Speaker Bio

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Justin Wolfers

Title: Teaching Useful Economics

Policy wonk. Father. Runner. Twister Champion. Blonde. Justin Wolfers loves economics and loves life, and believes that each can enhance the other. He's passionate about using economics to illuminate and improve our everyday lives.

Dr. Wolfers earned his Ph.D. in economics in 2001 from Harvard University, and was a Fulbright, Knox and Menzies Scholar. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics in his native Australia at the University of Sydney in 1994, winning the University Medal. He was recently named by the IMF as one of the "25 economists under 45 shaping the way we think about the global economy."

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jose Vasquez

Title: Curiosity and the Pleasures of Learning: Leveraging Internal Student Motivation to Learn Through Curiosity

Jose J. Vazquez, Ph.D. is a Clinical Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where teaches three sections of one of the largest Economics courses in the country (925 students). This is in addition to the more than 100,000 people who have registered over the last five years to take his very popular Principles of Microeconomics MOOC in Course. Therefore, it is probably safe to say no other instructor has taught economics to more students. In addition to his role as instructor, Dr. Vazquez is also Director of the Teaching Academy for the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. During his tenure at Illinois he has received several teaching awards, including Outstanding Teacher of Freshmen Award. He is also the co-creator of FlipIt Economics, along with Eric Chiang of Florida Atlantic University. FlipItEcon, published by Macmillan, is a multimedia solution that helps students prepared effectively for class. Dr. Vazquez is a leader in the use and study of technology in higher education; in particular multimedia design. Recently, his research has been in the area of mental attention and student motivation, particularly the role of curiosity as a way to incentivize students. He has published his work in several academic journals and has presented at numerous academic conferences.