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What’s on deck? Class of 2013 research topics

Coursework Stories | May 02, 2012 |

The Gabelli undergraduate research program reached some major milestones in the last two years: a few papers accepted to national journals, eight students accepted to the 2012 National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and one student whose paper scored him a trip to present his work in Poland.

What’s next for Gabelli student research?

Fifteen juniors in the Global Business Honors Program now have their personal answers to that question. At the end of last month, they rolled out their proposals for original business investigations. The topics range from sports to stock trading to the Latin American economy. Here’s what we’ll be able to learn about by the end of next year from the Class of 2013:

  • Robert Connell and Tracy Ou are teaming up to assess what might happen if Congress doesn’t choose to renew the current Bush-era tax cuts and dividend and capital-gains taxes increase as a result.
  • Kevin Donovan and Erin Tierney will investigate the United States’ changeover from GAAP to IFRS standards in accounting. What are the effects not only on the industry, but also on business schools that must educate students for the new system?
  • Elizabeth Hamadock will examine patents, copyrights and trademark/trade dress law to figure out what are the best ways for fashion designers to protect their work.
  • Rebecca Horne is setting out to probe the links between the banking crisis in Europe and economic growth in Latin America. She hopes to establish a mathematical connection between European bank balance sheets and the gross domestic product of countries in South and Central America.
  • Matthew Kennedy and John Ketchum want to know whether there’s a link between the popularity of a company’s web site and its stock performance. Looking at S&P 500 companies, they’ll check the data to see whether web hits and stock prices are connected — and for which kinds of firms.
  • Mike Leithead will break down exchange-traded funds and notes to determine why these products sometimes trade away from their underlying net asset value.
  • Tim Lynch plans to see how high-frequency trading, enabled by computer technology, affects financial markets. His hypothesis? That this practice contributes to market destabilization.
  • Sean McGuire aims to see what Major League Baseball’s lack of a salary cap and its revenue-sharing model are doing to competitive balance among teams. He’ll explore the ramifications of big-market teams outspending their small-market rivals by as much as, in 2011, 52 percent.
  • Leah Olverd and Christina Sotto will join forces to see how a high-end designer’s brand is affected by the decision to introduce a lower-end line at a store like Target or JCPenney. Is there a reduction in prestige? Does the additional reach make it worthwhile? They’ll be able to tell us whether it was a good idea for Donatella Versace to hook up with H&M.
  • Katie Price hopes to get to the heart of changes in the consumer market and assess how companies can best target potential clients. She will research techniques such as “psychographics,” which includes data mined from people’s social profiles, and one-to-one analytics-driven marketing.
  • Jane Tsui will investigate U.S. technology firms, specifically whether outsourcing certain functions overseas can lower their costs and increase profit margins.
  • Vincent Winting expects to compare the effects of television advertising and social-media communication on voter turnout. He’ll test which strategies help politicians make more headway with young voters, ages 18 to 24.

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