Intermediate Microeconomics with Excel

2012 Workshop: Teaching Economics with Excel

This workshop was held from June 13 - 15, 2012. The original description and schedule are below, after a few comments from participants and photos.


Name Institution
Michael Leonard Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Khawaja Mamun Sacred Heart University
Jadwiga Ziolkowska University of California at Berkeley and Humboldt University of Berlin
Beth Wilson Humboldt State University
Shrawantee Saha College of Saint Benedict | St. John's University
Liping Zheng Drake University
T.J. Devine Illinois College
Ilaria Ossella-Durbal Illinois Wesleyan University
Fiona Maclachlan Manhattan College
VaNee Van Vleck Cal State Fresno
Thomas Creahan Morehead State University
Varghese Manaloor  University of Alberta at Augustana
Clive Chapple University of British Columbia


Comments and Feedback Quoted from Evaluations

The whole workshop was excellent. The content was stimulating, challenging and informative. DePauw was beautiful, comfortable and relaxing. And you were a great host!

You cover a lot – it’s hard to keep up. But I can’t think of anything I would leave out. It’s just an intense, 3-day tour-de-force immersion in economics and Excel.

I really enjoyed it. It provided many useful tools and applications that I will use in some of my future courses. I particularly enjoyed your obvious enthusiasm for the material.

The pace was a bit brutal at times but definitely worth it. This was the most professionally rewarding and relevant event I’ve been to in several years!

I think you did a great job given what is probably a very wide range of levels of familiarity with Excel and various micro-macro concepts. Well done and thanks for sharing your work, knowledge, and enthusiasm!

I thought it was great. It was exactly what I had hoped for. Some of my students are business students and they die with the theory and the math (non-calc) – I think using these examples in class will help them to get it.

My favorite topics were learning to use Solver and using Excel to manipulate matrices. This adds to my knowledge of Excel and so it has become a much more powerful tool for me.

All of the content was worthwhile. I will be able to use bits and pieces from all of it. The delivery was excellent.

There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm that helped sell the importance of these tools and how it can help instruction. I’m excited to try out these methods next semester. This was a great workshop and I’m glad I attended.

Excellent conference that lived up to my expectations. Thanks for covering food and lodging. That simplified everything. I’m excited to take the energy and new tools and apply them in the fall.

A wonderful workshop with great tricks. I’m definitely going to use the knowledge and skills in my research and teaching. The delivery was superb. Bert, you are a passionate teacher and it creates a very pleasant learning atmosphere. The trip to Prindle was great.


Thanks to Mike Leonard for these pix!







I think Mike found another geocache!




Workshop: Teaching Economics with Excel

June 13 - 15, 2012

DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana



While the content of the typical undergraduate Intermediate Microeconomics course has remained stable in recent decades, computers have become more powerful, easier to use, and as common as pencil and paper.  In spite of these developments, teaching methods remain virtually unchanged, with chalk and talk the dominant mode of delivery. This workshop will demonstrate how to utilize computer-based, active learning techniques to teach economics, focusing especially on Intermediate Micro.  By providing real, concrete examples with clear visual feedback, students learn much more economics and acquire sophisticated computer skills.

We will begin with an Excel version of Maddison’s World Economy data, which enables interesting cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons of countries, and then examine a set of 14 Excel-based labs for Introductory Economics. Focus then shifts to the main pedagogical theme of the workshop: using numerical methods to complement conventional, analytical approaches enables much deeper comprehension. Excel’s optimization add-in, Solver, is introduced, followed by the Comparative Statics Wizard. The second day uses Barreto’s Intermediate Microeconomics with Microsoft Excel (Cambridge University Press, 2009) to demonstrate a series of Excel workbooks covering a standard intermediate micro curriculum. The third day includes a variety of topics, including: using simulation to teach stats/metrics; regression with Excel, and an introduction to Visual Basic. Participants will have time to explore content on their own.

Workshop sessions will be held in a computer lab in DePauw’s Julian Science Center.  Participants will learn how to teach with macro-enhanced Excel files in a projection display lecture style and in computer lab environments. A traditional course can be spiced up by occasional use of Excel-based content as examples or homework assignments. This professional development will enable participants to create new course materials and content. Individual lectures, lab components, or entire courses can be reworked and enhanced.

In addition to Barreto’s Intermediate Microeconomics with Microsoft Excel text and files, participants will receive a set of Excel-based computer labs for Introductory Economics along with add-ins for simulation and econometric analyses in Excel. 

Dr. Barreto is interested in using computers (especially Microsoft Excel) to improve the teaching and learning of economics.  He is the Elizabeth P. Allen Distinguished University Professor at DePauw University and author, with Frank M. Howland, of Introductory Econometrics using Monte Carlo Simulation with Microsoft Excel (Cambridge University Press, 2006).He has been a Fulbright Scholar, won several teaching awards, and has presented the materials used in this workshop at many colleges and universities around the world. 

There is no fee to attend the workshop and all meals and lodging are provided by the generous support of the Elizabeth P. Allen funds at DePauw University.  Participants are responsible solely for transportation costs. Space is limited.



Schedule June 2012

Previous workshops:

June 22 - 24, 2011

June 16 - 18, 2010


Express Interest

Email if you have questions or would like further information. Participants will accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. Please contact me if you are interested.