James Poterba elected to Royal Academy
James Poterba elected to Royal Academy
Mitsui Professor of Economics James Poterba, an expert on tax policy and on issues surrounding retirement security, was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy at its July 2017 meeting. The British Academy, which was chartered by King Edward VII in 1902, is the United Kingdom's national body for the promotion of humanities and the social sciences.
New Economics and EECS undergraduate major announced
New Economics and EECS undergraduate major announced
MIT's Departments of Economics and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) have announced the new undergraduate major 6-14 in Computer Science, Economics and Data Science. The new major aims to equip students with a foundational knowledge in the areas of economic analysis, computing, optimization and data science, as well as hands-on experience with empirical analysis of economic data, in order to identify, analyze and solve real-world challenges in both real and virtual settings. The central motivation for the new major is the recent raise of contemporary electronically-mediated platforms for market-level and individual exchange that combine complex human decisions with intensive computation and data processing, all of which operate within an engineered economic environment. Examples include: online markets, crowdsourcing platforms, spectrum auctions, financial platforms, crypto currencies, and large-scale matching/allocation systems such as kidney exchanges and public school choice systems.
Esther Duflo and Sara Ellison awarded an inaugural MITx Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs
Esther Duflo and Sara Ellison awarded an inaugural MITx Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs
MIT's Office of Digital Learning honored the winners of its inaugural MITx Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs (massive open online courses), recognizing educators who have devoted themselves to better engaging learners around the world through digital classrooms. Professors Esther Duflo and Sara Ellison were one of the three winning groups of co-instructors were selected from a pool of individuals who made significant contributions to MITx MOOC coursework offered on edX.org during the 2016 calendar year. Their course, 14.310x Data Analysis for Social Scientists, is used in MIT undergraduate studies and as part of the Data, Economics and Development Policy MicroMasters program. The duo were selected for their balance of rigor and accessibility in helping students acquire and develop big data skills via the edX platform.
Esther Duflo elected to National Academy of Sciences
Esther Duflo elected to National Academy of Sciences
Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, Esther Duflo, is one of the 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 16 countries elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Duflo joins MIT colleagues Stephen Bell (Biology), Sangeeta Bhatia (Institute for Medical Engineering and Science), Christopher Cummins (Chemistry), Klavs Jensen (Chemical Engineering), and Nergus Mavalvala (Physics) as new members in 2017.
Daron Acemoglu named 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellow
Daron Acemoglu named 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellow
Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics, Daron Acemoglu, has been named to the 2017 class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows, along with MIT Political Science professors Richard Nielsen and Charles Stewart III. The MIT trio is among 35 scholars and intellectuals receiving the fellowships, a prestigious honor supporting research in the social sciences and humanities, which are awarded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Each year, the Corporation provides more than 30 of the country's most creative thinkers with grants of up to $200,000 each to support research on challenges to democracy and international order.
Featured Research: The Man Who Made Us See That Trade Isn't Always Free
Featured Research: The Man Who Made Us See That Trade Isn't Always Free
Ford Professor David Autor is one of the leaders of the empirical revolution in economics, pioneering ways to make the economics discipline both more credible and more relevant. He has tackled subjects like monopoly power and the polarization of the job market. But perhaps his biggest bombshell has been his finding, along with co-authors David Dorn and Gordon Hanson, that opening the U.S. economy to trade with China hurt American workers a lot more than had previously been thought. Though that finding has been challenged by others such as George Washington University's Jonathan Rothwell, it has already changed the way economists think and talk about the costs and benefits of free trade.
Alexander Wolitzky selected as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow
Alexander Wolitzky selected as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow
Pentti J. K. Kouri Career Development Associate Professor of Economics, Alex Wolitzky, has been awarded a 2017 Sloan Research Fellowship. The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.
Franco Modigliani Professor of Financial Economics, Stephen Ross, dies at 73
Franco Modigliani Professor of Financial Economics, Stephen Ross, dies at 73
Joint MIT Economics and Sloan School of Management Professor Stephen A. Ross, known best to the world of finance as the inventor of the Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT), passed away unexpectedly on Friday, March 3rd. He was 73 years old. Professor Ross will be remembered as an intellectual giant, and a pioneer in modern finance. He made numerous contributions to the theory and practice of option pricing. He was a wonderful colleague, mentor, and friend to the MIT Economics and Sloan communities. His presence will be truly missed.
Rob Townsend to Lead Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory
Rob Townsend to Lead Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory
On January 1, Robert M. Townsend, the Elizabeth & James Killian Professor of Economics, began his tenure as President of the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET). Founded in 1990 and dedicated to advancing knowledge in theoretical economics, SAET publishes the journals Economic Theory and Economic Theory Bulletin, names Economic Theory Fellows, and bestows the Aliprantis Prize for Excellence to a young researcher. SAET also facilitates communication among researchers in economics, mathematics, game theory, and other fields that have the potential to inform and shape economic theory.
Featured Research: Better wisdom from crowds
Featured Research: Better wisdom from crowds
The notion that the average judgment of a large group is more accurate than that of any individual, including experts, is widely accepted and influential. This "wisdom of the crowd" principle, however, has serious limitations, as it is biased against the latest knowledge that is not widely shared. A new study, co-authored by joint Economics-Sloan Professor, Drazen Prelec, proposes an alternative principle - the "surprisingly popular" principle - that requires people to answer a question and also predict how others will answer it. By selecting the answer that is more popular than people predict, the "surprisingly popular" algorithm outperforms the wisdom of crowds.
Daron Acemoglu wins BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award
Daron Acemoglu wins BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award
Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics Daron Acemoglu has won this year's BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award for Economics, Finance, and Management, in honor of his prolific research contributions that have helped reshape his discipline over the last two decades. The BBVA Foundation awards honor recipients in eight intellectual and artistic categories for "contributions of broad impact for their originality and theoretical significance," including "research work that successfully enlarges the scope of our current knowledge."
Bengt Holmstrom awarded 2016 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel
Bengt Holmstrom awarded 2016 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel
Bengt Holmstrom, the Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics, has been awarded the 2016 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. He shares this honor with Oliver Hart of Harvard, for their deeply influential work on contract theory, including the optimal design of contracts between employers and employees. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in granting the award, notes that contracts "are essential to the functioning of modern societies," and states that the work of the two economists had been "invaluable in helping us understand real-life contracts and institutions, as well as the potential pitfalls when designing new contracts."
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