COS 445: Economics and Computation

Spring 2023

In this course we will study a variety of topics on the cusp between economics and computation. Topics to be covered include: games on networks, auctions, mechanism and market design, reputation, computational social choice.

The aim of the course is two-fold: (1) to understand the game-theoretic issues behind systems involving computation such as online networks, and (2) to learn how algorithms and algorithmic thinking can help with designing better decision and allocation mechanisms in the offline world.


Instructors: Matt Weinberg (smweinberg@), Pedro Paredes (pparedes@)

Graduate TAs: Sacheth Sathyanarayanan (sacheths@), Chenghan Zhou (chenghanzh@), Nikhil Pimpalkhare (nikhil.pimpalkhare@), Yuanhao Wang (yuanhao@), Alex Guerra (ag5008@), Anjian Li (anjianl@)

Undergraduate Course Staff: Adam Rebei, Aditya Mehta, Alex Zhang, Ameya Vaidya, Amir Touil, Ananya Grover, Andrew Chen, Austen Mazenko, Autumn Tan, Ben Zenker, Camila Vasquez, Crystal Pan, Dimitar Chakarov, Dwaipayan Saha, Emre Parmaksiz, Frederick Qiu, Garner Thompson, Grant Lu, Ijay Narang, Ioana Marinescu, Isabella Pu, Janum Shah, Jeremy Chen, Julio Lins, Nadia Rodriguez, Nika Belova, Quan Shi, Richard Huang, Riya Gandhi, Saumya Malik, Ty Kay, Victoria Graf

  • What to expect from this course: "FAQ"
  • Prerequisite skills/math: "cheatsheet" on prereq skills/math required for this course New: ChatGPT example usage
  • Discussion and announcements: Ed (if you are not in Ed email Matt or Pedro to be added)
  • Assignment submissions: codePost (see Ed for enroll link)
  • Course policies New ChatGPT rules


Lecture Tuesday/Thursday 1:30pm-2:50pm Friend 101 Matt/Pedro
Precept P01 Wednesday 7:30pm-8:20pm Friend 008 Pedro
Precept P02 Wednesday 7:30pm-8:20pm CS 104 canceled
Precept P03 Thursday 7:30pm-8:20pm Friend 108 Alex / Anjian
Precept P04 Thursday 7:30pm-8:20pm Friend 109 canceled
Precept P05 Friday 1:30pm-2:20pm Friend 109 Sacheth
Precept P06 Friday 1:30pm-2:20pm Friend 008 Nikhil
Precept P07 Wednesday 7:30pm-8:20pm Friend 004 Chenghan / Yuanhao

Office Hours

Monday 3-4pm CS 402 Nikhil
Monday 3-4pm CS 402 Chenghan
Monday 4-5pm CS 402 Alex
Monday 4-5pm CS 402 Yuanhao
Monday 5-6pm CS 402 Anjian
Monday 5-6pm CS 402 Sacheth
Tuesday 10-11am CS 301 Chenghan
Tuesday 3-4pm CS 317 Matt
Wednesday 3-5pm Corwin Hall 041 Pedro
Wednesday 5-6pm CS 301 Anjian
Thursday 3-4pm CS 317 Matt
Thursday 6:30-7:30pm CS 301 Alex
Friday 3-5pm CS 201 (Tea Room) Dwaipayan
Friday 3-4pm CS 201 (Tea Room) Nikhil
Friday 4-5pm CS 201 (Tea Room) Sacheth
Friday 5-6pm CS 201 (Tea Room) Yuanhao

Homework and Exams

Your homework must be submitted as a pdf. You can use LaTeX or another math-document-editor to produce your homework pdf. If you have never used LaTex, here is a short guide to LaTeX. You might also want to use overleaf, which is an online LaTeX editor. Feel free to visit office hours for help installing/setting up LaTeX.

Here is a LaTeX template you may use for the homework, and a template for the collaboration statement here (thanks to Jude Muriithi'24 for this template!)

Due Date Assignment
02/06 Warmup Pset
02/13 Pset 1
02/20 SD 1 | Files
02/27 Pset 2
03/03 SD 2 | Files
03/13* Midterm
03/27 Pset 3
04/03 SD 3 | Files
04/10 Pset 4
04/17 SD 4 | Files
04/24 Pset 5
05/01 SD 5 | Files
05/17 Final new


Some shorthand for the reading material:

  • Rx = Tim Roughgarden's lecture notes x
  • KPx = Karlin and Peres chapter x
  • EKx = Easley and Kleinberg chapter x
  • NRTVx = Nisan, Roughgarden, Tardos and Vazirani chapter x (Click link --> resources --> Algorithmic Game Theory --> Algorithmic Game Theory)
  • BCELPx = Brandt, Conitzer, Endriss, Lang, Procaccia chapter x (Click link --> resources --> resources --> online version. To find the password, visit Vince Conitzer's webpage)
Date Topic Supplemental Reading Material
1/31 Braess' Paradox, Stable Matching I R1, R2, KP10.1, KP10.2, NRTV10.4, Wikipedia
2/02 Stable Matching II R1, R2, KP10.3, NRTV10.4
2/07 Matching III KP10.4, NRTV10.3
2/09 Matching IV This paper
2/14 Voting Theory I KP13, BCELP2
2/16 Voting Theory II R4, BCELP2, EK23.6, NRTV10.2
2/21 Game Theory I KP4, R5, EK6
2/23 Game Theory II KP4, KP6, R5
2/28 Linear Programming Sections 1 & 4 here
3/02 Game Theory III KP2
3/07 Information Cascades EK16
3/09 No Lecture
3/14 Spring Break
3/16 Spring Break
3/21 Auction Theory I R13, EK9.1-9.5
3/23 Auction Theory II R14, R15, KP 15.1-15.3
3/28 Auction Theory III R14, R16, EK9.7
3/30 Auction Theory IV KP14.4, KP14.6
4/04 Scoring Rules R17
4/06 Cake Cutting BCELP13, KP11
4/11 Price of Anarchy I R7, NRTV18.1-18.3, KP8.1, KP8.4
4/13 Price of Anarchy II R7, NRTV18.1-18.3, KP8.1, KP8.4
4/18 Cryptocurrencies I Chapter 1
4/20 Cryptocurrencies II "Selfish Mining" attack, notes on Ed
4/25 Behavioral Game Theory I Notes on Ed, R19
4/27 Behavioral Game Theory II R19