Awards

Brown CS PhD Student Denizalp Goktas Becomes A 2022 J.P. Morgan PhD Fellow

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Every year since 2019, JPMorgan Chase, the investment bank and financial services holding company, uses its AI Research Awards to empower the best research thinkers across AI, looking for individuals who seek to experiment and challenge and who are at the vanguard of shaping all our futures. This year, Brown CS PhD student Denizalp Goktas was one of just eleven individuals to become a J.P. Morgan PhD Fellow.

Advised by Brown CS Professor Amy Greenwald, Denizalp says that he hopes to dedicate his PhD to improving our understanding of algorithmic economics with the ultimate goal of building welfare-improving decentralized technology for markets. "I believe that my research," he says, "has the potential to provide algorithmic solutions to problems in machine learning, optimization, and game theory, and can be used to improve the efficiency of online marketplaces."

Denizalp explains that his research agenda is both theoretical and applied, and can be summarized as:

  1. devising decentralized algorithms which converge to desirable outcomes in games (that is, models of human behavior) and markets (that is, models of consumer behavior) without the need of coordination between agents, and

  2. using these algorithms to build decentralized online markets which do not need middlemen to connect sellers and buyers

The decentralized economic algorithms that Denizalp researches can be used to design economically decentralized marketplaces in which buyers and sellers can trade goods and services in an efficient manner without the need for intermediaries. The tools that Denizalp develops, he says, bring hope to solve issues facing decentralized online markets.

"With the continued rise of technologies such as Blockchain for decentralized finance (DeFi)," he tells us, "building efficient, decentralized markets has become more important than ever. Consider the recently emerging decentralized exchange platform (DEX) technology for DeFi applications, whose main promise is to replace traditional centralized exchanges with peer-to-peer markets in the hopes of reducing transaction costs. Even though the technology used to communicate and exchange information in these markets is decentralized, little about the markets themselves is truly decentralized, as evidenced by the fact that companies such as OpenSea have emerged to serve as middlemen to connect sellers and buyers."

Denizalp believes that in the future, online markets will be able to function autonomously without the need for intermediaries, and his research, he argues, will bring us one step closer to this reality.

A video summarizing his research is available here.

For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.