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Born on this day
Phillip Allen Sharp
Phillip Allen Sharp is a geneticist and a molecular biologist who won a Nobel Prize.
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Lloyd Stowell Shapley2.6.1923

Wikipedia (06 May 2013, 12:54)
Lloyd Stowell Shapley (born June 2, 1923) is a distinguished American mathematician and economist. He is a Professor Emeritus at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), affiliated with departments of Mathematics and Economics. He has contributed to the fields of mathematical economics and especially game theory. Since the work of von Neumann and Morgenstern in 1940s, Shapley has been regarded by many experts as the very personification of game theory. With Alvin E. Roth, Shapley won the 2012 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design."

Life and career

Lloyd Shapley was born on June 2, 1923, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the sons of Martha (Betz) and the distinguished astronomer Harlow Shapley, both from Missouri. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and was a student at Harvard when he was drafted in 1943. He served in the Army Air Corps in Chengdu, China and received the Bronze Star decoration for breaking the Soviet weather code. After the war, he returned to Harvard and graduated with an A.B. in mathematics in 1948. After working for one year at the RAND Corporation, he went to Princeton University where he received a Ph.D. in 1953. His thesis and post-doctoral work introduced the Shapley value and the core solution in game theory. After graduating, he remained at Princeton for a short time before going back to the RAND corporation from 1954 to 1981. Since 1981 he has been a professor at UCLA. He is still dashing about, doing Game Theory related activities, like RISK.


Along with the Shapley value, stochastic games, the Bondareva-Shapley theorem (which implies that convex games have non-empty cores), the Shapley–Shubik power index (for weighted- or block voting power), the Gale–Shapley algorithm (for the stable marriage problem), the concept of a potential game (with Dov Monderer), the Aumann–Shapley pricing, the Harsanyi–Shapley solution, the Snow-Shapley theorem for matrix games, and the Shapley–Folkman lemma & theorem bear his name.

Besides, his early work with R.N.Snow and Samuel Karlin on matrix games was so complete that little has been added since. He has been instrumental in the development of utility theory, and it was he who laid much of the groundwork for the solution of the problem of the existence of Von Neumann-Morgenstern stable sets. His work with M.Maschler and B.Peleg on the kernel and the nucleolus, and his work with Robert Aumann on non-atomic games and on long-term competition have all had a tremendous impact in economic theory.

In his 80s, Shapley continues publishing in the areas of specialization he created or advanced, such as multi-person utility (with Manel Baucells) and authority distribution (a generalization to the Shapley–Shubik power index and useful in ranking, planning and group decision-making).

Awards and honors

- Bronze Star, U.S. Army Air Corps, 1944
- Procter Fellow, Princeton University, 1951–52
- Fellow, Econometric Society, 1967
- Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1974
- Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1979
- John von Neumann Theory Prize, 1981
- Honorary Ph.D., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1986
- Fellow, INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences), 2002
- Distinguished Fellow, American Economic Association, 2007
- Fellow, American Mathematical Society, 2012
- Sveriges Riksbank Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 2012

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