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Meet Your Faculty – Dr. Yamin Ahmad

Department: Economics

What was your favorite subject in school & why?

Physics – I loved learning about and understanding the way the universe worked!

What was your least favorite subject in school & why?

English language (not to be confused with English literature!) – I could never figure out whether my sentences were grammatically correct!

What were you doing before you came to Whitewater?

I was pursuing my PhD – doing work on monetary economics.

What made you want to teach?

There were two main things. First, I love the work that I do – I don’t really consider it work actually – it’s more like having fun: trying to figure out the answer to a problem or question that’s been bugging me. If I figure out an answer, I want to share it – passing on what you’ve figured out is always important! Second, I have always loved interacting with students, even as a TA back in grad school. I aim to try and get people to see the world in a way they may not have before.

What research are you currently working on?

I am working on a number of projects, ranging from work on inflation, real exchange rates and unemployment. For example, one project that I have begun recently is looking at the persistence of cyclical unemployment using a structural approach. There I am using [and this part is a bit technical] a state space model being solved by a Bayesian approach involving a Random Walk Metropolis-Hastings Algorithm to determine the impact of large structural shocks to cyclical unemployment and the resulting hysteresis effect on the natural rate of unemployment. In nontechnical language: I’m looking to see how large unemployment has to be before it starts affecting the long term unemployment rate!

What do you like to do outside of the College of Business & Economics?

I am a bit of a nerd: I like all kinds of sci-fi stuff, I’m a big fan of the Big Bang Theory and I shall admit to being one of two members of the Econ Department who play Dungeons and Dragons regularly (- the other shall go nameless, although if you are an Econ major, chances are you already know who the other is!).

What is something that students would be surprised to learn about you?

I used to play Table Tennis competitively in England (under 21 category) and ranked nationally for a brief period of time.

What is something about teaching that was unexpected when you first began?

The realization of how much I liked it!

About Jolene Check

Marketing Specialist for the College of Business and Economics.
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