National Science Foundation

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Dynamic Pricing and Matching with Asymmetric Information

This award funds research on two projects in economic theory. The first examines how a monopolist will choose prices over time, with a focus on how monopoly power in the product market affects how the firm makes decisions over time about production technologies. The second project is in the general area of mechanism design, the design of methods to allocate recourses. The specific application is in matching markets under incomplete information, and the work could give us new ideas about how to design allocation methods that will lead to stable outcomes.

Doctoral Dissertation Research: The direct and indirect effect of innovation subsidies

Government subsidies to support innovation in firms are a widespread policy. However, little is known about their effectiveness to promote technological upgrading and boost firm performance in developing countries. The existing rigorous studies about this type of intervention are focused on developed countries and high-tech industries, and infer technological improvement from patents and R&D expenditure.

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Recovering the Polyvalent Genealogies of Machine Learning, 1948 - 2017

Machine learning techniques currently make "high-stakes" judgments in areas as diverse as criminal justice, credit risk, social welfare, hiring, and congressional redistricting. Such techniques make these decisions using patterns learned from historical social data. Emphasis on prediction rather than the circumstances of dataset creation have led to machine learning systems that preferentially target vulnerable populations for disparately adverse social judgments while making it more difficult for those subject to these decisions to protest unfair treatment.

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Forest engineers, bureaucrats, and the constitution of information

The production of accurate and reliable information about rainforests and other difficult-to-survey environments constitutes an enduring challenge for state bureaucrats, scientists, and engineers. Yet the grounded processes through which key environmental information is produced have received little study. The research supported by this award takes up this problem through an anthropological investigation of the technical and bureaucratic practices through which state environmental information is created, transmitted, and applied.

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Comparing Multi-Scalar Claims for Redress and Reparation

In the second half of the twentieth century, claims for redress for historical injustices have put increasing pressure on political and legal systems. This pressure is compounded by the fact that claims for reparations may occur simultaneously at international and national levels. The research supported by this award asks how international claims for redress converge on or diverge from national claims for redress from local governments.

Collaborative Research: Pennsylvania Solitary Confinement Study

The U.S. penal population is the largest in the world, but imprisonment in America is also distinguished by its extensive use of solitary confinement, defined as incarceration in a cell for 23 hours each day with limited access to visits from outsiders or rehabilitative programs. Solitary confinement is an important but understudied part of the experience of punishment in the United States. The scant available evidence suggests solitary confinement is associated with poor health and adjustment to society after incarceration.

Archaeology and Archaeometry

The goal of the Archaeology Program is to fund research which furthers anthropologically relevant archaeological knowledge. In accordance with the National Science Foundation’s mission such research has the potential to provide fundamental scientific insight. While within the broad range of “archaeology” the focus is on projects judged to be significant from an anthropological perspective, the Program sets no priorities based on time period, geographic region or specific research topic. The Program administers four competitions each of which is described below.

Interests: 

Archaeology Program Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Awards

The Archaeology Program supports anthropologically relevant archaeological research. This means that the value of the proposed research can be justified within an anthropological context. The Program sets no priorities by either geographic region or time period. It also has no priorities in regard to theoretical orientation or question and it is the responsibility of the applicant to explain convincingly why these are significant and have the potential to contribute to anthropological knowledge.

Interests: 

Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier: Advancing Cognitive and Physical Capabilities

The landscape of jobs and work is changing at unprecedented speed, driven by the development of new technologies that have moved from the factory floor to an expanding array of knowledge and service occupations. These changes promise benefits to the Nation in the creation of new industries and occupations, increased productivity, opportunity for innovation, and sustained global leadership. But there are risks as well.

Deadline: 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Doctoral Dissertation Research: The Autonomy of Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Recent reforms in services for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD) have been oriented toward increasing the individual's opportunity for autonomy and a normal life in the community. However, adults with ID/DD show poor outcomes on almost all indicators of successful adulthood. This project examines the influence of the tension between the need for care and encouragement of autonomy on the adult lives of people with ID/DD.

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