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GTS News

(last updated on 13 June 2017)

Upcoming Conference Deadlines - see below

In Memoriam: Kenneth J. Arrow (1921-2017)

(posted by Rakesh Vohra, 21 February 2017)

Kenneth Joseph Arrow, a member of the Society's advisory board since its foundation, passed away February 21, 2017. If a scholar's contributions are to be judged by the amount of work he or she created for others, then Arrow was a full employment act.

Born in 1921, he was part of a remarkable cohort of descendants of Eastern European emigres who settled in New York, made their way through the City College of New York, eventually to sweep the boards of every glittering prize. At least nine nobel laureates trod the same path, among them Robert J. Aumann.

Arrow's is a name familiar in our mouths as any household word. No education in Game Theory or Economics is complete without a study of the eponymous impossibility theorem and his formulation and existence proof (with Debreu) of general equilibrium. For any one person this might suffice as an epitaph, but not for Arrow. There are his contributions with Samuel Karlin and Herbert Scarf to inventory theory. He was a pioneer in the economics of information, healthcare and discrimination. His influence continues through his students like Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson. Macaulay's descriptions of the Jesuits, reproduced below, would be as accurate if each appearance of the word `Jesuit' was replaced by `Arrow' and `they' by `him':

There was no region of the globe, no walk of speculative or of active life, in which Jesuits were not to be found. They guided the counsels of Kings. They deciphered Latin inscriptions. They observed the motions of Jupiter's satellites. They published whole libraries...

(posted by Christos H. Papadimitriou, 22 February 2017)

Kenneth Arrow, a giant of economic thought - and of rational, analytical thought more generally - left us yesterday, 95 years old. He was a brilliant, gentle man, an old colleague and friend, and the spark and inspiration of my interest in economics. We will remember him for his incisive theorems, but also for his beautiful talk on the history of the quest for approximating equilibria that graced our program and opened our boot camp at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing.

Obituary of Kenneth Arrow in the New York Times, 21 February 2017.

Obituary of Kenneth Arrow in the Washington Post, 21 February 2017.

Obituary and on Kenneth Arrow's intellectual legacy in the Financial Times, 22 February 2017.

In Memoriam: Thomas Schelling (1921-2016)

(posted by Rakesh Vohra, 14 December 2016)

Thomas Schelling, winner of the of the 2005 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his contributions to Game Theory, passed away Tuesday, December 13, 2016. He was 95. Tom Schelling was a member of the Council of the Game Theory Society from 2009 to to 2015.

Schelling was not a product of the von-Neumann-Morgenstern tradition. He was educated as an economist who enjoyed both an academic active life as well as prominence in policy circles. In addition to academic appointments at Yale and the University of Maryland he also served on the White House staff of the foreign policy adviser to the US president.

Within game theory he is best known for the notion of focal points. Indeed, he once remarked at the end of conference on Game Theory and focal points: "I understand what focal points have contributed to Game Theory, but I still don't see what Game Theory has contributed to the understanding of focal points". Schelling was instrumental in motivating theorists to consider credible commitments, threats and promises. These concerns were distilled into his 1960 book "The Strategy of Conflict". It remains to this day required reading for any theorist serious about how game-theoretic ideas can inform real (as opposed to idealized) strategic interactions.

2020 World Congress of the Game Theory Society

Call for proposals to host the Sixth World Congress of the Game Theory Society

(posted by Rakesh Vohra, 3 September 2016)

The Game Theory Society welcomes proposals to host the Sixth World Congress in the summer (typically July) of 2020. Preliminary proposals should identify the host institution, the local organizer(s) and the potential for staff support in planning and running the Congress, potential sources of support, available conference facilities, including rooms and IT infrastructure, and hotels sufficient to accommodate 600 to 900 participants.

Inquiries and proposals should be sent to:

Professor Larry Samuelson
President, The Game Theory Society
Department of Economics
Yale University
30 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520, USA
We hope to hear by May 1, 2017 from anyone who considers hosting the World Congress.

Upcoming Conference Deadlines and Calls for Papers

(see GTS conference announcements)

June 9, 2017: Abstract submission for
Special session on Game Theory at 41st AMASES Meeting (September 14 - 16, 2017, Cagliari, Italy)

June 17, 2017: Paper (or extended abstract) submission deadline for
8th Annual Financial Market Liquidity Conference (including Game Theoretic Aspects of Liquidity and Financial Markets) (November 16 - 17, 2017, Budapest, Hungary)

June 29, 2017: Submission for
GameSec 2017 (October 23 - 25, 2017, Vienna, Austria)

July 31, 2017: Paper Submission for
UECE Lisbon Meetings 2017: Game Theory and Applications (November 9 - 11, 2017, Lisbon, Portugal)

August 31, 2017: Submission Deadline for
Workshop on Political Economy Political Science, PEPS 2017 (November 30 - December 2, 2017, Santiago, Chile)

September 5, 2017: Abstract submission for
Ninth Workshop on Dynamic Games in Management Science (June 13 - October 13, 2017, Montreal, Canada)

Knuth Prize Awarded to Pioneer of Algorithmic Game Theory

(posted by Rakesh Vohra, 11 September 2016)

GTS Council Member Noam Nisan was awarded the 2016 Knuth Prize. The details may be found here. Among the contributions he was honored for, was his work on algorithmic game theory.

In Memoriam: Reinhard Selten (1930-2016)

(posted by Rakesh Vohra, 1 September 2016)

Reinhard Selten, winner of the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his contributions to Game Theory (subgame perfect!), passed away on August 23rd of this year. He met his wife Elisabeth Lang Reiner through their mutual interest in Esperanto. So enthusiastic was he about Esperanto that he once ran as an Esperanto party candidate for the European Parliament! He also wrote a book on Game Theory in Esperanto: "Enkonduko en la Teorion de Lingvaj Ludoj - Cu mi lernu Esperanton?"

Selten was born in Breslau, 3 years prior to the birth of the Third Reich. His parents (one Jewish and the other Protestant) had initially decided to raise him without a religious affiliation. However, in 1933 they had him baptised a Protestant in the hope of saving him from persecution. Barred from school at 14 and took up work as an unskilled laborer. With the fall of Germany, Selten and his remaining family slipped the Soviet noose on the last train out of Breslau. He continued as farm laborer until German schools were reopened in 1946.

In 1957, Selten received his Masters degree from Frankfurt, and it was there he developed his lifelong interest in experimental Economics. This was followed by an invitation to visit with Morgenstern and his group at Princeton. It was on this visit that he met Aumann, Maschler and Harsanyi (with whom he would share the prize) and cemented his interest in Game Theory.

Selten returned to Germany, rising to become an Economics elder statesman in Germany. He was instrumental in building an active Game Theory at Bielefeld and an experimental economics laboratory at Bonn. His contributions to Game Theory are now a standard part of any Game Theory course, even an undergraduate one.

Elections of GTS Officers 2016

(mailed to GTS members by Jean-Jacques Herings, Secretary-Treasurer of the Game Theory Society, on 10 June 2016)

Dear Members of the Game Theory Society,

According to Bylaws of our Society, elections for the Officers of the Society have to be held every two years. The Officers (the President, the Past President, the Executive Vice-President, the Vice-President for Communications, and the Secretary/Treasurer) are responsible for the ongoing operations of the Society. New officers are elected by the members of the Council, upon a proposal drawn up by the Steering Committee, using the system of approval voting.

The elections took place recently, and we would like to inform you of the outcome.

In the election 20 Council members voted, and this is the result:

The newly elected officers will take up their positions on August 1, 2016

Council Elections 2015

(mailed to GTS members by Jean-Jacques Herings, Secretary-Treasurer of the Game Theory Society, on 30 March 2016)

Dear member of the Game Theory Society,

The elections for the replacement of 12 members of the GTS Council have taken place, and the following candidates have been elected:

Rabah Amir
Tilman Börgers
Olivier Compte
Hülya Eraslan
Srihari Govindan
Noam Nisan
Georg Nöldeke
Akira Okada
Karl Schmedders
Chris Shannon
Rajiv Vohra
Leeat Yariv
We thank candidates and voters for their collaboration.

In Memoriam: Lloyd S. Shapley (1924-2016)

(posted by Rakesh Vohra, 13 March 2016)

The Nobel laureate Lloyd Shapley passed away on March 12, 2016. He was of the `heroic age' of Game Theory that gave us, among others, Gale, Nash, Scarf, and Kuhn. You will find his memorial among the many eponymous concepts, models and theorems that pave the subject: the Shapley value, the Shapley-Shubik assignment model, The Gale-Shapley algorithm, the Shapley-Folkman Theorem, the Bondareva-Shapley Theorem, Aumann-Shapley pricing and the Scarf-Shapley housing model. The list just enumerated is biased towards Shapley's contributions to co-operative games and matching. On the noncooperative side there is the introduction of stochastic games, the introduction (joint with Monderer) of Potential games and with Aumann a folk theorem for infinitely repeated games. Even until the onset of dementia some years ago, Shapley continued to `bang away' as it were, most recently with the von-Neumann Morgenstern solution. His breadth and fecundity are unrivaled. For this the Society honors him at each World Congress through the Shapley Lecture which is given by a distinguished game theorist aged 40 or under at the time of the Lecture.

Shapley was, until recently, a regular of the Society's meetings at Stony Brook as well as the World Congress. He was no wallflower and could be heard asking pointed questions, and directing others to his less well known work on, say, accessibility of fixed points.

Shapley also delighted in playing games, having invented (along with Nash, Hausner and Shubik) the game `so long sucker'. At conferences, Shapley would hold forth on how Kriegspiel (blindfold chess) is to be played rationally, though less enlightened souls reported he lost that way. He will be missed.

Israeli Chapter of the Game Theory Society - Elections

(posted February 22, 2016)

The Israeli Chapter of the Game Theory Society elected Abraham Neyman as the President for the years 2016-2018, and elected Igal Milchtaich as the Executive Officer.

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