First Year Experience, The Innovation Economy, Fall 2022

In this first year experience (FYE) course, students will explore the entrepreneurial frontier where innovative technology transforms the market economy. We - a mathematician (me), an economist (Prof. Freeman), and an entrepreneurship scholar (Prof. Chowdhury) - examine with our students how economic growth is driven as much by processes of trial and error as by design. Government investment in national goals enables the discovery of new knowledge and fuels the innovation process for the betterment of humanity, providing the building blocks of new technologies. Nevertheless, it is the downstream experiments in exploiting novel technologies and processes by private sector actors that bring them to customers and other end-users. Financial bubbles and speculative investment amplify the impact of innovations and accelerate their impact.

Students will explore the development of different technologies and innovations, from vaccines to cryptocurrencies to the internet, including through guest lectures. They will work on a group project which allows them to trace the development of a current technology and discuss its potential for future growth.

The details of our FYE are posted to Wheaton onCourse.