Mary Taft

Mary Taft

Lecturer, Resource Economics

Winter 2018 Innovation Fellow

Fellow Project & Instructional Interests

I teach a course on the economics of the Internet that has approximately 40 students, mostly seniors. My students are quite diverse; many are international and there is great variability in their economic training. Some come to my class as economics majors with 8 or more economic courses under their belt; others have not looked at an economics graph since their first Freshman semester. I spend time in the first part of our course refreshing and rebuilding my students economic understanding as we look at the economics of devices that connect us to the Internet. We then learn about the economics of digital goods and services that flow over the Internet and the infrastructure that underpins the Internet. We meet once a week for two and a half hours. Small group discussions and individual student reflections on what they learned in their discussion is a key component of my course. In these discussion groups my students are learning how to apply economic theory to the many disruptive innovations that are currently happening our economy. I believe that our economy is on the cusp of a new industrial revolution. I want my students to deeply learn the tools and skills taught in this class so that they are prepared to enter a work force in an economy that is rapidly changing. I would love to find innovative ways to improve these discussions. I am also interested in learning more about the possibility of flipping my class.