Daniel Lass

Professor and Department Chair, Resource Economics

Fall 2016 Innovation Fellow

My interests are in micro-econometrics – the application of econometric methods to microeconomic models. I’ve long been interested in agricultural issues including farm and family decision-making, efficiency and productivity, firm choices of production methods, alternative markets (Community Supported Agriculture, Farm to Institution), and market behavior. More recently my research has considered consumer choices of products, their willingness to pay for commodity attributes and how individual characteristics affect choices. I’ve also applied my toolkit to water and land issues and the impacts of instructional technologies on student learning.

Fellow Project & Instructional Interests

I am interested in using innovations to address two problems I’ve observed – student expectations about preparation prior to class and apathy during class. I find student expectations are that they need not come to class prepared and once in class are rather apathetic about engaging with the course material. I think we’ve created this problem with a history of “chalk and talk” lectures.

I want to work on engaging students before class with online readings using technologies that provide opportunities, and incentives, for thoughtful group comments/discussions about those readings. The challenge is to find the right way to incentivize reading and participating in group discussions. My courses are modeling courses that apply economic and statistical concepts. During class, I want to engage these well-prepared students using computer software and real-world data. JMP has some great data visualization tools and can be used to challenge students to visualize economic relationships in data, visualizations that should aid their understanding of concepts and their ability to interpret model results. My ultimate goal is to build higher levels of learning through engagement before and during class.