Lutz Hendricks. UNC. Department of Economics

Tips for PhD Students

How To Study

I am often asked: how can I study more effectively for your class? How can I understand the material better?
I don't have a good answer. Effective learning techniques vary from person to person.
Here are some things that worked for me:
  1. Read a lot. I tried to get my hands on several texts for each model covered in class. You only realize what you did not understand when you see it presented in different ways.
  2. Write. I rewrote all the class notes for two reasons:
    1. It keeps things organized. (Back in the day we did not have transparencies that could be distributed as pdf files.)
    2. It forces you to go over each step and fill in the missing details.
More obvious tips:
  1. Do lots of problems. Don't look at the answers until you get stuck.
  2. Ask questions early.

Working With Data

  1. Often the easiest way to make sure everything is correct is to create a test dataset. That way all the expected results your code should generate are known.

Computational Issues

  1. Some notes on running code on UNC's Kure cluster.
  2. Notes on writing solid code.
  3. Write your code so that you can go from raw data to final results without any manual intervention. You should be able to erase everything you have computed and recreate it on autopilot.