Pitt Alum, Ben Wilson, joins University’s Department of Economics MQE Advisory Board

In its inaugural year (2020-2021), the Master of Science in Quantitative Economics (MQE) Program is an intensive 8-month professional degree program that equips students with the quantitative, analytical and communication skills needed to identify and resolve complex economic issues using a broad spectrum of quantitative techniques useful across contexts in the private, public and non-profit sector.

The MQE Program reflects the faculty’s strive for excellence as the curriculum prepares students to inform economic decision making with sophisticated data analysis while effectively communicating these analyses and their implications. MQE is a professional STEM-designated degree and graduates meet employers’ demand for professionals who master analytic methods and techniques of data-driven economics.

The MQE Advisory Board, comprised of industry leaders in economics and data science, serves as consultants to the director and faculty on coursework and provides professional opportunities for students. These nominations reflect the Board member’s stature and accomplishments in their relevant industries and will lend credibility to the MQE program as each provides feedback on coursework and career paths for students and graduates.

A 1999 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Ben takes great pride in returning to his alma mater and sharing his expertise and insight to help shape the growing MQE program. Rivers Agile CEO, Ben Wilson remarked, “It’s an honor to be recognized by the Board as a regional technical leader and The University of Pittsburgh is an institution that I’m very proud to be a part of. Pitt continues to lead with innovative, new programming and I believe this is an area of research and education that is directly applicable to our tech landscape moving forward.” He continued, “I actually can’t wait for someone to graduate from this program so I can hire them.”

“As more and more companies look toward data to inform their decisions, the demand for individuals able to interpret and translate complex data while also analyzing the consequences of different choices is steadily increasing,” said Luca Rigotti, the degree’s program director and an associate professor in the Department of Economics. “We recognized this growth in recent years and realized there was an opportunity to help foster and mentor future professionals in this field. We’re excited to see how successful this program can be.”

Background on Ben Wilson
After more than a decade of helping organizations strengthen their Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) through Quality Assurance, Ben Wilson founded Rivers Agile in 2008. The mission was simple – to build an innovative, elite consultancy that helps organizations mature their QA approach to a proactive keystone in their application life cycle. He’s grown his company, Rivers Agile, into a recognizable force in Pittsburgh – providing a full range of solutions from Product Design, to QA testing and training, to Software Development. Ben’s still as passionate as day one and feels lucky to work collaboratively with such a talented team of developers, testers, strategists, and innovators.

Ben is not only the CEO of Rivers Agile, he’s the founder. An important distinction to remember as the company’s success is directly attributed to his triumphs as an entrepreneur. He built an “engineering first” culture and developed a business model focused on problem-solving. After more than ten years, Ben still exhibits the same passion and talent as day one in crafting meaningful software solutions for Pittsburgh’s tech community.

To learn more about The Master of Science in Quantitative Economics (MQE) Program, visit https://www.mqe.pitt.edu. For more information about Ben Wilson, visit his LinkedIn profile at LinkedIn.com/in/WilsonBen or learn more about his company, Rivers Agile, at RiversAgile.com.

The Department of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh ranks among the top 40 economics departments in the United States, and houses an innovative and successful faculty. The Department of Economics offers one of the largest majors at the University of Pittsburgh and has a vibrant research community with more than 60 graduate students working towards their Ph.D. in economics. Faculty and graduate students explore fields in all areas of economics: applied microeconomics, economic theory, macroeconomics, econometrics, international economics and experimental economics.

Launched in 2008 as a Quality Assurance consulting firm, Rivers Agile fulfilled the need for first-rate Quality Assurance services in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Proving successful as a boutique firm, Rivers Agile has matured into an end-to-end software solutions provider, focusing mostly on web and mobile technology. Whether defining a new piece of software or refining an existing application or website, they work with clients throughout the entire product lifecycle to help them achieve their strategic vision. Today, Rivers Agile’s foundation in quality is very much alive as they continue to offer Quality Assurance consulting services, but also provide both on-site education and assessments to help clients get the most from their investment in QA personnel and tools. Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Rivers Agile’s highly-skilled team works with recently funded startups through Fortune 1000 clients and spans industries like Healthcare, Energy, Legal, Predictive Analytics, Education, and more.