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MIT student blogger Mitra L. '07

See, I Am! (CI-M) by Mitra L. '07

Communication-intensive economics research. (If that sentence doesn't make you want to read this entry, I don't know what will.)

See, I am here! Sorry for the gap in my posting. My CI-M (TLA!! Sam?) paper was due on Friday.

In addition to the two communication-intensive (CI) humanities classes you have to take as part of your 8 class Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) requirement, you have to take two CI classes in your major: CI-Ms. I invite you to join me on this journey through 14.33: Economic Research and Communication, my CI-M for the semester.

14.33 requires a 10 page group paper (ours was an events study analysis of natural disasters on natural resource firms) and a 10 page individual paper (mine was household consumer expenditure and family utility maximization). As you may have guessed, 14.33 also requires a lot of work. I’m being totally honest, though, when I say how rewarding this project was. I picked my own economic question, found all my data, designed and carried out my own analysis, and interpreted the results. I not only felt a strong sense of ownership over my paper since I decided everything that went in it, but additionally learned a lot about the process of economics research.

(Since it sounds like I’m writing an Academy Awards acceptance speech, I’d also like to thank my econometrics professors, teaching assistants, and lab assistants. Without you, I undoubtedly wouldn’t be standing where I am today.)

In this morning’s edition of The Tech, the student-run newspaper, the Piled Higher and Deeper comic

was joking about how to grade papers:

Well, I think we accomplished a few of these on our group paper.

First, we had a pun in our title. (Also, note the colon. Do we get +20 for this?)

I don’t think anyone in the department considers this equation gibberish, but it’s still impressive-looking. Below is a non-trivial modification to the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). Tell me this does not turn you on. (Actually, don’t.)

For both the group and individual papers, I ran all my regressions on Stata: “Statistical Software for Professionals.” This should not be confused with the Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information, and Intelligence Sciences, which, admittedly, is much more colorful.

This Stata output is from my individual paper’s dprobit regression. Look at these results! Significance at the 95% confidence level!

However, I included neither a witty pun nor a colon in my individual paper’s title. Even worse, I forgot to include R-squared values in my table!!!!!!!! I hope I still pass…

Check out my classmates’ project topics in this entry

8 responses to “See, I Am! (CI-M)”

  1. Sam says:

    Hmm… I wouldn’t be surprised if Frank O. Gehry designed the cover for the STATA box, though. Look at all the non-Euclidean geometries and whatnot.

  2. Anonymous says:

    that equation turns me on smile

  3. Oren Hazi says:


    A LaTeX formatted paper… Very nice. grin

  4. Phil says:

    Mmm, LaTeX smile beautiful. (Hm, someone beat me to that comment, but I will make it nonetheless.)

  5. Ruth says:

    OH MY GOD.

    Mitra, that is the funniest title I’ve ever read.

    That’s beautiful.

    And I just changed the title of my paper for 17.869 (CI-M) to start with “On…”.

  6. Timur Sahin says:

    SEX_ADJ has the highest signifance.

    Maybe you should write about which hurricanes are the manliest, and how the perceived masculinity of the hurricanes affect our spending habits.

  7. Mitra says:

    SEX_ADJ is for my individual research on consumption and household behavior. It is not from the hurricane data.

  8. Ruth says:

    I’m writing up the final paper for my CI-M (11.188 Urban Planning Lab), and for general lack of knowledge on such things, I’m using this graphic as an example for my title page. If only there was an awesome pun relating Wal-Mart and infant mortality rates. “Wal-Mart: Rolling Back Quality of Life?”

    Actually, that’s better than what I’ve got right now. I’m so screwed.