Susan Athey Awarded the CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications

Susan Athey

"It is a great honor to receive this prize, especially to join the company of some of my greatest heroes in economics, including one of my PhD advisors and recent Nobel Laureate, Paul Milgrom. Throughout my career I’ve aspired to the ideals of this prize, and I’ve seen first-hand how mathematics and statistics can be powerful tools for both the theory and practice of analyzing and designing markets."

Professor Susan Athey

Susan Athey
The Economics of Technology Professor; Professor of Economics (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences; and Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Stanford Business School

Susan Athey is the Economics of Technology Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. She received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her PhD from Stanford, and she holds an honorary doctorate from Duke University. She previously taught at the economics departments at MIT, Stanford and Harvard. Her current research focuses on the economics of digitization, marketplace design, and the intersection of econometrics and machine learning. She has worked on several application areas, including timber auctions, internet search, online advertising, the news media, and the application of digital technology to social impact applications.

As one of the first “tech economists,” Athey served as consulting chief economist for Microsoft Corporation for six years, and now serves on the boards of Expedia, Lending Club, Rover, Turo, and Ripple, as well as non-profit Innovations for Poverty Action. She also serves as a long-term advisor to the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, helping architect and implement their auction-based pricing system. She is the founding director of the Golub Capital Social Impact Lab at Stanford GSB, and associate director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence.

About the CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications

The CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications was founded in 2006 by CME Group’s Chairman Emeritus, Leo Melamed. CME Group, in partnership with the esteemed Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, awards this prize annually to a recipient with exemplary work in the field of mathematical sciences and who recognizes the vital impact quantitative research and application play in shaping global financial markets. It recognizes an individual or group who has contributed and applied original and significant ideas and concepts to quantitative fields such as mathematics, statistics, and computing for the study of market’s behavior and global economics.

Read the OpenMarkets series on CME Group-MSRI Prize winners.

About the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) is one of the world’s preeminent centers for collaborative research in mathematics. Since 1982, MSRI’s topic-focused programs have brought together emerging and leading minds in mathematics, in an environment that promotes creativity and the interchange of ideas. Over 1,700 mathematical scientists spend time at MSRI’s Berkeley, California-based headquarters each year. MSRI is known around the world for the quality and reach of its programs and its leadership in basic research, mathematics education, and programs for the public understanding of mathematics.

Past Winners

Past recipients of the CME Group-MSRI Prize have included distinguished luminaries in economics and mathematics. Seven previous recipients have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, including in 2020 when Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson won for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.

2018 | Kyle Albert
Charles E. Smith Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, 2018 CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications Recipient

2017 | Paul Milgrom
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (2020). Shirley and Leonard Ely professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Economics and professor, by courtesy, at both the Department of Management Science and Engineering and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University

2016 | Robert Wilson
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (2020). Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, Emeritus, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2016 CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications Recipient

2015 | Douglas Diamond
Fischer Black Visiting Professor of Financial Economics, MIT Sloan School of Management, 2015-2016 and Merton H. Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance, University of Chicago

2014 | José A. Scheinkman
Charles and Lynn Zhang Professor of Economics at Columbia University and Theodore A. Wells ‘29 Professor of Economics Emeritus at Princeton University

2013 Bengt Holmstrom
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (2016), Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2012 | Robert J. Shiller
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (2013), Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University, and Professor of Finance and Fellow at the International Center for Finance, Yale School of Management

2011 | Thomas J. Sargent
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (2011), William R. Berkley Professor of Economics and Business, Stern School of Business, New York University, and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution

2010 | Jean Tirole
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (2014), Scientific Director of the Industrial Economics Institute at the University of Toulouse Capitole, Member of the Toulouse School of Economics

2009 | Sanford J. Grossman
Chairman and CEO, Quantitative Financial Strategies, Inc.

2008 | Lars Peter Hansen
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (2013) and David Rockefeller Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and Statistics, University of Chicago

2007 | David M. Kreps
Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, Stanford University Graduate School of Business

2006 | Stephen A. Ross
Franco Modigliani Professor of Financial Economics, MIT Sloan School of Management

About the CME Group Center for Innovation

Throughout history, CME Group has continually embraced change and fostered an entrepreneurial spirit that has enabled the futures industry to grow and prosper. To a greater extent, the power of innovation has proven its ability to transform business, influence the direction of civilization, and alter its reality for the better. CME Group’s Center for Innovation (CFI) creates and sponsors thought-provoking original programming that identifies, showcases, and fosters examples of significant innovation and creative thinking across multiple industries in both the public and private sectors. Each program explores and communicates the principles behind innovation, and more importantly, showcases their application to a broad and diverse audience.

The CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications is a signature program of the CFI. Read more about CFI here.