My Picture


[The following guest post was written by Vijay Vazirani.]






What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten.

Joel 1:4

A few years ago, while attending a Dagstuhl program on Equilibrium Computation, I embarked on one of the traditional long hikes through the beautiful woods surrounding Schloss Dagstuhl and happened to be walking next to a senior member of the Operations Research community. In no time we got immersed in a lively discussion on the style of research going on in Algorithmic Game Theory. We both agreed that the progress made in a matter of a few years was nothing short of phenomenal. At this point, my colleague remarked that AGT was no exception and that when TCS researchers enter a new area, they go in with such energies and enthusiasm that in no time not only is all low hanging fruit gone but in fact the entire area is devoid of any reasonable open problems! “They attack the area like swarms of locusts devouring foliage in biblical lands, consuming not only fruit and leaves but even shrubs and twigs,” he added. “Yes, and only sh*t is left behind!” I chimed in.

As AGT is reaching that stage, with researchers yearning for new issues/problems for their students and their own research and grant proposals, there is a reprieve emerging on the horizon: a program at Simons on “Online and Matching-Based Market Design” in Fall 2019.

This is by no means a new area. In fact, the first such market, for matching medical residents to hospitals, dates back to 1920s, well before the classic — and by now Nobel Prize winning — work of Gale and Shapley on the stable matching problem, which provided the canonical algorithm for this market. In recent years, the advent of the Internet and the relocation of our most important activities to online platforms have led to an explosion of such marketplaces (for examples, see the Simons web page) and they have been occupying an ever-increasing fraction of our economy.

AGT, CS and Economics have already had a massive impact via these markets. My own experience comes from Google’s multi-billion dollar Adwords market in which sophisticated algorithmic ideas have also played a central role, e.g., see the Simons talk “Google’s AdWords Market: How Theory Influenced Practice“.

Clearly, the stakes are high. There is a real opportunity of extending the already existing highly inter-disciplinary theory in substantial ways and making an even bigger impact. Considering this and the enthusiasm of the researchers who have agreed to be participants in this program, Federico Echenique, Nicole Immorlica and I have launched the project of publishing a comprehensive volume of contributed chapters on this topic. More information on this will be coming soon.


The deadlines to submit nominations for the Gödel Prize, Knuth Prize, and SIGACT Distinguished Service Award are coming soon. Calls for nominations for all three awards can be found at the links below. Note that March 1 is now the permanent deadline for SIGACT Distinguished Service Award nominations, this year and in future years.

  • Gödel Prize: deadline February 15, 2019
  • Knuth Prize: deadline February 15, 2019
  • SIGACT Distinguished Service Award: deadline March 1, every year (including 2019)
    Those who intend to submit a nomination for the Distinguished Service Award are strongly encouraged to inform the Selection Committee Chair at least two weeks in advance.
Please consider nominating graduating Ph.D. students for the SIGecom Dissertation Award.  If you are a graduating student, consider asking your adviser or other senior mentor to nominate you.
Nominations are due on February 28, 2019.  This award is given to a student who defended a thesis in 2018.  It is a prestigious award and is accompanied by a $1500 prize.  In the past, the grand prize has been awarded to:
2017: Aviad Rubinstein, “Hardness of Approximation Between P and NP”
2016: Peng Shi, “Prediction and Optimization in School Choice”
2015: Inbal Talgam-Cohen, “Robust Market Design: Information and Computation “
2014: S. Matthew Weinberg, “Algorithms for Strategic Agents”
2013: Balasubramanian Sivan, “Prior Robust Optimization”
And the award has had seven runner-ups: Rachel Cummings, Christos Tzamos, Bo Waggoner, James Wright, Xi (Alice) Gao, Yang Cai, and Sigal Oren.  You can find detailed information about the nomination process at: http://www.sigecom.org/awardd.html. We look forward to reading your nominations!
Your Award Committee,
Renato Paes Leme
Aaron Roth (Chair)
Inbal Talgam-Cohen
The SIGecom Test of Time Award recognizes the author or authors of an influential paper or series of papers published between ten and twenty-five years ago that has significantly impacted research or applications exemplifying the interplay of economics and computation.

To be eligible, a paper or series of papers must be on a topic in the intersection of economics and computation, including topics in electronic commerce, and must have been first published, in preliminary or final form, in an archival journal or conference proceedings no less than ten years and no more than twenty-five years before the year the award is conferred. Papers for which all authors are deceased at the time the Award Committee makes its decision are not eligible for the award.

The 2019 SIGecom Test of Time Award will be given for papers published no earlier than 1994 and no later than 2009. Nominations are due by February 20th, 2019, and must be made by email to the Award Committee (sigecom-awards-tot@acm.org) with “ACM SIGecom Test of Time Award” in the subject.

Any member of SIGecom may submit a nomination. Self-nomination is not allowed. Nominations must include the following, preferably in a single PDF file:

1. Bibliographic data for the paper or series of papers demonstrating publication, in preliminary or final form, at least ten years and at most twenty-five years before the award year.

2. An endorsement letter by the nominator of no more than two pages describing the content of the paper or series of papers and the lasting contribution, significance, and impact of the work.

3. The names, email addresses, and affiliations of at least two and at most three other endorsers. Endorsers, like the nominator, may not be authors of the paper or papers under consideration.

4. A one-sentence statement that describes the contribution of the paper or series of papers.

The additional endorsers should send letters directly to the Award Committee (sigecom-awards-tot@acm.org) by the same deadline. Each letter should specify the relationship of the endorser to nominees and describe, in 500 words or fewer, the lasting contribution, significance, and impact of the paper or papers.

An unsuccessful nomination can be reconsidered for three award cycles, with the option of updating the original nomination to reflect additional impact. Subsequently, a new nomination must be provided. All matters relating to the selection process that are not specified here are left to the discretion of the Award Committee.

The award, conferred annually at the ACM Conference on Economics and Computation, includes a plaque and complimentary conference registration for each winner and an honorarium of $1,000 to be shared among the winners. The award may not be given if the nominations are judged not to meet the standards of the award.

It is expected that at least one of the nominated authors, if selected for the award, will attend the next ACM Conference on Economics and Computation on June 24-28, 2019, in Phoenix, AZ, USA, to accept the award and give a presentation on the work. The award includes complimentary registration but does not cover travel expenses to attend the conference.

The Award Committee welcomes questions from anyone considering or intending to submit a nomination. The Award Committee is happy to provide feedback on informal proposals for potential nominees, should it be needed.

On behalf of the 2019 Award Committee:

Nikhil Devanur
Robert Kleinberg
Tim Roughgarden (Chair)

EC 2019 Call for Papers

The ACM Special Interest Group on Electronic Commerce (SIGecom) solicits submissions for presentation at the 20th ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (EC’19), the premier venue for research at the interface of economics and computation.  Submissions are due on February 14, 2019.  The conference will be held from June 24 through June 28, 2019, in Phoenix, Arizona, as part of the ACM Federated Computing Research Conference (FCRC).

Full details are available at the conference website at:

EC’19 has four technical tracks, detailed below.  Each paper submission must designate one track, and will be reviewed by program committee members assigned to that track.

  • AI. Areas of interest include: social choice; fair division; prediction markets; preference elicitation; equilibrium computation and computational game theory; automated agents; theory of machine learning; behavioral game theory and bounded rationality; privacy, fairness, and ethics; data markets.

  • Applied modeling. Papers submitted to this track should emphasize mathematical modeling of real-world systems; areas of interest include: ridesharing; kidney exchanges; school choice; labor markets; spectrum auctions; crowdsourcing; online platforms; the sharing economy; online advertising; economics of the cloud; cryptocurrency; peer grading.

  • Empirics. Papers submitted to the empirics track should primarily contain results derived by empirical methods; areas of interest include: computational social science; causal inference; experiments; structural estimation; data mining; applied machine learning; empirical analysis of real-world systems (e.g., online and offline platforms and markets); empirical behavioral economics; social networks (empirical analysis).

  • Theory. Papers submitted to the theory track should provide a strong methodological contribution; areas of interest include: market design; auctions; pricing; resource allocation; matching; price of anarchy; social learning; social networks (theory); learning in games; fair division; complexity of equilibria.  Select accepted papers in this track will appear in joint sessions of EC’19 and the 51st Annual ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing (STOC’19).


In addition, EC’19 is piloting a new program to offer authors of accepted papers the option to have their reviews and paper forwarded to a journal.  Our partner journals are:

Full details on the process for forwarding to journal are available at the conference website above.



Nicole Immorlica and Ramesh Johari

Program co-chairs, ACM EC 2019

“Highlights Beyond EC” Session at EC 2019: Call for Nominations

Committee: Mohammad Akbarpour, Moshe Babaioff, Shengwu Li, and Ariel Procaccia

Following a new tradition started last year, the 2019 ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (EC’19) will host a special session highlighting some of the best work in economics and computation that appears in conferences and journals other than EC. The intention of this session is to expose EC attendees to related work just beyond the boundary of their current awareness.

We seek nominations for papers in Economics and Computation that have made breakthrough advances, opened up new questions or areas, made unexpected connections, or had significant impact on practice or other sciences. Examples of conferences and journals that publish papers relevant for the special session include STOC/FOCS/SODA/ITCS, AAAI/IJCAI/AAMAS, NIPS/ICML/COLT, WWW/KDD, AER/Econometrica/JPE/QJE/RESTUD/TE/AEJ Micro/JET/GEB, and Math of OR/Management Science/Operations Research. Anyone is welcome to contact us, but we especially invite members of PCs or editorial boards in various venues to send us suggestions.
Nominations should be emailed to HighlightsBeyondEC@gmail.com, and should include:

  • Paper title and authors.
  • Publication venue or online working version. Preference will be given to papers that have appeared in a related conference or journal within the past two years, or have a working version circulated within the past two years.
  • Short (2-3 paragraph) explanation of the paper and its importance.
  • (Optional) Names of 1-3 knowledgeable experts on the area of the paper.

Note that at least one of the authors of a selected paper will be required to present their paper at EC 2019 and so should be available to travel to the conference, which will take place in Phoenix, AZ on June 25-27, 2019.

To ensure maximum consideration, please send all nominations by December 15, 2018.

Continuing the tradition from 20152016, and 2017, there will be an article in the upcoming edition of the SIGecom Exchanges profiling junior job market candidates (both for postdoc and faculty positions) of the SIGecom community for 2018-2019. These profiles will include the thesis title, research summary, brief biography, and citations to three representative papers. At least one of these papers should have appeared in the ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (EC) or a comparable venue.
To be considered, submissions must be initiated no later than August 26 and finalized by August 30. Further instructions for submissions can be found on the submission form. The article will be co-edited by Vasilis Gkatzelis and myself.