My overall mean teaching evaluation comes in at 8.57/9, with a median of 9/9; the latter held pointwise until 2018. I am occasionally asked to provide more motivation in tying economic themes together.
"Kyle was a great teacher who clearly is very intelligent, but the format of the class this semester was not conducive to any type of learning whatsoever."
Ed. note: Oof.
"Now I find myself in a class where I excitedly talk to my peers and family about topics from lecture over dinner about what I'm learning, completely unprompted."
"He tried his best."
"As a student who isn't particularly interested in microeconomics, I enjoyed this class quite a bit. Professor Woodward's inclusion of real world applications of game theory and auctions (i.e.: NRMP) made the class much more useful and much more interesting. He obviously cares very much for his students and was willing to make changes to the course to benefit the class."
"I thought Professor Woodward tried his best to maintain a 'classroom' setting via Zoom – he obtained (or had) a whiteboard in his home that he set up really close to the camera, letting him explain theorems and write out proofs step by step, which was really helpful to me."
Auctions with finite types, as well as all-pay auctions with continuous types. A brief example of Bayesian Nash equilibrium taken from Essential Microeconomics; Batman.
Perfect Bayesian equilibrium and single crossing; numerous worked examples of old comp questions with perfect Bayesian equilibrium (and related concepts) and some quick incentive compatibility.
Incentive compatibility, with ties to the intuitive criterion. Optimal package pricing. Many questions from Essential Microeconomics.
Optimal auctions, ironing, the meaning of ex ante, interim, and ex post. Worked exercises regarding the construction of optimal auctions.
Optimal auctions, designer-optimal mechanisms, Vickrey-Clarke-Groves. Mostly a potpourri of questions, with a couple throwbacks; basic common-value auctions sprinkled in.
The alignment of social benefit with individual incentives to simultaneously achieve efficiency and incentive compatibility; implications for monetary transfers and the designer.
A definitional approach to production; “baby asset-pricing”; a handful of very simple forms of insurance and what they imply about insurer profits.
"Kyle is the best TA. He was always available and responsive, came prepared, and thoroughly answered questions."
Solving an all-pay auction without the revelation principle, using revenue equivalence to compute strategies, order statistics and their applications.
"One of the best econ TAs I've had. I hope you become an econ professor somewhere awesome."
Dominance, Nash equilibrium, sequential games, and mixed strategies with an application to where Shabnam and I should go to dinner.
An extensive-form game with a light take on knowledge; should I grade problem sets or just give everyone a C?
Centipede games as an introduction to game theory (this quarter we started with SPNE); an illustration of a situation in which backward induction is irrelevant and how it breaks.
Why mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium is a necessary concept; how to find mixed-strategy equilibria; the relationship between mixed- and pure-strategy Nash equilibria in terms of the total number of equilibria.
An apology for a botched attempt to discuss Hotelling's pricing game (which has no apparent Nash equilibrium, as Hotelling's original paper discovered), followed by a simple coverage of Hotelling's location game.
A brief discussion of the counterintuitive implications of the standard cops-and-robbers formulation; wherefore, future discounting; repeating the ultimatum game with alternating offers and passage of time; a simple recursive approach to Rubinstein bargaining.
Examples of Cournot and Stackelberg competition models, with an extensive discussion of when the first mover wants to use its power to keep the second mover out of the market.
Price discrimination, club cards, and a nonstandard price competition setup to illustrate how competitive equilibrium has explicit strategic implications.
The production possibility frontier, an exchange economy, and a general equilibrium problem with a corner-case production function which is linear in both capital and labor.
"[...] Hope Kyle will teach econ here as a professor soon."
"List of top 5 people I want to be: (1) Derek Jeter; (2) Johnny Depp; (3) Andy Roddick; (4) Michael Burry; (5) Kyle Woodward"
Optimizing cereal selection; whether or not Bigfoot exists.
A version of the standard “medical test” example to illustrate the application of Bayes' rule and marginal probabilities.
The martingale betting strategy; investments; multiple-choice quiz layout. (solutions)
Convergence of the sample mean to the true mean; maximizing likelihood; where PDFs come from. (solutions)
Law of iterated expectation; aptitude versus performance; a taste of identification; can Burger King make you healthy? (solutions)
Should a TA move office hours, given an email survey of his students? Are bike lockers at UCLA well-maintained? Confidence intervals are found both constructively and via formulae.
A wordy description of hypothesis testing as an interpretation of confidence intervals, with an application to which bus I should take to get home in the evening.
Questions which variously hit every topic covered in introductory statistics (including combinatorics, counting, and basic probability) through a single example of student final exam scores.
"You sir are a BEAST!"
Ed. note: I happen to enjoy pepperoni pizza.
"Phenomenal job. Honestly the most comprehensive TA I have ever had. You would make one of the best professors this school offers. Good luck and thank you for the time you put into your precision and care."
"Kyle was really clear. He was effective, straightforward, and super helpful. He also gave us cookies, which in no way influenced my evaluation. Seriously, though, he was really good. Give him a raise, because he really works hard to make us learn."
Why do we care about microeconomics? The (classical) notion of choice and preferences; the existence of utility and why numbers don't matter. Indifference and common utility functions.
Choice constrained by a budget; the structure of constrained optimization and some solution methods; issues of corner solutions and a high-level perspective of the Inada conditions.
The definition of expected utility for simple lotteries; actuarially-fair pricing and its implications, with an application to the optimal selection of building material for a pig facing a wolf; demand functions, defined.
The expenditure-minimization problem, applied to computing change in consumption due to wealth (income) and substitution (price) effects; a pretty decent graphical depiction.
A recapitulation of why marginal utility per unit price matters; where corner solutions come from.
Lecture notes on efficient production across firms, the marginal rate of technical substitution, and a simple linear example with burgers and fries; apologies to France.
General equilibrium in two-agent economies; solution algorithms for the same; Pareto optimality; solution algorithms for the same; proof that I can draw things by hand; how to construct an Edgeworth box if you have a piece of paper that rotates.
"Kyle balls out. He's the man. Best TA I've ever had. Thanks, homie."