Letter from Area Chair Steve Hamilton

Welcome to the 2015 edition of the Cal Poly Economics Newsletter. Thank you, once again, for the positive response to last year’s newsletter. We appreciate the many personal updates that you sent to us. It is extremely gratifying to hear about the tremendous personal achievements many of you have made since leaving Cal Poly, and I hope more of you will take the time to drop us a note and let us know about some of the interesting and important experiences you have had since graduating. We hope this communication will keep you connected with the Economics area, the Orfalea College of Business, and each other.

This past year has been an exciting one for the Economics area. In academic year 2014-15, we launched our Master of Science degree in economics with an initial cohort of 11 students. Economics faculty taught an entirely new series of advanced graduate courses in data analysis, computational methods, microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. We placed our first class of graduating students into high-level positions with technology companies and economic consulting houses. We expect continued great things from our graduate students as they join our distinguished economics undergraduate students in the workforce.

On the undergraduate side, enrollment in economics continues to grow along with overall growth at Cal Poly. In fall 2015, we admitted our largest, most ethnically diverse and most academically talented freshman class in the history of the program. We remain one of the most selective economics programs in the country, and now have nearly 300 economics students enrolled for the 2015-16 academic year. We are excited about the increased interest in economics and the increased quality of our applicants. The growth of our undergraduate economics program continues to be a strong and extremely welcome trend!

In spring 2015, economics faculty joined students from the Cal Poly Economics Society at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco to hear Jason Bordoff, former special advisor to President Obama on energy policy, speak on the implications of lower oil prices for economic growth. It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to interact with economics students at off-campus events. Thank you to those who helped make this experience a reality!

The economics faculty continues to attain a high level of success in obtaining research grants and publishing research in respected economics journals. Our faculty remain active and research-productive, which benefits students by exposing them to real-world problems. Our commitment to interactive teaching methods remains a focal point of our undergraduate and graduate programs, and the nexus of this interaction is the ongoing research activity of the faculty.

As always, we encourage you to stop by and see us whenever you are in San Luis Obispo. Our Cal Poly community is every bit as nice as you remember! In addition, please let us know something about yourself that you would like to share with former economics majors and the Economics area, and we will make sure to include your updates in a future newsletter.

For up-to-date information on the area, staff, course offerings and activities, check our website at www.cob.calpoly.edu/econ. Your comments, questions and personal items are welcome any time. You can mail or email them to me (shamilto@calpoly.edu) or Sheila Smith (smsmith@calpoly.edu). We hope you have an outstanding and productive remainder of 2015 and that success will continue to find you and your loved ones in 2016.

Best regards,

Stephen F. Hamilton

Professor and Chair of Economics