Skip to content Skip to navigation

PhD Research Specialization

Learn more about research specializations below. Then, rank your research areas of interest from 1-3 (1 being the most interested) in your application.


Optimization and Stochastics

Organizations

Strategy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Computational Social Science

Operations Management

Decision Analysis and Risk Analysis

Quantitative Finance

Energy and Environment

Health Systems Modeling and Policy

Entrepreneurial Policy

National Security Policy

 

 

 

 

 

Optimization and Stochastics

Characterized by its mathematical depth, broad applicability, and interdisciplinary nature.
Focuses on developing models and algorithms to gain new insights and make better decisions.

  • Intersects with the design, analysis and application of algorithms
  • graph theory and combinatorics
  • computational probability
  • simulation
  • queuing theory

Courses to Take

Take courses in optimization, stochastic processes, statistics, and computer science.

Program and Center Affiliations

ICME

Organizations

Characterized by the study of work, mainly in technical settings and considers the organizational issues implicated at the intersection of work and technology.

Courses to Take

Sociology, social psychology, organizational theory, and organizational behavior as well as field research methods courses including ethnography, statistics, and social network analysis

Recent Dissertations

Recent PhD dissertations include:

  • Global collaboration
  • Flash teams
  • Social movements
  • Occupational identities
  • Collective innovation

Program and Center Affiliations

Center for Work, Technology, and Organizations (WTO)

Strategy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Characterized by its social science depth, state-of-the-art methods, and field-based understanding of technology firms and markets.

Focuses on:

  • Innovation
  • Competition
  • Collaboration of established firms
  • Formation/growth of ventures

Courses to Take

Organization theory, economics, sociology, entrepreneurship, and strategy as well as methods courses in statistics, experimental methods, inductive case studies, and computational tools.

Recent Dissertations

Recent PhD dissertations include:

  • Ecosystem strategy in the solar industry
  • Platform competition
  • Competitive interaction in the software industry
  • CEO succession in family businesses

Program and Center Affiliations

Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP)

Computational Social Science

Characterized by its social science depth, state-of-the-art methods, and field-based understanding of technology firms and markets.

Focuses on:

  • Analysis and design of public policy
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Coordination in online labor markets
  • Casual inference and experimentation

Courses to Take

Statistics, computer science, optimization, economics, sociology, and possibly other social sciences

Recent Dissertations

Recent PhD dissertations include:

  • Design and analysis of a peer-to-peer credit network and reputation system
  • Analysis of dynamic online markets
  • Design and analysis of flash teams
  • Fast algorithms for large scale personalized recommendations

Program and Center Affiliations

Operations Management

Focuses on applying analytical, computational, and economic tools to address a wide variety of problems in business, government, and society.

Areas of interest include design of market mechanisms such as:

  • Organ allocation
  • Auctions and platforms for marketplaces
  • Design of complex networks
  • Capacity planning
  • Inventory control

Courses to Take

PhD students take advanced courses in optimization, microeconomics, game theory, stochastics, and topics in operations management as well other areas tailored to the interests of the student such as in Health Policy, Strategy, and Energy and Environmental Policy.

Recent Dissertations

Recent PhD dissertations include:

  • Online auction pricing
  • Designing school choice programs
  • Designing kidney exchange clearinghouses Mechanism design
  • Sustainability in global supply chains

Decision Analysis and Risk Analysis

Focuses on applying engineering systems analysis and probability to complex economic and technical design or management problems, in the private and public sectors.

The Engineering Risk Research Group (ERRG) focuses on:

  • complex engineered systems (e.g., optimal architecture of satellites and deflection of asteroids’ trajectories)
  • cyber security, and risks in games against adversaries (e.g., counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, and staying ahead of narco-traffickers).

Courses to Take

Courses include the mathematical foundations of modeling dynamic environments, value and management of uncertain opportunities and risks, and public policy and strategy applications. Risk analysis requires optimization, stochastic processes, economics and game theory courses.

Recent Dissertations

Recent PhD dissertations include:

  • Experiment sample sizes for influence diagrams
  • Markov process regression
  • Quantile function methods for decision analysis

Quantitative Finance

Focuses on the quantitative and statistical study of financial risks, institutions, markets, and technology.

Courses to Take

Students take courses in probability, statistics, optimization, finance, economics, computational mathematics, and computer science as well as a variety of other courses.

Recent Dissertations

Recent PhD dissertations include:

  • Studies of machine learning methods for risk management
  • Systemic financial risk
  • Algorithmic trading
  • Optimal order execution
  • Large-scale portfolio optimization
  • Mortgage markets
  • Statistical testing of financial models

Program and Center Affiliation

Advanced Financial Technologies Laboratory (AFTLab)

Energy and Environment

Focuses on energy and environmental modeling such as:

  • Integrated assessment of global climate change
  • Litigation/impacts/adaption
  • Energy demand analysis including economic and/or behavioral factors associated with energy efficiency
  • Market structure for electricity systems and environmental mitigation
  • Behavioral economics related to energy
  • Comparative use of energy models through the Energy Modeling Forum.

 

Courses to Take

PhD students take courses in economic analysis, mathematical modeling, optimization, decision analysis, policy analysis, econometrics, and a variety of other courses, depending on the student's particular background and interests.

Program and Center Affiliation

Recent PhD dissertations include:

Health Systems Modeling and Policy

Focuses on the application of analytical, computational, and economic tools to inform decision making in health. Areas of interest include clinical decision making, public health decision making, and healthcare operations management.

 

Courses to Take

Students take courses in optimization, probability and statistics, economics, operations management, cost-effectiveness analysis, and health policy modeling, as well as a variety of other courses.

Recent Dissertations

Recent PhD dissertations include:

  • Managing uncertainty in medical decision making
  • Resource allocation for infectious disease control
  • Optimizing patient treatment decisions in the presence of rapid technological advances
  • Economic analysis of HIV prevention and treatment portfolios.

Program and Center Affiliation

Entrepreneurial Policy

Focuses on the role of public policy in shaping the rate, nature and success of entrepreneurial activities and the formation of new firms.

 

Courses to Take

PhD students take courses in organization theory, economics, sociology, entrepreneurship and strategy as well as state-of-the art econometrics.

Recent Dissertations

Recent PhD dissertations include studies of:

  • How institutional reforms such as changing bankruptcy laws influence the formation and growth of new firms in Japan
  • The effectiveness of accelerator policies such as Start-Up Chile
  • The implications of educational and other reforms on entrepreneurial success in China.

Program and Center Affiliation

National Security Policy

See the Engineering Risk Research Group under Decision and Risk Analysis.