A Message from Department Chair Robert Shimer

It is with great sadness that I share the news that Yiran Fan, a fourth year PhD student in a joint program of the Booth School of Business and the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, was a victim of a homicide on Saturday, January 9.

Yiran came to the University of Chicago to enroll in the Financial Mathematics master’s program in 2014. He then worked for two years as a research professional for faculty both in our department and in Booth, before joining the joint PhD program in 2017. Graduate students know Yiran as a talented classmate, a superb teaching assistant, and a kind friend. Faculty recognize him as an exceptional research assistant, student, and scholar. I remember Yiran from his extraordinary performance in my core Theory of Income PhD class. He received the Lee Prize for the top grade in the Theory of Income core examination during his first year, and he continued to excel after that. 

Yiran’s research combined insights from economic dynamics and corporate finance theory to better understand the regulation of financial institutions and markets. His analyses were both insightful and rigorous. Yiran was an active participant and organizer of a student workshop in macroeconomics and finance, and often provided helpful comments on the work of his classmates. 

Students who would like help in dealing with this tragic news can contact UChicago Student Wellness. To schedule an appointment, for more information on the programs offered, or make any non-emergency inquiry, please call 773-702- 9800 or visit their website at http://wellness.uchicago.edu/.  

My thoughts are with Yiran’s family and friends.  Information about a memorial will be shared once available.

In sadness, 

Robert Shimer


Please also visit the University of Chicago website for more information and a full statement regarding this tragic loss. A candlelight vigil will be held in remembrance of Fan on Jan. 14 at 4 p.m. CST, with a live broadcast available on the UChicago News site.

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