nimaCongratulations to former Northwestern CS Economics and Theory Ph.D. student Nima Haghpanah for accepting a tenure track assistant professorship at the Economics Department at Pennsylvania State! Nima’s Ph.D. dissertation, titled Optimal Multi-parameter Auction Design, won Northwestern’s CS dissertation award in 2015. It revisits four of the main conclusions of Roger Myerson’s 1981 paper, also award winning, and extends or approximately extends them to environments where the bidders have multi-dimensional preferences. Multi-dimensional auction design is well regarded as one of the most impenetrable areas for economic analysis. Nima made progress on this problem by deftly combining analysis methods from both economics and theoretical computer science.

When I joined Northwestern in 2008, at the time with Lance Fortnow and Nicole Immorlica, our goal was to create a program where the next generation of Ph.D.s in algorithmic game theory could train to become equal parts economists and computer scientists. In addition to the usual courses taken by theoretical computer scientists, the first-year students in the program take the introductory Ph.D. course sequences in microeconomics, game theory, and optimization that are taught in Northwestern’s Economics Department and Kellogg School of Management. The most important part of the program, however, is the outstanding students who have joined us, made it a fantastic and collegial environment, and have done really amazing research. Thanks, Nima, for helping us all achieve our goals. We look forward to seeing even more amazing things come from you at Penn State!