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Alison F. Takemura — Two sciences tie the knot

Summary:
A new major combining computer science and economics will prepare students for designing the virtual marketplaces of the future.… Starting in the fall of 2017, the two academic departments will offer a joint major — Course 6-14: Computer Science, Economics, and Data Science — because elements of the two fields have become, well, inseparable. The new major aims to prepare students to think at the nexus of economics and computer science, so they can understand and design the kinds of systems that are coming to define modern life. Think Amazon, Uber, eBay, etc. “This area is super-hot commercially,” says David Autor, the Ford Professor of Economics and associate head of the Department of Economics. “Hiring economists has become really prominent at tech companies because they’re filling

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A new major combining computer science and economics will prepare students for designing the virtual marketplaces of the future.…
Starting in the fall of 2017, the two academic departments will offer a joint major — Course 6-14: Computer Science, Economics, and Data Science — because elements of the two fields have become, well, inseparable. The new major aims to prepare students to think at the nexus of economics and computer science, so they can understand and design the kinds of systems that are coming to define modern life. Think Amazon, Uber, eBay, etc.
“This area is super-hot commercially,” says David Autor, the Ford Professor of Economics and associate head of the Department of Economics. “Hiring economists has become really prominent at tech companies because they’re filling market-design positions.”
Because these companies need analysts who can decide which objectives to maximize, what information and choices to offer, what rules to set, and so on, “companies are really looking for this skill set,” he says.
Asu Ozdaglar, the Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professor of Electrical Engineering and acting head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), says the fields had moved apart in decades prior, but “for the past 10 to 15 years, there’s been a convergence in research areas between economics and facets of computer science, such as optimization and networking.”
“Now, the motivating applications are so vivid, we have to rethink bringing the fields together,” she says....
The future of liberalism.

MIT News
Two sciences tie the knot
Alison F. Takemura | School of Engineering
ht Mark Thoma at Economist's View
Mike Norman
Mike Norman is an economist and veteran trader whose career has spanned over 30 years on Wall Street. He is a former member and trader on the CME, NYMEX, COMEX and NYFE and he managed money for one of the largest hedge funds and ran a prop trading desk for Credit Suisse.

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