Sam Taggart (he/him/his)
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science
Oberlin College
King 223B
10 North Professor Street
Oberlin, Ohio 44074
I'm an assistant professor of computer science at Oberlin. Before joining the department, I completed my doctoral study at Northwestern University in 2017 under the supervision of Jason Hartline. My research interests lie at the intersection of theoretical computer science and mathematical economics. Specifically, I'm interested in the interplay between economic incentives and statistical learning and in obtaining theoretical performance guarantees for practical resource allocation protocols such as the first-price auction. I also co-organize the Mechanism Design for Social Good working group on inequality. I like to think about how tools from theoretical computer science, AI, and economic design can help solve problems of social import.
My Curriculum Vitae


  • (16 July 2022) I presented ongoing work with Ali Khodabakhsh and Manolis Pountourakis, titled “Simple Delegated Choice,” at the algorithmic contract theory workshops at both STOC and EC. Video of the former talk can be found here. The working manuscript can be found here.
  • (25 May 2022) I was awarded an NSF Small, award number 2218814, for $239,830. The project title is “Data Science from Economic Foundations,” and the project is in collaboration with Manolis Pountourakis at Drexel Unversity.
  • (1 March 2022) My paper, “An Algorithmic Introduction to Savings Circles,” (joint with Rediet Abebe, Adam Eck, and Oberlin undergraduate Christian Ikeokwu), appeared in AAAI 2022. This work supercedes “Robust Welfare Guarantees for Decentralized Credit Organizations,” previously presented at several workshops.
  • (6 December 2020) An ongoing project, “Robust Welfare Guarantees for Decentralized Credit Organizations.” (joint with Rediet Abebe and Oberlin undergraduate Christian Ikeokwu), will be appearing in the NeurIPS 2020 Workshop on Fair AI in Finance (11 December 2020) as a spotlight talk.
  • (1 July 2020) I gave a tutorial at EC 2020 on provision and targeting for vulnerable populations, joint with Sera Linardi.


 DBLP, Google Scholar 

In Preparation

Full List

Former Research Students

I have had the privilege of working with numerous excellent undergraduate research assistants. Many have subsequently gone on to doctoral study in CS or an adjacent field. Below is a non-exhaustive list.

  • Robin Bowers (now @ CU Boulder)
  • Paul Lawrence (now @ Waterloo)
  • Christian Ikeokwu (now @ UC Berkeley)
  • Qia Wang (now @ UChicago)
  • Charles Cui (now @ Northwestern)
  • Yichi Zhang (now @ UW Madison)
  • Ezra Goss (now @ Georgia Tech)
  • Program Committee:

    EAAMO 2022 (Theory Track Co-Chair), EC 2022, FAccT 2022, AAAI 2022, EAAMO 2021 (Theory Track Co-Chair), EC 2021, AAAI 2021, WINE 2020, MD4SG 2020 (Theory Track Co-Chair), EC 2020, AAAI 2020, WINE 2019, MD4SG 2019, EC 2019, MD4SG 2018, EC 2018, MD4SG 2017