Rosemarie Emanuele

"Math Geek Mom"

Although she holds a Ph.D. in economics from Boston College, Rosemarie Emanuele is a professor and the chair of the Department of Mathematics at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. She loves to teach math but also pursues research related to the economics of nonprofit organizations and volunteer labor, and has published in both economics and interdisciplinary journals — as well as in the book that inspired this blog. She is the proud mother of a wonderful daughter.

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Most Recent Articles

March 25, 2010
A central tenet of economics is the assumption of non-satiation. This concept says that people will always want more of a good, that there is no such thing as “enough” fancy cars or chocolate cake. Of course, there can be more than enough of a bad thing, such as garbage. This assumption might be summarized by the phrase “more (or a good thing) is better.” Anyone who has been a parent to a young child knows this almost reflexive reaction to something they want. I recall times when my then two year old daughter was delighted with something and simply proclaimed “more.”
March 18, 2010
If you took Geometry in High School, you almost definitely learned it as a subject based on rules and axioms discovered by the ancient Greeks. The details of this subject, which I must admit was probably my favorite class in High School (what a geek!), reflected the world view of the ancient Greeks, including the perception of the world as a flat surface. On this flat surface, triangles have exactly 180 degrees, and parallel lines go on forever and never intersect. This is called “Euclidean Geometry.”
March 11, 2010
Before finding my job at Ursuline College, I taught economics or statistics at several different colleges. I taught as part of my graduate assistantship on the way to my Ph.D., as an adjunct at several colleges in the Boston area as a graduate student, and at my first job out of grad school, and the one that brought me here to Cleveland. I was recently reminded of a lecture I tried to teach at one of those schools many years ago. As part of a class in macroeconomics, I tried to have a discussion about how the United States could help people in poorer countries.
March 4, 2010
You may have seen what math folks call “Venn Diagrams”. These illustrate sets and subsets using circles that may or may not intersect. For example, a graph illustrating all college students may be shown as a large box, with a (very) small circle in it representing college students who go to Ursuline College. I found myself thinking of this way of portraying the world when I recently found myself with not just a broken leg but also a broken arm.
January 7, 2010
I have read with interest the recent columns by Susan O’Daugherty about her experience at a women’s college in the early 1970s. While I did not attend a women’s college, I now teach at one, and wanted to lend a few words about what it is like to teach at a women-centered school.
December 17, 2009
Our jobs as professors are built around truth and integrity. We spend our research time searching for the truth, and, once we find a piece of it, we teach and profess that truth in journals and classrooms, hence earning us the name of "professor." Indeed, if someone was to claim our idea as their own, we would be outraged, as we rightly are if our students claim work to be their own when it is not.
December 10, 2009
Several weeks ago, I went to my first academic conference since taking my daughter home. It was also my first occasion in eleven years to attend my favorite conference, for the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, called “ARNOVA.” Between presentations, my co-author and I found ourselves with a small amount of time that we used to attend a roundtable discussion about basing one’s academic career on studying the nonprofit sector.
December 3, 2009
The lights are on now at Ursuline College.
November 19, 2009
My first week of graduate school found me in a microeconomics class with a teacher reviewing the assumptions behind what is commonly called the “Adam Smith hypothesis”. Referring to the founder of the discipline of economics, it is a hypothesis that free markets work well, and that work so well that under them no one can be made better off without someone else being made worse off. This can actually be proven using calculus, using a proof that makes us math geeks smile, but it is dependent on several assumptions that may or may not be true in all situations.
November 12, 2009
Several weeks ago, I asked my readers to share their maternity leave stories with me, as I work to propose a reasonable maternity leave for Ursuline college. This week I want to summarize what I learned, thanks to my readers who were generous with their time in responding to my request. I am especially excited about the responses I received, because I think that they move us in the direction of seeing these “blogs” as on-line discussions, with the weekly entries being the start of the discussion, but, by all means, not the end of them.

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