Here are some news items about the field with no name (at least not yet, see below) that lies at the intersection of computer science and economics.
- The Sixth Workshop on Ad Auctions is soliciting papers. The workshop will be held June 8, 2010, in Cambridge, MA, in conjunction with the ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC’10). There is a terrific organizing committee this year spanning industry and academia, CS and business schools.
- The EC’10 list of accepted papers is out and looks great.
- The first-ever Behavioral and Quantitative Game Theory Conference on Future Directions will be held May 14-16 in Newport Beach, CA. The program looks fantastic.
- Last fall, the University of Pennsylvania announced the first-ever undergraduate degree program in Market and Social Systems Engineering. Kudos to UPenn: the move shows impressive vision and leadership.
- The NSF is funding research in the CS-Econ area. They support efforts to “explore the emerging interface between computer science and economics, including algorithmic game theory, automated mechanism design, computational tractability of basic economic problems, and the role of information, trust, and reputation in markets” (page 7).
- The NBER Market Design working group is soliciting papers for a workshop October 8-9, 2010 in Cambridge, MA.
- We are now reviewing some amazing submissions to Yahoo!’s 2010 Key Scientific Challenges program. Read the challenges for the area we call Algorithmic Economics.
- Members of Yahoo! Labs can submit proposals to fund collaborative research with academic colleagues through the Yahoo! Faculty Research and Engagement program. If you’re interested, contact a Yahoo! Labs employee.
What should be the name? CS âˆ© Econ is accurate but cryptic. At Yahoo!, we call it Algorithmic Economics. At Google, they call it Market Algorithms. The ACM Special Interest Group in this area calls it Electronic Commerce, causing complaints every year. I’ve heard people suggest Economics and Computation. The name Algorithmic Game Theory has emerged as something of a standard within the CS theory community. [Update: Noam suggests Algorithmic Game Theory and Economics and even renamed his blog accordingly.] The phrase Computational Economics makes sense but is already in use by a different field. A fun suggestion is Economatics (or Autonomics), meant to invoke a mashup of economics and automation.
Prediction markets had a similar naming/identity crisis. They’ve been called information markets, idea markets, securities markets, event markets, binary options, market in uncertainty, and more. But now almost everyone has settled on prediction markets. I’ve come to like the name and I think it’s helped establish the field in it’s own right. I hope we can settle on a good name for CS âˆ© Econ in part so we can create the Journal of PerfectNameForCSEcon, an outlet sorely missing from the field.
Update 2011/10/11: The journal now exists! Called the ACM Transactions on Economics and Computation, it circumvented the naming issue.