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
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
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.
THE POWER OF THE CHICAGO NETWORK