Thursday, October 1, 2009

Michael Kearns heads up a new market design program at Penn

The University of Pennsylvania today issued a press release announcing a new undergrad program: Penn Launches Undergraduate Program in Market and Social Systems Engineering, Nation’s First.

"PHILADELPHIA -- 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. "
"“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.”
In 2003, Kearns developed a Penn course, Networked Life, which engages students in hands-on explorations of the networks in which they participate every day. Now one of the most popular courses at the University, Networked Life also served as a proving ground for the larger MKSE program of which it will become a part.
Kearns is the National Center Professor of Computer and Information Science in Penn Engineering, with secondary appointments in Statistics and Operations and Information Management at The Wharton School. "

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