Guy Judge, 1949-2015

A pioneer in the application of computing to the teaching of economics has died

April 16, 2015

Guy Judge was born in Watford on 11 May 1949 and educated at Watford Grammar School and the University of Warwick, where he earned a BA (1970) and an MA (1972) in economics. He went on to lecture at what would become the University of Portsmouth, remaining there until he retired as deputy head of economics in 2012.

Crucial in developing the mathematical and statistical content of the institution’s fledgling economics degree, Mr Judge was also an early enthusiast for using computers as a pedagogic tool in economics. He played a central role in setting up the CALECO (Computer Aided Learning in Economics) group at Portsmouth in 1986, helped establish an annual series of CALECO conferences and published a pioneering textbook on the use of computers in economics, Quantitative Analysis for Economics and Business: Using Lotus 1-2-3 (1990).

His experience in all these areas made Mr Judge a natural choice to lead the WinEcon project in the early 1990s, when the Higher Education Funding Council for England funded a consortium of eight universities to produce a computer-based teaching/learning package designed to cover the whole of a typical first-year undergraduate economics course. Mr Judge’s expertise in the field was also acknowledged when he was asked to serve as the first software review editor of The Economic Journal from 1993 to 2000.

Despite his expertise in economics pedagogy, Mr Judge also published on topics ranging from cinema admissions, property price cycles and student plagiarism to UK energy demand and internet banking in Greece. He was a notably inventive teacher, often drawing on his passions for football and folk music to illustrate his points. One of his poems, Carry on Regressing, was even picked up by Stephen Dubner for the Freakonomics website in 2009.

Andy Thorpe, professor of development economics at Portsmouth, remembers Mr Judge as “a strong team player – whether competing against colleagues at table tennis in the Milton common room in the 1980s or batting against the students in the annual economics staff-student cricket match. His resolve was sorely tested one year in this fixture, however, when he discovered that the student whose paper he had just marked as a lower second was also the opening fast bowler for the Glamorgan County Cricket Club Second XI. Fortunately, he survived to teach another day.”

Mr Judge died of cancer on 14 March and is survived by his wife Pauline.

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