Open to all Stanford students, faculty and staff.
Abstract: Platforms have emerged as a powerful economic force, driving both traditional markets, like the electricity market, and emerging markets, like the sharing economy. The power of platforms comes from their ability to tame the complexities of networked marketplaces -- marketplaces where there is not a single centralized market, but instead a network of interconnected markets loosely defined by a graph of feasible exchanges. Despite the power and prominence of platforms, the workings of platforms are often guarded secrets. Further, many competing platforms make very different design choices, but little is understood about the impact of these differing choices. In this talk, I will overview recent work that focuses on reverse engineering the design of platforms and understanding the consequences of design choices underlying transparency in modern platforms. I will use electricity markets and ridesharing services as motivating examples throughout the talk.
Bio: Adam Wierman is a Professor in the Department of Computing & Mathematical Sciences at Caltech, where he currently serves as Executive Officer. He is also the director of the Information Science and Technology (IST) initiative at Caltech. He is the founding director of the Rigorous Systems Research Group (RSRG) and co-Director of the Social and Information Sciences Laboratory (SISL). He received his Ph.D., M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Computer Science, all from Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests center around resource allocation and scheduling decisions in computer systems and services. More specifically, his work focuses both on developing analytic techniques in stochastic modeling, queueing theory, scheduling theory, and game theory, and applying these techniques to application domains such as energy-efficient computing, data centers, social networks, and electricity markets. He received the 2011 ACM SIGMETRICS Rising Star award, the 2014 IEEE Communications Society William R. Bennett Prize, and has been coauthor on papers that received of best paper awards at ACM SIGMETRICS, IEEE INFOCOM, IFIP Performance, IEEE Green Computing Conference, IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting, and ACM GREENMETRICS. Additionally, he maintains a popular blog called Rigor + Relevance.