Computer Science

CS Colloquium Speaker: Professor Buckhard Schipper

CS Colloquium Speaker: Professor Buckhard Schipper from UC Davis

Host: Professor Prem Devanbu

When: Thursday, February 2nd at 3:10pm
Where: 1131 Kemper Hall

Title: Network Formation in a Society with Fragmented Knowledge and Awareness

Abstract: In modern society knowledge is extremely fragmented and
production typically requires the linking of knowledge of many
specialists. To study the incentives for linking knowledge across
society, we combine a model of knowledge and awareness with a model of
strategic network formation. We highlight the role of specialists and
generalists. Specialization allows for “deep” knowledge that is
potentially beneficial for society. Yet specialists with their
“tunnel” view often fail to realize the benefit of linking knowledge
across specialists. In contrast, generalists although they “know
nothing” see many connections. They are in the center of resulting
social networks and “talk a lot” despite having just superficial
knowledge. When structuring hierarchies in a social network, it is
efficient to put generalists in “positions of power” where they can
impose communication on specialists. Finally, the generalist will
emerge as an entrepreneur by employing specialists and retaining
residual profits.

Preliminary paper available at

Bio: Burkhard Schipper is a professor of economics and an affiliated
faculty member at the Graduate Group of Applied Mathematics at the
University of California, Davis. He studied economics at the
University of Bonn and Tel Aviv University, receiving a PhD from the
University of Bonn in 2003. His research focused on inventing
mathematical tools for modeling of unawareness in game theory and
decision theory and its application to economics, finance and
politics. Besides his ongoing work on unawareness, he studies learning
in games both theoretically and experimentally. Moreover, he conducted
experiments on the association between sex hormones and attitudes
toward risk and competition. His research has been supported by grants
from the National Science Foundation and the UC Davis Hellman
Fellowship. He serves as editor-in-chief of the B.E. Journal in
Theoretical Economics and is an associate editor of Mathematical
Social Sciences.

1131 Kemper Hall

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