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Be Our Guest by Mitra L. '07

Not to name drop, but... Steven Levitt, Paul Polak, Iqbal Quadir, and Brigitte Madrian all spoke on campus recently

I have had the good fortune to hear several excellent guest speakers recently.

1. Steven Levitt (author of Freakonomics and MIT PhD) came to campus on Monday and spent two hours at events for undergraduates

2. Iqbal Quadir (head of MIT’s Program in Developmental Entrepreneurship and founder of the Grameen Phone program) spoke to our D-Lab class a few weeks ago about his work with the Grameen Foundation

3. Paul Polak (President of IDE: International Development Enterprises) spoke to my D-Lab class on Monday about the importance of small farms

4. Brigitte Madrian (Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard) educated my freshman advising seminar a few weeks ago on the ways form logistics affect retirement savings

Read on for more!

1. Professor James Poterba, the head of the Department of Economics, very awesomely emailed the Undergraduate Economics Association (UEA) and told us we would get 12:00 – 2:00 with Steven Levitt in early December. Naturally, we ran with it.

Before Levitt co-authored the book Freakonomics (which my boyfriend adorably writes as “Freakeconomics”) with Stephen Dubner, he received his PhD in economics from MIT in 1994. His thesis advisor? Professor James Poterba. Now that he’s a best-selling author, though, he’s a pretty busy guy. We were pretty lucky to get him for a whole day until he flew down to New York City to appear on The Colbert Report. *Double swoon*

We decided to host a large talk with Levitt from 12-1 in one of the large Tang classrooms, and it ended up being Standing Room Only, so yay. From 1-2, we hosted a round-table discussion for Levitt and a small group of undergrads.

AHHHH as I am writing this I just noticed I am late for class, and have to finish it this afternoon! Sorrrrrry
Levitt stories to add: Dictator game, prostitute, bladder control and m&ms

10 responses to “Be Our Guest”

  1. Daniel says:

    When I tried to comment on your original Steven Levitt post it said that the entry didn’t exist. Weird.

    That is a lot of guest speakers!
    I loved Freakonomics. I had no idea that Levitt studied at MIT; that’s interesting.

    Did Steven Levitt talk about conventional economics or the “rogue” economics that he writes about in Freakonomics?

  2. Touche says:

    So Mitra, are you finally confirming that Sam’s your boyfriend? Come on, it’s soooo obvious… LOL…

  3. hi mitra,
    i want to make you my girlfriend . would u like to be my girl friend?

    abhinav kumar,
    india.
    e-mail: [email protected]

  4. NickySS says:

    Hi!
    Nice info, big thx.

  5. nghi says:

    Sam’s sleeping-on-the-bus face is absolutely the best.

  6. Anonymous says:

    what happened to your post about women in science?

  7. You are a shame to us indians.

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