Yahoo! Research Expands World-Class Team into Social Sciences
World-renowned Authorities in Sociology and Economics Join Yahoo! to Shape the Future of the Web
SUNNYVALE, CA (rushprnews) May 10, 2007Â News Network/ — Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), a leading global Internet company, today announced further expansion of the Yahoo! Research organization with the addition of two leading scientists, Dr. R. Preston McAfee and Dr. Duncan Watts.
Yahoo! Research is building a world-class research team focused on developing the science that will underlie the next generation of technologies and businesses that will help shape the future of the Web. The work done by McAfee and Watts, in the disciplines of economics and sociology, respectively, will contribute to Yahoo! Research’s mission of publishing pioneering scientific work and building a better Web experience for the 500 million users of Yahoo! branded services.
“Building on our strong bench of experts in search and economics, including Andrew Tomkins, Michael Schwartz and Ricardo Baeza-Yates, Yahoo! Research is now expanding that leadership into the social sciences of the web,” said Prabhakar Raghavan, Head of Yahoo! Research. “By augmenting our team with experts of the stature of McAfee and Watts, we’ve successfully incorporated new areas into our research. This enables us to gain powerful insights from our audiences and answer complex questions in areas including search and information navigation, social media, community, personalization, and mobility.”
Joining three other research fellows in the company, including Andrei Broder, Raghu Ramakrishnan and Larry Tesler, McAfee has been named vice president and research fellow leading Yahoo!’s microeconomics research group. This group focuses on market mechanism design, pricing, auctions and matching mechanisms that affect monetization. McAfee joins Yahoo! from the California Institute of Technology, where he was the J. Stanley Johnson professor of business, economics and management. He is a recognized authority on industrial organization and one of a new breed of economi sts who combine theory and business applications, having written books on microeconomics and competitive strategy. McAfee earned an MA in Economics and Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Economics from Purdue University.
Watts is a celebrated expert in social networking and starting in the fall, will lead Yahoo!’s research in human social dynamics, including the structure and evolution of social groups and networks, social influence and collective decisions, networking and collaborative problem solving. Watts joins Yahoo! from Columbia University, where he was professor of sociology and director of the Collective Dynamics Group. While at Columbia, he explored the role that network structure plays in determining or constraining system behavior, focusing on areas such as information contagion, financial risk management, and organizational design. He is the author of the book Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age. Watts received a B.Sc. in physics from the University of Ne w South Wales, and a Ph.D. in theoretical and applied mechanics from Cornell University.
Yahoo! Research continues to be integrated closely with business units and product teams throughout the company, enabling the scientific approach and expertise of the organization to directly benefit Yahoo!’s consumers and advertisers. For example, Yahoo! has incorporated algorithmic research into the company’s advanced platforms for social media and search, which allow users to find and share the information that they want, when they want. The company has also leveraged research on marketplace design and pricing mechanisms for sponsored search. This collaboration will continue as McAfee and Watts apply the disciplines of economics and sociology to better understand and monetize social networks.
Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global Internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo!’s mission is to connect people to their pas sions, their communities, and the world’s knowledge. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.
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