Teaching

Teaching Interests:  Microeconomics, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, International Economics, Development Economics, Behavioral Economics, Econometrics. 

The pictures above are from my lecture on the economics of the recent "#FightForFifteen" movement---the movement to raise minimum wages, as I present it in my Principles of Microeconomics class. I get a terrific kick out of this lecture for two reasons. First, the lecture allows me to demonstrate the power of the economist's toolbox in addressing a current social debate. Second, at the heart of the lecture lies the statement by Dr. Paul Samuelson that got me hooked on to studying economics in the first place (please see my bio for details). [Photo Credit: Seth Warren]

  • My core philosophy as a teacher is to help students take economics beyond the classroom.
  • A comment from a student from the last class I taught is the perfect summary of my broad teaching goals:

“The course engenders an invaluable emphasis on critical thought as it pertains to choice on a broad and diverse scale. The instructor incisively fosters an analytical approach to real world issues often diluted with sensationalism and gilded in rhetoric. The course cultivates an emphasis on practical, fact based decision making at a time when it is desperately needed.” 

-          (A student’s comment in evaluations of Principles of Microeconomics, Summer 2016)

Teaching Experience:

Assistant Professor                                                                          August 2017 - Present

Department of Economics, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA   

  •       Environmental Economic Literacy (ECON 203), Fall 2017 
  •          Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 202), Fall 2017, Spring 2018
  •       Environmental Economics (Econ 301), Spring 2018 

Instructor of Record                                                                         June 2015 - May 2017

Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY                      

  •          Environmental Economics (ECON 4400), Spring 2017
  •          Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 1020) 
    • Fall, 2016, Summer 2016, Spring 2016, Summer 2015

Visiting Faculty, Economics and Statistics                                    October 2011 – July 2013

BIMS, Burdwan, India

  •  Statistics, and Principles of Economics, B.B.A program (undergraduate-level courses)
  •  Statistics, M.Sc Biotech program (graduate-level course)

Graduate Teaching Fellow                                                                September 2009 – March 2011

Department of Economics, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR                                           

  •         Contemporary Economic Issues (Discussion Sections, Grading, Office Hours)
  •         Introduction to Economic Analysis: Microeconomics (Discussion Sections, Office hours)
  •         Intermediate Micro (Grading, Office Hours)
  •         Intermediate Macro (Grading, Office Hours)

Guest Faculty                                                                                       June 2008 – July 2009

Department of Economics, Raj College, University of Burdwan, Burdwan, WB, India

Undergraduate Economics Major program:

  • History of Indian Economic Development (1st-year undergraduate course)
  • Mathematical Economics and Statistics (2nd-year undergraduate course)
  • International Economics and Institutional Development (3rd-year undergraduate course)

Undergraduate Economics Minor program:

  •  Principles of Economics

Below is a sample of student comments in teaching evaluations: 

Professor Rik is an incredible teacher. I could tell just how passionate he is about economics. His wittiness and ability to express the value of economics kept a three hour class interesting. He was fast at responding to any questions on email, and made sure we understood the concept thoroughly. His office hours were at a great time and very useful. I also like how he was professional and used all the time given to him to teach and talk about further economics outside of just memorization. He applied it to the real world and TED talks. The only thing I think he could potentially work on is pausing and asking students if they have a question or comment when they make noise or stretch. Sometimes a student needs to collaborate with a peer in order to understand something that has already been said to the class. It takes more time and cuts the lecture into choppy pieces. Just ignore them and keep teaching unless they are being disruptive to the class. I would still recommend this teacher 10/10 to anyone else and can't wait to see where his research and teaching takes him.

- (A Student's comment in evaluations of Principles of Microeconomics, Summer 2015)

Rik is one of the most amazing professors I've ever been taught by. His teaching style is unmatched and his relationship with his students is something I've never witnessed before. I wish I had comments to help him better his course, but it's already so great. I was very interested in a lot of his real world examples and could barely even tell that English wasn't his first language due to his superior linguistics. If any of my friends ever tell me they're thinking about taking a microeconomics course, I will without a doubt push them to take it with Rik.

                    - (A Student's comment in evaluations of Principles of Microeconomics, Spring 2016)

Rik is amusing and relatable. He enjoys teaching his students, and that is one of his high points. He's one of the best instructors I have yet encountered at this University. 

                     - (A Student's comment in evaluations of Principles of Microeconomics, Spring 2016)

This class was very educational and fun; I learned a great deal of information, and found Rik's teaching to be exceptional. As a future educator, I hope to be as prepared and knowledgable about my subject area as Rik is. 

                     - (A Student's comment in evaluations of Principles of Microeconomics, Spring 2016)

“Professor Chakraborti is by far one of the most engaged professors in and out of the classroom. He has held up to his word numerous of times for having extended and more office hours to ensure students succeed in his course. What I respect most is his dedication in changing up the examples from the book, not having to teach what the book has to say. He has made the course understandable in many of ways, which college students can relate to. He encourages, promotes, and successfully engages student conversation across the entire class. His enthusiasm is what keeps me interested. On the second day of class, not only was he able to remember my first and last name, but also my hobbies, interests, major, and courses I've previously taken. His commitment is beyond what is ever expected from a professor. If this isn't a professor a University seeks to employ long-term, then I'll be damned to know what is. Although I may get a C in the course, that is on me, not his teaching. Any negative comments or ratings of this course, indicates that the student didn't show up to class, nor ever put forth any effort. Thank you Professor Chakraborti for the great semester, hope this positive externality does some good for you, because you've earned it.”
 

                      - (A student’s comment in evaluations of Principles of Microeconomics, Spring 2016)

Rik is honestly one of the most engaging teachers I’ve ever had and definitely cares about how his students are learning. By our second class he had actually memorized all 100 names in our class which I think really does go to show his dedication not only to his job but also the interest he takes in his students”

                      - (A student’s comment in evaluations of Principles of Microeconomics, Fall 2017)

Dr. C is a literal treasure. He obviously loves economics and that translates in everyone of his lectures. He does and exceptional job of showing how economic models translate into solving real world problems. He took economics, a typically dull class, and made it into something fun. An overall exceptional professor.”

                      - (A student’s comment in evaluations of Principles of Microeconomics, Fall 2017)

Economics is a tough subject for me to understand but Professor Chakraborti does a fantastic job of teaching it. I appreciate how passionate and enthusiastic he is when he teaches. It makes the material so much more interesting and I actually feel like I am taking life skills out of this class.”

                      - (A student’s comment in evaluations of Principles of Microeconomics, Fall 2017)

Professor Rik Chakraborti is by far the best professor I have had at during my time at CNU. The problem with modern education is we are constantly fed the answers for problems. If you don’t get something, the professor will tell you. Rik makes you think. Even when you think you’ve thought of every possible answer and still get it wrong, Rik want’s you to try again. Rik is a professor is really interested in his students and their success. 10/10 love this
guy.”

                      - (A student’s comment in evaluations of Environmental Economic Literacy, Fall 2017)

Dr. Chakraborti is an awesome professor who obviously cares about his students having an actually understanding of the material not just memorizing facts. He is very patient when explaining confusing material to students and will utilize different methods of explanation to ensure their understanding. Very passionate and knowledgeable in the subject and that translates into his lectures. Students understanding and success is obviously his highest priority. Highly recommend.”

                      - (A student’s comment in evaluations of Environmental Economic Literacy, Fall 2017)