The Simons institute at Berkeley will be having a semester on Economics and Computation in Fall 2015 (Aug 19 – Dec 18, 2015).

The Simons institute is awarding research fellowships for participation in this semester!   These Fellowships are intended for “exceptional young scientists (within at most six years of the award of their PhD at the start of academic year 2015-16)”. In addition, the Institute co-hosts joint fellowships in which a fellow spends a period (typically one semester) as a Simons-Berkeley Fellow and is also appointed to a postdoctoral position at a partner institution.

The deadline for applications is near: December 15, 2014.

Judging from past semesters (on other topics), this is going to be the place to be for researchers in the area during that semester.

NYCE Day Announcement

We’re posting the following announcement on behalf of the organizers of New York Computer Science and Economics Day.

The 7th annual New York Computer Science and Economics Day (NYCE Day 2014) will  take place on Friday, December 5th in Microsoft’s Times Square location in New York City. The goal of NYCE Day is to bring together researchers in New York and surrounding areas who are interested in problems at the  intersection of economics and computation. We will have a panel on “Data Science in Online Ad Ecosystem”, three invited talks, a session of contributed talks, and a poster session. Our invited speakers this year are Anindya Ghose (NYU), Arpita Ghosh (Cornell), and Ehud Kalai (Northwestern). The panel, moderated by Muthu Muthukrishnan (MSR and Rutgers), will bring together Chief Scientists  of several major players in the Online Ads world, including Google and NY Times.

If you plan to attend the workshop please register online before November 24. While limited on-site registration will be available, relying on that may lead to significant delays at the lobby.


Arash Asadpour (NYU Stern), Mohammad Hossein Bateni (Google Research), Alex Slivkins (MSR-NYC).

The 16th ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (EC 2015) will be held on June 15-19, as part of FCRC 2015, in Portland, Oregon. The Call for Papers is now out. As in previous years, to accommodate the publishing traditions of different fields (i.e., subsequent publications in Econ/other journals), authors of accepted papers are allowed to publish only a one page abstract in the proceedings.  Looking forward to your contribution and participation!

As part of an initiative to improve the CS-Econ academic job market, this blog post is to provide initial information for Econ-CS students who are interested in applying to business schools and operations research (OR) departments. Special thanks for coauthoring this post are due to guest bloggers Itai Ashlagi (MIT, Sloan) and Jacob Leshno (Columbia Business School).

Business schools have a variety of groups, different schools are organized differently and groups differ by their names. The most relevant groups are in the area of Operations (such as Operations Management, Operations Research), Decisions (such Decision Sciences and Information Science), and depending on your research you might find connections to Marketing or Strategy groups. It is worthwhile to spend some time looking online and engaging your contacts to learn more about different places that might be interested in you. This post will focus mostly on the Operations job market although some information is related to all of these areas.

Job market candidates who have further questions that are not answered below are encouraged to email either of the authors of this post. Answers to any general-interest questions will be included in future updates.

When does the job market take place?
The typical recruiting process for Operations-like groups starts by asking applicants to submit a partial application due October or November. The early applications are used for conducting short interviews/meetings with candidates in INFORMS (a big annual conference in OR and Management Science which will take place this year on November 9-12). In addition to short interviews, departments will send to representatives attend talks of potential candidate who are presenting at INFORMS (information regarding the talk should be included in the early application).

Deadlines for “full” applications are usually after INFORMS (between Thanksgiving and January and vary quite a bit), and flyouts (campus interviews) take place between January and March. Applying early for short interviews is not a requirement.

Some Marketing groups have faculty that do quantitative research and may be interested in CS-Econ work. The Marketing job market begins very early (application deadlines are around August) and campus interviews are around October-November. We hope to collect more information about this market in the future.

How to apply?
Information about OR-like job postings can be found at Operations Academia. Also check the INFORMS website under “Build your career“. Groups such as Decisions Sciences or Information Sciences may also post their jobs on economics job listings such as the AEA’s Job Openings for Economists.

What can I read to be better prepared?
General advice about the job market in economics and some for OR is given in the links below. Although the economics job market is a bit different, much of the advice is very relevant to candidate going to OR-like jobs and is recommended to read:

What should be my job talk/job market paper?
This is a tough question as the OR-like market is somewhere between economics and CS in several ways. CS candidate typically have many papers while economics students typically have only a few polished papers. The job talk/job market paper should showcase that you have an agenda, even if your results are dispersed between different papers. You want to convey that you have a well formed research direction and make your work relevant and interesting to your audience. To make your work relevant, remember that the audience of your talk does not necessarily have a CS background and so you should not assume they are familiar with CS methods or justification. You must explain why your result is a good result.

It is important to have a job market paper (see advice about job market papers for econonomics students).

When should I start preparing for this job market?
As early as possible. We would suggest to start to thinking about the job market (job market paper) at least two years before graduating. When you are conducting research, think how it will fit into a cohesive research portfolio. Going to conferences and communicating with colleagues from other fields will help you understand how to interest them in your research when you are on the market. Finding and working on more general materials (like applications, statements, etc.) usually happens after the summer of the year of graduation (or Marketing this begins before the summer). It is recommended not to wait until the fall to begin.

How do business schools “count” conference publications?
Different fields have different publication outlets. Business schools/OR care less about CS conference publications, although it is understood that candidates maybe come from different backgrounds. Journal publications are important and there are several top journals in the OR-like area. Common ones are Management Science and Operations Research. Top economics journals are also good. Other journals that are often considered good in different groups (such as Math or OR, Mathematical Programming, top economics field journals like GEB). It is in general good for students who are interested in such jobs to submit papers to good journals.

Are there venues to present work prior to the job market in order to increase visibility?
Yes. INFORMS is in the fall and MSOM (Manufacturing science and Operations Management) is in the early summer.

  • INFORMS‘s call for papers is in the late spring and it is not very competitive. There are also organized (invited) sessions, typically there is a cluster on CS-Econ topics that is organized by someone in CS-Econ.
  • MSOM‘s call for papers happens early in the spring and it is also not competitive. Submissions are just a summary of few pages. They have a mailing list one can register to get information not only about the conference (also many job postings are sent through this mailing list). MSOM has special sessions for job market candidates to give talks and these talks are recorded.

What are the main things that business schools are looking for in interviews that are distinct from CS interviews?
As in every interview, your interviewers are interested to learn about your work and to learn all your strengths. In contrast to CS interviews, they may not be familiar with some/many technical aspects of your work, so explaining your results may be more challenging. Business schools need people who can teach MBAs, and value the ability to communicate ideas in a non technical way. For example, your ability to clearly motivate to the (non-CS) audience of your job talk your CS methods can help demonstrate this ability. One-on-one interviewers will be looking for this ability as well. Also, candidates typically wear a suit to their interview.

As many of our readers know, New York Computer Science and Economics Day (NYCE) is a one-day gathering held annually in New York City to bring together people in the larger New York metropolitan area with interests in computer science, economics, marketing, and business, and with a common focus on understanding and developing the economics of Internet activity.

We are pleased to post the following announcement on behalf of the organizers of NYCE-2014.

The 7th annual New York Computer Science and Economics Day (NYCE-2014) will take place on Friday, December 5th in Microsoft’s Times Square location (11 Times Square). We tentatively plan a panel, a mix of invited and contributed talks, and a poster session. More details are coming soon; the webpage (https://sites.google.com/site/nycsecon2014/) will be up in a few days.

Organizers: Arash Asadpour (NYU Stern), Mohammad Hossein Bateni (Google Research), Alex Slivkins (MSR-NYC).

A thank you to MSR/SVC

Microsoft Research’s Silicon Valley Center (MSR/SVC) was the home of a truly amazing research team. The team began at Digital Equipment Company’s Systems Research Center (DEC/SRC) in the mid-eighties and, over the last thirty years, has been a pioneer of distributed systems research and an example of industrial research at its best. Its thirteen year run at MSR/SVC continued this tradition:

  • as a collaboration between two pillars of computer science, systems and theory;

  • as an industrial laboratory with unfettered academic freedom;

  • as a lab where research prototypes transferred to deployed systems, like Dryad which shipped with Microsoft Server;

  • as a lab where fundamental theory of computation was envisioned and brought to maturity, like differential privacy;

  • as a lab that embraced and supported the greater academic community;

  • as a lab that, since its contemporaneous founding with the then nascent field of economics and computation (EC), was pivotal in its development.

Perhaps most importantly, MSR/SVC has had profound impact on several generations of researchers who visited as Ph.D.s in the internship program, or as postdocs, or as academic visitors. Indeed, many of these researchers have shared their experiences in the comments on Omer Reingold’s presumedly final Windows on Theory blog post.

My own story is similar to that of many others: My advisor Anna Karlin was a member of the team during its DEC/SRC years. (Thank you Anna!) My Ph.D. thesis originated from an auction question posed by the team’s Andrew Goldberg and is based on what became a nine-paper collaboration. (Thank you Andrew!) I clearly remember my 2003 job interview with Roy Levin in 2003, before the first academic paper on the subject, where he told me about the problem of sponsored search and the research challenges it posed for auction theory. (Thank you Roy!) On graduation I joined the team as a researcher and spent an amazing four years in which I could not have found a more supportive, stable, and stimulating environment to work on the theory of mechanism design. Collaborations with Andrew Goldberg developed the competitive analysis of auctions. Collaborations Moshe Babaioff and Alex Slivkins and lab visitors Avrim Blum, Nina Balcan, and Bobby Kleinberg brought connections to machine learning theory. Collaborations with visitors Shuchi Chawla and Bobby Kleinberg initiated the study of approximation in Bayesian mechanism design. Collaborations with lab visitor Madhu Sudan brought connections to coding theory. Discussions with Cynthia Dwork, Frank McSherry, and Kunal Talwar made connections to differential privacy. It was an incredible time to be with such an amazing group. MSR/SVC, thank you!

Last week MSR/SVC closed and with it did a chapter in the story of an elite team of researchers, a culture of collaboration, an institution of research excellence. I hope, just as the team survived acquisition by Compaq and Hewlett Packard in the late nineties, that this chapter is not its last. For myself, my cobloggers at Turing’s Invisible Hand, and on behalf of the EC research community; I would like to thank the MSR/SVC team for everything they have done for computer scientists, computer science, and the field of economics and computation.

This year, the conference on web and Internet economics (WINE) will take place in Beijing, and will feature a poster session for the presentation of both original results that have not yet been published elsewhere and results published recently, which are relevant to the WINE community. While the deadline for regular paper submission has already passed, you still have time to submit your work to the poster session (deadline is September 15). This is a great opportunity to get your work exposed to the WINE community. More information can be found here: http://wine2014.amss.ac.cn/dct/page/70011