Todd Lensman: ‘Through my mathematics classes, I learned how to think critically’

Todd Lensman 

Economics & Mathematics 

North Canton, OH 

What are the most valuable skills you gained from your Arts & Sciences education?

Through my mathematics classes, I learned how to think critically and rigorously about a problem and to use any information at hand to derive solutions. My economics classes, and in particular my experience working on research with Professor Maxim Troshkin, showed me how to apply these skills to socially-relevant questions. The methodologies of these two fields have had a strong influence on how I think, and I am confident that this will prove helpful as I pursue further research in economics.

What is your main extracurricular activity — why is it important to you?

Outside of classes, I’ve spent much of my time working on theoretical research in public finance with Professor Maxim Troshkin. I am very passionate about economic research – there are few things I find more engaging than thinking about models and using mathematical tools to derive economically-interpretable results. Because of this, I have found working on research to be extremely rewarding. This experience has also inspired me to pursue graduate study in economics, and I’m sure that the lessons I’ve learned while working on research at Cornell will prove helpful in graduate school and in my career thereafter.

What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of, either inside the classroom or otherwise?

I’m most proud not of any particular achievement, but of my general intellectual growth over the past four years: When I arrived at Cornell, I was very interested in economics and mathematics, but I didn’t particularly know much about either field. Through classes and research, I have discovered more about these subjects than I could have imagined, and I will soon leave Cornell having learned how to think analytically and how to apply tools from economics and mathematics to a variety of research questions.

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