MIT to offer Degree in Computer Science + Economics

Designing electronic marketplaces will be the focus of a new degree to be offered jointly by MIT’s economics and computer science departments.

“This area is super-hot commercially,” says David Autor, the Ford Professor of Economics and associate head of the Department of Economics. “Hiring economists has become really prominent at tech companies because they’re filling market-design positions.”

Because these companies need analysts who can decide which objectives to maximize, what information and choices to offer, what rules to set, and so on, “companies are really looking for this skill set,” he says.

UBER, Airbnb and Amazon are familiar marketplaces that need computer scientist cum economist designers and online worlds like EveOnline join multiple marketplaces into entire economies.

I’d also note that an increasing number of marketplaces will need to be designed not for people but for non-human traders–this will create entirely new challenges.


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