Michael H. Rothkopf Junior Researcher Paper Prize

The INFORMS Auctions and Market Design (AMD) Section is happy to announce the Michael H. Rothkopf Junior Researcher Paper Prize, to be awarded annually at the INFORMS Annual Meeting. The prize recognizes the best paper by a junior researcher in the area of Auctions and Market Design, with a particular focus on the use of Operations Research and/or Management Science techniques in the design or analysis of markets. The paper should provide an innovative approach to a realistic market-design problem, and should have potential impact for real-world market design.

Judging criteria will include technical quality and richness of the solution approach, strength of connection to the literature in Operations Research and the Management Sciences, and potential or demonstrated impact on practice.

The first, second, and third prizes are awarded with a $500, $300, and $100 honorarium, respectively. Winners will present their work in a special session at the Annual Meeting. All finalists and winners will be recognized at the AMD business meeting of the 2020 INFORMS Annual Meeting.

Eligibility Conditions:

  • Entrant must be a current PhD student (enrolled on or after January 1, 2020) or be a recent PhD graduate (with a PhD conferred no earlier than January 1, 2016).
  • The submitted paper must present original research conducted primarily by the entrant. If the work includes co-authorship, co-authors must certify that the entrant's contribution was primary (not exceeded by another contributor).
  • Research submitted should be ongoing, or have been accepted for final publication no earlier than January 1, 2019.
  • Entrant must be a member of the AMD Section on the date of submission.
  • The paper must not have won a prize in a previous Rothkopf paper competition (first, second, or third place).
  • An entrant may submit no more than one paper to the competition in any year.

Submission Requirements:

A complete entry consists of:

  • A pdf stating the entrant's contact information, the contact information of the entrant's co-authors, the paper title, and appropriate keywords for the submitted paper.
  • The paper in a PDF file format, with a length of at most 32 pages including the tables, figures, and references, and strictly compliant with all submission formatting standards of the journal Operations Research or Management Science. There could be appendices beyond the 32-page limit but the judges are not responsible for covering those materials. The file name should be the short title of the paper.
  • A pdf file of a letter signed by the entrant (and co-authors, if any) attesting that the entrant and the paper satisfy the eligibility conditions.

Complete entries must be received on or before June 30, 2020, by email submission to the committee chair,, with subject line “Rothkopf Submission.” It is the entrant's responsibility to allow for appropriate time to enroll as a new member of the AMD section (approximately 5 business days). Any question(s) related to the competition should be sent by email to the committee chair, Robert Day, The committee chair will work with three judges on award decisions. No judge or chair will serve more than two times in any five-year period.

About the namesake of the award: 

Michael H. Rothkopf was the 10th President of INFORMS in 2004. He was Smeal Chaired Professor of Supply Chain and Information Systems at Pennsylvania State University after having been Professor of Management Science and Information Systems at Rutgers University and the Rutgers Center for Operations Research (1989-2007). Prior to that, he spent 24 years in industry at Shell, Xerox PARC, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Mike Rothkopf was an applied mathematical modeler who studied and wrote about auctions and bidding since 1965. He founded the Auctions Cluster of talks at the INFORMS Annual Meeting in the late 1990s, which later evolved into the Auctions and Market Design section in 2017.

Rothkopf died in 2007, shortly after joining Pennsylvania State University. To honor his memory, Decision Analysis devoted a special issue (Volume 10, No. 2, March 2010) to articles on auctions. In the issue’s first article, the editors said: “Mike remained a role model to several generations of scholars in showing how both rigor and relevance can and must remain vibrant and useful analytical tools.”