Long before Ed Leamer became head of UCLA's Anderson Forecast, he taught a remedial course in statistics at Harvard. As it happens, one of his students was Karl Case, who went on to become a renowned economics professor at Wellesley and helped create the widely followed S&P/Case-Shiller housing index. One of Case's students was NPR's Linda Wertheimer.
WERTHEIMER: You've had a lot of kudos over the years. Is there anything that sort of stands out as the personally important moment for you?
CASE: Well, you know, I'll tell you. Last week, we had the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. I took my first graduate school exam at Harvard at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1971. And it was taught by a guy named Ed Leamer. I basically flunked that first exam. And I got in the car with my wife and we decided to go look at prep schools because I wasn't going to make it through economics. Ed Leamer called me up about five years ago. He's now a dean out at UCLA. And he invited me to come out and give a keynote talk at a conference he was running. And I said, Ed, this is terrific. You flunked me in my first graduate school exam. He, of course, didn't remember.
WERTHEIMER: The guy who's exam you couldn't get through wanted you to come speak? That just said to you, you're...
CASE: I made it.
WERTHEIMER: You're OK.