Tag: David Gerard

Faculty Members Promoted, Granted Tenure

Seven members of the Lawrence University faculty have been promoted to the rank of associate professor and eight faculty have been granted tenure appointments by the college’s Board of Trustees.

Garth Bond

Garth Bond, Dominica Chang, Scott Corry, Stefan Debbert, Adam Galambos, Doug Martin and Peter Thomas all have been granted tenure and promoted to associate professor. David Gerard, associate professor of economics, also has been granted tenure.

Bond joined the English department in 2004 after teaching at Temple University and the University of Chicago, where he earned his Ph.D. His scholarship interests include Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, poetry and drama, manuscript studies, the history of the book and film. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Trinity University.

Dominica Chang

Chang, a French department faculty member since 2007, came to Lawrence after receiving her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in French Studies at Middlebury College and bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A native of South Korea, her scholarship interests include 19th-century French studies, revolutionary studies, literary history and historiography, media studies and print culture. She was the recipient of Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award in 2010.

Scott Corry

Since joining the Lawrence mathematics department in 2007, Corry has taught numerous calculus, algebra, number theory and geometry courses while pursuing his research interests in analogies between Riemann surfaces and finite graphs. He spent part of 2009 as a visiting fellow at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, England, and was recognized with Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award in 2011. He earned his doctoral degree at the University of Pennsylvania and his bachelor’s degree at Reed College.

Stefan Debbert

Debbert brought a background in theoretical computational chemistry with him when he joined the chemistry department in 2007. His scholarship interests in organic synthesis include research on the medicinal properties of organometallic cobalt-alkyne compounds. He was instrumental in the establishment of the biochemistry major at Lawrence in 2009.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.

Adam Galambos

A specialist in game theory, Galambos came to Lawrence in 2006 as a member of the college’s Post-doctoral Fellows program. He was offered a tenure track position in the economics department following his initial two-year appointment. Prior to Lawrence, Galambos spent two years teaching in the MBA program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He played a leading role in launching Lawrence’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship program. A native of Hungary, he earned his bachelor’s degree at Northern Iowa University and his master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Minnesota.

Doug Martin

Martin joined the physics department in 2007, where he teaches courses in optics, quantum mechanics and experimental physics, among others. A biophysicist, his scholarly interests focus on the mechanics and dynamics of cellular processes — transport, motility, division and signaling — that explain how life works. Originally from Denver, Colo., he earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in mathematics and physics at Pomona College and completed his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Texas.

Peter Thomas

Thomas joined Lawrence’s Russian Studies department in 2006 after teaching at St. Olaf College. Beyond teaching Russian, Thomas also leads classes in 20th-century Russian literature, especially the works of Valdimir Nabokov. Additionally, his scholarly interests include Russian poetry, translation and contemporary composers. He attended Northwestern University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and his master’s and doctoral degrees in Russian literature.

David Gerard

A specialist in risk regulation and public policy, Gerard joined the Lawrence economics department in 2009 after eight years at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was the executive director of the Center for the Study & Improvement of Regulation. He has helped develop a pair of interactive websites that allow users to explore various dimensions of fatality risks — TrafficSTATS and Death Risk Rankings. Named a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar in 2010, that same year he was appointed to a National Academy of Sciences panel that was investigating unintended acceleration in vehicles.  He earned his bachelor’s degree at Grinnell College and his master’s and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

Economist David Gerard Addresses Corporate Responsibility in Lawrence Colloquium, Grinnell Symposium

Lawrence University Associate Professor of Economics David Gerard will be among the invited guest speakers at a symposium Feb. 12-14 on sustainability and corporate social responsibility at Grinnell College, his undergraduate alma mater.

David Gerard

Gerard presents “The Capitalists’ Cooperative: Economics of Organization and its Implications of Corporate Social Responsibility” on the second evening of the symposium.

Prior to his symposium address, Gerard delivers the Economics Colloquium “Waiting for Godot and for Corporate Social Responsibility?” Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 11:15 a.m in Steitz Hall of Science, 102.

A scholar whose research interests focus on the areas of risk regulation and public policy, Gerard joined the Lawrence faculty in 2009 after eight years at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was the executive director of the Center for the Study & Improvement of Regulation in the department of engineering and public policy.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in American studies and economics from Grinnell, Gerard earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Death Risk: Lawrence University Researcher Helps Develop Novel Tool To Calculate the Odds

APPLETON, WIS. — Whether by illness or accident, have you ever wondered what the odds are you could die within the next year?

David-Gerard.jpgA Lawrence University economist, working with the Center for the Study & Improvement of Regulation at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., has helped develop a website that allows users to easily access publicly-available data and compare mortality risks based on several different categories, such as age, gender and where you live.

The site, DeathRiskRankings, not only determines the risk of dying within the next year, but it also ranks more than 60 possible causes of death, providing quick side-by-side comparisons between groups.

“Most Americans don’t have a particularly good understanding of their own mortality risks, let alone a ranking of their relevant risks,” said David Gerard, who recently joined the Lawrence University faculty as an associate professor of economics. He spent six years as the executive director of the Center for the Study & Improvement of Regulation at Carnegie Mellon.

“A rule of thumb is that your risk of dying increases exponentially, doubling about every eight years,” Gerard said. “Approximately one1 in 500 people in my cohort – 40-something white males in Wisconsin — will die in the next year. When I turn 50, the risk will be closer to 1 in 250. And for those of us that see 65, it will be about 1 in 50. The risks are higher, but I still like my chances.”

As the national debate over health care policy and reform heats up, Gerard says one of the site’s most interesting features is its ability to provide comparisons between the U.S. and Europe.

“You can really see some systematic differences between the major causes of death between us and Europeans, which begs the question what role our respective health care systems play in those differences,” said Gerard.

“As an example, for 40-year olds, a European woman has a better chance of living another 30 years than an American woman. However, American women have slightly lower risks of dying from breast cancer, but considerably higher risks of dying from heart attacks and lung cancer. This presents some interesting research questions about whether these differences stem from diagnostics and treatment or from some other causes.”

Gerard thinks the website will prove to be an effective tool in the classroom as well.

“My colleague, Paul Fischbeck, has been using this concept for years to teach his decision analysis courses,” Gerard said. “The underlying concept of the MicroMort – a one-in-a-million chance of dying – is an effective way of teaching student how to quantify risks, how regulatory policies might affect these risks, and at what cost.”

The web site is a treasure trove of interesting statistics. When it comes to dying within the year, there are dramatic differences between men and women, blacks and whites, and Americans and Europeans. Consider the following:

In the race to die first, men are the clear winners. For every age group, men have a much higher annual death risk than women. For 20-year olds, the risk is two-and-one-half to three times greater. Men are much more prone to accidents, homicides, and suicides, and the risk of dying from heart disease is always higher for men than women, peaking in the 50s when men are 2.5 times greater. However, men’s dominance is not as overwhelming with cancer deaths. Women’s cancer risks are actually higher than men’s in their 30s and 40s, but for all other ages, men are number one.

The difference between blacks and whites in the U.S. is almost as pronounced as those for men and women. For both heart disease and cancer, blacks have much higher death risk. Overall, African American in their 30s and 40s are twice as likely to die within the year as their white counterparts. There is, however, one category of death in which whites consistently exceed blacks: suicide. Whites typically have a 2-3 times greater chance of dying by suicide than blacks.

Not surprisingly, obesity-related death risks are much higher in the U.S. than in Europe. As one example, annual diabetes death risk for two 54-year females, one from Wisconsin and one from the U.K., is four times as high for the Wisconsinite than it is for the woman in England.

“There is an old saying that if you spend too much time watching for squirrels, you might just get trampled by an elephant,” says Gerard. “A lot of things can kill you. This website breaks risks into 66 different categories. But there are often dominant causes. For young people, for example, simple things like wearing a bike helmet and fastening up your seat belt can radically reduce your fatality risks.”