Of root causes and digital trade-offs - The University of Tulsa
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Of root causes and digital trade-offs

Each year, many TU students collaborate with their professors on research projects. Some of those endeavors result in publications. Here are two from the worlds of finance and computer science.

Locating root causes

Finance major Samuel Devore is capping off his final semester at TU with the acceptance by Economics Bulletin of an essay he co-authored with Chapman Associate Professor of Finance Eric Olson. Entitled “The Surprising Stability between Gas Prices and Expected Inflation,” their article examines the correlation between nominal gas prices and inflation expectations.

young man smiling, wearing glasses and a grey blazer
Samuel Devore

Using data from the mid-1980s through the present, Devore and Olson did not find evidence that the relationship is time varying. “Instead,” they explained, “our results suggest that the correlation between gas prices and inflation expectations is stable at approximately 0.30.” The duo’s results contribute to the vast literature regarding energy prices and the Phillip’s curve: “We found very little evidence that the changing relationship between energy prices and inflation expectations has had any impact on the Phillip’s curve or the missing inflation after the recession in 2008.”

Olson and Devore met in fall 2019, when Devore was enrolled in Finance 3003: Business Finance. “It has been a privilege to work alongside Professor Olson for the past year,” said Devore. “My undergraduate research experience has taught me that just because something appears to be true on the surface does not make it so. Finding the root cause of what we observe can be an arduous process, but the ability to do so effectively is a valuable skill that is applicable to any career path or personal endeavor.”

For Olson’s part, he noted that “it has been a joy to work with Sam on our publication. He is a promising young scholar with a bright future.” After he completes his studies at TU, Devore is looking forward to attending the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and pursuing a call to pastoral ministry.

Digital trade-offs

The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – known by most simply as CHI – has awarded Honorable Mention to a team of TU researchers comprising a professor and three students for their paper “Trade-offs for Substituting a Human with an Agent in a Pair Programming Context: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” This award is notable given that only a maximum of 5% of submissions are chosen to be honored.

Three students
Bali Ong, Peter Robe, Kate Kwasny

The authors of this paper are Assistant Professor of Computer Science Sandeep Kuttal and three students: Kate Kwasny, Bali Ong and Peter Robe. Kwasyn and Ong are majoring in computer simulation and gaming development, while Robe is completing his doctorate in computer science.

The authors will present their research paper in May at the virtual CHI conference, which was originally scheduled to be held in Yokohama, Japan. It will also be published in the ACM digital library.

“I was fortunate to have three such outstanding students collaborating with me on this project,” remarked Kuttal. “Kate and Bali were instrumental in helping me analyze the data as well as write the paper, while Peter applied his expertise to the data analysis. I am thankful to TU for providing funding opportunities for research that allowed me and my students to work on exciting research problems that are also recognized by the research community.”

The Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge is a great way to get involved in exciting research projects while you’re at TU. Learn more today!