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Networks and Markets

Computer Science 5854
Cornell Tech
Fall 2017

Instructor: Rafael Pass

Time: M/W 1.45-3pm
Place: B61, Cornell Tech
Course Web page:



·             Andrew Morgan (asm354 at

·             Antonio Marcedone (marcedone at


Office Hours: TBA



The course examines how the computing, economic and sociological worlds are connected and how these connections affects these worlds. Tools from game theory and graph theory are introduced and then used to analyze network structures present in everyday life, with a focus on various types of markets. Topics covered include social networks, web search, auctions, matching markets, and voting.



Basic familiarity with mathematical definitions and proofs. Familiarity with sets, basic probability and basic proof techniques are useful; see Chapters 1,2 and 5 in the following lecture notes: [Pass-Tseng]

Course Administration

We are using the course management system, CMS.  Please login to and check whether you are registered. There will be a list of courses you are registered for, and CS 5854 should be one of them.  If not, please send your full name and Cornell netid to the TAs so they can register you.  You can check your grades and submit homework in CMS. 

We are also using Piazza for all class related discussion and questions about content, homeworks, logistics, etc. Please send an email to the TAs as above if you do not have access to it.


There will be 4-6 homeworks.

Homeworks need to be handed in before the beginning of class. Additionally, you have a total of 4 “late-days” that you can use throughout the semester.


Homework Policy

You are free to collaborate with other students on the homework (in fact, I highly encourage you to work in pairs or groups of 3), but you must turn in your own individually written solution and you must specify the names of your collaborators. Additionally, you may make use of published material, provided that you acknowledge all sources used. Note that it is a violation of this policy to submit a problem solution that you are unable to explain orally to a member of the course staff. Assignments will be posted in CMS. Submit hardcopy in class or to the TA by the due date, or as a .pdf, .ps, .doc, or .txt file in CMS. Typed problem sets are strongly preferred.


We will be following the following [draft lecture notes]. These notes are only minimally proof read, and I may update them throughout the year. If you find typos, mistakes, or more generally things that are unclear, please let me know. You will get bonus point for every serious issue found (including the advanced section in the notes that we won’t cover in the course)!


A lot of supplementary material can also be found in the beautiful book Networks, Crowds and Markets (Cambridge University Press, 2010) by Kleinberg and Easley (KE). A complete free on-line version of the book is available here.


For additional background on sets, proofs and probability theory, please consult the following lecture notes on discrete mathematics: [Pass-Tseng]


Topics Outline (subject to change)