Day and Boarding; Grades 6-12


On Friday, November 4, Paul Decker P’23 spoke with STEM students about his career and how data and technology help to guide public policy. Decker is the president and CEO of Mathematica, where he has worked for 34 years after earning his undergraduate degree in economics from William & Mary and his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University. He discussed some of the research he has done during his time with the organization, including a study about the impact of Teach for America-trained teachers on student outcomes, a project that took about two and a half years to complete. 

Outside of the specifics about his research, Decker also had recommendations for the students about both choosing careers and utilizing data in their everyday lives. He talked about how much information people have to sift through constantly, using the college application process as a student-focused example, listing the number of details and statistics college applicants collect about schools throughout the process. He suggested that, as students navigate a world where they are continually inundated with data, they take as many math classes as they can to more clearly understand all aspects. The session was thought-provoking for all in attendance.