Meet the New Professor: Nick Zammit

Nicholas Zammit
Monday, April 29, 2019 - 2:24pm
“I love economic history. I particularly like the interdisciplinary aspect. You’re digging into the past but looking at the data using quantitative economic techniques of analysis. There are a lot of things people haven’t explored in history from an economic perspective.”

POSITION: Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream

ACADEMIC UNIT: Economics

PLACE OF BIRTH: Etobicoke, ON

JOINED UTM FACULTY: 2017

“I love the lightbulb moment when students aren’t just mechanically getting by.”

Nicholas Zammit’s plans to pursue a career in finance quickly shifted in university when he fell in love with economics. He was drawn first to development economics and issues of long-term growth and inequality, topics that led to his current passion: economic history.

“I love economic history,” he says. “I particularly like the interdisciplinary aspect. You’re digging into the past but looking at the data using quantitative economic techniques of analysis. There are a lot of things people haven’t explored in history from an economic perspective.”

Broadly, Zammit is interested in the economic growth of the British Empire from colonial expansion to its 20th-century collapse, and specifically, the economic growth of “settler economies” (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa).

Zammit, who worked as a teaching assistant while an undergraduate, also loves teaching. “I am passionate about my teaching material. I promote active learning and strive to break down models and theories to the point where students understand the underlying concepts; they’re not just doing the work by rote. I test them to ensure that they understand the ‘why’?”

He always operates an open-door policy with his students, noting, “I enjoy these one-on-one encounters – I love the lightbulb moment when students aren’t just mechanically getting by.”

At UTM, Zammit teaches a full spectrum of economics courses including econometrics, but he also has an opportunity to develop specialized courses in economic history, such as his two-part offering, World Economic History, Before and After the First World War.

In fact, it was his passion for teaching and a desire to return to his roots that provided the impetus to return to Canada. He was teaching in England at the Universities of Cambridge and Warwick, when a teaching stream position was advertised at UTM. The timing was auspicious – with a new son, he and his wife had been considering a move home for family reasons.

“We’re really happy to be back in Toronto,” he says.

Read about other new faculty members at UTM.