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David Parkes

Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.; Harvard Data Science Initiative, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Published onApr 10, 2020
David Parkes

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David C. Parkes is the George F. Colony Professor of Computer Science in the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and co-Director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative. He is also faculty co-lead for planning the expansion of the Paulson school into the Allston campus, and co-director of the Harvard/2u Business Analytics certificate program. Parkes was the Interim Co-Editor-In-Chief of Harvard Data Science Review from 2021 to 2023. He founded the EconCS research group, which pursues work in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and economics. His research focuses on the design of incentive-aligned, multi-agent systems, and envisions a future where economic transactions are mediated by automated software agents. Together with students and colleagues, Parkes has designed novel mechanisms for combinatorial auctions, planning, and information elicitation. These methods consider complex and competing interests in promoting optimal solutions, and find application throughout the digital economy, including to problems of pricing, matching, personalization and reputation. In recent work he has pioneered the use of machine learning for the automated design of revenue optimal auctions that have defied theoretical analysis. He teaches in both applied mathematics and computer science, including courses on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and optimization. Parkes served on the inaugural panel of the "Stanford 100 Year Study on Artificial Intelligence," co-organized the 2016 Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Workshop on "AI for Social Good," and served as chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Electronic Commerce (2011–2016). Parkes is Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and recipient of the 2017 Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence (ACM/SIGAI) Autonomous Agents Research Award, the National Science Foundation Career Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the Thouron Scholarship, and the Roslyn Abramson Award for Teaching. Parkes has degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of Pennsylvania, serves on several international scientific advisory boards, and has been a technical advisor to a number of start-ups.

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