Wheelan, a professor at the University of Chicago and a Yahoo! columnist, uses pop culture and everyday examples to explain basic economic principles. His lecture will begin at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 at the Middleton Auditorium, Strickler Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. A dessert reception and book signing will follow.

“Naked Economics” was Wheelan’s first book and is described as an “accessible and entertaining introduction to economics for lay readers.”

In it, Wheelan used such examples as the price of sweatshirts at Gap to break down and explain complex economic ideas to economics novices. The book has been translated to more than seven languages.

Wheelan was named a senior lecturer in public policy at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago in September 2004. Before that, he was director of policy and communications for Chicago Metropolis 2020, a business-backed civic group promoting healthy regional growth in the Chicago area.

He was also a correspondent for The Economist and has freelanced for publications including the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

The Book-in-Common program (BinC), sponsored by the Office of First Year Initiatives and other campus partners, is a university-wide program that works to engage the entire campus community through a series of classroom and co-curricular activities centered around a single book.

This year’s book, which will be studied throughout the academic year, is the New York Times bestseller, “Freakonomics.” Since summer, students, faculty and staff have been encouraged to read the book and participate in cross-discipline discussions of issues presented in the text.