Haas News

Strong Faculty Lineup
Using Their Noodle
Breaking Bad
Number Crunching
Dean's Letter: Bright Future

Strong Faculty Lineup

Seven professors from around the globe join Haas this fall

Annette Vissing-Jørgensen and Adair Morse

Annette Vissing-Jørgensen and Adair Morse are award-winning finance professors who joined the Haas faculty this fall.

Two award-winning finance professors are among the seven new faculty members who joined Haas this fall.

Professor Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, formerly a professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and Assistant Professor Adair Morse, formerly an associate professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, became permanent members of the Haas faculty after spending nearly a year here as visiting professors.

Vissing-Jørgensen is co-chairing the Haas Finance Group this fall. Her research was presented to the Federal Reserve Board at its annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., this summer. Morse, who introduced a popular new course called Global Entrepreneurial Finance in the spring, co-authored an award-winning paper on tax evasion in Greece that has shaped tax policy there.

Professor Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, who hails from France and studies international macroeconomics and finance, comes to Haas with a joint appointment in UC Berkeley’s Department of Economics, which he joined in 2003.

Haas faculty also welcomed four assistant professors. Aaron Bodoh-Creed, previously from Cornell, joins the Haas Economic Analysis and Policy Group. Amir Kermani, who grew up in Iran, and Victor Couture, who grew up in Canada, join the Haas Real Estate Group. Yuichiro Kamada, a native of Japan, joins the Haas Marketing Group.

Using Their Noodle

Innovation Lab in Memorial Stadium fosters collaborative learning


Students tackle the “Spaghetti Challenge” in the new Innovation Lab: Mohan Krishnamurthy, Leo Wallach, Lisa-Anne Chung, Oren Schetrit, and Michael Kakunda, all MBA 15.

While the Cal football team practices on the field outside, MBA students are hard at work in a new Innovation Lab inside Memorial Stadium, building towers out of dried spaghetti as part of their own lesson on teamwork.

The “Spaghetti Challenge” requires students to build the tallest tower possible to hold up a marshmallow in 18 minutes. It demonstrates how group dynamics and iteration work under a time constraint. And it’s just one of many exercises that are far easier to teach in the new Berkeley Haas Innovation Lab than in a traditional tiered classroom.

The lab, a new 2,700-sq.-ft. open classroom in Memorial Stadium, was made possible by a gift from alumnus Michael Gallagher, BS 67, MBA 68, and his wife, Linda. With movable tables and chairs and white-board partition walls, it was designed to provide additional space for more team-based and experiential learning.

Breaking Bad

Haas Organizes first B-school fraud conference


Malfeasance of all kinds was the focus of the Haas School’s 2013 Fraud and Misconduct Conference, the first event of its type ever organized by a business school.

Forty scholars from around the country presented papers about wrongdoing in corporations, nonprofits, and even the Catholic Church. The brainchild of Assistant Professor Jo-Ellen Pozner, the conference included a keynote talk by Mike Wilkins of Kingsford Capital Management, a short-biased hedge fund.

Number Crunching

New lab helps students master Big Data

Big Data

Recognizing the growing importance of Big Data, the Berkeley Master of Financial Engineering (MFE) Program has opened new lab space that will support MFE, MBA, and other Berkeley graduate students in strengthening data science skills.

The lab is one manifestation of plans by the MFE Program to increase learning and collaboration opportunities around what is known as “Big Data,” or large data sets that are difficult for commonly used software to organize, manage, and process.

The high-tech laboratory gives students and faculty access to real-time financial data, professional research tools, and leading analytical software, all of which can be remotely accessed anytime and from anywhere in the world, keeping MFE students connected during internships and research projects.

“Access to this kind of data helps students to develop and optimize trading strategies, perform statistical research, and re-create market conditions for detailed study of specific events—
all of which connects classroom lessons to actual securities and markets,” says MFE Executive Director Linda Kreitzman.

The lab also offers new opportunities for Haas students to collaborate with students across Berkeley, particularly those in Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “The vision for this lab is to make sure we give all students access to Big Data and the skills to use data science, which is changing the world of finance,” Kreitzman says.

Dean's Letter

Bright Future

Promising Frontiers for Berkeley Haas


The new Haas courtyard fosters collaboration and the school’s unique culture.

Earlier this year, as part of my review by UC Berkeley Provost George Breslauer, I spent some time thinking hard about my second five-year term as dean and how I see Berkeley Haas evolving. As I wrote in my self-assessment, three frontiers stand out as particularly promising opportunities for us to leap forward: technology in education; future facilities; and our global profile.

Technology is playing a much larger role in our classrooms than it did 10 years ago. The next 10 years will be the true phase change, however, and the next five will set the stage for it.

This is not about translating existing courses into digital format. It’s about changing the course itself and the way we think about pedagogy. It’s about things like “game-ifying” content to engage students even more fully, adapting in real-time to an individual student’s needs, and letting students “test again” until they have truly mastered material. In five years, I want Berkeley Haas to be viewed as a definer of what’s next at the confluence of technology and management education.

Future-leaning facilities are what ignited our school’s take-off in 1995. But management education has changed, and so have teaching methods. It’s time to re-imagine the Haas School’s facilities for the next 10 to 15 years. We need classrooms designed for expansion into digital education, more team-based study rooms, and flexible-use “laboratory-type” space for experiential learning.

A new classroom building at the north edge of Haas will fulfill these needs while encouraging collaboration and community and supporting our unique culture. Until the building is built, the recently renovated courtyard is offering more opportunity for collaboration and the new Innovation Lab in Memorial Stadium, is providing space for team-based, experiential learning.

International business and finance are my fields, so it should be no surprise that expanding Haas’ global footprint is one of my major goals. We will continue focusing on Asia, building on the international reputation and brand advantage that Berkeley Haas has historically enjoyed there. The school’s efforts will include business development for non-degree executive education, alumni network investments, student and faculty exchange, and an Asia Board.

On a broader level, we will continue sharpening Haas’ unique story. I want Haas to be known as the school that has taken institutional culture more seriously than any other. Our Defining Leadership Principles—Question the Status Quo, Students Always, Confidence Without Attitude, and Beyond Yourself—capture our school’s unique essence, support leadership qualities we aim to deliver, and set us apart from our peers.

As always, I welcome feedback from you, our alumni, on the school’s direction during my second term. Please contact me directly or share your thoughts with the entire Haas community by writing a letter to BerkeleyHaas magazine at letters@haas.berkeley.edu.

Sincerely Yours,
Rich Lyons, BS 82

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By the Numbers