Guest post by Vincent Conitzer
The program is intended to be very small, at least initially, and piggybacks on some of the existing infrastructure of Duke’s smoothly running Master’s program in Economics.
Still, I believe that this is an exciting development for our area that reflects well on its significance and maturity (of course meanwhile there remains so much to be done!). At the same time, this new MS program is much broader than our area narrowly construed. Students could do very well in it without ever taking a course with me or any of our other faculty that publish in EC/TEAC (Kamesh, Sasa, Rachel, Ozan, Santiago, …). For example, they might choose to focus more on macroeconomics, finance, econometrics, etc. — and there are people at Duke interested in computational aspects of those.
I hope to see this type of program replicated at other universities, and I think there is plenty of room for that. I personally think the broad approach is a good idea, but I am curious to hear what others think about it. It does require us to engage a little with people working on “computational economics” in other senses. (See also earlier discussions here and here.) At the same time, having such MS programs certainly doesn’t require that we all become experts on all those topics ourselves. Most universities should have other people interested in those aspects, and obviously it would be bad for any Master’s program to rely too much on one or two individual faculty. What do people think?