The cape-like thing in my arm is the Ph.D. hood. The commencement exercises included the university conferring the degrees, handing out diplomas, and later, bestowing the hood of University of Chicago we who earned the Ph.D.
A note on the outfit: Ph.D. gowns are much nicer than the nearly-plastic gown that students who earn bachelor's degrees wear. The material is nice, and that's real velvet. How much to own one of those gowns? Over $600, and the cap ("tam") is another $84. In case you're wondering, I didn't pay that amount. Like most (all?) of my classmates, I merely rented the cap and gown for the bargain price of $60. I'm sure there's a lesson about anchoring in there somewhere. For now, here are some more pictures:
This is my graduating class of economics Ph.Ds after the hooding and diploma ceremony. The man in the red gown is my dissertation committee chair, Ali Hortacsu. As part of his responsibility for being director of graduate studies at UChicago, Ali was called upon to be the faculty member to place the hoods on us at the ceremony. As only three of us in this graduating class had Ali as our committee chair, this was special for me (and the other two, I would guess).
In case you're wondering, next to Ali is Hugo Sonnenschein, who is another professor in the economics department. He's a former president of the university, former department chair, and former director of graduate studies, but he is probably best known for the Sonnenschein-Mantel-Debreu Theorem.
Let's see some more pictures. Here's a picture of Ali and his three advisees from this year's class:
That's me, Ali, Mickey Ferri, and Chahee Shin. Mickey studied the consumer decision to Rent, Buy or Pirate movies online and in DVD form. Chaehee studied entry of mutual fund families into different countries, and in so doing offered a partial explanation for the home bias.
Just in case it gets lost somewhere, here's some evidence that I received the diploma for the Ph.D.
Last but not least, here's a picture of my dad and me walking around campus.
My parents and my aunt traveled across the country to come. I am glad they came, and as this last picture suggests, I'm looking forward to what is to come.