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Nobel Laureate to Participate in Nicholas Academic Center-Chapman University Program to Reach Inner-City High School Students

ORANGE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nobel Prize-winning economist Vernon L. Smith, and his colleague, Bart Wilson, of Chapman University’s Economic Science Institute on Saturday, Nov. 5, will make their second appearance as part of the Nicholas Academic Centers’ 2011-12 “Visiting Scholar Series” in partnership with Chapman University. Dr. Smith delivered his first lecture in the series in January 2011.

The program, now in its second year, is aimed at introducing high school students from inner-city communities in Santa Ana to a college academic environment, while strengthening ties with highly respected local universities. Since the program launched last fall, Chapman University faculty and staff have delivered lectures to students, parents and community members on a broad range of subjects, from the origins of mathematics to how to build a video game. (Lectures are held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 313 North Birch Street, 2nd floor, in downtown Santa Ana, and are open to the public).

Dr. Smith, known as the “founding father of experimental economics,” will discuss “Using Experiments to Teach The Foundations of Exchange” with Nicholas Academic Center students, parents and staff. Smith was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in using laboratory experiments to research why markets and other exchange systems work the way they do. Dr. Wilson will assist Dr. Smith in carrying out sample experiments with the students, using the Economic Science Institute’s portable laboratory.

“We look forward once again to the opportunity to introduce Nicholas Academic Center students to experimental economics,” said Dr. Smith. “Our goal is to help students better grasp the complexities of human behavior in the marketplace.”

“For the second year in a row, we are privileged to introduce our students to the teachings of a Nobel-winning economist,” said Dr. Henry Nicholas, co-founder and former Co-Chairman, President and CEO of Broadcom Corp., who established the Nicholas Academic Centers in 2008 with retired Superior Court Judge Jack Mandel. “Our objective is to provide students with a challenging academic environment and there is no better way to achieve this than with a lecture by one of the most important economic thinkers of our time.”

Media links for previous “Visiting Scholar” lectures:

Video Presentation

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About the Speakers

Vernon L. Smith, Ph.D. was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics. He is a professor in Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics and School of Law and is a member of the Economic Science Institute at Chapman. He is the president of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics, which he founded in 1997. Born in Kansas in 1927, Dr. Smith completed his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, his master's degree in economics at the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University.

Bart Wilson, Ph.D. has joint appointments with Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics and the School of Law. His broad fields of specialty are industrial organization and experimental economics. He is currently pursuing research on the foundations of exchange and specialization and the origins of property right systems in laboratory economies. His other research programs apply the experimental method to topics in gasoline markets, e-commerce, electric power deregulation and antitrust. Dr. Wilson is a member of the Economic Science Institute at Chapman.

About the Nicholas Academic Centers

Located in downtown Santa Ana and on the campus of Valley High School, the Nicholas Academic Centers serve hundreds of Santa Ana Unified School District students on a daily basis throughout the school year and summer, providing them with tutoring, social support, and individual college guidance. Since the first Center opened in 2008, more than 150 students have gone on to college, with most attending top schools such as Georgetown, Smith, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine, Allegheny and Chapman. NAC students have earned a total of more than $2 million in scholarships and financial aide. The NAC staff works closely with school principals, teachers and guidance counselors, as well as with students’ families and community leaders. The Centers are funded by the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation and modeled on the tutoring and mentoring program Judge Mandel started before retiring from the bench. Become a fan of the Nicholas Academic Centers on Facebook, or follow the NAC on Twitter.

About Chapman University

Chapman University founded in 1861 and celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2011, is one of the oldest, most prestigious private universities in California. Chapman’s picturesque campus is located in the City of Orange in the heart of Orange County – one of the nation’s most exciting centers of arts, business, science and technology – and draws outstanding students from across the United States and around the world. Known for its blend of liberal arts and professional programs, Chapman University encompasses seven schools and colleges: Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences, George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics, Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Schmid College of Science, College of Performing Arts, School of Law and College of Educational Studies. Named to the list of top universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review, Chapman University enrolls more than 6,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students. Facebook:

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Ashley Temm