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April 12, 2011
Vijay Vazirani has received a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship for research into algorithmic problems in economics and game theory.
“The algorithmic way of thinking is one of the most profound contributions of modern computer science to the natural sciences and engineering—it can lead to fresh, new insights and progress of a fundamental nature on some of their most basic questions,” Vazirani said. “The reason is that many processes being studied in these fields are inherently computational in nature, whether it is a market converging to equilibrium prices or neural processes in the brain or protein production and folding in living cells.”
Vazirani, a professor in the School of Computer Science, will take a sabbatical during 2011-12 to work on his Guggenheim project, titled "Algorithms as a Lens on Economics." He has confirmed visits to Hebrew University, Stanford University, University of Chicago and CalTech.
Guggenheim Fellowships, awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and its Board of Trustees, are given to researchers who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. The purpose of the Guggenheim Fellowship program is to provide fellows with blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible. Out of 3,000 applicants in 2011, just 180 fellows were chosen, and only two fellowships were given to computer scientists.