Lance Fortnow

Computer scientist Lance Fortnow will examine the role of bounded rationality in economics during a public talk, “Bounding Rationality With Computation,” on Friday, January 8, 11 a.m. in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Physical Science Auditorium (room 217). This is the keynote event of the International Conference on Computability, Complexity and Randomness being held on the Mānoa campus.

Fortnow is currently professor and chair of the School of Computer Science at Georgia Tech’ College of Computing, a leading researcher in computational complexity, and winner of the 2014 Nerode Prize, awarded by the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science and the International Symposium on Parameterized and Exact Computation.

He is the author of The Golden Ticket: P, NP and the Search for the Impossible, a popular science book on the P versus NP problem published by Princeton University Press. The P versus NP problem, perhaps the most important open problem in mathematics, can be succinctly described as: Can every solved problem whose answer can be checked quickly by a computer also be quickly solved by a computer? A certain kind of affirmative answer to the problem may have great impact on computer security, breaking most existing cryptosystems.

Fortnow's work in economics includes game theory, optimal strategies and prediction. The 2008 financial crisis highlighted the acute problem of bounded rationality. Financial securities such as credit default obligations were packaged in such a way as to make it very difficult for computers, and even more so humans, to evaluate their fair price and risk.

More on the conference

The 11th International Conference on Computability, Complexity and Randomness will be held January 4–8, 2016 on the UH Mānoa campus.

The conference is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Association for Symbolic Logic, the Association for Women in Mathematics and the Department of Mathematics in the College of Natural Sciences at UH Mānoa.

The presentation is free and open to the public.