Google has awarded a grant to a group of 20 PIs (including myself) from three universities in Israel for the study of “electronic markets and auctions”. It is defined rather widely from basic Algorithmic Game Theory type issues to more applied ad-auction questions and spans a spectrum of researchers from CS, AI, GT, EE, IE, math, economics, and business. The crucial point is that this is academic non-Google-specific research and its results will be normally academically published.
The list of PIs is:
- Hebrew University: Danny Dolev, Jeffrey S. Rosenschein, Noam Nisan (Computer Science and Engineering); Liad Blumrosen, Alex Gershkov, Eyal Winter (Economics); Michal Feldman and Ilan Kremer (Business). The last six are also members of the Center for the Study of Rationality.
- Tel Aviv University: Yossi Azar, Amos Fiat, Haim Kaplan, and Yishay Mansour (Computer Science); Zvika Neeman (Economics); Ehud Lehrer and Eilon Solan (Mathematics); and Gal Oestreicher (Business).
- Technion: Seffi Naor (Computer Science); Ron Lavi (Industrial Engineering); Shie Mannor and Ariel Orda (Electrical Engineering).
Many observers are curios about Google’s motives in such a grant. It seems that Google is simply trying to support basic research in an area which is crucial for it, while strengthening its ties with researchers, students, and the academia in this area.