Incentive Centered Design

Making the Internet Safe, Fun, and Profitable

STIET News


 In the News: The Huffington Post ran a story on a study by STIET Co-PI, Professor Michael Wellman and STIET Fellow Elaine Wah that shows high-frequency stock trading is bad for profits, including those of high-frequency traders. Wellman also published an op-ed in TechCrunch about the work.

 40 Under 40! Former STIET fellow, Aniket Gune, has been named a Today Brand Innovators "40 Under 40" winner as one of the most innovative marketers under 40. Aniket is the Director of Social Media Acquisition at American Express, building end-to-end word-of-mouth social programs that drive card acquisition.

 Congrats! Former STIET fellow, Christopher Kiekintveld, has been awarded a CAREER grant for research on strategic decision making using computer gaming models.

Contact STIET

STIET Program
University of Michigan
3373 North Quad
105 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285
voice (734) 647-6333
fax (734) 615-3587

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STIET - A Multidisciplinary Doctoral Training Program at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University



In STIET we address the extraordinary changes in communications and computing technology, and the uses and requirements people have for these technologies. We design cyberinfrastructure to support safe, meaningful, efficient, equitable, and productive interactions.

Our research focus is on the use of incentive-centered design (ICD) to deliver new and improved systems for human use of the Internet. ICD proceeds from the observation that the performance and quality of Internet systems depends on the ways in which autonomous, self-motivated individuals interact with each other and with the system. System designers cannot program humans like software, but they can provide appropriately designed incentives in an attempt to induce truthfulness, cooperation, volunteerism, high-quality effort or other desirable behaviors.

We seek to have an impact on designs of real systems: our projects typically are inspired by a practical problem, move into the realm of abstract theorizing, and end by influencing the design of fielded systems.

For more information, write to stiet-info@umich.edu. The STIET Program is funded by NSF IGERT grant no. 0114368 and 0654014. The Research Seminar Series is funded by a Rackham Graduate School and the UM Office of the VP for Research.


STIET has three crucial components:
  1. Students and faculty collaborate in interdisciplinary ICD research fueled by a weekly seminar series and twice yearly research workshops.

  2. Coursework and faculty participation from the University of Michigan’s (UM) School of Information, Department of Economics and Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Wayne State University’s Department of Computer Science and the Business School and offers NSF funded fellowships.

  3. A STIET Summer Research Opportunity Program (S-SROP). This is a new summer research training and mentoring program to prepare and encourage promising undergraduates and masters students to pursue a graduate degree, and will provide a training ground in research leadership and mentoring for our PhD students.

School of Information
Business School
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
College of Engineering