USU alumnus awarded Nobel Prize

Posted at 3:28 PM, Oct 14, 2013

A man who earned a bachelor's degree at Utah State University has been awarded a Nobel Prize for Economics.

“We’re just enormously proud of him, and it's a great inspiration to our students,” said Doug Anderson, dean of the Huntsman Business School at Utah State University.

Anderson and Hansen were classmates at Utah State, where economist’s brilliance was already evident.

“He was clearly the smartest guy in the room, but one of the great things about Lars, he didn't have to try to prove that,” Anderson said. “He's one of the deepest thinkers I think I've ever met; enormously curiously about how the world works, but satisfied with simple-minded answers.”

Brother Roger Hansen says Lars has been winning so many awards recently, the family figured it was only a matter of time until he won a Nobel prize.

“We kind of suspected it was coming eventually,” Hansen said. “The only question was pretty much when it was going to happen.”

Hansen says his brother wasn’t always recognized for his brilliance.

“His guidance teacher suggested he was a mediocre student in high school, and he was going to mediocre student in college,” Hansen said. “So he suggested he not take his academic career too seriously.”

But Hansen says his brother’s academic potential exploded at Utah State University, where he was guided by life-changing mentors.

“Certainly got him going,” Hansen said.

Hansen says there are probably only a handful of people in the world who can understand his brother’s economic models, formulas that help investors predict stock market activity. But his brother is more than a gifted economist.

“He's a wonderful combination of being very smart and very driven,” Hansen said, “and he also turns out to be a nice guy. So he's kind of got the trifecta going there. He's been a wonderful brother.”

“It's wonderful to see that a young man can grow up in Logan, Utah, go to Logan High School, graduate from Utah State University, then take the talents that God has given him, hard work, and reach the pinnacle of the profession like this,” Anderson said.