Networks II: Market Design

Information Science 4220/Computer Science 4852/Economics 3825
Cornell University, Spring 2018

Tues-Thu 2:55pm-4:10pm

Location: TBA

Arpita Ghosh

Networks II: Market Design builds on its prerequisite course, continuing to examine how computing, economic and sociological worlds are connected, and how abstract mathematical models and analysis can inform their design. In this course, we will construct mathematical models for and analyze networked settings, allowing us to both make predictions about behavior in such systems, as well as reason about how to design such systems to exhibit some desirable behavior. Throughout, we will draw on real-world applications such as kidney exchange, college admissions and reputations systems in online marketplaces that illustrate these phenomena.

Answers to FAQs this time of the year:

Note: I am typically unable to respond to individual email due to a chronic medical condition. Once classes start, asking questions in-person, either in or after class or in office hours will be the best way to communicate with me. Until then, this webpage will contain all currently available information about the course. Note 2 : This FAQ may be updated to reflect any new frequently asked questions (to which I have answers), so please check back if you ask me a question not addressed here. (And if there isn't an update, it probably means I don't have an answer yet!)

Course Information

Instructor: Arpita Ghosh, 206 Gates Hall
Note (again): I am typically unable to respond to email due to a chronic medical condition. Asking questions in-class, after class, or in office hours (after the course starts) is the best way to communicate with me.

Office hours:

Ofice hours start the week of February 5. There will be no office hours during February break and Spring break.


Outline of Topics

  • Matching markets
  • Information and networked behavior

  • Coursework


    There is no textbook for this class, as there is no single book containing all the topics we will cover in this class. However, readings for each topic will be posted on CMS as they become relevant through the semester.

    Note that these readings will not substitute for attending class, though, since the material in the lectures will typically at a different level of detail than the readings: the readings should be used as a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, the lectures.

    To supplement reading material, the lecture slides will also be made available on CMS from after each lecture. Note, however, that some examples will be worked on the whiteboard in class and these will not make their way into the lecture slides. This means that again, the posted lecture slides are not a substitute for attending class.

    Attending lectures:

    Whether you choose to attend lectures or not is entirely up to you, given the information you have about the course structure. However, please understand that (a) you are responsible for all material that is covered, discussed, or announced in class regardless of whether you choose to come to class or not, (b) office hours and Piazza are not a substitute for skipped lectures, and (c) all this being said, please come to class only if you are sure you can stay focused enough so that your in-class behavior does not detract from the learning experience of your classmates. Students doing otherwise will be asked, politely but firmly, to leave the class.

    Credit Components:

    Your final grade will be based on homeworks, a midterm exam, graded clicker questions, and a blog post and course project. The weights on each of these components will be detailed closer to the start of term.

    Academic Integrity

    You are expected to maintain the utmost level of academic integrity in the course. Any violation of the code of academic integrity will be penalized severely.

    You are allowed to collaborate on the homework to the extent of formulating ideas as a group. However: Collaboration is not allowed on the other parts of the coursework.

    Finally, plagiarism deserves special mention here. Including text from other sources in written assignments without quoting it and providing a proper citation constitutes plagiarism, and it is a serious form of academic misconduct. This includes cases in which no full sentence has been copied from the original source, but large amounts of text have been closely paraphrased without proper attribution. To get a better sense for what is allowed, it is highly recommended that you consult the guidelines maintained by Cornell on this topic. It is also worth noting that search engines have made plagiarism much easier to detect. This is a very serious issue; instances of plagiarism will very likely result in failing the course.