President's Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student
Camilo Rubbini, Economics
Dissertation Title: Essays on the Economics of Innovation and Patent Licensing
Can you tell us, in general terms, about your research?
My research focuses on the Economics of Innovation. I am currently analyzing the effect of alternative market structures on optimal licensing contracts, incentives to innovate, adoption of new technologies and, welfare. I am especially interested in understanding innovation in the digital economy, particularly regarding educational and teaching technologies.
What excites you about your work? What energizes you?
Every day, I have the chance to interact with a community of diverse and intellectually inspiring people from all over the world. I enjoy exchanging ideas with students and faculty, understanding their viewpoints and challenging my own. I see in teaching, a great opportunity to express myself, to communicate the things I am passionate about and, to have a positive influence. I also find teaching to be the most rewarding way to learn. I do not see myself working outside higher education.
How has your time at Stony Brook helped equip you for success?
Ever since I arrived, I found a very open community which offered me many resources for professional development. As PhD student I had the opportunity to discuss my research progress with leading researchers in the field, and to develop and teach new undergraduate courses. The Center for Game Theory provided me with the chance to develop my administrative skills. Finally, the Graduate Student Organization and the University Senate allowed me to actively engage in university service and shared governance.
What advice would you offer to new teachers finding their voice in the classroom?
A teacher once told me to be very sensitive to students goals. Students take our classes for many different reasons. Some students are interested in what we teach, some may be required to take our classes. Some students are grade oriented, while some may just want an easy class to pass. Rather than judging these reasons, we should acknowledge them as valid and use them to motivate students to learn. To succeed as instructors, we must understand and respect our students goals, work hard to help them achieve those goals, and be genuinely enthusiastic about what we teach.