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Two UW-Madison Colleges Celebrate Opening of Experimental Lab

by Lavilla Capener, Staff Monday, April 22, 2013

Faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison celebrated the opening of a new experimental lab on campus Friday.

The BRITE (Behavioral Research Insights Through Experiments) Lab represents collaboration between the School of Human Ecology (SoHE) and the Wisconsin School of Business to create a learning and research community within the university.

Brian Mayhew, BRITE faculty director and associate professor at the Wisconsin School of Business, said he hopes the dedicated space will allow professors to be more productive.

“This opening represents years of work to create a cross-campus collaborative space,” Mayhew said. “We hope that through the shared space, faculty can learn from each other’s research and thought leadership.”

The space will allow faculty and graduate students to do behavioral research, including experimental economics. While researchers can use the lab for a variety of reasons, much of Mayhew’s research examines economic decisions and uses monetary incentives to study how people make choices.


Wisconsin School of Business Dean François Ortalo-Magné, School of Human Ecology Dean Soyeon Shim, and Professor Brian Mayhew at the BRITE lab opening.

The event featured remarks from the School of Human Ecology Dean Soyeon Shim and Wisconsin School of Business Dean François Ortalo-Magné.

Shim expressed her interest in supporting cross-collaboration among schools and colleges within UW-Madison.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that the BRITE Lab is one of the first collaborative research spaces to open in Nancy Nicholas Hall,” Shim said. “One of our goals with the new human ecology facility was to offer a hub for family, community, design, and consumer research, as well as to promote exchanges among faculty, staff, and students from multiple disciplines.”

Ortalo-Magné said the lab brings together faculty who have a shared interest in applying experimental approaches to today’s biggest questions.

“The BRITE Lab provides a new environment for faculty across departments and colleges to collaborate on issues relevant to consumers and businesses. I am delighted that SoHE invited us to share in the venture and that our naming partners offered the support we needed,” Ortalo-Magné said. “I look forward to seminal contributions emerging out of this collaboration.”

BRITE Lab advisory board members include Mayhew, Assistant Professor J. Michael Collins, Associate Prefessor Noah Lim, Assistant Professor Anya Samak, Assistant Professor Justin Sydnor, and Associate Professor Nancy Wong.

The lab is located in 2117 Nancy Nicholas Hall in the School of Human Ecology. Students interested in participating in the research can sign up here.