Alvin Elliot Roth is born in the New York City borough of Queens.
He joins the faculty at Harvard University, where he becomes Professor in 1998.
While still at high school, he attends the Science Honors Program at Columbia University, which offers classes to high school students. He enters Columbia’s engineering school in 1968. There he also practices karate and studies operations research which brings scientific methods to the organization of human activity.
He becomes a professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh.
He returns to Stanford in 2012 and becomes an emeritus a year later.
He moves to a new operations research group in the business school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Roth makes contributions to game theory, market design and experimental economics, and is known for applying economic theory to solutions for real-world problems.
Alvin Roth shares the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics with Lloyd Shapley “for the theory of stable allocation and the practice of market design”. Roth has used game theory as well as experiments to develop systems to produce stable matches. This can be beneficial for markets in which there is no price involved that can be adjusted. For example, he has helped redesign systems to match medical residents with hospitals and children with schools.
After graduating, he moves to the Department of Operations Research of Stanford University. He decides to do research in game theory. He gains his Master in 1973 and his PhD in 1974..