Sandholm Receives Honorary Degree From University of Zurich

Monday, May 2, 2016 - by Byron Spice

Johann Schneider-Ammann, president of the Swiss Confederation, left, and Silvia Steiner, Swiss minister of education, congratulate Tuomas Sandholm, center, who received an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich.

The University of Zurich conferred an honorary doctorate in economics on Tuomas Sandholm, professor of computer science, during ceremonies on April 30.

The honor was presented by the university's Faculty of Economics in recognition of his work at the intersection of computer science and game theory, in particular on electronic market design. To celebrate, the university sponsored a symposium in Sandholm's honor, "Electronic Market Design," on April 29.

Sandholm, who joined the CMU Computer Science Department in 2001, is the founder and director of the Electronic Marketplaces Laboratory. He has developed algorithms for optimized electronic auctions and has fielded them in his own firms, totaling billions of dollars in volume. Sandholm's expressive market approach allows bidders and bid takers to express rich preferences and constraints on the entire allocation. His current company, Optimized Markets Inc., provides systems for selling advertising campaigns, allocating ad inventory to them and scheduling the campaigns in a cross-media setting. His other software makes decisions autonomously twice a week for the United Network for Organ Sharing kidney exchange that includes 153 transplant centers.

He also has been a leader in computer poker. Earlier this year, his CMU team won first place in the total bankroll category and third place in the bankroll instant run-off category in the Heads-Up, No-Limit Texas Hold'em game at the Annual Computer Poker Competition.

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