UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Summer Applied Economics Research Course Provides Valuable Experience for Man Econ Students

Oct. 3, 2023

The first ever Summer Applied Economics Research Course, a facet of the Diversity and Inclusion in Research, Education, and Career Training Program (DIRECT), was recently held during summer session II. The course, open to current Managerial Economics students and incoming transfer students, provides an opportunity for participants to explore and define their own research questions while completing a research project related to a current challenge facing California communities.

Professor Dan Sumner and Aaron Smith provided wholesale and retail cannabis data, as well as data on California tomato production that would allow students to explore a variety of demand and supply determinants, and stopped by at the beginning of the workshop to talk about their own research using these data.

Working in small teams, participants were supervised by graduate student facilitators Isaac Ahimbisibwe and Marcos Martînez Sugastti, with additional support and feedback provided by ARE faculty Dalia Ghanem, Steve Boucher, and Kristin Kiesel. Marcos was thrilled to see that over the span of the course, “students made impressive progress on their research questions by being curious, creative, and collaborative," and Isaac remarked that “watching students develop a challenging research idea from inception to completion was very rewarding.”

Reflecting on what they have learned, Managerial Economics transfer student Ngoc Hoang Anh Nguyen said, "Attending the first Summer Applied Economics Research Course has been a transformative experience for me. I've had the opportunity to immerse myself in the intricate process of conducting research and learning the R programming language. It's been a journey filled with valuable insights and hands-on learning, and I'm truly grateful for the guidance and support from Isaac, Marcos, Professor Steve, and Professor Kristin. I'm eagerly looking forward to applying these skills in future projects and excited about the prospect of rejoining this research workshop next year." Cindy Nguyen added that the class was “inspiring since I got to experience the beginning process of research.” She was very glad, she “got the chance to have hands-on experience with research and to present findings together with peers/mentors. There is no doubt that the completion of our project will result in many questions!” Anh and Cindy also participated in the SET program prior to transferring to UC Davis this fall.

The next Summer Applied Economics Research Course will be held summer session II 2024 (dates and time TBA).
Course details:
• Prerequisite: ARE 106
• Offered summer session II
• 2 units (summer or fall)
• Pass/No Pass grading
Research projects completed by student groups:
• Impact of Subsidy Rate on California Tomato Crop Insurance Demand (Ngoc Hoang Anh Nguyen & Adam Francis)
• Weedmaps & Retail Control (Elaine Yiling Ma, Valeriva Meshchaninova, Nadia Ansari)
• Tomatoes & Extreme Heat (Shaneel Henry, Cindy Nguyen, and Arnold Fomben)


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