Markets for Networks and Crowds



Instructors: Nicole Immorlica and Brendan Lucier
Emails: nicimm@gmail.com and brlucier@microsoft.com

Teaching Assistant: Jerry Anunrojwong
Email: janunrojwong@college.harvard.edu


Lectures: Pierce 301
Time: Fridays 9am - 12pm


Offices hours: MD 2nd floor lounge
Time: Thursdays 4.30pm - 6pm



Note there has been a room change: lectures are now held in Pierce 301.



Description: Markets are systems that allocate scarce resources to individuals, coordinate aggregate behavior and determine societal outcomes. Networks and crowds define the unique environments in which these systems run. The success or failure of a market depends both on the incentives of individual participants and on the structure of their relationships.

In this course, we will discuss the underlying theory and analysis of markets for social and networked environments. Topics include the foundations of markets and auctions, as well as related current research directions. The theory will be accompanied by case studies in relevant applications including GPS route guidance systems, ridesharing services, school choice programs, online advertising, and online dating.

Prerequisites: There are no formal pre-requisites for this course, but mathematical maturity is recommended. The course is intended for graduate students, but advanced undergraduates are encouraged to attend as well.

Learning Objectives: Students will develop familiarity with fundamental concepts from applied mathematics, microeconomics, and algorithms through the lens of market design. Students will also develop research and presentation skills through course participation and a course project.

Assessment: Assignments include 30 pages of weekly readings, three problem sets highlighting both theoretical and applied problems, one presentation of a current research paper, and one course project.