Penn Celebrates Launch of First-of-Its-Kind Program in Market and Social Systems Engineering

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | | 215-573-6604November 9, 2011

WHO:            University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science faculty, guest speakers from Google, Hunch, Northwestern University and Cornell University

WHAT:          Program Director Michael Kearns, along with leaders in academia and the tech industry, talk about applications of network and systems science. A reception will follow.

WHEN:         Nov. 11, 2011,
                     1 to 5:30 p.m.

WHERE:      Wu and Chen Auditorium, Levine Hall,
                     3330 Walnut St.

A new program in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Market and Social Systems Engineering, or MKSE, aims to develop the next generation of innovators in the field and solidify it as its own engineering discipline. The first undergraduate program of its kind, MKSE accepted its inaugural class this past summer and has begun teaching this semester.  

MKSE Director Michael Kearns will provide introductory remarks at a kick-off event, then give way to a series of speakers representing both the research, engineering and entrepreneurial aspects of the discipline.

On the research side is Rakesh Vohra, professor at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, and Jon Kleinberg, professor of computer science at Cornell. Vohra studies, amongst other topics, the mechanisms by which prices are set, while Kleinberg collaborates with sociologists and economists on the study of large-scale social phenomena using data from online domains.

On the engineering side is Andrew Tomkins, director of engineering for Google’s Google+ social network. Representing the entrepreneurs is Chris Dickson, co-founder of the Web startup Hunch, which gathers opinions and preferences from its users, then uses them to answer questions and help decision-making.