The Idea Night Lineup

Reservations for next Thursday's Idea Night dinner are open and filling quickly. Visit the Athenaeum's website to reserve your spot now. So without further ado, here are the speakers who will be competing in this year’s Forum Idea Night:

  • Everything You Learned In Finance Class is BullS%$@, Kevin Burke: Introductory finance classes present several ideas about risk and return that are treated as gospel. The ideas and models taught in finance class are interesting as theoretical exercises, but but do real financial assets behave according to the predictions of the models? I will show that most models taught in finance classes, including beta and the CAPM, lead to suboptimal real returns. I will present an alternative model based on cognitive psychology and human bias. I will also discuss some of the disastrous consequences that can result from using incorrect mathematical models, and take a look at whether finance teachers actually practice what they preach in their own investment portfolios.
  • The J-Term, Zac Robin: The traditional semester calendar is outdated.  For a campus so close to LA, Claremont feels far too isolated.  What could be more of an appropriate addition to a school that emphasizes leadership in careers beyond the typical liberal arts college, than a month of educational opportunities beyond the classroom?  Imagine the fresh excitement of the first week of the semester extended to an entire month.  Then add on the potential experiences relative to the real world and your individual passions that you do not have enough time to fulfill during the school year.  Williams, Middlebury, MIT and the Harvard Business School are all using the January mini-term already, but New England does not have the winter sunshine that we have in Southern California!  It is time CMC takes its next step forward: adopt the 4-1-4 academic system and instate a "J-term.
  • Tailoring: Past, Present, and Future, Connor Barclay: You get dressed every morning, yet how much do you know about what you're putting on? How was it designed? How was it produced? Why did you choose to buy it? Were those the right reasons? Come to the Ath for Idea Night and get ready for a taste of tantalizing tailoring tutelage. Equal parts art, science, and business, the production and consumption of clothing is an often overlooked subject matter that serves as everything from an anthropological record of society's values to an exploration in optical trickery. No measuring tapes required.
  • Rethinking Defense Resources:  A More Efficient Allocation, Jesse Blumenthal: This talk will be a critical analysis of current uses of American defense resources.  Since World War II, spending on defense resources has skyrocketed, leading some to label this phenomenon the "Military-Industrial Complex."  Given such enormous powers, a large degree of deliberation about defense use is necessary.  This talk presents an alternate perspective on the effective uses of U.S. military strength.