University of Rochester

William Thomson Named to Milliman Chair in Economics

April 17, 2009

William Thomson, an award-winning teacher who is also renowned for his research in game theory, has been named the Elmer B. Milliman Professor of Economics.

The Milliman professorship was established in 1977 by friends of Milliman, a former chairman of the board of Central Trust Company, University alumnus and trustee, and longtime Rochester civic leader.

"William Thomson's research reflects some of the most important innovations in analyzing problems of resource allocation," said Mark Bils, professor of economics and chair of the University of Rochester Department of Economics. "William has made major contributions in every aspect of the field, particularly in exploring the basis for rules to divide resources."

Bils also praised Thomson for his "remarkable record of teaching" and for sharing "tremendous time and energy" with his students, including 45 former and current doctoral students. Many of these students have gone on to make major contributions in economics and to serve on the faculty of top institutions, including Harvard, Columbia, Northwestern, Cal Tech, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Michigan, and universities in Japan, Korea, and Turkey.

A graduate of the École Polytechnique, Thomson received his doctorate in economics from Stanford University. He joined the University in 1983 and has taught at the University of Minnesota, Harvard University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Université de Caen, and the Université de Rennes, among others.

Thomson is the author or coauthor of more than 100 research papers and eight books, including the Guide for the Young Economist, which has been translated into four languages. From 2003 to 2008, he was editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Game Theory and from 2004 to 2006 he was president of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare. He serves on the board of editors of numerous international scientific journals.

Elected a Fellow of the Econometric Society, Thomson is also the recipient of many honors, including the 2001 University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, the Koc Prize for best article in Review of Economic Design, 2000, and the Condorcet Lecture at the 2000 Society for Social Choice and Welfare international meeting.