New ASE Success: Brice Gueyap heading to Penn State University
With a Master's Degree in Mathematics, Economics and Statistics from the African School of Economics (ASE) from the Class of 2016, Brice Gueyap is one of five former students of ASE who have received the opportunity to pursue a PhD in a North American University. Here is his biography.
A native of Melong in Cameroon born in 1989, Brice is en route to Penn State University, following his classmates who recently gained admission to Princeton, NYU, Illinois and Ottawa. Brice was spoiled for choice as three universities looked favorably upon his application: Pennsylvania State University, Georgia State University, and Simon Fraser. "Honestly, it was not easy for me. I was interested in all three offers. I chose Penn State University, mainly because of the diversity and richness of the research conducted by the faculty. That was really what interested me, theoretical econometrics. "
Prior to joining ASE, Brice received a degree in Mathematics at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Yaoundé in 2014. That year he was admitted to ASE, a Pan-African university based in Benin.
Since September 2016, he has worked as a research assistant at the ASE on two research projects, "Examining the impact and cost-effectiveness of additional girls-centered mathematics courses", sponsored by MIT’s Jameel Abdul Latif Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and "Evaluation of the impact of the promotion of girls' education in Benin: a natural experiment", sponsored by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).
Brice also works as a teaching assistant at ASE for Advanced Game Theory and Mathematical Statistics courses. Brice says, "ASE is doing what many universities in Africa do not do: providing students with an English-language education of international standing, and promoting skill-building through the work-study program, and research activities, all of which have enabled us to enter American universities”.
One-to-ones Session: The 3rd WhatsApp Experience Sharing Session
April 8, 2017. The African School of Economics community once again organized its 3rd one-to-ones chat session, a forum for students to interact with a researcher via WhatsApp.
The guest was Louphou Coulibaly, a 4th year PhD candidate from the University of Montreal in Canada. The conversations between ASE students and Mr. Coulibaly revolved around macroeconomic theory topics including business cycles, monetary policy, macroeconomic effects of financial crises, and optional financial regulation, which are Mr. Coulibaly’s areas of interest.
According to Mr. Coulibaly, doing a PhD in Economics is the best way to learn more about economics and thus be able to participate in the development of students’ respective countries. ASE students also gained insights from him about the best way to proceed when writing a Master thesis in Economics. He said that first, students need to be involved in and love what they want to do as researchers. Next, they should find the field in which they are interested, then find a supervisor, and finally choose a relevant research question. Mr. Coulibaly’s experience sharing and contributions were very helpful to students. At the end of the session, Mr. Coulibaly said that what was achieved through this chat session was very great and that he expects to have another opportunity to interact with ASE students.
These sessions are an initiative of Simplice Adjisse, an ASE pre-doctoral fellow and moderator of the event. Further WhatsApp discussions are yet to be organized, and students are looking forward to the next guest.
Academic Research Seminar on reporting in the Boko Haram crisis
On March 21th, 2017, the African School of Economics (ASE) received at its weekly Academic Research Seminar Alex Dobyan, current Princeton-in-Africa fellow at ASE. His topic was: Who sells the truth? A case study of reporting in the Boko Haram crisis. Alex explained the manipulation of information in the media with the effect of creating an environment of uncertainty and mistrust among the Nigerian population.
For example, he showed for the same period and the same attack, very varied figures in the newspapers: from 30 to 300 victims. In this context of manipulation, populations unable to identify credible sources and are suspicious of government sources.
Going further, Mr. Dobyan reports that in case of defeat on the ground, the actors in conflicts invent statistics and give information that suits them. According to the researcher, this information failure is hampering the Nigerian government from getting more support from the affected population to ultimately defeat Boko Haram.
ASE Data Science Community
Four ASE students, Ibrahim Lanignan, Luc Zanmenou, Salman Abibou, and Wilfried Adohinzin, have launched the new Data Science Community for African School of Economics students. This community aims to unite students around the common purpose of learning how to collect and analyze data using the latest software.
During the first session, which took place on Saturday, February 25th, community members presented their experiences in data collection and analysis, and spent some time getting to know one another. The group hopes to create opportunities for students to collaborate on coding and share research ideas.
The group plans to focus on using two software programs: STATA, with Ibrahim as moderator, and R, with Wilfried as moderator.
The community plans to meet weekly for discussions on topics related to data science and student-led training in software programming.
One to Ones WhatsApp Session: sharing experiences on an international level
The event took place on Thursday, March 16 under the leadership of Simplice Adjissè, a pre-doctoral fellow at ASE. The aim of the session is to share experiences, via WhatsApp, between ASE students and a specialist in a particular field, regardless of the country in which they reside. This time the guest was Abhit Bhandari, PhD student at Columbia University.
A number of ASE students exchanged questions and views with Mr. Bhandari. The discussions revolved around research. At the end of the conversation, Abhit Bhandari said that, "ASE students are well prepared to enter doctoral programs in the United States." This is highlighted, according to him "by the strong contingent of students who have been accepted at Princeton, New York University, Ottawa, etc." The guest also mentioned that it would be "worth highlighting the quantitative training received by students at ASE, stressing the strength of the School in the field of research, especially quantitative research".
The One to Ones Session is an idea of the student Simplice Adjissè who has been working on the success of this event since February 2016. Ten guests from the universities of Princeton, Stanford, Ottawa, Columbia etc. have already interacted with the students.
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