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Senior Economic Theses

We’re in the middle of senior economics theses presentations. Congrats to all those who presented yesterday and good luck to those today. I recall like it was yesterday pacing the hill by East, running through my schpiel before marching over to Griffin 17 years ago. Looking at the schedule, it looks like Kate Ambler ’05 has my time slot. I wish her well.

Comments:

1) Where is the page of actual theses like the one from 2004? Professor Stephen Sheppard did a great job of this last year. Is he not in charge this year? Who is? As always, the more that the work of Williams students is made available to a wider audience, the better off all concerned.

2) Will this set of senior theses eventually be posted on-line? This is an annual EphBlog hobby-horse. College Librarian David Pilachowski has been working on this topic. With luck, we will soon see many of these theses available far and wide.

3) Note that there are 15 thesis students. This is definately more than there were in the 1980’s. Kudos to the economics department for attracting and motivating so many fine students.

4) The thesis most of interest to the readers of EphBlog is clearly “Low-Income Students and College Admissions: A Case Study of Williams College,” by Lindsey Taylor ’05. Not only would we like to read this, but we would love to read the comments made by Morty Schapiro and Gordon Winston. Indeed, in an ideal world, those comments would also be made public and attached as part of the permanent record of Taylor’s thesis. In fact, there will probably come a day when a podcast or even video of the actual presentation is included.

UPDATE: Corrected Ambler’s class year.

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#1 Comment By Diana On May 17, 2005 @ 9:45 am

Kate Ambler is probably ’05.

#2 Comment By Richard Dunn On May 17, 2005 @ 12:34 pm

Spiel is definitely pronouced “schpiel,” but it is spelled “spiel”–from the german, to play. yiddish, like german, only requires “sch” before an “l” as in schlepp and schlang (from schlange-a snake). just doing my best to preserve a wonderful but dying language.

#3 Comment By David On May 17, 2005 @ 2:28 pm

Economics Professor Lucie Schmidt was kind enough to send in this comment:

At this point the honors students are receiving feedback from their advisors, second readers, and the audiences from their presentations. They will then have several days to incorporate these comments into what will then be the final versions of their theses. The department hasn’t posted electronic versions yet because the current versions are still subject to change.

Thanks to Professor Schmidt for taking the time to write. Again, kudos to the Economics Department for taking the time and trouble to advertise its students’ work. Does, for example, the Political Science Department, do anything along these lines?

I look forward to checking out the theses once they are posted. Several might be interesting candidates for next year’s CGCL.

#4 Comment By Loweeel On May 17, 2005 @ 3:20 pm

Actually Richard, in the “standard Yiddish” (what what they teach in a college class, but which no original speakers spoke, as it was glommed together from the various regional yiddishes which all varied somewhat in pronunciation and vocabulary), they use the YIVO standard transliteration of “sh” rather than “sch”. So they’d generally write shlemazl rather than schlemazel… although there is some dispute as to transliteration and pronunciation as the various dialects of Yiddish all pronounce words differently (hence the difficulty of YIVO coming up with an english transliteration acceptable to most of them, let alone all).

The infinitive root for the anglicized “spiel”, in Yiddish is shpiln (right-to-left: shin-pey-yud-lamed-langer nun), with no vowel between the lamed and the langer nun, which like the schlos mem, doesn’t require a separate vowel for its implied schwa.

See “College Yiddish“, for example, which I used in my Yiddish course at Columbia in Spring ’04, and highly recommend to anybody interested in learning and/or maintaining Yiddish skills.

I agree with you that Yiddish iz a gute sprakh!