Elanor West ‘18

Elanor West grew up in Massachusetts, but she knew as soon as she arrived on campus at Hopkins for a tour that it was the place she wanted to be. “I easily saw myself at Hopkins, and I decided to apply Early Decision.”

Elanor graduated with three majors, in Applied Math and Statistics, Economics, and French.

Why did Elanor choose to study economics? “I first took economics classes because I didn’t know much about the subject and thought it would be beneficial to study. Then, as I took more courses, I realized that I loved microeconomics and studying decision-making in areas like game theory and behavioral economics.”

Elanor’s favorite classes? “Economics of Uncertainty and Information, and The Social Policy Implications of Behavioral Economics. I loved that both courses were focused on decision-making in various real-life situations, incorporating game theory and psychology into economics.” Elanor also conducted research advised by Professor John Wierman in the Applied Math department, focusing on a combination of game theory, graph theory, and probability.

While pursuing three majors, Elanor was also President of the Hopkins Figure Skating Club, an active member of the JHU Classical Ballet Company and Vice President of her sorority (Alpha Phi). Her community service included working at Mathnasium of Roland Park as a math instructor.

Next fall, Elanor will remain at Hopkins to pursue a Master of Science in Engineering in Applied Math and Statistics: “Through combining the study of math and economics, I have learned that I love game theory. I am writing a thesis on the “Astronaut Problem” (proposed by Steve Alpern in The Theory of Search Games and Rendezvous) which combines game theory, graph theory, and probability concepts.”

Elanor loves learning and hopes to be able to pass on her knowledge to others in a career as an educator.

Does Elanor have any advice for potential Economics majors? “Take all of the lower-level courses and requirements as soon as you can, because my favorite classes were all upper-level courses with prerequisites. The upper-level courses are mostly discussion-based, engaging and inspirational, due to their smaller class sizes, and the passion of the professors.”