Nobel laureate to give public lecture on financial innovation

Wed, 02/06/2013

Contact

Austin Falley
School of Business
785-864-3852

LAWRENCE — Nobel laureate and financial economist Robert Merton will present "A Next-Generation Solution for Funding Retirement: A Case Study in Design and Implementation of Financial Innovation" at 1 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Dole Institute of Politics.

Merton received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1997 for his work on the Black-Scholes-Merton model for pricing options. This model remains one of the best ways to determine the value of derivative securities, and it is considered one of the most important concepts in modern financial theory.

During his visit, Merton will meet with university officials, School of Business finance faculty, students and advisory board members. His presentation will include comments by KU alumnus David Booth.

Merton has held academic appointments at Harvard Business School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he currently teaches finance at the Sloan School of Management.

Merton has received numerous honorary degrees for his academic work, including honors from the University of Chicago and Harvard University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering mathematics from Columbia University, master’s degree in applied mathematics from California Institute of Technology and a doctorate in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Merton’s lecture is part of the Bold Aspirations Visitor and Lecture Series, which highlights eminent visitors and KU scholars related to the four strategic initiative themes in KU’s strategic plan, Bold Aspirations. Merton’s lecture is most closely related to the strategic theme “Harnessing information, multiplying knowledge.” Past lecturers include KU alumnus Sir Robert Worcester and Eula Bliss, author of KU’s first Common Book.

“Robert C. Merton is among the world’s most important and influential financial economists,” said Jeffrey Vitter, KU provost and executive vice chancellor. “We are delighted that he’ll be visiting KU, and we look forward to learning from him.”

The lecture is free and open to the public, but space is limited.

Merton’s autobiography and curriculum vitae are available online. The lecture will be live-streamed by KUJH-TV and available to view on the School of Business website. Media are invited to attend.



This past week, new Jayhawks moved in and started their first semester at KU. Madisen Pool, a freshman in computer engineering, captured one of his first sunrises on the Hill. With a fresh start, and a feeling of accomplishment for starting college, Pool thought this view was a great reminder to enjoy life. We asked Pool what his advice would be to his fellow new Jayhawks and he said, "make your time here at the university memorable. Have fun, do something you’ve always wanted to do, meet new people, and most importantly get the most out of your experience and shape your life the way you want it to be. Rock Chalk!" We couldn't agree more. Rock Chalk, Madisen! Show us your new experiences with the hashtag, #exploreKU.

KU student tricks monkey flower into growing protective ‘hair’ Thanks to a KU Undergraduate Research Award (see more at http://ugresearch.ku.edu/student/fund/ugra), Sukhindervir Sandhu, a KU junior in biochemistry, figured out which genetic button to push to get a monkey flower, or Mimulus guttatus, to grow protective trichomes, or plant hair. Sandhu was able to track it down to a gene called SKP-1. By silencing SKP-1, he discovered that gene regulates plant hair growth in monkey flowers.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times