Spring 2007 Reading Group
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economicst Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Eighteen students joined President Les Garner, his wife Katrina, and professor of mathematics, Ann Cannon in his home for discussions on Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. Students questioned topics such as "why do drug dealers still live at home with their moms and how the Ku Klux Klan is like a group of real estate agents." Following their conversations, the group traveled to Chicago to meet coauthor Steven D. Levitt, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and director of The Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory. Students participated in a Becker Center conference lecture, attended a lunch with Levitt as the keynote speaker, and held a 90-minute private meeting with him about his book.
Says Garner, "Leading the Freakonomics Reading Group was a wonderful experience for me and (I believe) the students. Freakonomics is a provocative book, and it provoked active debate and dialogue within the reading group. One of my objectives was to give the students the opportunity to think critically about complicated issues and to probe analysis of those issues in order to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the analysis. The students excelled, and when they had the chance to discuss their views with Steve Levitt, the author, I admires the clarity of their thinking and the articulate way they presented their ideas."