Third Update: Final Thoughts

Seeing my research come to an end is bittersweet. This project has reinforced my previous feelings about research: it always takes longer than you expect. I have enjoyed keeping up with my Python knowledge from computer science and Economics jargon. The computer program was by far the part of my program that took the longest to finish, and it could always be improved upon. My initial proposal included a great deal more statements to analyze with the computer program, but any addition adds six data points on top of the text file because each text file needs six different bond yields: three from the day of the statement release and three from exactly a year later. Such an undertaking would have meant thousands of data points to include speeches given by the chairman of the Federal Reserve to Congress and media coverage of Federal Reserve releases. A further studies project would certainly be able to expand to one or both of those means of communication. Further studies could also include analyzing another aspect of language other than frequency distribution of words. For example, if statements were in groups where each group had the same first five most frequent words, then those most common words could be placed in context to see if the usage of those words is in the same context as the other statements in its group.

Interestingly enough, my hypothesis was that the press statements issued by the FOMC about monetary policy would not be affect bond yields. Essentially, my hypothesis is the null hypothesis. Although I found research supporting that such statements by the Federal Reserve do have an effect on the economy, the aspects that were studied in my project were not the same as those that they analyzed. My final product is a paper that has the abstract, then the introduction, then methods, then data, then results, then conclusion, and then future studies. Writing the paper was not as difficult as previously anticipated because I found myself growing attached to the subject and proud to be presenting my research in such a formal way. This project has given me the opportunity to pursue two fields I am interested in, Economics and Computer Science, on an individual basis. Research is an important part of a college education, and I look forward to seeing other projects at the research symposium in September.

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