Stanford Pair Win Nobel For Economic Ideas Driving Ebay, Cellphone Spectrum Sales

by Erik Sherman

Going once, going twice—the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences are two Stanford economists whose work lets the world make mobile phone calls, switch on a light, and buy and sell on eBay.

Robert Wilson and Paul Milgrom, are famous for their groundbreaking work on auction theory. They took the 2,500-year-old practice of selling goods to the highest bidder and transformed how they worked and how the world looked at a result.

One of the major areas they developed was analysis of how the rules that govern auctions affect the efficiency of the outcomes—how bidders get the value they want, sellers maximize their income, and the process can happen more easily and quickly. Then they found ways to move beyond the fast-talking and gavel-banging stereotype of an auction and into many new types that new rules could enable.

“Sometimes the invisible hand of the

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Adorable moment Stanford professor was woken up by Nobel Prize win captured on camera

Photo of Katie Dowd

In this Monday, Oct. 12, 2020 photo provided by Stanford University, Robert Wilson, left, and Paul Milgrom wear masks as they stand for a photo in Stanford, Calif. The two American economists, both professors at Stanford, won the Nobel Prize in Economics for improving how auctions work. That research that underlies much of today's economy - from the way Google sells advertising to the way telecoms companies acquire airwaves from the government.

In this Monday, Oct. 12, 2020 photo provided by Stanford University, Robert Wilson, left, and Paul Milgrom wear masks as they stand for a photo in Stanford, Calif. The two American economists, both professors at Stanford, won the Nobel Prize in Economics for improving how auctions work. That research that underlies much of today’s economy — from the way Google sells advertising to the way telecoms companies acquire airwaves from the government.

Andrew Brodhead/Associated Press

When people are urgently calling and knocking on your door at 2 a.m., that’s rarely good news. But luckily for Stanford professor Paul Milgrom, Monday was the happiest early-morning disturbance of his life.

The Nobel Prize committee informs winners during work-day hours in Sweden, which means American recipients get calls in the wee small hours. So when the 2020 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences went to

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Europe Can Win Electric Car Sales Race If It Learns From China

(Bloomberg) — Sales of electric vehicles in Europe are growing at such a pace that the continent looks increasingly likely to outpace China in the near future.

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That’s one of the findings of a report released Tuesday by London-based automotive research firm Jato Dynamics. However, it found that Europe and the U.S. still have a few things to learn from China, the world’s biggest EV market, including prioritizing affordability, centralizing planning, and using data to better understand consumers.

Demand for cleaner and smarter cars is rising globally, particularly in Europe where the market has been bolstered by tighter emissions regulations along with an increasing awareness of climate change. EV sales in Europe in the first half exceeded China for the first time since 2015.

Although the coronavirus pandemic hurt all car sales, including EVs, which fell 15% globally in the second quarter, the market for electric vehicles is

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U.S. Auction Theorists Win the 2020 Nobel in Economics

Two American economists, Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson, were awarded the Nobel in economic science on Monday for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats — innovations that have had huge practical applications when it comes to allocating scarce resources.

The pair, close collaborators who are both affiliated with Stanford University, have pioneered new auction formats that governments have since used to auction off radio frequency.

“They haven’t just profoundly changed the way we understand auctions — they have changed how things are auctioned,” said Alvin E. Roth, a Nobel laureate himself who was one of Mr. Wilson’s doctoral students. “The two of them are some of the greatest theorists living in economics today.”

Auctions help to sell a variety of products, including art, minerals and online advertising. They can also take on various characteristics: Objects can have a shared, common value for all bidders

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2 Stanford economists win Nobel prize for improving auctions

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Winners of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2020 at a press conference in Stockholm, Monday Oct. 12, 2020. Americans Paul R. Milgrom, left, and Robert B. Wilson have won the Nobel Prize in economics for “improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”

AP

Two American economists won the Nobel Prize on Monday for improving how auctions work, research that underlies much of today’s economy — from the way Google sells advertising to the way telecoms companies acquire airwaves from the government.

The discoveries of Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson, both of Stanford University, “have benefitted sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world,” the Nobel Committee said.

Wilson was once Milgrom’s Ph.D. adviser, and the two also happen to be neighbors. Reached by phone at his home in California, Milgrom said he received news of

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San Francisco Shock Win Back-To-Back Overwatch League Titles

San Francisco Shock have cemented their status as the best team in Overwatch. They claimed their second straight Overwatch League championship on Saturday, beating surprise finalists Seoul Dynasty 4-2. They also won $1.5 million in prize money, while the Dynasty walk away with $750,000.

MORE FROM FORBESHere’s Everything You Need To Know About The $3 Million Overwatch League Grand Finals

Unlike last year, when they dropped to the lower bracket after their first playoffs match, the San Francisco Shock ran the table on their path to a second championship in a row.

The Dynasty powered their way to the Grand Finals weekend after winning the Asia-Pacific playoffs losers’ bracket. They narrowly lost to the Shock in the semi-finals, before seeing off Philadelphia Fusion and then hot favorites Shanghai Dragons,

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3 scientists win Nobel physics prize for black hole research

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Three scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for establishing the all-too-weird reality of black holes — the straight-out-of-science-fiction cosmic monsters that suck up light and time and will eventually swallow us, too.

Roger Penrose of Britain, Reinhard Genzel of Germany and Andrea Ghez of the United States explained to the world these dead ends of the cosmos that are still not completely understood but are deeply connected, somehow, to the creation of galaxies.

Penrose, an 89-year-old at the University of Oxford, received half of the prize for proving with mathematics in 1964 that Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicted the formation of black holes, even though Einstein himself didn’t think they existed.

Genzel, who is at both the Max Planck Institute in Germany and the University of California, Berkeley, and Ghez, of the University of California, Los Angeles, received the other half of the prize

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3 Scientists Win Nobel Physics Prize for Black Hole Research | Science News

By DAVID KEYTON, SETH BORENSTEIN and FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Three scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for establishing the all-too-weird reality of black holes — the straight-out-of-science-fiction cosmic monsters that suck up light and time and will eventually swallow us, too.

Roger Penrose of Britain, Reinhard Genzel of Germany and Andrea Ghez of the United States explained to the world these dead ends of the cosmos that are still not completely understood but are deeply connected, somehow, to the creation of galaxies.

Penrose, an 89-year-old at the University of Oxford, received half of the prize for proving with mathematics in 1964 that Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicted the formation of black holes, even though Einstein himself didn’t think they existed.

Genzel, who is at both the Max Planck Institute in Germany and the University of California, Berkeley, and Ghez, of the University of

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CRISPR gene editing pioneers win the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

CRISPR gene editing promises to revolutionize medical science, and two of its pioneers are getting a prestigious award for their efforts. Emmanuelle Charpentier (shown at left) and Jennifer Doudna (right) have received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their roles in discovering the CRISPR/Cas9 “genetic scissors” used to cut DNA. Charpentier found the key tracrRNA molecule that bacteria use to cut and disable viruses, and collaborated with RNA expert Doudna to eventually ‘reprogram’ the scissors to cut any DNA molecule at a specific point, making the gene editing method viable.

As with some scientific discoveries, there’s some controversy. While the team including Charpentier and Doudna published its work in June 2012, seven months before a Broad Institute-led group released its own findings, it didn’t include certain aspects Broad used when it started patenting gene editing methods in 2014. That led to a patent battle that’s still raging today, with

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UC Berkeley professor, French scientist win Nobel Prize in chemistry for work on gene editing

Emmanuelle Charpentier, left, and Jennifer A. Doudna, who together won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for their work on the CRISPR gene-editing tool. <span class="copyright">(Susan Walsh/ Associated Press)</span>
Emmanuelle Charpentier, left, and Jennifer A. Doudna, who together won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for their work on the CRISPR gene-editing tool. (Susan Walsh/ Associated Press)

The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded Wednesday to UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer A. Doudna and French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier for their pioneering work on the so-called CRISPR tool for gene editing, a discovery that holds out the possibility of curing genetic diseases.

The Nobel Committee said the two women’s work on developing the CRISPR method of gene editing, likened to an elegant pair of “molecular scissors,” had transformed the life sciences by allowing scientists to target specific sequences on the human genome.

This could, for example, allow doctors to fix cells with sickle-cell anemia. It also paves the way for such developments as plants and livestock with greater disease resistance and safer transplants of animal organs into humans.

“There is enormous

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