4 Videos Worth Watching

March 11, 2013

Last week, instead of studying 3 extra hours for my midterms, I watched the following four fascinating videos. Three are Nobel Prize lectures in economics, and the fourth from a lecture series at MIT.

Lloyd Shapley: Assignment Games - The Mathematics of Matching

Lloyd Shapley, back in 1962, wrote the seminal paper: “College Admissions And The Stability of Marriage.” He developed the deferred acceptance algorithm and proved its optimality for creating pairs of people among a large set when all have ranked preferences.1

Alvin Roth: The Theory And Practice Of Market Design

Roth and Shapley were jointly awarded the most recent Nobel Prize in Economics (2012). Roth has worked extensively with Shapley, and has put a lot of Shapley’s work into practice eg. the deferred acceptance algorithm is now used for student placement in the New York City and Boston Public School systems. He has also done a lot of work on optimizing the kidney market using the top trading cycle algorithm. His work is particularly interesting (I think) because as large tech companies become the center of massive networks of people and begin to engineer marketplaces and facilitate transactions on those networks, market design - if it isn’t already - will become an incredibly important research area.

Daniel Kahneman: Maps of Bounded Rationality

Kahneman is a very well known behavioral economist, who, across countless research endeavors, has proven that we aren’t exactly the perfectly rational creatures we so often assume when modeling reality. He won the Nobel Prize in 2002, and in this lecture he walks through several of his experiments and conclusions in a very approachable fashion. His book - Thinking Fast and Slow - is on my bookshelf and I hope to read it soon.2

Michael Sipser: Beyond Computation - The P vs NP Problem

Michael Sipser is a professor of Applied Mathematics at MIT. He is also a good family friend, and has known me since I first came to the US 9 years ago. Instead of studying for my Comp Sci midterm, I decided to learn more about the P vs NP question and serendipitously found this lecture he gave. He explains the problem and its importance in a very approachable way and I highly recommend it.

###Asides:

  1. I apologize that all the Nobel Prize videos automatically play.
  2. In case you are interested in how I embedded the Nobel Prize videos given that their site doesn’t generate an embed code for you, I used the following structure:

<iframe src="link-to-video-page.html#div-containing-video" scrolling="no"><iframe>

The # at the end of the link to the page allows you to select a single CSS element on the page that you want to embed.


  1. If you are interested, you can read the paper here, or google for it. It is only 6 pages and requires no math, and if you read it, you can say you understood a paper that won a Nobel Prize!

  2. If you enjoy his lecture, or are interested in more of his research, you might like to check out some of his more recent research on happiness, experience, and memory that he discusses in his 2010 TED Talk: The Riddle Of Experience vs Memory.

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