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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2018 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Inductive Learning of Bargaining Conventions
Discipline:  Economics
Mentor:  Peter Vanderschraaf, Professor, (HSS),, Phone: 949-842-0181
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  NOTE: This project is being offered by a former Caltech postdoc and will be conducted at University of California, Merced, in Merced, California.

The Nash bargaining problem is an analytical framework philosophers and social scientists use to analyze problems of fair division. Previous work on applying models of inductive learning to 2-agent bargaining problems confirm that in the 2-agent case, agents who update their beliefs recursively based upon their experience of repeated play can converge to a variety of bargaining conventions and that a convention that defines the egalitarian solution of axiomatic bargaining theory is an especially strong attractor of inductive learning.

The properties of inductive learning applied to bargaining problems having more than two agents have not yet been explored. The goal of the proposed project is to determine whether the properties of inductive learning applied to 2-agent bargaining problems extend to 3-agent and 4-agent bargaining problems.
Description:  The student will develop computer simulations of learning dynamics applied to 3-player and 4-player bargaining games. This will continue research recently published in Social Policy & Philosophy that presented computer simulations of learning dynamics for 2-player bargaining games.
References:  Camerer, Colin. 2003. Behavioral Game Theory. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Fudenberg, Drew and Levine, David. 1998. The Theory of Learning in Games. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Thomson, William and Lensberg, Terje. 1989. Axiomatic Bargaining Theory with a Variable Number of Agents. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Vanderschraaf, Peter. Forthcoming. ‘Learning Bargaining Conventions’, Social Philosophy & Policy 35.

Young, H. Peyton. 1998. Individual Strategy and Social Structure: A Evolutionary Theory of Institutions. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Student Requirements:  Student will need a strong background in game theory and facility in programming in MatLab.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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