Cal Poly Economics Club Students Visit Disneyland for Research Project


Cal Poly economics students at DisneylandThe Cal Poly Economics Society club went down to Disneyland on a scholarship for their research project on May 19th. The goal of the project was to create a model for what students will be setting up for senior projects and class assignments by collaborating with grad students in coding preference functions for the attractions Disney has to offer. The main objective was to estimate the preferences of Cal Poly students regarding Disneyland rides by distributing a survey and then analyzing the results through a coding system called “R”. In essence, a way to measure and single out a student’s utility was being sought- utility being the economic term for happiness. The rides that provide the highest utility will be the most preferred rides, while the rides with the lowest utility will be the least preferred. Through discovering which rides provide the most utility for students, theoretically the club could advise students on exactly which rides they should go on to maximize their utility, given varying wait times at Disneyland.

The results were both instructive and interesting. For example, both men and women would be willing to wait up to 50 minutes to ride Space Mountain, but would need the wait to be only 11 minutes for Buzz Lightyear to make them indifferent. The attraction It’s A Small World could actually decrease someone’s enjoyment of their experience in the park, portraying how the project results could advise Disneyland itself. Providing Disneyland with information on the preferences for rides could help them make improvements which would enhance students’ overall experience and therefore attract more students to return frequently.

The project was chosen namely to bring insight into what are the inputs and set up of designing surveys, how to utilize data analytics and interdisciplinary skills for data mining and how to see an idea from start to finish while expanding upon the possible real-world applications. This project emboldened students in their familiarity with senior-project quality research, writing, and work loads through the Learn By Doing Cal Poly model. It was rewarding to both participate in the project and travel to Disneyland for some first-hand appreciation. The club is excited by their findings and hopes to continue to use this project as a base for further experiments in the coming years.

Graduate Programs Commencement 2017


Graduate Students

Ceremony Information

Congratulations to the graduate students completing their studies in 2017!

The Orfalea College of Business Graduate Programs will host a commencement ceremony on Friday, June 16, 4-6pm at the Performing Arts Center.

For ticket information, please contact the office at cobgmp@calpoly.edu or by calling (805) 756-2637.

All graduates will have their names read in a hooding ceremony. Following the ceremony, there will be light refreshments served in the lobby. Guests are welcome to take photos.

Orfalea graduate students should not attend the undergraduate ceremony.

DIRECTIONS TO CAMPUS

From Los Angeles on Route 101 North

  • Take the Morro Bay, Highway 41 exit.
  • Turn right onto Toro.
  • Turn right onto Walnut.
  • Turn right onto Santa Rosa (California Highway 1).
  • Turn right onto Highland, entering onto the Cal Poly campus.

From San Francisco on Route 101 South

  • Take the Santa Rosa exit.
  • Turn right onto Santa Rosa(California Highway 1).
  • Turn right onto Highland, entering onto the Cal Poly campus.

Click HERE for map to Highland Drive

Attire

Attire and other related commencement materials will be available April 27-28 at the Commencement Fair. If students don’t make it to the Commencement Fair, they can purchase their cap, gown, tassel, hood and honors cords from June 5-18 at University Store.

Accommodations

If you would like to request an accommodation, such as a sign language interpreter or use of a wheelchair, please contact the Disability Resource Center at (805) 756-1395 as soon as possible. The DRC appreciates two weeks’ notice, but has a 72-hour minimum request deadline.

Cal Poly Faculty Receives $500,000 Grant to Study Solutions to Food Waste


Cal Poly Economics Professor Steven Hamilton Receives Large Grant

Cal Poly economics Professor Stephen Hamilton and a team of researchers recently received a nearly $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to study new solutions to the problem of food waste.

The team will investigate the viability of peer-to-peer distribution models to share, sell or exchange food to reduce the amount of food disposed in landfills as waste. Matching buyers and sellers in secondary markets for food has the potential to create greater efficiency in the supply chain. Major companies like Airbnb and Uber have popularized similar models, which are now considered part of an emerging “sharing economy.”

The team’s proposal, “Commercial Peer-to-peer Mutualization Systems to Eliminate Food Waste,” aims to reduce the 31 percent of food loss that the USDA estimates happens daily at the retail and consumer levels due to spoilage, mislabeling, seasonal surpluses and other factors. Unlike current solutions that only address food waste at the consumer level, Hamilton and his team will use new need-forecasting and product allocation methods at each step of the food supply chain, from farmer to food manufacturers, retailers and consumers.

Hamilton, along with co-authors Professor Tim Richards of Arizona State University and Professor Miguel Gómez of Cornell University, will use a combination of theoretical models, econometric evaluations and experiments to assess possible food waste solutions. The team plans to gather information from such research partners as Western Growers, CropMobster, a community exchange that addresses food waste and surpluses with online tools, and Cerplus, an online marketplace for surplus produce.

The grant is part of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which funds major agricultural discoveries, improve education and engage the public to address agricultural challenges.

Hamilton, chair of the Economics Area in the Orfalea College of Business, has taught at Cal Poly since 2004. He has secured more than $2 million in federal research grants since 2010. Throughout the last decade, Hamilton has consulted with numerous companies on land- and water-use issues and has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles on food, sustainability and natural resources in leading journals including Health Economics and the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He has served as associate editor for the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management and the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Cal Poly Economics Students Attend Industry Conference in Chicago


Cal Poly Economics Society at ASSA Conference

The Economics Area of Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business provided scholarships for 13 members of the Cal Poly Economics Society to attend the Allied Social Sciences Association Conference in Chicago Jan. 5-6. The ASSA conference is the largest conference of economists in the world totaling around 2,000 people. Prominent speakers included former head of the Council of Economic Advisers and Nobel laureates. Students spent Friday and Saturday at the conference hearing topics from the current economic climate in the United States to the economics of national security.

Hear a few student perspectives on the unique experience:

“My favorite events were economic challenges facing the new president and the Nobel Prize winners speaking
about where the world economy is headed. I liked them because the speakers would bring up ideas that aren’t talked about regularly in the news.” – Stewart Green

“I attended “Economic and Political Analysis of Institutions and Organizations” where the speakers discussed how game theory can be applied to politics. I really enjoyed Steven Callader’s presentation on asymmetric information between experts and non experts. It was very applicable to me because I can reflect on his research when buying a car, applying for credit cards or any situation in which one person is advising me in a way that might not be the most beneficial to me. Just before him, Daron Acemoglu presented his research on when, and when not the state should dominate, the people should dominate, or when it should be a mixture of the two. As a political science minor, I thoroughly enjoy when economics and economic theory are applied to political philosophy. Overall, going to see all the sessions I was able to and meeting a Noble Prize laureate was a truly inspirational and motivational experience and I would love to attend next year.” -Emilee Matthews

“The ASSA Conference was an amazing opportunity that I would recommend to anyone considering a future in economics. The conference featured a multitude of presentations that were relevant to everybody (i.e. “Nobel Prize Winners on the Future of the World Economy” and “Economic Issues Facing the New President”) while also offering presentations that were geared more towards specific-interest groups (i.e. “Individual Welfare Maximization” and “Education, Race/Ethnicity and Inequality”). With hundreds of presentations to choose from, there was definitely something of interest for everybody who attended. I really enjoyed listening to economists from different fields discuss their work and seeing different economists come together to brainstorm improvements to their methods. In addition to simply being an awesome visit to Chicago, this trip also provided some valuable insight into different possibilities that are available for future economists, and I’m really grateful that I got to go!” -Heather Terreri

Graduate Student Commencement 2016


commencementweb

Photos

Enjoy photos of the June 10 Graduate Programs Commencement via our Flickr account: https://flic.kr/s/aHskC7jdo2.

Ceremony Information

Congratulations to the graduate students completing their studies in 2016!

The Orfalea College of Business Graduate Programs will host a commencement ceremony on Friday, June 10, 2-4pm at the Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre for accounting, economics and MBA graduates.

The ceremony will include a keynote address by Tammy Kiely, global head of the Semiconductor Investment Banking Practice in the Technology, Media and Telecom Group of the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs.

Graduates can invite four guests. Seats are general admission, free and must be reserved via EventBrite. Graduates can request additional tickets by contacting cobgmp@calpoly.eduDoors open at 1:30pm. 

All graduates will have their names read in a hooding ceremony. Following the ceremony, there will be light refreshments served on the Spanos Patio, which is shaded. Guests are welcome to take photos.

Orfalea graduate students should not attend the undergraduate ceremony.

Parking

Parking permits will not be required in the Grand Avenue and K1 parking lots starting at 12pm on Friday.

Enter Cal Poly at the Grand Avenue entrance and follow the signs for Orfalea Graduate Commencement to the Grand Avenue Parking Structure near the Performing Arts Center. If necessary, due to other campus events, overflow parking will be in the K1 Parking Lot.

Attire

Attire and other related commencement materials will be available April 26-28 at the Commencement Fair. If students don’t make it to the Commencement Fair, they can purchase their cap, gown, tassel, hood and honors cords after June 6 at the University Store.

Accommodations

If you would like to request an accommodation, such as a sign language interpreter or use of a wheelchair, please contact the Disability Resource Center at (805) 756-1395 as soon as possible. The DRC appreciates two weeks’ notice, but has a 72-hour minimum request deadline.

Updated April 11, 2016