Multi-cultural assistant professor Darius Martin joins economics department
A random course of fortuitous events led assistant professor Darius Martin to AUB’s economics department, and he is pleased with the move. “AUB is the best university in the region, and I like Beirut, a charming city that has a European feel; also its climate reminds me of California,” said Martin.
A dedicated former runner, who completed two marathons (New York 2003 and Lausanne 2005), Martin fills his days with extracurricular activities. “I joined a chess club at the Arab University and have taken up scuba diving; recently I got my PADI [open water] license at the marina,” said Martin, who also goes hiking and listens to Icelandic transcendental music.
With a Persian mother, many years in the Hague, and a two-year work experience in Iceland, Martin enjoys enhancing his multi-cultural exposure by attempting to learn new languages. He speaks Persian and Dutch “poorly,” but in Icelandic he can certainly “conduct daily business,” having taught at both Reykjavik University and rural Iceland’s Bifröst University. Now he is learning Arabic.
Martin first joined Syracuse University in New York as a student of philosophy, but an elective macroeconomics course soon changed his path. He “loved the precision” and enjoyed the logic behind the study of economics so much that he not only completed a B.S. in the subject but also moved on to earn a PhD from the University of California.
A macroeconomist with strong interests in inequality, business cycle theory, and minimum wage legislation, Martin is working on an analysis of fluctuations in US labor supply in the short and long run. The fact that the labor market responds differently to growth in national income in the long-term than it does in the short-term is a puzzle worth examining, explains Martin.
The young professor is currently teaching macroeconomics to undergraduates, but in Fall 2009-10, he also gave a graduate course in financial economics. He is glad to deal with “some really good and academically competitive AUB students, who are strong in mathematics and comfortable with calculus.” However, there is room for improvements in some disciplinary issues such as “talking during lectures and cheating,” according to Martin.
A persistent optimist, Martin argues that “technological development is a much bigger force than resource depletion.” In other words, Martin believes that future generations would be better off despite the scarcity of resources.