PhD in Economics

Jian Song, 2021

Jian Song

What made you interested in studying economics?

I gained my bachelor degree in mathematics at Shandong University, China.

Mathematics is a very fundamental subject and it is very helpful to study other subjects. I enjoy the fun learning math, but later I found it’s very abstract to our daily lives so I began to think about transferring my major to some practical subjects. In Summer of 2015, I happened to take a graduate level economics class and got a first sip of experimental economics. Then, I found myself more and more interested in that area, not only because of the usage of my mathematical knowledge but also the surprise that experiment’s capacity to solve economics problems. After that class I decide to re-focus my academic attention to economic field. Now I’m doing research on contest theory, investigating how random shocks can affect people’s behavior when they compete each other.

What have you enjoyed about studying economics at Mason?

Mason has very energetic and diversified academic atmosphere. Here I can meet with scholars from all over the world, talking and sharing ideas. The most enjoyable thing for me is the weekly seminar in ICES, which I can know the latest research topics and get the advice and cooperation opportunities from the speakers.

What kinds of opportunities have been available to you while being at Mason?

I really appreciate the opportunity to work tightly with the faculty in Mason. The faculty here gave me huge support on my research. Also, I appreciate the opportunities that being on research assistant and co-instructor in Mason, that develop my abilities on conducting experiments and teaching economic classes.

What do you like about Mason/the university?

I enjoy the diversity of the campus which allows me get taste of different cultures. And the convenient location, which provides a lot of opportunities for attending conference and seminars.