Sunday, October 19, 2008

CS + Ecom + Nobel Prize

Alfred Nobel, "being of sound mind, has of his own free will...," set aside money for the prize we all know (click on the image for the nytimes article from 06). The Nobel prize for Economics went to Paul Krugman for his work on trade patterns and location of economic activity (in a modern version, Economicists study location of activity in ad auctions). His blog is an interesting read.

Of course the prize for Economics was not on Nobel's mind in 1890's when he wrote the will. It was later endowed by the Bank of Sweden. Should we do something similar for CS, that is, get a patron to endow a prize that can be selected and blessed by the Nobel process? I spoke with Kurt Mehlhorn about it a few months ago since the Max Planck Society may be a (unlikely) patron.

7 Comments:

Blogger Suresh said...

Cool idea. would that supplant the Turing award (or merely co-opt it) ? I've long felt that at the very least, the Turing award should also be announced in October, while "Nobel chatter" is on, to create a mental association of this kind, but your idea is even better !

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Economists have John Bates Clark Medal which is a decent predictor of ultimately winning the Nobel Prize for Economics. So, awards can coexist.
-- Metoo

8:00 AM  
Blogger Suresh said...

That's true. However, the JBC medal is like a Fields medal I think in that it's given for "young" researchers. We don't have any equivalent notion for CS. In fact, the math folks created the Abel Prize as their "Nobel".

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did a trends analysis of Abel, Nobel and Turing prizes. We need to get the volumes up! :)

metoo

6:58 AM  
Blogger Hugh said...

Try this search instead.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

,+nobel+prize will show "us" swamped again.
-- metoo

5:08 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I've heard that the Nobel folks regret adding the Economics prize and are careful now to distinguish it as a "Prize in Memory of Alfred Nobel" as opposed to a "Nobel Prize". If so, even if funding were secured, the Nobel foundation may not want to add a new prize.

I do agree that a widely recognized prize would be good for the field, and monetary amount is one way to gain recognition, with $1M being a psychological threshold.

Another question is whether a CS-trained researcher might one day win the Nobel Prize in Economics for work on Algorithmic Economics.

7:01 AM  

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