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

October 13, 2011
The idea of a “double blind study” is central to the use of statistics as it applies to medicine. Such a study occurs if the person assigning medication does not know who receives true medicine and who is given a placebo, and neither do the patients or those providing the care. Such a structure attempts to remove the “placebo effect” on the part of both the patient and the treating doctor. Unfortunately, I found myself thinking of this quite a bit lately, as I faced the reality that my little sister is facing the battle of her life.
October 6, 2011
Last week, I saw a news clip about a Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, speaking on behalf of the protesters in Manhattan who are calling for radical change in our economic system that currently allows the very wealthy to pay less of a share of their earnings to taxes than do many of the people who work for them. I was intrigued because one of my advisors on my dissertation was a graduate student at Yale University when Dr. Stiglitz taught there, and always spoke with great awe of that professor whom he had known long ago.
September 29, 2011
I remember being part of a meeting many years ago where the term “STEM” (to describe the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and/or Medicine) was used lightly, under the assumption that everyone knew what it meant. Although I am technically not from a “STEM” discipline, since I am an economist, I teach in a math department, so was familiar with the term.
September 22, 2011
As readers of my column here know, I like to start my entries out by providing a “hook” from either math or economics, and then relating it to some aspect of parenting as a professor. Usually it is easy to choose which topic to use. Today, however, I am following the lead of my daughter, who, when faced with two good options, will often say “I want both.” For today, I cannot choose between writing about “randomness” or about “Venn Diagrams”, as both are equally appropriate for what I want to say.
September 15, 2011
The term "bifurcate" means to divide into two, to have the main body of something divide into two parts. I assume that being able to so this would allow one to, in essence, be in two places at once. I have been thinking of this term often in these last few weeks, as school started up again for me and for my daughter. It seems that I am constantly finding reasons why it would be good for me to be able to bifurcate.
September 8, 2011
The concept of “inverse” is central to Algebra. It might be used when describing adding a negative number to a positive one to clear out a simple algebraic equation, or might show up as a topic in Abstract (or Modern) Algebra. Recall that when talking about addition, the inverse operation is subtraction, while division is the inverse of multiplication.
September 8, 2011
September 1, 2011
When I was in my graduate program in economics, and chose Labor Economics as one of my fields, I would joke that I would someday deliver a baby and be, once again, “in labor.” Today, I remain a labor economist who focuses on the economics of nonprofit organizations, and it is this background in labor economics that makes me reflect this weekend as our country celebrates “Labor Day.”
August 25, 2011
There is a concept in labor economics called a “reservation wage.” This is the lowest wage that one would be willing to accept in order to be enticed to enter the formal labor market. This may depend on many things, including one’s assessment of the need to earn income for one’s family as well as the utility gained from spending time with one’s family on an informal basis. I thought of this last week as my daughter’s school began again and I found myself picking her up from “after care” where she stayed following the school day, as I finished up my work day.
August 18, 2011
There is a concept used in calculus and economics called “elasticity.” This idea measures the percent change in one variable as another variable experiences a one percent change. This is often used to talk about, for example, demand for a product, demand that might change for many reasons, as when the price of a product changes, or when the price of a close substitute changes, or even when the income of consumers change.


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