SPEAKER: Ramesh Johari - Stanford University
We are very excited that the eighteenth distinguished speaker in this series will be Ramesh Johari. Doors open at 6:30pm, talk begins at 7:00pm. Drinks and light food provided.
TITLE: The Engineer as Economist: The Design of Online Market Platforms
ABSTRACT: Markets are an ancient institution for matching those willing to provide a good or service with those who want it. Physical markets were typically slow to evolve, with simple institutions governing trade, and trading partners generally facing a daunting challenge in finding the "right"
Online marketplaces dramatically disrupt this tradition. Such markets---from eBay, to Google's sponsored search auction, to online labor markets such as oDesk and TaskRabbit---can rapidly respond to evolving market trends, and "engineer" in fine grained ways the interactions of their participants with the platform. Further, the traditional difficulty of *finding* even one trading partner has been replaced with a new difficulty: how to narrow down a plethora of choices? Motivated by this new landscape, this talk will discuss some of the challenges that engineers face in designing and implementing emerging online marketplaces, and survey some of my group's work in this area.
BIO: Ramesh Johari is an Associate Professor at Stanford University and the Cisco Faculty Scholar in the School of Engineering, with a full-time appointment in the Department of Management Science and Engineering (MS&E), and courtesy appointments in the Departments of Computer Science (CS) and Electrical Engineering (EE). He is a member of the Operations Research group in MS&E, the Information Systems Laboratory in EE, and the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. He received an A.B. in Mathematics from Harvard (1998), a Certificate of Advanced Study in Mathematics from Cambridge (1999), and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT (2004), where he received the George M. Sprowls Award for the best doctoral dissertation in computer science.
Ramesh is currently focusing on the design, management, operation, analysis of online market platforms. From July 2012 until December 2013 he was on leave at oDesk, first as a Consulting Scientist, then as Director of Data Products and Research, where he ran a team of data scientists responsible for the algorithms underlying search, recommendations, and matching in the oDesk marketplace. He returned to Stanford full-time in January 2014.