Tilmann Herchenroder

Economics, Class of 2021

I’m an Economics major with certificates in Statistics and Machine Learning as well as Humanistic Studies.

Role(s) held in the Humanistic Studies Program:

Certificate Student, BUSF

Activities on campus:

Tiger Challenge, Princeton Student Climate Initiative, Dining Hall Manager, Research Assistant with the Liechtenstein Institute, Member of the Edwards Collective

Why I decided to study the humanities:

I think there are three great reasons to study humanities. The first one is that the humanities form the basis of how we experience the world, e.g. how we conceptualize personhood or nature. The second reason is that it is personally enriching: understanding something of literature, the arts and philosophy means that you have a richer experience when engaging with culture(s). The third reason is that it teaches you practical skills useful in almost any field, such as understanding text quickly, or writing concisely.

What I have gained from the humanities:

During my first year, I took the HUM sequence and I enjoyed it a lot, so the first benefit that comes to mind is pleasure. In addition, reading so broadly on various subjects and works from so many different authors now seems like a great foundation for any future studies, since, at least in the West, they have impacted so much of modern thinking. I think that the humanities community at Princeton is also special in that one knows each other, interacts outside the classroom and is therefore able to take what we learned beyond the precept.

Independent work:

My Economics junior independent work focused on the effects of institutional quality on international capital flows. Since my primary field of interest is development economics, I hope to explore the impacts of language-based policies in East Africa on education, health and labor markets for my senior thesis.

HUM Sequence fall break trip:

During the trip to Greece in 2018, I did a project on the Athenian Khoregia, wealthy citizens that would sponsor and direct plays for the city’s festivals. In particular, I was considering how these citizens monumentalized themselves throughout the city, and what that might tell us about their role in Athenian democracy. Besides being a wonderful opportunity to travel and engage with faculty and peers, the trip confirmed that I wanted to pursue the HUM certificate as a complement to my otherwise social science-centered degree.

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