Student-Focused Faculty

Bard has been recognized as the #1 college in America for Classroom Experience by the Princeton Review, and you will not find an M.S. Policy program anywhere in the world in which students receive more one-on-one focus from distinguished faculty. Unlike in other graduate programs, our master's degree faculty do very little teaching of undergraduates, and they do not advise PhD candidates. They are fully dedicated to our students. Bard's class size is small, with a typical entering cohort of between 15 and 20. Our faculty are passionate teachers, active researchers and practitioners, and active mentors, who work closely with students while they are at Bard and continue to support our alumni after they graduate.

Gautam Sethi

Gautam Sethi

Bard Center for Environmental Policy

B.A., University of Delhi; M.A., Delhi School of Economics; M. Phil., Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, master's thesis on the conflicts between utilitarianism and libertarianism; Fellow, University of Texas, Austin; Ph. D., University of California, Berkeley (Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award). Professor Sethi's research at the University of California, Berkeley, was focused on developing mathematical models and rules of fishery policy under uncertainty. While his initial post-doctoral work continued with this theme, he has since moved away from fisheries research to other areas. Current research involves two projects that are based on the socio-ecological synthesis (SES) framework. One of these is a collaborative exercise with Mary Blair, an ecologist at the Center for Biodiversity Conservation, New York, and anthropologists at Vietnam National University, Hanoi, is an attempt to identify the drivers of slow loris hunting in Vietnam. In addition, He is working with Amy Krakowka Richmond from the United States Military Academy at West Point to develop a household level index of vulnerability in order to identify various stressors that adversely impact household well being in East Africa, with an initial focus on Uganda, specifically focusing on water scarcity as a major stressor in order to develop cogent policy solutions to mitigate, and perhaps reverse, current trends.

As an economist and a statistician, Professor Sethi places very strong emphasis on conveying the core conceptual ideas of both these disciplines in simple terms. While there are a number of excellent papers and textbooks that explain economic concepts well, the lack of a statistics textbook that delves deeper into statistical ideas has spurred him to write one of my own. The textbook he is developing differentiates itself from existing books in that it develops a common frame for testing all hypotheses, explains the relationship between various distributions which allows students to logically deduce the appropriate statistical test for their research design, explains what estimators are and how to choose among them, and develops the connection between the Pythagorean theorem, the law of cosines, and methods such as ANOVA and regression, thereby showing deep connections among geometry, trigonometry, and statistics.

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