Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A New Project

I finished three projects this past semester that I'd been working on for a while. So, that means I get to start a new one. It should be interesting for a number of reasons. First, it's an idea that I first thought of over 7 years ago. I initially filed it away since I had too many other things going on. In addition, it involved time-series analysis, and I don't have a very good grounding in that part of econometrics.

But one of my new colleagues has been doing exactly the kind of time series I need (vector autoregression) for many years. He's an interesting sort - it's been almost 40 years since he got his Ph.D., and he won the College Research award this past year. He averages 2-3 pubs a year after 39 years in the game. Now THAT is truly impressive. He's also a pretty funny and lively guy. So I'm looking forward to working with him.

In addition, it's the kind of research topic I enjoy - it brings together a couple of different strands of literature, and also extends some earlier work with an added twist. Someone once called my style the "Chinese Menu" approach to research - pick one topic from column A and one from column B and mix them together.

And finally, it'll require a fair bit of SAS programming to put the data together (really - that's a plus, not a minus). It'll take a couple of weeks of work and will require combining data from three separate large data sources. But that shouldn't be too hard (famous last words there, eh?), since I'm a fairly good programmer. It'll even require me to learn a few new tricks, which is always fun.

There are only 4 weeks left of classes at Unknown University, and with luck I'll have the data pulled together to hand off to my colleague by the time final exams come around. Then I can focus on my cycling for a bit while HE tortures the data.

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