0

Nobel Prize in Economics awarded to Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson of Stanford University

Posted on

“Their discoveries have benefited sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world,” the prize committee said.

The men were honored for theoretical insights into developing the best rules for bidding and for establishing the final price. The resulting improvements in auction formats have proven especially useful in auctioning off goods and services that are difficult to price using traditional methods, such as radio frequencies, the committee said.

Wilson, 83, was cited for theoretical research that explored “the winner’s curse” in auctions of goods that ultimately had the same value to all potential buyers, such as minerals in a specific geographic area. He developed a theory explaining the tendency of successful bidders to place bids lower than their own estimate of the item’s value to themselves or other buyers, because they feared paying too much.

Milgrom, 72, drew the nod for developing a more general theory of auctions involving values that vary between bidders. After analyzing bidding strategies in several popular auctions, he showed the best format to be one in which bidders learn more about each other’s estimated values during bidding.

Auctions are embedded throughout the modern economy. Art houses use them to sell paintings and antiquities. Search engines rely on them to dispose of advertising space. And public authorities offer airport landings slots and mineral rights via auctions.

Global financial markets also operate on their principles.

Asked by reporters about his own use of auctions, Wilson mentioned that he had recently purchased a pair of ski boots on eBay. “It’s something you encounter a lot,” he said.

The prize committee said that Milgrom and Wilson had invented new formats for simultaneously auctioning off many interrelated objects for societal benefit rather than maximal revenue. In 1994, the U.S. government first used their insights to auction off radio frequencies to telecommunications companies.

0

Case Western Reserve University delays 2020 Inamori Ethics Prize events, launches conversation series

Posted on

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Case Western Reserve University says it will postpone its 2020 Inamori Ethics Prize events until 2021. To fill the void, the university has launched a virtual conversation series with prize winners.

Loading...

Load Error

The series, titled “Conversations on Justice,” will kick off with an event from 12:45 to 2:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23. The event will feature 2020 prize recipient Judge Silvia Alejandra Fernández de Gurmendi, along with previous winners LeVar Burton, Marian Wright Edelman and Farouk El-Baz in a conversation on the topic of civil rights.

The conversation can be viewed on Case Western Reserve University’s livestream page, case.edu/livestream/s1.

Future conversations will focus on topics like climate justice and healthcare justice.

“Our traditional prize presentation and events had to be postponed due to the pandemic, but the change in plans also has a specific purpose: to get people talking about how ethical leaders working in different areas — from the law to science to the arts, and everywhere else — can make a positive difference,” said Shannon E. French, Inamori Professor in Ethics and director of the Inamori Center, in a press release. “Who better to explore that potential than the winners of a prestigious international award for ethical leadership, the Inamori Ethics Prize?”

According to the press release, the “Conversations on Justice” series will lead up to the Inamori Ethics Prize event, which will honor Fernández, in the fall of 2021. Fernández will participate in future components of the virtual conversation series, too.

“These events will be an incredible opportunity for us to hear outstanding global ethics leaders from diverse fields talking with one another about their own views on justice and how to build a more equitable society,” French said in a press release. “To get these amazing individuals together, even virtually, is

0

Black Hole Discoveries Win 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics | World News

Posted on

By Niklas Pollard and Douglas Busvine

STOCKHOLM/BERLIN (Reuters) – Three scientists who unravelled some of the deep mysteries of black holes, the awe-inspiring pockets of the universe where space and time cease to exist, have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Britain’s Roger Penrose, professor at the University of Oxford, won half the prize of 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.1 million) for his proof that black holes are a direct consequence of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

“It was an extreme honour and great pleasure to hear the news this morning in a slightly unusual way – I had to get out of my shower to hear it,” Penrose told reporters from his home in Oxford on Tuesday.

German Reinhard Genzel, of the Max Planck Institute and University of California, Berkeley, and Andrea Ghez, at the University of California, Los Angeles, shared the other half for discovering that an invisible and extremely heavy object governs the orbits of stars at the centre of our galaxy.

Ghez – only the fourth woman to be awarded the Physics prize after Marie Curie in 1903, Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963 and Donna Strickland in 2018 – said she hoped it would inspire others to enter the field.

Asked about the moment of discovery, Ghez said: “The first thing is doubt.”

“You have to prove to yourself that what you are really seeing is what you think you are seeing. So, both doubt and excitement,” the 55-year-old American said in a call with the committee after receiving the award.

Genzel was on a Zoom call with colleagues when the phone rang. “Just like in the movies, a voice said: ‘This is Stockholm’,” the 68-year-old astrophysicist told Reuters Television in his cluttered office on the outskirts of Munich.

He was flabbergasted by the news:

0

Don’t Give Gov. Newsom the Education Prize

Posted on

California Gov. Gavin Newsom



Photo:

Carin Dorghalli/Associated Press

Your editorial “Hope for California’s Schools” (Oct. 2) gives Gov. Gavin Newsom too much credit. I fully suspect that he doesn’t want to sign anything that would be a cautionary, if not frightening, example of what will happen on a national level after the November elections if both the executive and legislative branches are controlled by the Democrats. I seriously doubt that the Legislature is reticent about the wording of the bill after Gov. Newsom’s veto message. I fully expect that postelection, no matter who wins, this issue will rise again, an equally egregious bill will pass and, absent an immediate threat of a negative election reaction, the governor will sign it.

Christopher Reid

Houston

California schools could well better educate and prepare their students for adult life if they abandoned their push for “ethnic studies” and introduced a mandatory course in personal finance covering such topics as managing credit, investing in fixed-income and equity instruments, managed funds and index funds, mortgages, insurance concepts, retirement accounts, income-tax matters and a host of other topics they will have to deal with as adults. This becomes even more important as Social Security becomes ever more shaky and defined-benefit pension plans fade away.

John F. Quilter

Eugene, Ore.

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the October 7, 2020, print edition.

Source Article

0

Black hole discoveries earn three scientists a Nobel Prize in Physics

Posted on

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists Tuesday for their discoveries around one of the most fascinating and mysterious parts of our known universe: black holes.

Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez were jointly awarded half of the annual Prize for their discovery of a compact, supermassive object indicative of a black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Richard Penrose was awarded half of the Prize for mathematical methods proving that black holes are indeed a consequence of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. 

Einstein’s 1915 theory states that massive objects, like planets, stars, and supermassive blackholes distort space-time around them, which gives us gravity. The more massive an object is, the stronger its distortion is, and thus the stronger its gravitational pull is. 

For decades, black holes were a theoretical explanation for what occurs when objects become so massive that light can’t escape their gravitational pull, but even Einstein himself didn’t think they existed. Penrose, a professor at the University of Oxford, proved that they could form in 1965 with a mathematical model. Our first actual image of a black hole only just occurred in 2019.

Genzel and Ghez’s work has involved observing the center of our own galaxy, a region known as Sagittarius A*, since the 1990s, using the biggest telescopes on Earth. What they found was a whole bunch of stars spiraling around the galaxy’s center at ludicrous speeds, evidence that they’re being pulled by a supermassive black hole.

Ghez, a professort at University