University of Florida
University of Florida
I am a PhD Candidate in Economics at University of Florida. I am on currently on the job market for the 2014-2015 academic year and will be available for interviews at the AEA/ASSA Annual Meeting in Boston in January 2015.
Please feel free to take a look at my Curriculum Vitae .
I am interested in Economics because I value efficient allocation of resources and dislike waste. I also cherish scientific way of attaining insight into how our surroundings operate. I constantly strive to enhance my toolbox which currently consists of strong mathematics and computer skills. I try to combine my knowledge of different fields to create research and to educate people in the most productive way.
I had been working for one year for an advertising agency. One of my achievements there was to establish Business Intelligence Unit – a department responsible for conducting market research and both external and internal analytics. I learnt a lot about online advertising and marketing. While being responsible for opening foreign markets, I had much to do with customer service, fulfilment, logistics, and international taxation.
In addition to economics and business in practice, there are a lot of other topics that I am interested in. Most recently, the topics interesting to me (judging by the scientific books I’ve read within past quarter) have been: human physiology, psychology of religion, artificial intelligence, and physics.
University of Florida
My research revolves mostly around various applications of Game Theory. I especially like regulation and environmental/natural resources issues. I am capable of working with both theory and empirical methods (and also with the theory of empirical methods that is theoretical econometrics). My original fields of specialization are Industrial Organization, Econometrics, and Public Economics. Read my Research Statement to learn more. Below is the list of my working papers.
- Potential pitfalls in an international regulation game with two regulators in a free-trade agreement (job market paper).
- Colonel Blotto with Imperfect Targeting (with D. Fletcher and S. Slutsky).
- Inefficient allocation of resources in science .
- Economic Consequences of the Recent Climate Change .
Other papers I am currently working on are:
- Rationality in pay-to-bid auctions.
- Effects of word of mouth on the outcome of a promotion (with C. Zhou).
University of Florida
I love teaching, especially hard material to smart students. The more quantitative the course is, the more I like to teach it – my still unfulfilled wish is to teach calculus. So far, I have had recitation sections in Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Intermediate Microeconomics, and Econometrics (for graduate students). I came up with an idea and held summer workshops titled “Computer Science for Economists” for the graduate students at University of Florida. While working at the advertising agency, I was training Media Planners to use basic statistics in order to enhance their decision-making capabilities. Finally, I taught Game Theory for undergraduate students at the University of Florida and received favorable evaluations (feel free to take a look: page 1 , page 2 , page 3 ).
Please take a look at my Teaching Statement .
University of Florida
Me and computers
My adventure with computers started (thanks to my dad) in mid 90s, when I had the first experience with a PC running under MS DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1. The first language I was writing in (at the age of 11) was Turbo Basic which I soon replaced with Turbo Pascal. At that time I was also learning about Assembly and physical and logical architecture of computers (later on we even had a little project with a high school classmate to write our own operating system – we managed to write functioning boot routine in Assembly and upload it to a floppy 3.5” disk so that computer booted with “our OS”).
At the end of elementary school (which at that time in Poland was for students aged 7-15) I had to learn Logo so that I could win a regional competition that allowed me to choose any high school I wanted (I also won a similar competition in Mathematics). Logo was not useful to me ever before or after. Another thing I did during elementary school was to translate Duke Nukem 3D into Polish which required intensive use of a hex editor.
When DOS applications became obsolete in late 90s, my new focus became Delphi which I had really mastered over time, including the use of DirectX. In the meantime, as a high school student, I started getting jobs as a programmer. I was working as Flash programmer coding games in ActionScript (play a sample game here and here). I was also working on a CRM system for an engineering company where I learnt a lot about MS Access and Visual Basic. I was tutoring computer science students taking class on “Structure of a Compiler”. Finally, I had my first experience with scientific application of programming: I was helping a PhD student of chemical engineering at Warsaw Institute of Technology to develop an application for numerically solving a differential equations model of chemical reactions in a sewage treatment plant.
During high school, I took part in the Olympiad in Informatics, which was a national competition for high school students, where participants were supposed to come up with the most time- and memory-efficient algorithms for processing data. I learnt a lot about algorithms and data structures and I won a bronze medal. Unfortunately, unlike in case of Olympiad in Mathematics, I was not given an opportunity to participate in the training camp for the Polish representation for the International Olympiad in Informatics.
While I was studying Mathematics at the Warsaw University I had my first exposure to R during advanced classes on Statistics. Since then, R remains my favorite language for scientific computing, especially for statistics-related topics. At the Warsaw School of Economics I had my first exposure to Stata during the classes on panel econometrics. At that time I also developed an economic educational game (in Delphi, PHP, and MySQL – this was a thick client architecture) and teamed with one of the students’ research groups to promote it. There was a competition held based on my game and Boston Consulting Group was the sponsor of the prizes (the top prize was an iPod). The game had two editions in two consecutive years.
During my graduate studies in the USA I started to feel falling behind again. The main reason was that in development of desktop, stand-alone applications, I was still using Delphi. One day I decided that it was high time for me to learn C++. I got ahold of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and begun studying C++ object model. In a few weeks I switched to C++ completely. This quick and easy transition convinced me that I was in a position where listing programming languages I know on my CV no longer makes sense.
One of the first applications of my new skills in C++ was to create a set of routines that allowed me to easily handle downloading and processing huge amounts of data from the Internet. I started to advertise myself on campus as a person who (for a fee) can help researchers with data scrapping. Another business idea I had at that time was related to online advertising. I dived into issues related to search engine optimization and created websites that were supposed to provide me with a steady income on auto-pilot. However, a few years passed until I was able to really fulfil this idea.
Constant use of my computer skills in research and requests from others for help convinced me that rising computer literacy among young scientists is very important to increase their productivity. Hence I came up with an idea of a class where I could share my knowledge with broader audience. I was granted a permission by the Department authorities to carry out a workshop in which I would show graduate students what the possibilities are. The class was named “Computer Science for Economists” and the topics ranged from more advanced applications of MS Excel, trough data processing with MS Access and SQL, numerical simulations with R and MATLAB, trough data scraping with iMacros. Students were satisfied although I suspect starting this type of education at earlier stage would have tremendous impacts – I was unable to mirror the success of Initiative for Computational Economics workshop that I attended a year earlier at the University of Chicago.
After three years of being a PhD student in Economics I took a year off, went back to Poland where I worked for an advertising agency at the position of Chief Executive Officer. This innovative company was still a start-up and was heavily dependent on the advanced technology and proprietary high-efficiency algorithms developed by my high school classmates. As a trusted person I had a full access to company information systems (created mostly with PHP and MySQL) and I was helping develop the most sensitive parts of them. During that time I worked a lot on business intelligence tools. I created theoretic background and took part in development of tools for performing automated A/B tests. I also wrote a bunch of IT tools for my departments (for example, a tool for automated processing of invoices integrated with bank website to facilitate payments). In the meantime I learnt a lot about online advertising and advertising and marketing in general.
During my PhD studies I kept on developing software for numerical solving of system of equations or for solving for Nash Equilibria. I like when the software I create prepares nice reports and pictures that can be inserted into an article as figures.
Now again I feel like I am falling behind – what bothers me is that I have never developed any mobile app. Unfortunately, so far, I see no reason why this skill would be synergistic with other things I do. Also, while in high school I was interested in neural networks and genetic algorithms. However, I always just played with them and never found a good use for them. So, what will happen next? I can't wait to see.
University of Florida
Me and Management Science
A few years ago I had an opportunity to serve as a high-level manager in a start-up company. Here is what I've learnt.
I perceive a firm as a complicated machine that performs particular set of function. Business development and restructuring are thus similar to engineering problems. However, these problems are usually very hard because the building materials are human resources whose properties are never fully known. Moreover, the way interactions between humans are formally structured into processes and procedures or informally imposed in form of corporate culture depends on manager’s creativity and leadership skills. These difficulties are why I find managements science so fascinating and challenging. There is a variety of tested solutions which can be applied to almost every company but every company has also its peculiarities which require creativity.
During my job as Chief Financial Officer I had a chance to partake in development and restructuring of the rapidly growing company. Even though my title was CFO, I was responsible for all “shared” departments, including HR, Office Administration, Accounting, and Legal Departments. These areas were somewhat neglected before my arrival and there was much to be done, especially in HR and finance. In the former I was able to come up with and introduce procedures that facilitated better flow of information and reduced burden of negotiating with employees which was shouldered thus far by top management. In the latter I designed a process of handling invoices and created IT tools necessary for this process to work. As a result the speed of processing payments increased and the number of errors decreases significantly.
The achievement I am most proud of, however, was an idea and creation of Business Intelligence Unit. I envisioned it as a department of analysts with high quantitative skills who are acquiring data, processing it, and communicating results to management in order to facilitate data-driven decision making. I staffed the department, trained them, and selected my successor. After a few months, I spun off the Unit as an independent department. It kept on growing and after two years it constitutes an indispensable part of the organization and employs over twenty people, while still maintaining elements of corporate culture introduced by me in its early days. Although in hindsight I see things that I could have done better, I take great pleasure seeing that I build something lasting and of great value to the organization.
I believe this experience greatly expanded my understanding of reality, especially differences between the theory and the practice of allocation of resources. All my experience informs my research.
Department of Economics
Matherly Hall 224
PO Box 117140
Gainesville, FL 32611