Nobel Laureate Vernon L. Smith of Chapman University to Speak at Nicholas Academic Centers’ “Visiting Scholar Series”

The World-Renowned Economist and His Colleague Bart Wilson, Ph.D., Will Address Santa Ana High School Students in the Program’s First 2011 Lecture

Chapman University Professor Vernon L. Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics. (Photo: Business Wire)

College & University Pressroom

ORANGE, Calif.--()--Nobel laureate Vernon L. Smith, Ph.D., and his colleague, Bart Wilson, Ph.D., of Chapman University’s Economic Science Institute will be the first speakers in the 2011 segment of the Nicholas Academic Centers’ “Visiting Scholar Series” on Saturday, January 29 (from 9 a.m. to noon in the Centers’ Annex at 313 North Birch Street, 2nd floor, in downtown Santa Ana). The series is designed to introduce high school students from underserved communities in Santa Ana to a college academic environment, while strengthening ties with highly respected local universities.

Dr. Smith, known as the “founding father of economic science,” will discuss the basic tenets of the discipline he founded and for which he was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics. Economic science – also known as experimental economics -- uses laboratory experiments to research why markets and other exchange systems work the way they do. Dr. Wilson will assist Dr. Smith in carrying out sample experiments with the students, using the Economic Science Institute’s portable laboratory.

“Dr. Wilson and I are delighted to have the opportunity to speak about experimental economics with the students of the Nicholas Academic Centers,” said Dr. Smith. “A basic understanding of economic science can help students better grasp the complexities of human behavior in the marketplace. We will introduce them to how markets and exchanges happen in the real world, and bring this to life for them as they participate in actual experiments.”

“We are honored to have someone of Vernon Smith’s intellect and stature share his insights with our students,” said Dr. Henry Nicholas, Co-Founder and former CEO of Broadcom Corp., who partnered in 2007 with retired Superior Court Judge Jack Mandel to establish the Nicholas Academic Centers. “Hearing how he founded a new field of study will make students realize they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. We want to challenge NAC students to set ambitious goals, and then push themselves to achieve these goals.”

“We are excited for our students to be able to listen, talk to, and learn from a Nobel Prize winner,” said Corina A. Espinoza, the Centers’ Executive Director. “And, we look forward to other inspiring lectures from distinguished Chapman University faculty as the year progresses.”

In the first segment of lectures from last September though the end of the year, NAC students heard Chapman professors discuss a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from the origins of mathematics to indigenous cultures. The university has committed to continuing the series in 2011, beginning with the appearance by Drs. Smith and Wilson.

About the Speakers

Vernon L. Smith, Ph.D. was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics. He is a professor in Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics and School of Law and is a member of the Economic Science Institute at Chapman. He is the president of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics, which he founded in 1997. Born in Kansas in 1927, Dr. Smith completed his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, his master's degree in economics at the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University.

Bart Wilson, Ph.D. has joint appointments with Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics and the School of Law. His broad fields of specialty are industrial organization and experimental economics. He is currently pursuing research on the foundations of exchange and specialization and the origins of property right systems in laboratory economies. His other research programs apply the experimental method to topics in gasoline markets, e-commerce, electric power deregulation and antitrust. Dr. Wilson is a member of the Economic Science Institute at Chapman.

About the Nicholas Academic Centers

Located in downtown Santa Ana and on the campus of Valley High School, the Nicholas Academic Centers serve hundreds of Santa Ana Unified School District students on a daily basis throughout the school year and summer, providing them with tutoring, social support, and individual college guidance. The NAC staff works closely with school principals, teachers and guidance counselors, as well as with students’ families and community leaders. The Centers are funded by the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation and modeled on the tutoring and mentoring program Judge Mandel started before retiring from the bench. Become a fan of the Nicholas Academic Centers on Facebook.

About Chapman University

Chapman University, founded in 1861 and celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2011, is one of the oldest, most prestigious private universities in California. Chapman’s picturesque campus is located in the heart of Orange County – one of the nation’s most exciting centers of arts, business, science and technology – and draws outstanding students from across the United States and around the world. Known for its blend of liberal arts and professional programs, Chapman University encompasses seven schools and colleges: Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences, George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics, Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Schmid College of Science, College of Performing Arts, School of Law and College of Educational Studies. Named to the list of top universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review, Chapman University enrolls more than 6,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students. More information: Facebook:

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Chapman University
Mary Platt, 714-628-7271

Release Summary

The “Founding Father of Economic Science” will address high school students from Santa Ana, CA., in the program's first 2011 lecture, designed to introduce them to a college academic environment.


Chapman University
Mary Platt, 714-628-7271