Constantinos Daskalakis

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Constantinos Daskalakis
Constantinos Daskalakis.jpg
Daskalakis in 2014
Constantinos Daskalakis

29 April 1981 (1981-04-29) (age 38)
Athens, Greece
Alma mater
Scientific career
ThesisThe Complexity of Nash Equilibria (2008)
Doctoral advisorChristos 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 and the Grace Murray Hopper Award in 2018.

Early life and education[edit]

Daskalakis was born in Athens on 29 April 1981.[1] His grandparents originated from Crete, where he summered as a child. He has a younger brother, Nikolaos. When Daskalakis was in third grade, his father bought an Amstrad CPC, which Daskalakis stayed up all night attempting to learn how it worked.[2]

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.[2]

He continued to study at University of California, Berkeley, where he received his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2008 under the supervision of Christos Papadimitriou.

After attaining his Ph.D. he spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher in Jennifer Chayes's group at Microsoft Research, New England.

Research and career[edit]

Daskalakis works on computation theory and its interface with game theory, economics, probability theory, statistics and machine learning.

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.

Daskalakis co-authored "The Complexity of Computing a Nash Equilibrium" with his doctoral advisor Christos Papadimitriou and Paul W. Goldberg, for which they received the 2008 Kalai Game Theory and Computer Science Prize from the Game Theory Society for "the best paper at the interface of game theory and computer science",[3] in particular "for its key conceptual and technical contributions";[4] and the Outstanding Paper Prize from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

He became a tenured Professor at MIT in May 2015.

Awards and honors[edit]

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."[1]). 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".[5] 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".[6]


  1. ^ Ο Κωνσταντίνος Δασκαλάκης στις Ιστορίες
  2. ^ a b A Poet of Computation Who Uncovers Distant Truths Quanta Magazine
  3. ^ "Game Theory Society: Named Lectures and Prizes". Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  4. ^ "Prize in Game Theory and Computer Science of the Game Theory Society (2008)" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  5. ^ Rolf Nevanlinna Prize 2018 International Mathematical Union
  6. ^ "Simons Investigators".

External links[edit]