Daskalakis in 2014
29 April 1981 (age 37)
|Thesis||The Complexity of Nash Equilibria (2008)|
|Doctoral advisor||Christos Papadimitriou|
Constantinos Daskalakis (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Δασκαλάκης; born 29 April 1981) is a Greek theoretical computer scientist. He is a professor at MIT's Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department and a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He was awarded the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize in 2018.
Early life and education
Daskalakis was born in Athens on 29 April 1981. His grandparents originated from Crete, where he summered as a child. He has a younger brother, Nikolaos. When Daskalakis was in eighth grade, his father bought an Amstrad CPC, which Daskalakis stayed up all night attempting to learn how it worked.
He attended Varvakeio High School, and completed his undergraduate studies in the National Technical University of Athens, where in 2004 he received his Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He completed his undergraduate thesis "On the Existence of Pure Nash Equilibria in Graphical Games with succinct description" under the supervision of Stathis Zachos. As an undergraduate, Daskalakis attained perfect scores in all but one of his classes, something which had not previously been achieved in the university's history.
Research and career
He has resolved long-standing open problems about the computational complexity of the Nash equilibrium, the mathematical structure and computational complexity of multi-item auctions, and the behavior of machine-learning methods such as the expectation–maximization algorithm. He has obtained computationally and statistically efficient methods for statistical hypothesis testing and learning in high-dimensional settings, as well as results characterizing the structure and concentration properties of high-dimensional distributions.
His Ph.D. thesis was awarded the 2008 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award. Together with Paul Goldberg and Christos Papadimitriou, they received the 2008 Game Theory and Computer Science Prize for their paper "The Complexity of Computing a Nash Equilibrium". He became a tenured Professor at MIT in May 2015.
Awards and honors
Constantinos Daskalakis won the 2008 Doctoral Dissertation Award from ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) for advancing our understanding of behavior in complex networks of interacting individuals, such as those enabled and created by the Internet. His dissertation, entitled “The Complexity of Nash Equilibria,” provides a novel, algorithmic perspective on Game Theory and the concept of the Nash equilibrium ("The Complexity of Computing a Nash Equilibrium."). For this work Daskalakis was also awarded the 2008 Kalai Prize for outstanding articles at the interface of computer science and game theory, along with Christos Papadimitriou and Paul W. Goldberg.
In 2018, Daskalakis was awarded the Nevanlinna Prize for "transforming our understanding of the computational complexity of fundamental problems in markets, auctions, equilibria and other economic structures". He also received the Simons Foundation Investigator award in Theoretical Computer Science, an award designed for "outstanding scientists in their most productive years," who are "providing leadership to the field".