EECS Alumnus Nima Haghpanah Joins Economics Dept. at Penn State

This hiring is the first instance of a CS PhD student landing an Assistant Professorship position in an Economics department.

Dr. Nima Haghpanah

Congratulations to former Northwestern CS Economics and Theory Ph.D. Student Dr. Nima Haghpanah for accepting a Tenure Track Assistant Professorship at the Economics Department at Pennsylvania State.

This hiring is the first instance of a CS PhD student landing an Assistant Professorship position in an Economics department. Prof. Jason Hartline remarked, "This is a success for the unique approach we’ve taken to work at the intersection of CS and Economics here at Northwestern."

Dr. Haghpanah’s Ph.D. dissertation, titled Optimal Multi-parameter Auction Design, won Northwestern’s CS dissertation award in 2015 (Advised by Prof. Hartline). It revisits four of the main conclusions of Roger Myerson’s 1981 paper, also award winning, and extends or approximately extends them to environments where the bidders have multi-dimensional preferences. Multi-dimensional auction design is well regarded as one of the most impenetrable areas for economic analysis. Dr. Haghpanah made progress on this problem by deftly combining analysis methods from both economics and theoretical computer science.

After receiving his PhD from the EECS department at Northwestern University in 2014, under supervision of Prof. Hartline, Dr. Haghpanah joined MIT CSAIL as a postdoc. At MIT, he worked with Costis Daskalakis in EECS and Itai Ashlagi in Sloan School of Management. His research interests include: algorithms, optimization, mechanism design, pricing, revenue management, economics of the internet, and social networks.

On the NU CS Theory Blog, Prof. Hartline posts, "When I joined Northwestern in 2008, at the time with Prof. Lance Fortnow and Prof. Nicole Immorlica, our goal was to create a program where the next generation of Ph.D.s in algorithmic game theory could train to become equal parts economists and computer scientists. In addition to the usual courses taken by theoretical computer scientists, the first-year students in the program take the introductory Ph.D. course sequences in microeconomics, game theory, and optimization that are taught in Northwestern’s Economics Department and Kellogg School of Management. The most important part of the program, however, is the outstanding students who have joined us, made it a fantastic and collegial environment, and have done really amazing research. Thanks, Nima, for helping us all achieve our goals. We look forward to seeing even more amazing things to come from you at Penn State!"