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2016 Frank Knight Lecture - Dr. Parag Pathak

The Department of Economics Presents the Frank Knight Lecture:

“Improving Opportunities for Public Education: Recent Lessons from Urban School Reforms”

By Parag Pathak 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
4:30pm, 105 Ives Hall

Parag A. Pathak is a Professor of Economics at MIT, found­ing co-director of the NBER Working Group on Market Design, and founder of MIT's School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative (SEII), a laboratory focused on education, human capital, and income distribution.  In 2005, based on work in his PhD thesis, Boston's school committee adopted a new mechanism for student placement, citing the desire to make it easier for participants to navigate and to level the playing field for the city's families.  He has also helped to design the Chicago, Denver, Newark, New Orleans, New York, and Washington DC school choice systems.  

His work on mar­ket design and edu­ca­tion was rec­og­nized with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship.  In 2012, he was selected to give the Shapley Lecture at GAMES2012 as a dis­tin­guished game the­o­rist under age 40.   In 2013, he was appointed as Mayor Thomas Menino's chief technical advisor for Boston's student assignment plan.  Under his direction, SEII provided a formal analysis of different alternatives, which eventually led to the most significant change in Boston's school choice system since the end of court-ordered busing.  The IMF listed him as one of 25 top economists under age 45 in 2014.  He was awarded the 2016 Social Choice and Welfare Award as the top young scholar in social choice and welfare economics together with Fuhito Kojima.  In addition to gen­er­at­ing aca­d­emic pub­li­ca­tions that study, develop, and test dif­fer­ent student assign­ment sys­tems, Pathak's research work has directly affected the lives of over one mil­lion pub­lic school students.

Recent Articles Highlighting Dr. Pathak's Work:
Harvard Magazine - Debating School Choice
Boston Globe - Charter Schools in Boston Score Higher on Key Tests
PBS - When School Vouchers Are Not a Leg Up

For more information, contact Amy Moesch at