This is the reason you are here in a university.
You are here to be educated.
You are here to understand thinking better and to think better yourself.
It's not a chance you are going to have throughout your lifetime.
For the next few years, you have a chance to focus on thinking.
I think about some of the students who took advantage of their opportunities in a university.
One of the stories I always like to tell is about a freshman seminar that I had a chance to teach at Harvard when I was President of the university.
I taught a seminar on globalization and I assigned a reading that I had written about global capital flows.
And as I did each week, I asked one of the students to introduce the reading.
And this younger man in October of his freshman year said something like the following.
"The reading by President Simons on the flow of capital across countries, it was kind of interesting, but the data did not come close to supporting the conclusions."
And I thought to myself, "What a fantastic thing this was!"
How could somebody who had been there for five weeks tell the person who had the title President that he didn't really know what he was talking about?
And it was a special moment.
Now, I don't want to be misunderstood.
I explained to my student that I actually thought he was rather more confused than I was, and I argued back.
But what was really important about that was the universities stand out as places that really are about the authority of ideas.
You see it in faculty members who are pleased when their students make a discovery that undermines a cherished theory that they had put forward.
I think of another students I had who came to me one morning, one evening actually, walked into my office and said that I had written a pretty good paper, but that it had five important mistakes and that he wanted a job.
You could debate whether they actually were mistakes, but you couldn't debate that young man's hunger to learn.
You could not debate that that young man was someone who wanted to make a difference in economics and he is today a professor of economics and his works are more cited as an economist than any other economist in the world.
Questions 16 to 18 are based on the recording you have just heard.
Question 16: What does the speaker say about a university?
Question 17: What do we learn from the speaker's stories about universities?
Question 18: What does the speaker see in the young man who challenged his paper?