majors

WTRI is a company started by university academics in order to create a path for applying research on decision making and performance to problems in organizations and companies.   The research of WTRI principals had become known in the industry and many clients such as IBM, Siemens, most of the major mining companies and some large pharma companies have taken advantage of their expertise. We have also published a number of papers in academic journals and books on the topic of the cognitive science of work and business.

WTRI is seeking between 2 to six undergraduate interns who would like an opportunity to work on client engagements while at the same time building up their own resumes with research experience.

This opportunity would be particularly beneficial to those students who expect to continue their education at the graduate level or who wish to have exposure to actual commercial work with clients. Preference will be given to economics majors with strong quantitative skills or programming experience. Experience with Virtual Worlds is a plus. Experience in applications for business very desirable as are skills in statistical programs and advanced mathematics or mathematical modeling.

Compensation is $12-$15 per hour for up to 20 hours a week.

WTRI is seeking individuals who are mature, inquisitive, reliable, self-directed and find the subjects of decision making, performance and business interesting. The company culture is relaxed with a belief in open communications among colleagues so a sense of humor is an advantage. Interns are treated as key members of the WTRI team, may have opportunities to travel with the research teams and will be taught important research skills and will have the opportunity to interact with clients.

If you have an interest in one of these internship positions:

Email a resume to with “NSF 2014 WTRI Internship Program” in the subject line.

Career Opportunities at Mathematica

8 Aug

Mathematica is a nationally recognized research organization that conducts social policy studies on disability, early childhood, education, family support, health, labor, nutrition, and international issues. Our mission is to improve public well-being by bringing the highest standards of quality, objectivity, and excellence to bear on the work we do for our clients, which include federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as private foundations.

Some of the current open opportunities include:

Program Associate

Health Program Associate

Technical Human Services Associate

To review all of Mathematic’s open positions, please visit their Career Opportunities page



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