What is EconCS?
By Bo (back to homepage)

EconCS is literally termed the "intersection of Economics and Computer Science". In EconCS, we take an algorithmic perspective on topics in microeconomics: game theory, mechanism design, social choice. We also study algorithmic questions stemming from these topics; this includes problems in algorithm design, complexity, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

To many people, the term "Econ" suggests financial or fiscal focus. But these are not fundamental. Rather, I like to summarize EconCS as

  The algorithmic study of systems of goal-directed agents.

What do I mean by "goal-directed"? They have their own preferences and make their own decisions. Unlike most of CS, we do not design or control these agents. Rather, we interface and interact with them.

Some broad themes that illustrate EconCS a bit better:
See also my overview of EconCS (format: Google presentation) for the Harvard Summer Students Colloquium Series, Summer 2014. (There are some notes going along with the slides.)