News

Warren Center Update

Michael Kearns & Rakesh Vohra | February 10, 2015

Dear Warren Center faculty affiliates —

We hope this note finds you well in the new year and settled into the term. It’s been a while so we wanted to update you on Warren Center activities and news. We’ll also be sending more specialized announcements and reminders for particular events.

Events

First, on already-scheduled upcoming events. We have two distinguished lectures planned in the upcoming months, one of them fairly soon:

Matt Jackson, Stanford: March 3
https://web.stanford.edu/~jacksonm/

Alessandro Acquisiti, CMU: April 7
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/~acquisti/

Details TBA; since it’s been a while since we’ve had a center-wide get-together, we’ll try to host a wine and “cheese” reception following one of these talks, or on some separate date in the Spring.

Next, Selman Erol and Rakesh Vohra have organized a very nice workshop on “Networks and Systemic Risk”, to be held all day on May 18. The speakers are

  • Maryam Farboodi (Princeton University)
  • Mark Flood (Department of the Treasury, Office of Financial Research)
  • Benjamin Golub (Harvard University)
  • Garud Iyengar (Columbia University)
  • Andrea Minca (Cornell University)
  • Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi (Columbia University)

which should make for a fantastic and fascinating event of interest to many in the WC.

AY2015-16 Postdocs

We’re still figuring out our budget for the coming year or so, but it does appear we may be able to support some new Warren Center postdoctoral fellows — not as many as the four we brought in last year, but hopefully some. We’d like to keep the process about the same as last year, which means informal but with the requirement that candidates be nominated by at least two WC faculty affiliates in *different* departments.

You should send candidate materials — CV, web link, pubs, letters of rec, plus a nominating letter — directly to us (mkearns@cis.upenn.edu, rvohra@seas.upenn.edu). If you are able to do any amount of “cost-sharing” — i.e. sharing the cost of funding your candidate through grants or other forms of research support — please let us know. In order to make our funding go as far as possible, we’ll look more favorably on nominations with cost-sharing arrangements.

New Faculty Affiliates

While keeping our numbers small enough to still have cohesion and intimacy/informality of our events and procedures, we do feel it’s time to grow our ranks a little bit, so we’d like to hear any suggestions you have for new WC faculty affiliates. Obviously we’re most interested in faculty doing exciting research that is aligned with the broad themes of the center, and who can bring fresh energy and perspectives. Again just send your suggestions directly to either or both of us, along with web links and perhaps some remarks on why you think the candidate is a good fit.

Suggesting/Organizing Speakers, Workshops, Etc.

We feel that the center-wide events we’ve held so far — invited speakers, workshops, the faculty summit we held back in the Fall, etc. — have been one of the best uses of WC resources to date, and we’d like to strongly encourage you to propose and organize more of these. The topics and foci here can be broad — from research-focused workshops like the aforementioned Networks and Systemic Risk, to the hands-on R workshop organized by Frank DiTraglia. We’re very open-minded here, so please nominate yourself to organize something you’re excited about, and we can handle or help the funding. Ditto with WC speakers.

Website Revamp

We’re in the middle of revamping our website (which first involves a port from Drupal to WordPress, which is already more than you ever wanted to know about web dev), which will make it easier for us to more directly update it and keep it current and lively with upcoming events. We’ll alert you when the revamp is done, at which point we’ll likely be putting out a call for relevant material, events, and so on.

That’s it for now. We hope to see and hear from many of you soon.

Best
Michael Kearns and Rakesh Vohra
Warren Center Co-Directors