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When Ozan Candogan was pursuing his PhD, he decided to explore

a new area of study: networks. He took a class titled Fundamentals

of Network Science and Engineering. “You’re covering tools, models,

and ideas that are applicable in a broad set of social and economic

settings—social networks, friendship networks, and financial

networks,” says Candogan, assistant professor of operations

management. “A couple of weeks in, I was hooked.”

Candogan’s passion for studying networks continues. His research

focuses on decision-making in social and economic networks,

mechanism design, and dynamic strategic interactions. Since

joining Booth in 2015, Candogan has been particularly impressed

by the caliber of the school’s PhD students—in the classroom and

collaborating on research. “It has been an absolute pleasure to

interact with them,” he says.

Booth: Why did you decide to join the faculty at Booth?

Ozan Candogan: I felt that my research was a great fit at Booth,

and it’s a great learning opportunity to be surrounded by prolific

colleagues. In addition, I love Chicago. So that combination of a

great city and a great school helped inform my decision.

Booth: What value do you see for Booth’s PhD students to be at the

University of Chicago, conducting cross departmental research?

Candogan: The faculty at Booth is extremely strong, but we are also

lucky in that the university is home to other top departments, such

as the economics and statistics departments. This is a profoundly

valuable asset for our PhD students because they can take classes

from experts throughout the school, no matter their interests.

Booth: Our program is located in one of the greatest cities in

the world. Why should that matter to someone considering our

PhD Program?

Candogan: Committing to the PhD Program requires you to be

involved for about five years, so it’s very important to be in a city

that you enjoy. Chicago is a lovely city. Culturally, there are great

museums, shows, and concerts. We have great sports teams. And if

you’re a runner, it’s hard to beat running by the lake.

On the academic side, there are other good schools in the area:

Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago,

as well as the University of Chicago. That is a valuable resource

for our PhD students. They have access to quite a few conferences

and workshops, and therefore they have more opportunities to be

academically engaged.

Booth: What would you tell a room full of prospective PhD students

about Booth’s doctoral program?

Candogan: If you are interested in working with leading researchers

on exciting, cutting-edge research, Booth is a great place to earn

your PhD. It’s a competitive program. We receive many applications

from highly qualified candidates with very strong backgrounds, and

some of these students have research experience.

The students here are very smart, motivated, and hardworking

individuals. Their training is solid in core areas such as optimization,

applied probability, and economics. They can specialize in

topics that they find most interesting, build on their training, and

contribute to the cutting-edge literature in their research areas.