CHICAGO — At a convocation ceremony Friday afternoon at Soldier Field, the University of Chicago is due to award a posthumous doctoral degree to a student killed in a shooting spree earlier this year.
Following his death, two of Fan’s former professors reviewed his work and presented it remotely in March to more than 100 people, according to the Booth School of Business.
Fan’s posthumous dissertation committee was co-chaired by Fan’s former business school professors Lars Peter Hansen and Zhiguo He. Doron Ravid, from the economics department, and Veronica Guerrieri, from the business school, joined them on the committee.
While Fan had yet to propose a topic for his dissertation, he left behind research in online folders. His work focused on ways that rational behavior by banks and other institutions can lead to lead to risky lending decisions, according to the school.
“I see many students who get straight As but can’t do the critical thinking or challenge existing theory like Yiran could,” said He, one of his former professors, according to school. “He had the right mind to do this type of work.”
“He won the Lee Prize from the economics department for being a top performing student in the macroeconomics core curriculum,” Hansen said. “My colleagues and I have been pleased to have him as a teaching assistant. Indeed, he always showed a deep commitment to help his fellow graduate students learn. He has been an invaluable intellectual resource to our economics and finance community. I have had many superb Ph.D. students over the years, but Yiran will stand out as someone truly special.”
University officials plan to present Fan’s degree to his parents at the UChicago Center in Beijing in the fall, according to the Booth school.
In part with contributions from Fan’s parents, the university has also established an annual fellowship in his name for students in the Joint Program in Financial Economics.
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