Upadhyaya received his Ph.D. in Economics from Auburn University and joined the University of New Haven as an Associate Professor of Economics in the fall of 2000. He is an author of more than 50 refereed journal articles and 2 books. His current research areas include International Economics, Development Economics, Applied Econometrics and Public Choice. We sat down with Kamal Upadhyaya and learned what he is doing inside and outside of the classroom.
I like the student body a lot. I particularly enjoy teaching undergraduate students because they are fresh, young, and energetic. I like watching them grow as they learn more and mature from their experiences in their education.
Ten years ago they said professors were a bygone and remote learning was going to take hold of education but it didn’t happen. There might be a rise in online learning but the problem with this format is there is no interaction between the students and the instructor. I think there will be more use of technology but it can not replace the professor.
Economics is basically an applied social science. I use the tools of economics to explain the real world phenomenon. The students can see the examples in real life.
A new area is behaviorial economics which ties psychology and economics together. We offer a minor in behaviorial economics here at UNH. In standard economics we assume that individuals are rational and make decisions based on their own rational self interest. The standard economic theory can not explain irrational behavior. Behavioral economics tries to fill this gap.
I have participated the University Senate, Curriculum Committee, Sabbatical Leave Committee, Tenure and Promotion Committee.
The strengths are good faculty members who are very collegial, and academically active.
Lately, I have been working on the foreign direct investment (FDI). I have published six papers on different issues of FDI in Latin America, Asia and Eastern and Central Europe. At present I am working on two projects on FDI; (i) Impact of Exchange Rate Volatility on FDI, and (ii) Impact of FDI on Environment.
Sometimes the difference between the levels of learning in the classroom is challenging. If you lower your standards then some are bored, yet if you go at the right pace some students might be lost. Some students don’t show up to class or they don’t study. If you are out of class you miss the learning experience and the knowledge you need to base the next lesson on. If students don’t improve by their second year they are lost and they might have an inferiority complex, but we have to support them educationally and emotionally.
I use the smart classroom, Blackboard, and the Sam Bergami Technology Center.
The department is very academically active and has well published faculty members.
It depends. Economics is like science. I use the traditional method of chalk and board to explain the topic to the students and this works well. I also use the smart classroom with PowerPoint presentations with flashy pictures and graphs when it is needed.
An instructor has to be like a coach. He needs to connect with students. Tell them your own story on how you struggled in studies in college. You were like them too. Because of your motivation you became successful. Pass this message onto your students. The connection that you create with students will bring the student to you when they need help whether with classroom problems or life lessons. Never ever tell a student he is not very smart. Don’t forget what you went through as a student. You have to find a way to motivate your students to succeed.
My field of interest is international economics. I have published several papers in exchange rate fluctuations and its impact on different macroeconomic variables. Some of my papers in this area are widely cited. My currency exchange rate papers are widely cited in the field and study of economics. I have written papers on foreign direct investment which are also cited in the field and study of economics.
Student participation depends on the topic. When teaching core theory I want them to pay attention and ask questions. Students should have questions after they learn the materials. I use case studies that involve student participation.
Make sure your English is good, both reading and writing. It has to be to be able to express yourself. Take algebra, pre-calculus and calculus. Be sure you have math skills such as college algebra, pre-calculus and calculus the basis of math is logic and reasoning. Students with good math skills succeed in their education as welll as in their career.
Technology is very helpful in empirical studies as well as in case studies.
We have better classrooms and the variety of courses that can be taught in those classrooms such as the smart classroom. The class size is very small which creates an intimate setting, is less distracting and provides more attention to the students. Students can interact with faculty here where as in bigger schools faculties are less likely to interact with the students. They leave it to their TAs or the GAs. In a big school the student are on their own where as here we support our students.
Yes, I have students who are suppporting me as a research assistant.