ESP Biography



ZOE THORKILDSEN, Recent graduate of University of Maryland




Major: Not available.

College/Employer: CNA

Year of Graduation: Not available.

Picture of Zoe Thorkildsen

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I graduated in 2007 from my undergraduate university with degrees in psychology, economics, and mathematics. From there, I migrated to University of Maryland, from which I just graduated with an MA in economics. I love teaching bright and motivated students about pretty much everything.

I'm very excited to have recently gained employment (!) with a not-for-profit company doing exciting research in the Washington DC area.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Introduction to Game Theory in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
Come and meet Rose and Colin in a brief introduction to the field of game theory. You will learn how to read a payoff matrix for a non-zero sum game, how to find the Nash Equilibrium, and how game theory has been applied to real life. We will also simulate and discuss some of the more famous games: Prisoner’s Dilemma, Chicken, Battles of the Sexes, Stag Hunt, and more. If time permits, we will also discuss how game theory is used to model real life situations, and create our own models for a few recent international or domestic scenarios.


Introduction to Symbolic Logic and Proofs in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
This class is all about the foundations of proving statements. We'll start with the underlying theory behind proofs (symbolic logic) and then take some time to prove a few simple theorems from number theory.


Market Economics: Supply and Demand in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
You hear about supply and demand on the news all the time, but what do they really mean? And are the newscasters even using the words correctly? (Answer: sometimes.) Learn about Adam Smith’s theory of the invisible hand, and about how markets reach equilibrium. We will also discuss elasticity of demand and supply and what implications they have for buyers and sellers in a market. Any remaining time will be open for questions about economics in general.


Introduction to Regression Analysis in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
Regression analysis is a statistical method that allows researchers to explore relationships between dependent and independent variables. These could range from the relationship between SAT scores and college admissions, or between natural resource abundance and likelihood of civil war. Far more than a simple correlation coefficient, regression analysis allows much more detailed and informative analysis. In this course, we’ll touch on research methods, basic statistics, conceptual mathematics, econometrics, and the study of social issues. You’ll get to participate in a mini-research project using statistical software to analyze some real world data using regression techniques. We will move fast, be prepared.


Market Economics: Supply and Demand in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
You hear about supply and demand on the news all the time, but what do they really mean? And are the newscasters even using the words correctly? (Answer: sometimes.) Learn about Adam Smith’s theory of the invisible hand, and about how markets reach equilibrium. We will also discuss elasticity of demand and supply and what implications they have for buyers and sellers in a market. From there, we will explore consumer and producer theory, as interest dictates. No previous knowledge of economics is required.


Regression Analysis in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
Regression analysis is a statistical method that allows researchers to explore relationships between dependent and independent variables. These could range from the relationship between SAT scores and college admissions, or between natural resource abundance and likelihood of civil war. Far more than a simple correlation coefficient, regression analysis allows much more detailed and informative analysis. In this course, we’ll touch on research methods, basic statistics, conceptual mathematics, econometrics, and the study of social issues. You’ll get to participate in a mini-research project using statistical software to analyze some real world data using regression techniques.


What is Economics, Really? (Microeconomics) in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
When most people think of economics, they think of checkbooks, interest rates, credit cards, and the Fed. In fact, economics is the study of human behavior, faced with constraints. In this course, we will briefly discuss recent research published in economics journals, and expand your knowledge of what economists really do with their lives.


Market Economics: Supply and Demand in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
You hear about supply and demand on the news all the time, but what do they really mean? And are the newscasters even using the words correctly? (Answer: sometimes.) Learn about Adam Smith’s theory of the invisible hand, and about how markets reach equilibrium. We will also discuss elasticity of demand and supply and what implications they have for buyers and sellers in a market. From there, we will explore consumer and producer theory, as interest dictates. No previous knowledge of economics is required.


What is Economics, Really? in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Many people believe that economics is "money stuff". While that is, in part, true, economists study happenings and patterns in many areas of life. These vary from education, to sports, to physical fitness, to decision making, to why San Francisco has a high population of GLBTetc persons. In this session, we'll investigate a few recent and very interesting publications in various economic journals. There will be ample time for discussion and debate of the results of the papers, as well as their place in economics.


Introduction to Symbolic Logic and Proofs in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Learn the underlying properties of logical proofs, used by mathematicians the world over to prove new theorems. We will start by introducing and mathematically defining “and” “or” “not” and “implies” and then we will discuss how to use these ideas to construct simple truth tables to establish equivalence. Once we have tackled these fairly simple tasks, we will construct proofs. We'll start with simple propositions but then begin proving the underlying principles of number theory at the end of the lesson. If you’ve ever asked your teacher “But why does multiplying by a negative number reverse the inequality?”, this is the class for you.


Game Theory in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Come and meet Rose and Colin in a brief introduction to the field of game theory. You will learn how to read a payoff matrix for a non-zero sum game, how to find the Nash Equilibrium, and how game theory has been applied to real life. We will also simulate and discuss some of the more famous games: Prisoner’s Dilemma, Chicken, Battles of the Sexes, Stag Hunt, and more. If time permits, we will also discuss how game theory is used to model real life situations, and create our own models for a few recent international or domestic scenarios.


Modeling with Regression Analysis in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Regression analysis is a statistical method that allows researchers to explore relationships between dependent and independent variables. These could range from the relationship between SAT scores and college admissions, or between natural resource abundance and likelihood of civil war. Far more than a simple correlation coefficient, regression analysis allows much more detailed and informative analysis. In this course, we'll touch on research methods, basic statistics, conceptual mathematics, econometrics, and the study of social issues. You'll get to participate in a mini-research project using statistical software to analyze some real world data using regression techniques.