The basic tenets of my teaching philosophy are that:

  1. Exposure to diverse and complex (liberal arts) ideas is essential for true learning and development of critical thinking skills;
  2. Analytical skills, whether based on conceptual models or specific mathematical or computational tools, complement this exposure by empowering new modes of synthesis and organization of information; and
  3. The primary goals of the instructor should be to motivate and challenge students, by making such models and ideas accessible and interesting.

The design of the courses I teach at Duke, whether undergraduate or graduate, required or electives, and the advising I provide to students, reflect these tenets. I aim to create courses that are challenging for even the best or most invested students (in part by assigning work that allows students ample space for exploration rather than being simply technical), knowing that this makes the work uncomfortably difficult for many. Below I describe in additional detail the courses I teach for the Duke Global Health Institute and the Sanford School of Public Policy.

I teach the following courses at Duke: