Every week Shefali S. Kulkarni selects interesting reading from around the Web.
The New Republic: Economics In Action: The Life-Changing, Nobel-Winning Work Of Al Roth
A noted economist at Harvard, (Al) Roth was responsible for algorithms that matched medical students with their residency programs, children with their schools in Boston, and more recently, compatible kidney donors and transplant patients in paired donations. ... Roth's influence is anything but theoretical. His effects on society are far-reaching, touching many lives, including those of the tens of thousands of new doctors who seek their first job in the field each year. Each March, Roth's algorithm runs on the National Resident Matching Program's computer, taking the ordered lists of preferences for residency programs submitted by graduating medical students, and the ranking of candidates submitted by hospitals, and assigns the best-possible match for each. Despite this, Roth probably remained unrecognizable to most physicians whose lives his work deeply touched. ... On Monday, Roth awoke to the news that he and Lloyd Shapley (whose work provided the basis for Roth's models) had been named recipients of the Nobel Prize in economics (Brian Eule, 10/16).