Greek Beautiful Minds

Papadimitriou(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias honoured Dr. Constantinos Daskalakis, a 28-year-old postdoctoral researcher, who was recently awarded the 2008 Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) for his work “The Complexity of Computing a Nash Equilibrium.”  Daskalakis’s dissertation provides an algorithmic perspective on Game Theory and the concept of the Nash equilibrium. In fact, Daskalakis examines whether rational individuals can arrive at a state where no single one of them would be better off switching strategies unless others did so as well.  Such a state is called ‘Nash equilibrium’, in honour of the brilliant mathematician John Nash, who defined it, and is traditionally used in Game Theory. Daskalakis managed to show that in complex systems the Nash equilibrium is computationally unachievable in some cases, answering an algorithmic question that has been open since John Nash’s definition of the concept in the 1950s.  A graduate of the National Technical University of Athens with a degree in electrical and computer engineering, Daskalakis is an assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a member of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.