The Singh Program in Market and Social Systems Engineering
- How is it that Google returns quality answers to keyword searches, in the blink of an eye?
- How do search engines like Google and Bing make money by selling targeted ads?
- How does Facebook recommend friends?
Networks – including communication networks like the Internet, modern social networks such as Facebook, and traditional organizational and economic networks – have touched virtually every aspect of our modern life: from business and investments, to communication and information access, to scientific discovery and medicine, to government information and security. The Rajendra and Neera Singh Program in Market and Social Systems Engineering (MKSE) is the world's first course of study to fully integrate the disciplines needed to design and analyze the complex networks that are reshaping our society and to predict their behavior and dynamics. The Singh Program offers a rigorous, yet intellectually and creatively stimulating curriculum that blends the fundamentals of computing and decision-making in a networked setting with the engineering of emerging networked systems, markets, and services.
The focus of the Singh Program is to build a robust foundation that prepares students for the challenges and opportunities that our networked lives present in the twenty-first century. Modern networks have many aspects, ranging from technological to social to economic, and they transcend various disciplines. Networked systems and services are often used in ways that the original designers had not anticipated, which itself creates additional challenges.
Consider, for example, the Internet: a large-scale, complex network of computers, routers, and servers in addition to algorithms and protocols that transfer data between billions of nodes using a market mechanism to allocate bandwidth. In the context of the Singh Program, the Internet and its services lead us to ask questions such as those at the top of the page, as well as others such as:
- How do we ensure the Internet's infrastructure keeps pace with the rapid growth in number of users?
- How do companies try to improve their rankings in search results, and how do search companies guard against misbehavior?
- How should we design new addressing schemes and protocols that are more efficient, and how do we incentivize users to use them?
- How much further can we employ existing technologies and when do we need to develop a new design?
In addition to understanding these topics, students in the Singh Program will learn about the technological, social and economic challenges offered by web-based services as well as other networked phenomena. They will understand how network connectivity and interactions can be used to make predictions, to answer questions like:
- How does local interaction among entities in a network result in a global behavior? How do rumors, fads, and fashions propagate in a society, and how does the structure of the interconnections impact the behavior?
- When does a technological innovation spread and when does it die out?
- How can we balance monetization of social networks and preservation of privacy?
- How do marketers use the structure of networks to reach customers?
The MKSE core offers both technical depth – with courses covering leading-edge topics such as Internet-based networked services, the theory of networks, cloud computing, and algorithmic game theory – as well as the breadth and flexibility to choose different career path emphases. Moreover, the program will continuously emphasize the close connections between theory and practice, between sociology and economics and engineering, and from idea to realization. The Singh Program will also be more than a set of courses – it will be an active and vibrant community, with a strong research presence, a variety of extracurricular activities, and a speaker series.For a complete list of courses and degree requirements, or to learn more about the program, please visit the Singh Program website.