University of Missouri-St. Louis Assistant Professor of Philosophy Anna Alexandrova received the 2008 Philosophy of Science Association Recent Ph.D. Essay Award from the Philosophy of Science journal. The award comes with a cash prize of $250 and is given to an author who received their doctorate within the last five years.
Alexandrova’s winning paper, “Making Models Count,” is about economic models and their use in institution design. She looked at how game theory — an abstract study of how individuals interact in strategic environments — informs the design of the Federal Communications Commission spectrum auctions and argued that the existing accounts of models in philosophy of science do not help us to understand this case. Spectrum auctions are used by the FCC to distribute bands of electromagnetic spectrum to telecommunication firms. In her paper, Alexandrova proposed her own account called the Open Formulae view of models, according to which models function as rough and defeasible frameworks for scientific hypotheses.
“I am delighted to receive an award from the Philosophy of Science Association. It is the main professional organization in my area of research, people whose opinions I respect a lot,” said Alexandrova, a University City, Mo. resident. “I chose a very unorthodox research topic, so their appreciation validates this choice.”
Alexandrova has worked at UMSL since 2007. She earned her bachelor’s of science in communication from Intercollege in Nicosia, Cyprus, her master’s of science in philosophy of the social science from London School of Economics in England, and her doctorate in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.