Penn just announced a new undergraduate program in “market and social systems engineering”:
The University of Pennsylvania has launched a first-of-its-kind program that will prepare undergraduate students to shape the technologies that underpin Web search, keyword auctions, electronic commerce, social and financial networks and the novel and unanticipated markets and social systems of the years ahead.
The intellectual core of the program will encompass network science, algorithmic game theory and other disciplines relevant to engineers and scientists as they consider human incentives and behavior in developing modern technological systems.
Based within Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, the program will enroll students in the fall of 2011.
Penn Engineering will hire new faculty for the program, in addition to calling on the strengths of Penn’s current faculty across Penn Engineering, the School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School.
Traditional programs don’t prepare students to design systems that take into account the goals and incentives of the people who use them,” said Michael Kearns, professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science in Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and the program’s founding faculty director. “We haven’t asked engineering students to take a course in game theory to understand how incentives work or in sociology to understand human behavior. There is now enough science out there on the intersection of these topics to design undergraduate courses.”