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Networks and Markets

Computer Science 5854
Cornell Tech
Spring 2019

Instructor: Rafael Pass

Time: M/W 1.55-3.10pm
Place: Bloomberg 131, Cornell Tech
Course Web page:


TAs: Cody Freitag (crf87 at , Jonathan Shi (js2845 at

Office Hours: W 3.10-4 (Bloomberg 255)



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]



There will be 4 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. Submit the homework online as a pdf. Typed problem sets are strongly preferred.


We will be closely following the material from the book Networks and Markets: Game-theoretic Models and Reasoning (The MIT Press, 2019) by Rafael Pass. The book will only be available in April. In the meantime, you can use the following [draft lecture notes] which contain an earlier draft version of the book. (Note that the book contains additional advanced material which is not covered in the course.)


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)