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Series: Other Talks

Pricing and allocating goods to buyers with complex preferences in order to maximize some desired objective (e.g., social welfare or profit) is a central problem in Algorithmic Mechanism Design.
In this talk I will discuss some particularly simple algorithms that are able to achieve surprisingly strong guarantees for a range of problems of this type. As one example, for the problem of pricing resources, modeled as goods having an increasing marginal extraction cost to the seller, a simple approach of pricing the i-th unit of each good at a value equal to the anticipated extraction cost of the 2i-th unit gives a constant-factor approximation to social welfare for a wide range of cost curves and for arbitrary buyer valuation functions. I will also discuss simple algorithms with good approximation guarantees for revenue, as well as settings having an opposite character to resources, namely having economies of scale or decreasing marginal costs to the seller.

Series: Other Talks

Series: Other Talks

(algebraic statistics reading seminar)

Series: Other Talks

(algebraic statistics reading seminar)

Series: Other Talks

Series: Other Talks

(algebraic statistics reading seminar)

Series: Other Talks

Host: Turgay Uzer, School of Physics

Annual Joseph Ford Commemorative Lecture: I will describe several models for running insects, from an
energy-conserving biped, through a muscle-actuated hexapod driven by a
neural central pattern generator, to a reduced phase-oscillator model
that captures the dynamics of unperturbed gaits and of impulsive
perturbations. I will argue that both simple models and large simulations
are necessary to understand biological systems. The models show that
piecewise-holonomic constraints due to intermittent foot contacts confer
asymptotic stability on the feedforward system, while leg force sensors
modulate motor outputs to mitigate large perturbations. Phase response
curves and coupling functions help explain reflexive feedback mechanisms.
The talk will draw on joint work with Einat Fuchs, Robert Full, Raffaele
Ghigliazza, Raghu Kukillaya, Josh Proctor, John Schmitt, and Justin
Seipel. Research supported by NSF and the J. Insley Blair Pyne Fund of
Princeton University.

Series: Other Talks

On a smooth manifold, we consider a non-autonomous ordinary differential
equation whose right side switches between finitely many smooth vector
fields at random times. These switching times are exponentially
distributed to guarantee that the resulting random dynamical system has
the Markov property. A Hoermander-type hypoellipticity condition on a
recurrent subset of the manifold is then sufficient for uniqueness and
absolute continuity of the invariant measure of the Markov semigroup.
The talk is based on a paper with my advisor Yuri Bakhtin.

Series: Other Talks

Hosted by the College of Computing

Light refreshments served at 4:30 PM

You are cordially invited to "Health and Wealth," a distinguished lecture by Nobel Laureate
Ken Arrow that will provide a policy guide for matters of health, public and private.
Professor Arrow, Joan Kenney Professor of Economics and Professor of Operations, Emeritus,
at Stanford University, will address longevity and other aspects of health as commodities,
as well as their trade-off with more usual goods as important measures of the well-being of nations.
Register: http://www.formdesk.com/collegeofcomputing/KenArrow

Series: Other Talks

(algebraic statistics reading seminar; note unusual time)