Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"The Bidding Game," by Erica Klarreich. Beyond Discovery, March 2003.

Online auctions such as eBay have made auctions and their strategies morerelevant to many people. "The Bidding Game" is about auctions and the theorybehind them. To show that theory matters, the article begins with the 1994U.S. Federal Communications Commission broadband auction, which raised morethan seven billion dollars. Similar auctions in other countries weren'tdesigned as well and were far less successful. John von Neumann and John Nash,along with their contributions to game theory are mentioned, as is adescription of different types of auctions and how game theory relates to them.

--- Mike Breen