Shapley and Roth Win Nobel Prize

Lloyd S. Shapley (pictured), professor emeritus of economics and mathematics at UCLA, and Alvin E. Roth, Harvard Business School, have been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics “for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design.” An allocation, or matching, between two sets is called stable if no other allocation exists in which both elements of a match are better off. In 1962 Shapley and David Gale showed that if the two sets have an equal number of elements then a stable match exists and gave an algorithm, the Gale-Shapley algorithm, to find the match. Read more about the work of the prize winners, and about matching problems in two AMS Feature Columns by Joe Malkevitch: “School Choice” and “Mathematical Marriages.”

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