University News

Analytics and Economics Day at WIU Oct. 4

September 25, 2019

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University's Department of Economics and Decision Sciences will host the eighth annual Analytics and Economics Day Friday, Oct. 4 in Stipes Hall, room 121.

The day, which was previously called Economics Day, will begin at 9 a.m. with "Can't Hide Your Lying Eyes," an interactive session on the economics of misreporting and the statistical issues that arise from deception, given by Assistant Professor Jobu Babin and Assistant Professor Haritima Chauhan.

At 10 a.m., "Economics, Climate Change and the Impact on Regional Agriculture" will be hosted by Professor and Environmental Economist Tom Sadler. This session will provide expert insight into potential issues for the region.

At 11 a.m., 1997 WIU alumnus Rich Nelson, chief strategist and director of research for Allendale, Inc., will host a Distinguished Alumni Presentation. Nelson has more than 20 years of experience with Allendale and is responsible for all commodity market analysis, price forecasting and strategy recommendations for the firm. His research is distributed to Allendale's brokers, trading clients and over 2,000 paid subscribers each day. In addition to his regular duties, Nelson has become one of the highest rated commodity consultants in the country. In this role, he advises hedge funds, investment banks and other institutions on their investments in both commodity equities and commodity futures. He is also a licensed futures broker and works with select clients for hedging and trading. Nelson's comments appear regularly on the Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones newswires, on radio and in various print sources.

The day will conclude with a 2 p.m. alumni panel discussion with Lucas Davis '14, MA '15, digital analyst for State Farm (Bloomington, IL); Calvin Friedrich '14, data analytics specialist at Think Small (Minneapolis, MN); James Trudell '99, MA '03, senior economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Chicago); Rachel Wilson '05, associate financial advisor for Parkstone Wealth Advisors (West Des Moines, IA); and Joseph Wilson '04, senior vice president for F.A. Davidson Companies (Des Moines).

All events are open free to students, faculty, staff and community members.

"This is the eighth annual Analytics and Economics Day, and it remains a highlight for our department," said Associate Professor of Economics Jessica Harriger-Lin. "Along with bringing together students and alumni, the day also introduces the fields of economics and analytics to area high school and community college students through the Center for Economic Education's outreach initiatives. Each year, the visiting students participate in hands-on workshops that introduce students to exciting fields, such as game theory and behavioral economics."

For more information about the day's events or the Department of Economics and Decision Sciences, email, call (309) 298-1153 or visit

Posted By: Alisha Looney (
Office of University Communications & Marketing