Forbes magazine has a profile of Al Roth and his work in game theory, experimental economics and market design:
Alvin Roth sees plenty of ways economics can make a difference in people’s lives. In contrast with the authors of bestselling books like Freakonomics, who are fascinated by obscure but intriguing questions like how to detect cheating by sumo wrestlers, Roth relishes real-world challenges. “Some say economics has all kinds of good tools and techniques, but it has an absence of interesting problems,” notes Roth, 58, who holds a joint appointment in the Harvard economics department and the business school. “I look around the world, and I see all kinds of interesting, important problems we ought to solve with the tools we have.”
Prof. Roth does lots of interesting stuff with organ donation, school choice and the like, and his work is particularly notable because he has the unique opportunity to be involved in the application of his research and see real results firsthand. (I will freely admit that I am more than a little envious.) He was also my first interviewer when I was applying to grad school, and when I introduced myself he responded with “You can call me Al.” He didn’t seem to get the humor in the line, and I am somewhat lucky that my giggling didn’t keep me out of grad school. Just thought I’d share.
If this sort of thing interests you (Prof. Roth’s work, not my giggling), you can see more on his blog here. Also, the following pretty much sums up the article…from Twitter:
@The_Weakonomist: This article is good but the picture is better, this is the best attempt to make an economist look cool http://bit.ly/aCFDv8
Look, I try, ok? I guess I just can’t compete with a pensive expression and blurred HBS background.
P.S. *sigh* I can’t resist…from 1986’s Graceland, by Paul Simon:
Update: Actually, @The_Weakonomist, you’re mistaken…THIS is the best attempt to make an economist look cool:
I kid because I love. Promise.