Rakesh Vohra, Latest Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, Will Hold Dual Appointments in Economics and Engineering

May 29, 2013

Rakesh Vohra has been named the University of Pennsylvania’s 15th Penn Integrates Knowledge professor, effective August 1.

Vohra is a leading global expert in mechanism design, an innovative area of game theory that brings together economics, engineering, and computer science. He will be the George A. Weiss and Lydia Bravo Weiss University Professor, and his appointment will be shared between the Department of Economics and the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

“Rakesh Vohra is the ideal candidate for a Penn Integrates Knowledge professorship,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said. “He is a world-renowned scholar at the intersection of economics and engineering. His cutting-edge research in mechanism design, game theory, auction theory, and combinatorial optimization bridges not only two intellectually distant disciplines but also theory and practice.”

Vohra’s economics research in mechanism design focuses on the best ways to allocate scarce resources when the information required to make the allocation is dispersed and privately held, an increasingly common condition in present-day environments.  His work has been critical to the development of game, auction, and pricing theory—for example, the keyword auctions central to online search engines—and spans such areas as operations research, market systems, and optimal pricing mechanisms. In addition to more than 70 articles and working papers, he is co-author of Principles of Pricing (2012) and author of Mechanism Design (2011) and Advanced Mathematical Economics (2004).

Gutmann launched the Penn Integrates Knowledge program in 2005 as a University-wide initiative to recruit exceptional faculty members whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge across disciplines. Each professor is jointly appointed between two schools at Penn.

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