What is your role and what does it involve?
I am a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at UCL. I am constantly searching for ways to improve the learning experience of our students through, for example, class interaction, engaging assessed projects and research collaborations. I am also one of the department’s personal tutors. This means that I provide guidance and support to students, being there if they need a chat or advice…and a reference letter for further studies!
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role(s)?
Actually, my first academic job in the UK was in this department, just after I finished my M.Sc. at Oxford in 2004. After obtaining my Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Pavia, I worked as lecturer at Oxford, Pavia and at London Metropolitan University. In 2016, I got back to UCL-SSEES, as teaching fellow. One year after, I moved to UCL-Economics and here I am!
Tell us about a project you’re working on that you find particularly interesting.
I am currently leading a research project on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. I am very excited about that. As for its design, the project features the participation of undergraduate economics students as Research Assistants. Further, the research output will not only deepen our understanding of this relatively unexplored topic but also it will inform my own teaching in the Economics of Money and Banking module. I can keep enumerating other possible strengths of the projects but I need to curb my enthusiasm, just for now of course! I am working on other projects as well and not with less interest. As for economics research, I am co-authoring a paper on export and foreign investment policies in China; as for pedagogical research, I am working with Cloda and Parama on assessment and inclusivity as well as on E-learning.
If you could teach any economics course, what would it be?
As Nobel prize-winning economist Robert Lucas said “once you start thinking about growth it’s hard to think about anything else.” I have been researching in the field of growth empirics since my Ph.D. and economic development looks to me as intricate as fascinating. I would definitely love to teach “economic growth” and “development economics”. Another thing I would love to teach is “economic principles” to 6-7 years old kids, just to make them aware that there is a binding budget constraint!
What is your favourite economic joke?
One man and one lady sitting at a bar.
Man: “I am helping solve the financial crisis on Wall Street”
Woman: “So, you are a financial genius”
Man: “No, I am a tax-payer!”
Bitterish…lots to think about!
Please take a look at Silvia’s complete bio!