CS Colloquium - David Pennock

Event time: 
Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 4:00pm
AKW 200 See map
51 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

CS Colloquium - David Pennock

Refreshments available at 3:45

Hosts: Dragomir Radev and Joan Feigenbaum

Title: Wagering mechanisms for probability elicitation and surprising other applications


I will present four applications of mechanisms to help individuals and groups make better decisions. In the first application, we design truthful wagering mechanisms to compensate forecasters with money in return for accurate probabilities relevant to a decision. In the second application, we reward forecasters with a winner-takes-all prize. In the third application, we look for ways to divide shared property among a group, like the famous cake-cutting problem. In the fourth application, we design a voting scheme useful for participatory budgeting. Three of the applications do not involve money and two of them don’t even involve uncertainty. Yet all four employ the same truthful wagering mechanisms that we invented for the first application (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018). The latter three applications, developed in the last couple years (2018, 2019, 2019), came as a pleasant surprise.


David Pennock is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New York City. His largest contributions are novel prediction markets and wagering mechanisms: financial markets harnessed to elicit probabilistic information from a crowd. He has over 70 publications cited 14,000 times and an h-index of 50. He has over twenty patent applications, over twenty press mentions, and has given more than fifty talks. His Ph.D. is in artificial intelligence and he has been an intellectual and organizational leader in the economics-and-computation subfield of AI for two decades. He co-founded two research areas, three workshops, and an ACM journal, and was a founding member of three corporate basic-research labs. He served as Assistant Managing Director of MSR NYC for six years. He was Chair of ACM SIGecom, Program co-Chair of ACM EC, and is co-Editor-in-Chief of ACM TEAC. In addition to his primary research area, he has published work in machine learning (including NeurIPS and ICML), theory (including STOC), information retrieval (including a Test of Time Award honorable mention in SIGIR), web science, sponsored search, Bayesian networks, constraint satisfaction, and recommender systems. He led the development of several popular online market games and blogged for Yahoo News. In 2005, he was named to MIT Technology Review’s list of 35 “top technology innovators under age 35” having the potential to profoundly impact the world.