Robert J. McKeown, PhD, CFA

Robert J. McKeown, PhD, CFA

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream

York University

About

Robert McKeown has the position of Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Economics at York University. He is a holder of both a Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and a PhD in economics which reflects his interest in both theory and practical application. This combination helps him empathize with students whether their career aspirations are private, public, or academic. Robert McKeown strongly believes that active learning leads to better student outcomes and is committed to adopting education technology that increases student success. Technology is especially important in large classes where student engagement requires some creativity.

Since arriving at York University, Robert McKeown has focused his teaching on first-year undergraduate courses: principles of economics and mathematics for economics. In turn, these courses have motivated his scholarship on teaching and learning — Robert McKeown has been studying how ALEKS, a math learning environment with adaptive questions, increases student preparedness for majoring in economics. He is Academic Director of SNACK, the Student Numeracy Assistance Centre at York University and a collaborator on GAMES — A Gentle Approach to Math, Excel, and Stats. GAMES is a 24-week open-education resource designed for a diverse set of learners in preparation for becoming majors in economics, business, and the social science.

Download my Curriculum Vitae.

Interests
  • Economics Education
  • Finance
  • Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Economics
Education
  • PhD in Economics, 2017

    Queen's University

  • Masters of Economics, 2009

    Ryerson University

  • Bachelor of Commerce, 2008

    Ryerson University

Projects

GAMES: A Gentle Approach to Math, Excel, Stats
Professors Catherine Pfaff, Sumon Majumdar, and Robert McKeown team up to deliver GAMES: A Gentle Approach to Math, Excel, and Stats. These two 12-week courses are designed to prepare a diverse set of learners and students, some of whom may lack a strong background in math and stats from High School, to succeed in university business, economics, and the social sciences; Each course was divided into two or three segments and 12 modules to allow for a customized experience; This project was made possible with funding by the Government of Ontario and through eCampusOntario’s support of the Virtual Learning Strategy.
Improving Undergraduate Math with ALEKS
ALEKS, a math learning environment with adaptive questions powered by AI and machine learning, is embedded in the first four weeks of a first-year math for economics course to improve fundamental math skills; student performance on ALEKS is compared with performance during the remainder of the course; Robert McKeown has found that students self-reported that their time on ALEKS increased their self-confidence, understanding, and the likelihood that they would continue in a math-based discipline.
Student Numeracy Assistance Centre (SNACK)
Robert McKeown is the first Academic Director of SNACK — the Student Numeracy Assistance Centre. Founded in the Fall of 2021 with financial support from the Office of the Dean, SNACK supports Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LA&PS) students to develop their numeracy skills. Students can find help with any of their courses that involve math, stats, computer programming, or Excel. Our Centre offers helpful resources, skill-building workshops, and one-on-one peer tutoring — from basic functions and linear algebra, to complex statistics, tricky equations, calculus, and more, SNACK is ready to help.

Research

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(2017). How vulnerable is the {C}anadian banking system to fire-sales?. Queen’s University Working Paper 1381.

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(2017). Costs, size and returns to scale among {C}anadian and {U.S.} commercial banks. Queen’s University Working Paper 1382.

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(2017). Where Are The Economies Of Scale In Canadian Banking?. Queen’s University Working Paper 1380.

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(2017). An overview of the {C}anadian banking system: 1996 to 2015. Queen’s Working Paper 1379.

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