ALEXEY KUSHNIR

Assistant Professor of Economics
Tepper School of Business
Carnegie Mellon University
Tepper Quad, 5228
412 268 60 79, akushnir@andrew.cmu.edu

 

Teaching


I have been fortunate to teach undergraduate-, master’s-, and PhD-level courses at various US and European universities. The course topics have included mechanism design, game theory, econometrics, and machine learning. I have also experience in teaching an online course for the Penn State World Campus.

Though I have never taught an MBA course, business cases are a focal point of Within the Firm: Managing through Incentives. The curriculum for this course constitutes good preparation for teaching an MBA class on a similar topic. To learn how to teach with business cases, in fact, I took the Harvard Business Publishing Case Method Teaching Seminar (2015) and read several books on the business case teaching method. These efforts were fruitful: based on student feedback, I won the Richard M. Cyert Award for Excellence in the Classroom (2018) at Tepper School of Business that is given annually to a faculty member who is recognized by economics students and the Undergraduate Economics Program Administration for outstanding pedagogy in economics courses. I am also a recepient of Best Teacher Award (2018) at Higher School of Economics and Outstanding Undergraduate Instructor Award (2009) at The Pennsylvania State University. Below, I briefly outline my past teaching experience. Available copies of teaching evaluation are provided.

Machine Learning (Higher School of Economics and New Economics School, 2018)

  • Topics covered: linear regression, linear classification, decision trees, decision forest, bootstrap, bagging, and gradient boosting.
  • Course materials: Bishop C. M. Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning. Springer, 2006
  • Audience: third- and forth-year undergraduate
  • Evaluations: 4.39/5.00
  • Notes: the introductory course to machine learning taught to the best undergraduate economics students in Russia

The Principles of Economics (Carnegie Mellon University, 2015, 2016, 2017)

  • Topics covered: consumers and sellers incentives in markets, market equilibrium, the benefits of trade, externality, and the role of government in the economy, etc.
  • Course materials: Economics, 1st edition, by Acemoglu, Laibson, and List (Pearson Education). ISBN-13: 978-0-133-48774-9
  • Audience: first-year undergraduate
  • Evaluations: 3.98/5.00 (2017)
  • Notes: two sections of the university-wide freshman class of more than 200 students

Within the Firm: Managing Through Incentives (Carnegie Mellon University, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019)

  • Topics covered: objective and subjective performance measurements, relative performance evaluations, career-based incentives, seniority pay, promotions, skill acquisitions, relational contracts, and executive compensation
  • Course materials: HBS Business Cases, lecture notes, Edward P. Lazear and Michael Gibbs, Personnel Economics
    in Practice, Wiley, 3rd edition, 2014
  • Audience: second, third, and fourth-year undergraduate students
  • Evaluations: 4.88/5.00 (2017)
  • Notes: we discuss 15 business cases during the course

Economic Foundations of Finance (University of Zurich, 2013)

  • Topics covered: basic concepts of game theory, strategic and extensive form games, Nash equilibrium, elimination of dominated strategies, subgame perfect Nash equilibrium, Bayes-Nash Equilibrium, finance applications
  • Course materials: Mas-Colell, A., M.D. Whinston, and J.R. Green, Microeconomic Theory, 1995, Oxford University Press
  • Audience: Master students with majors in banking and finance
  • Evaluations: N/A
  • Notes: co-taught with Jacob Goeree the first half of the course; Thorsten Hens taught the second half of the course

Mechanism Design (University of Zurich, 2013, 2014)

  • Topics covered: Bayesian and dominant strategy implementation, envelope theorem, optimal auctions, geometric approach to mechanism design, multi-unit and combinatorial auctions, mechanism design with correlated types and interdependent values, voting, matching theory, financial market design
  • Course materials: the course was mainly based on original articles
  • Audience: Doctoral students
  • Evaluations: 5.00/5.00 (full evaluations)
  • Notes: co-taught with Jacob Goeree

Microeconomics for Research Students (University of Zurich, 2011, 2012)

  • Topics covered: fundamental topics of non-cooperative game theory, signaling and screening, principal-agent problem, cooperative game theory, elements of matching theory, elements of mechanism design
  • Course materials: Fudenberg, D. and J. Tirole, Game theory, 1991, MIT Press
  • Audience: Doctoral students
  • Evaluations: 5.88/6.00 for 2011 (full evaluations), 4.05/5.00 for 2012 (full evaluations)
  • Notes: a part of a core sequence for PhD student in Department of Economics at University of Zurich; taught both lectures and exercise sections.

Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy (The Pennsylvania State University, 2010)

  • Topics covered: methods and tools of economic analysis, demand and supply, market equilibrium, elasticity, consumer choice, producer choice, general equilibrium, monopoly, public good provision, uncertainty and asymmetric information
  • Course materials: Wooldridge, J., Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach, 2008, Cengage Learning; 4 edition
  • Audience: first year undergraduate students
  • Evaluations: N/A
  • Notes: online course 

Introductory Econometrics (The Pennsylvania State University, 2009)

  • Topics covered: simple regression, multivariate linear regression, predictions and errors, hypothesis testing, heteroskedasticity, ordinary and generally least squares models, model selection, instruments, time series, forecasting, panel data
  • Course materials: Case, K., R. Fair, and S. Oster, Principles of Microeconomics, 2008, Pearson Prentice Hall, 9th edition
  • Audience: fourth year undergraduate students
  • Evaluations: 6.22/7.00 (full evaluations)
  • Notes: the most advanced undergraduate econometrics course; intensive summer course taught each week day during two months; I received the Department of Economics Outstanding Undergraduate Instructor Award for teaching this course; one could also consult the Reference Letter from Dr. Clair Smith, who supervised me during this course.