11:00 - 12:20 PM
Professor Robert P. Strauss
90-774 Course Syllabus
Power and ,
$oftware $kills for your Resume,
"...this course taught me to discount in my sleep. Before I took Public Expenditure Analysis at Heinz, I frequently had trouble falling asleep. I worried about getting a job, and how I could get the car of my dreams. Once I began the course, I began to understand the logic of the time value of money. I began reading annuity tables to relax me, and found falling asleep to be no longer a challenge. A truly inspirational course!" Heinz 1998 Alumnae.
"...this is a must class for anyone who is thinking about buying a new car or leasing one. Professor Strauss made many practical problems of daily living come alive, and helped me learn how to solve practical problems. It even improved my social life!" Heinz 1995 Alumn.
"...this class literally changed my life. I lost 30 pounds and kept it off! Not only did it allow me to achieve my weight objectives, my personal life improved dramatically. I have many more dates because I took the Public Expenditure Analysis course, and the quality of them has improved compared to my undergraduate experience. God bless Professor Strauss!" Heinz 1991 Alumnae.
"...the end of the semester Public Expenditure Analysis beer party was better than the Public Finance beer party. They are the mainstay of Heinz student-faculty interactions. Where else could one watch our fellow students snarf down free beer and pass out, secure in the knowledge that they had completed their final exam? Strauss deserves recognition for financing and throwing the best faculty-student beer party every Fall and Spring." Heinz 1997 Alumn.
"I originally had my doubts, and the first six weeks didn't make any sense to me. Why did we do all that discounting, and why so many problem sets? I swear Professor Strauss spoke in tongues most of the time. But something happened after I started attending class, reading the textbook, and especially doing the homework that is difficult to express. Things changed, and I actually enjoyed coming to class." Heinz 1998 Alumn.
"Professor Strauss asked that we subscribe to the Wall Street Journal; at the outset I couldn't figure out why he wanted us to read the newspaper and talk about financial matters in class.
"I'm from Pittsburgh and had been a generally satisfied reader of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, one of America's Great Newspapers.
"But after reading the Wall Street Journal, I started learning about not only what was really going in Pittsburgh, but also in the bond market, the stock market, about interest rates and government finance. Things started making sense. Last year I started day-trading on the New York Stock exchange and made $27.5 million dollars in three weeks. Much of my skill in day-trading I attribute to what I learned in Public Expenditure Analysis." Heinz 1987 Alumn.
"Before I took Public Expenditure, I had a severe case of acne, was lonely and had difficulty meeting people. Professor Strauss constantly called on me in class, especially when I cut and wasn't there. That got me thinking. I realized that the only way to be more outgoing and answer questions in class was to attend. Once I started attending, my acne cleared up, I have no trouble meeting people, and am filled with self-confidence." Heinz 1996 Alumn.
"I really like taking Professor Strauss' examinations because he always gives each of us a high quality cookie after we take the exam and fill out the course evaluation form. No other CMU faculty member is so thoughtful!" Heinz 1997 Alumn.
"After graduating college I worked for three years and developed an aggression disorder. Fifteen times I attacked my blind date with a knife. I was diagnosed by doctors at the Mayo Clinic as having a chronic stranger-hyper aggression syndrome. I was constantly on edge at work in fear of attacking employees I had not been introduced to, became unable to fall asleep because of growing anxieties about losing my job, and subsequently became exhausted at my job. The doctors prescribed reading a finance textbook such as Ross's Corporate Finance as a way to forestall my waves of agression, and thereby also became able to fall asleep. It worked. To advance my career I went to the Heinz School, and found that the cure for my chronic stranger-hyper aggression syndrome helped me ace Public Expenditure Analysis. " Heinz 1987 Allumn.
"When I interviewed at the , their questions were right out of Professor Strauss' examinations. I could not have been better prepared for entry into the federal government." Heinz 1999 Alumn.
(from front to back, right to left by row)
Siraj (seated), Rina, Kristy, Elvia and Bob,
Harry, Choong, David and Mike
Scenes from May 1, 2002 Presentations
David and Kristy celebrate getting ready to give their
presentation --- Cost-Benefit Analysis of [yet another]
stadium, for the Pittsburgh Penguins
Kristy gives an overview with David showing great interest.
David runs the power point for Kristy, while Mike and
Harry watch; Harry doesn't like the negative tones
in Kristy's presentation. She thinks a 3'rd stadium
is a waste of the taxpayer's hard-earned money.
Harry's view will be revealed in his video
The class looks on; note Heinz School alum David
S. in the back watching the show...arms folded in disbelief
Pizza view of the presentation; 11 students wolved down
4 extra large gourmet pizzas starting at 11 AM and an
undisclosed amount of beer...
Kristy breaks the news to everybody; the City of
Pittsburgh signed a contract guaranteeing a new
stadium for the Penguins...the local papers stiil
won't report it, as of July 1, 2002
A close up of standard class refreshments...
Mike and Harry listen intently as Kristy's critical
review continues. Harry, in the Penguins shirt is
not enamored with where the talk is going...but has a
secret plan to sway the audience.
Mike puts up the data matrix and starts the
Professor Strauss stretches while a student imbibes...
looks like a Strohs
Harry's time has finally come. He switches the assumptions
and reveals insider information that demonstrates that a new
stadium is required by everybody in the region.
He touts a proprietary willingness-to-pay survey
that cleary indicates that everybody in SW Pa.
prefers watching the Penguins than anything else,
including consensual sex.
Even Harry is surprised at how large his NPV is!
Kristy is non-plused, Mike is being polite, and David
nervously tries to get some food in his stomach after
an undisclosed number of beers.
Mike, Kristy and David listen as Harry begins to
sway the audience towards the desirability of the
Katherine, now permanently related to David S.,
and the number 2 ranking budget official in the City
of Pittsburgh, listens politely, dressed in power blue
Brooks Brothers business suit, and remembers fondly
when she took public expenditure analysis
but skipped public finance.
The Penguins stadium team stands together and discuss
whether or not Harry's case is plausible...
They respond to questions from the audience...
One student in the audience, after undisclosed number of beers
howls in disbelief at NPVs.
Further response to the audience...Mike starts
handwaving in response to technical questions about
the implausible NPVs, and Harry's secret willingness to pay
Harry's Final Answer: His Own Video!
"Harry Tsang's Dash and Dance in Philadelphia"
To see and hear this, download it to your desktop and then use
Real Player 7 or Higher to Use it.
The teen smoking group encounters technical problems; Siraj
frantically tries to get the zip drive to work, Rina looks grimly on
Three pairs of hands are better than one, but Elvia is evidently worried about the time
Elvia starts the overview of the Teen Smoking Project
Rina looks at her notes to get her presentation right
after an undisclosed number of beers...
Elvia, Rina and Sarij watch/listen as Choong weighs in
Economic model components outline, contrasted with Caulkins
The teen smoking's dead weight loss analysis:
Groans from the audience about yet another economics graph
Rina, Choong, Siraj, and Elvia try to answer more tough
questions from smoker in audience; two in group admit they were teen smokers
Scenes from Typical End of Semester Bash:
Spring 01 Bash
Juan, Christine, Kim, Bob and Pedro pose for digital picture during festivities.
Heidi Watt, Treasurer of CMU's, enjoys a cool one!
Sherae gets the giggles, and she's drinking soda!