MIT Technology and Policy Program

Yi Xue and Professor Richard Larson receive Award from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Each year since 1969, the Lawrence R. Klein Award has honored the best article appearing in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Monthly Labor Review. The award was established in honor of Nobel-Prize winner Lawrence R. Klein. Dr. Klein earned his Ph.D. in economics at MIT in 1944, where he was Paul Samuelson’s first doctoral student. Dr. Klein retired in 1968 after 22 years as editor-in-chief of the Review and established a fund to encourage articles that exhibit originality of ideas or methods on analysis, adhere to the principles of scientific inquiry, and are well written. (From the 2015 awards announcement on the BLS webpage)

For the best paper of 2015 among non-BLS authors, the Klein Award trustees selected “STEM crisis or STEM surplus? Yes and yes” by Ms. Yi Xue and Richard C. Larson. From 2012 to 2014 Ms. Xue was a TPP Masters student at MIT, working on NIH-supported research with Prof. Larson. Prof. Larson is Co-PI on a four-year NIH grant, “Developing a Scientific Workforce Analysis and Modeling Framework (SWAM).” Their paper uses BLS data and other data to show that, nationally, there is both a STEM crisis and a STEM surplus, depending on the particular employment field. One area of a shortage crisis is in computer science-related fields, whereas one area of surplus is PhD’s in the life sciences. According to BLS sources, the Xue-Larson paper — available freely online — remains one of their most widely read papers, even nearly 20 months after first publication. The paper has been cited in national media including recently in the Wall Street Journal. http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2016/08/12/is-there-a-stem-crisis-or-a-stem-surplus/

Prof. Larson received his award from Deborah Klein at the awards ceremony at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, DC on October 19.

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