Modeling Economies

Photograph of William Chen, Williams Class of 2019, on the left and Williams Economics Professor Greg Phelan, both standing in front of a chalk board with economic equations written all over it.

A professor and student collaborate on new macroeconomic models that better predict how policies affect the global economy. Assistant Professor of Economics Greg Phelan and economics and math major William Chen ’19 have spent nearly two years developing a model that predicts how countries respond to the economic policies of other countries. Now Chen, who

Continue Reading →

Apology, Understood

Oberlin psychology professor Cindy Frantz, who graduated from Williams in 1991

Research on apologies by social psychologist Cindy Frantz ’91 has garnered attention in recent months as public apologies have dominated news cycles. A member of the psychology department at Oberlin for the last 15 years, Frantz also studies environmental psychology. Her current scholarship considers how to make climate change a more concrete problem for people—thus

Continue Reading →

Free Speech and its Enemies

Silhouette of a person's head filled with newspaper print, some of which is redacted

In the spring of 2016, a group of Williams students invited writer and political commentator John Derbyshire to speak at the college about national identity and immigration. Williams’ president at the time, Adam Falk, canceled the event, calling Derbyshire’s provocative, often inflammatory, views “hate speech.” As Falk wrote in a letter to the campus announcing

Continue Reading →

The Mathematics of Locust (and Other) Swarms

Photograph of a locust swarm

To Professor of Mathematics Chad Topaz, the world is full of patterns. From the stripes on a zebra to the V-shaped flight formation of migratory birds, patterns seem to arise easily in nature, and Topaz has long sought to understand them. In graduate school, he studied the mathematical properties of pattern formation in earnest, with

Continue Reading →